Sever’s Disease in Kids – STOP Your Kids’ Heel Pain!

Have you noticed your child walking and running differently? Has your child been complaining about heel pain? If your child has been experiencing heel pain, then it’s very likely that your child is dealing with a condition called Sever’s disease. While the name might sound a little scary, Sever’s disease is more common than you think in growing children, especially those who are involved in physical activity. Sever’s disease in kids can be treated and prevented by wearing the correct types of shoes.

In recent years, physical therapists have noticed a significant increase in overuse injuries among children. Even though there are so many benefits for children to be involved in physical activity, doing too much or wearing the wrong type of shoes might lead to injury.

The Importance of Being Proactive

I always recommend parents to be proactive and don’t take the “wait and see approach” when it comes to treating their children’s foot conditions. Leaving your children’s foot conditions untreated can only lead to the condition getting worse.

Sever’s disease is an inflammatory condition of the growth plate in the heel bone and is one of the most common causes of heel pain in children. This condition occurs when children don’t wear supportive shoes and their feet can’t handle the impact that their feet take every time they come in contact with the ground.

This condition commonly occurs in physically active children between the ages of 8 and 14 years of age.

What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Effective in Preventing Sever’s Disease?

There are 2 key features that the shoes I recommend provide that makes them the most effective ones for children with Sever’s disease:

1️⃣ Substantial Outsoles: This feature minimizes the impact that your kids’ feet and legs take every time they come in contact with the ground. Avoid shoes with flimsy and unsupportive outsoles. Below you can see the difference between a shoe with a substantial outsole versus a shoe with an outsole that is too thin and doesn’t provide the correct amount of support:


2️⃣ Firmer Heel Counters: This feature cushions and protects your kids’ heels every time they come in contact with the ground. This is one of the most important features since the heel counter of the shoes it’s the one that provides ankle support. Take a look at the picture below to learn where the heel counter of the shoe is located:

Let me show you the difference between a shoe with a firm heel counter versus a shoe with a soft heel counter. The image on the left shows a shoe with a soft heel counter. When I am pressing in that particular area of the shoe, it feels soft and it flexes. The second image shows a shoe with a firm heel counter.


It is extremely important to provide your kids with the correct pair of shoes if you want to keep their feet and legs healthy, especially if they are involved in sports or high-impact activities.

There are only a few shoe styles that come with a firm heel counter and a substantial outsole, but the good news is that I know exactly which ones they are and I will help you find them. At the shoe store where I work, we carry some of the most supportive children’s shoes and orthotics, and I am familiar with which shoe brands and which shoe styles are better than others.

Before I show you a selection of the best shoes for kids with Sever’s disease, I want to make sure that you know your child’s exact foot size.

Are You 100% Sure of Your Child’s Foot Size? – Let’s Find Out!

Keep in mind that I always recommend parents take their children to their local children’s shoe store that they trust, the issue is that most stores have been closing down and parents need to end up buying their kids’ shoes online. There is nothing wrong with this, but you must know your child’s exact foot size to know what size to order. I created a resource that showcases the best-fitting children’s shoe stores by state.

If after looking at that resource you still can’t seem to identify a shoe store in your area, then proceed to take a look at an article I created that describes the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home.

In that article I help parents determine their child’s exact foot size and whether the child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet. I also will be able to tell you whether your child has a high instep or not.

Below you can find a selection of the best shoes that prevent and help treat Sever’s disease in kids. Disclosure: Some links in this post may be affiliate links and we may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) when you click our links and make purchases.

The Best Shoes for Kids with Sever’s Disease (medium and wide feet)

In each of the descriptions of the shoes, I indicate whether you need to order a half size or a whole size bigger than your child’s current foot size to provide the correct amount of growing room.

The Best Shoes for Kids with Sever’s Disease (narrow and medium feet)

If your child happens to have narrow or medium width feet then I suggest that you choose from the selection below:

Keep in mind that shoes that come with shoelaces are always going to be more effective in treating heel pain, as your child will get more support and stability from the shoes.

Apply This Shoe Lacing Technique

Once the shoes arrive I recommend that you apply a specific shoe lacing technique that I came up with that will help provide extra support to your child’s heels as well as secure them against the back of the shoes

Why is Your Child Experiencing Heel Pain? – The 5 Most Common Reasons!

