Do you have a toddler who has been diagnosed with flat feet? Did your physical/occupational therapist recommend supportive shoes but you are wondering about what shoes your toddler should wear during the summer season?
If you haven’t been able to find a pair of supportive everyday sneakers for your flat footed toddler, please refer to another article I wrote where I describe the best everyday sneakers for toddlers with flat feet. Go to the link below:
It’s important to understand that we all have a certain degree of pronation, and most issues arise when pronation becomes excessive. As I mentioned in other articles, pronation is also referred as flat feet, and when pronation becomes excessive it’s referred as overpronation.
The main issue with overpronation is how it can throw your toddler’s whole body out of alignment, leading your toddler to put extra pressure in the feet and knees, which often leads to foot, leg, hip and back pain in the later years.
If your child is flat footed and has overpronation, you will notice how your child’s feet and ankles roll inwards.
There are certain sneakers and orthotics that will help treat and prevent your toddler’s overpronation, but parents are often confused when it comes to what shoes they should get during the summer. Unfortunately, there aren’t many summer shoes that will help address this foot condition.
You should always avoid providing your toddler with sandals that provide no arch support, because they can make your toddler’s feet vulnerable to injury and various foot, knee, hip, and back problems down the road. Sandals that don’t provide arch support force your toddler’s full body weight to pressure only on the heel and forefoot instead of distributing the force more evenly across the entire foot.
The good news is that I have found a particular sandal that has proven to be the most effective one when it comes to treating and preventing overpronation during the summer time. This sandal provides an internal support mechanism which is anatomically engineered to provide excellent arch support and prevent the flattening of the arch.
This is how the sole of the sandal looks like:
Do you notice how much thicker and substantial the sole of the sandal looks compared to other regular sandals? As soon as your child stands in the sandals you will notice an immediate difference in your toddler’s posture if you look at the feet from behind.
Let’s take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes. The first image is of a barefoot flat footed child. Do you notice how the child’s feet are collapsing and turning inwards?
Now let’s take a look at an image of the same child standing in the pair of sandals that I recommend. Do you notice how much straighter the child’s feet are?
The internal support mechanism of the sandal is preventing the child’s feet from collapsing and turning inwards.
How effective this sandal will be in improving your toddlers gait and posture depends on the degree of pronation that your toddler has.
There is one common question that several parents seem to have in common: Can I fit an orthotic inside my toddler’s sandals? The answer is no. Orthotics are not effective in sandals, and they won’t do any good. If you try to fit an orthotic inside your toddler’s sandals you will end up wasting your money.
The only way to treat and prevent your toddler’s pronation during the summer is through supportive sandals.
In addition to treating your toddler’s overpronation, these sandals provide great traction, are durable and dry fast. They also come with a Velcro closure strap to provide your toddler with better support and stability. I will discuss the features that these sandals provide in more detail shortly.
Before I show you with a selection of the best sandals for toddlers with pronation, I want to first show you the 5 most important features that these sandals provide.
Sandals for Pronation – The 5 Most Important Features!
There are 2 key features that your toddler’s sandals must provide in order to eliminate foot fatigue by aligning your toddler’s foot to its correct position which are a substantial sole and extra heel cushion. However, there are 3 remaining features that will prevent and help treat your toddler’s overpronation.
✅ Substantial Sole: The extra cushioned foot-bed of the sandal will provide your toddler with better stability and balance. This feature will also minimize the impact that your toddler’s feet receive when they come in contact with the ground. The substantial sole will also help prevent the over flattening of the arch which leads to overpronation.
✅ Extra Heel Cushion: The sandal comes with extra padding right below where your toddler’s heels are. This is a great feature, especially if your toddler has rolled ankles. This feature will also minimize the impact that your toddler’s feet take when they come in contact with the ground.
✅ Lightweight and Flexible: The sandals must be supportive and lightweight and flexible at the same time. Heavier, stiffer sandals will make your toddler’s feet and legs tire more easily.
To give you a better idea, your toddler’s sandals should always bend at the ball of the foot but not any further. This means that the sandals should be flexible, but not too flexible, otherwise they won’t provide the correct amount of support.
The picture below shows a picture of a sandal that provides the correct amount of flexibility:
The picture below shows a picture of a sandal that provides too much flexibility:
✅ Durability: Toddlers usually outgrow their shoes before they are ready to be replaced, but I have seen certain cases where the toddler destroyed the shoes before they were ready to be replaced. The sandals I will describe below are practically undestructible. Toddlers can wear them to different activities such as going to the beach, camping, and running around in different types of terrain.
✅ Secure Closure: It’s important for parents to be able to adjust their toddler’s sandals securely in order to provide their toddlers with added stability and support. Some toddlers like to wear their shoes really tight while some others prefer a loose fit. Whichever your toddler preference might be, please make sure that the sandals are always adjusted properly.
Now that you know what features your toddlers’ sandals must provide, you are ready to take a look at a selection of the best sandals for toddlers with pronation.
The Best Sandals for Toddlers with Pronation ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I only review shoe styles that I have fitted before, since that is the only way for me to tell how well-made the shoes are, the amount of support that they provide, and how they fit.
These sandals will improve your toddler’s posture and help treat and prevent overpronation. Click on the image to see all available color options.
Before deciding how much growing room you want to leave in your toddler’s sandals, you will have to figure out how many more months of summer you got ahead. It’s important to provide your toddler with a certain amount of growing room, but sandals that are too long might compromise your toddler’s stability, making your toddler more prone to developing foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns.
As a standard rule, we always want to provide toddlers with a half a size longer (3/8 of an inch) of the size that they measure in the standard foot measuring scale (Brannock device), in order to allow for growing room.
Keen sandals are not available in half sizes, they are available in whole sizes only. This means that if your toddler’s feet measure a foot size 9, you will have to provide your toddler with a shoe size 10. If your toddler’s feet measure a foot size 9.5, you will also provide them with a shoe size 10.
In order to be able to figure out your toddler’s correct Keen sandal size, you need to know your toddler’s exact foot size. To assist parents in determining their toddler’s shoe size at home effectively and with ease, I created a video tutorial:
If you have a specialized children’s shoe store in your area, I recommend that you take your toddler to be measured and fitted for shoes over there.
Finding children’s sandals with arch support has proven to be a challenging task. Most sandals come with a flat design that doesn’t provide any type of support whatsoever.
I forgot to mention how these sandals are all machine washable. This is an awesome feature that Keen implemented in all of their sandals. Most parents used to complain about the terrible smell that Keen sandals used to developed after being worn for a couple of times. Toddler’s feet tend to sweat a lot, so this feature is going to be really helpful. Now you don’t have to worry about that anymore since all Keen sandals are machine washable.
Do you have a toddler that is dealing with overpronation? Have you found a particular sandal style that has been effective in treating and preventing your toddler’s overpronation? Please share your findings below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.