The two most common overuse injuries involve the knee and the foot, and if those two parts of the body are not supported and protected by the correct pair of shoes, you will end up creating all sorts of foot and leg problems for your child. Please be aware that the conditions below increase your child’s risk of developing Sever’s disease:

  • Flat Feet
  • Overpronation
  • Short leg syndrome
  • Overweight
  • Rolled Ankles

Keep a close eye on the way your child walks and runs and ask them how their feet feel after running or playing sports.

Poor-fitting shoes contribute to the condition because they don’t provide enough support or padding for your kids’ feet. If your child is suffering from heel pain, the first thing you must do is to have them rest the foot until the pain starts to decrease or disappear altogether.

Most of the time, the child only needs a pair of shoes that provide extra support in the heel area to take care of the problem. However, if your child is already wearing a pair of supportive shoes and the pain persists, then you should try a pair of heel cups for extra cushioning and padding —I will elaborate on which are the best heel cups for kids shortly—


Treatment for Sever’s Disease – Protect your Kids’ Feet!

Remember that the first step to combat Sever’s disease or heel pain is to rest your kids’ feet (this is the primary treatment). Below you can find a list of other successful and proven methods of preventing and treating the condition:

1️⃣ Wearing shoes with arch support and a firm heel counter.

2️⃣ Wearing heel cups that absorb the impact that your kids’ feet and legs receive every time they hit the ground. This will help relieve the stress on your kids’ heels.

3️⃣ Make sure your child is stretching frequently since this will also reduce the stress on the heel.

Heel Cups for Kids – When the Shoes are Not the Solution!

If you have tried a pair of good supportive shoes for your child and the pain persists, it might be time to provide your child with other alternatives.

Heel cups are extremely effective in reducing the impact and stress that your kids’ feet receive every time they impact the ground. I have fitted heel cups before at the shoe store that I work for, and they work wonders. Some of the benefits of providing your child with a pair of heel cups are:

  • It provides shock absorption.
  • It protects the heel.
  • It prevents foot fatigue.

If your child is experiencing heel pain and is involved in high-impact activities or sports such as soccer, basketball, or baseball, the correct type of heel cup will significantly reduce your kids’ heel pain and in most cases eliminate it.

The type of heel cup that I have fitted before is called Tuli’s Heel Cup. This is the heel cup that I am the most comfortable recommending since I have seen all the benefits that it provides.

These heel cup provides targeted cushion and support the area of your kids’ heels where they are feeling the pain and protect it. Below you can find the most recommended Tuli’s Heel Cup for kids who are experiencing heel pain:

Small Size – Fits from a little kid shoe size 10.5 to a big kid shoe size 6.

Regular Size – Fits big kid shoe size 6 and above.

Take a look at the customer reviews on this product and notice how most parents have found it helpful even for their own feet, so if you have been experiencing heel pain yourself, you might want to give this heel cup a try.

Best Sport Shoes for Kids with Sever’s Disease – Support Your Kids’ Feet!

Several parents have asked me whether their children can play sports with Sever’s disease. I always tell them that they can as long as they are wearing the correct type of shoes for that specific sport in the correct shoe size.

The consequences of playing a sport in the wrong shoe size or in the wrong type of shoes can lead to injuries that impair growth and lead to long-term health problems for your children.

There are specific sport shoes that come in wide widths (to fit the shape of children with wide or extra wide feet), and that provide more support than others.

If your child is not wearing a sport-specific shoe for any of the sports mentioned above, you are putting them at risk of injury. Some parents don’t buy their kids a sport-specific shoe because they say their feet are too wide for the shoes – which is a big mistake because cleats are available in wide and extra wide widths.

Now that you know how to attack this condition, it’s time to provide your kids’ feet and legs with some relief.

Remember that making sure that your child is wearing the correct type of shoes is one of the most important steps in helping treat and prevent the condition.

Once the pain has fully disappeared, your child can return to perform their regular activities, but they need to keep wearing the correct type of shoes.

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

Do not hesitate to contact me directly at my e-mail if you have any further questions or if you need a different pair of shoes for your child. My e-mail address is: [email protected]

Have you found a particular shoe that has been effective in reducing or fully eliminating your child’s heel pain? Please share your experiences below so other parents can benefit from them.