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

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 he/she 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 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.

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 most effective way to treat and prevent this condition is by wearing shoes that provide good support. There are two key features that the shoes must provide:

  • Substantial Sole: This feature will minimize the impact that your kids’ feet and legs take every time they come in contact with the ground. Avoid shoes with flimsy and unsupportive soles. Here is an example of a kids’ shoe with a supportive sole:


  • Firm Heel Counter: This feature will cushion andt protect your kids’ ankles 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:


You must always make sure that your kids’ shoes come with a substantial sole and a firm heel counter. For example, let me show you the difference between a shoe with a firm heel counter and one with a soft heel counter.

The first picture shows a shoe with a firm heel counter. When I am pressing in that particular area of the shoe, it feels firm.

Firm Heel Counter

This second picture shows a shoe with a soft heel counter. Do you notice how the shoe bends as I am pressing on the heel counter?

Soft 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 a sports or high impact activites.

There are only a few shoe styles that come with a firm heel counter and a substantial sole, but the good news is that I know exactly which ones they are and I will help you find them.

I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now, and I know everything that relates to children’s shoes and the way they FIT. This is a specialized shoe store that focuses on children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. 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.

I will provide you with a selection of the best shoes for Sever’s Disease in kids shortly, but let’s first take a look at the most common reasons of why your child is experiencing heel pain and the best treatment to significantly reduce, or fully eliminate your child’s heel pain.


Children With Heel Pain

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. I wrote an article that describes in more detail how to treat this condition. Go to the link below:

         Heel Lifts For Leg Length Discrepancy – The Best Solution To Your Kids’Leg Length Discrepancy!

  • 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,cif 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 expand on which are the best heel cups for kids shortly).

Kids Heel Pain

Pain in your Kids Legs and Feet – When Should you Worry?

You should be concerned as soon as your child starts complaining about foot and leg pain. Let me emphasize that foot and leg pain in children is never normal, and you must take action if you want to avoid bigger problems int the future.

Parents please be aware of the most common signs that your child may not be wearing the correct pair of shoes:

  • Pain in your kids’ feet or legs.
  • Swelling in your kids’ feet.
  • Changes in in his or her technique (if your child is involved in particular sport)
  • Decreased interest in practice (if your child is involved in a particular sport).

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 attacking the condition:

  • Wearing shoes with arch support and a FIRM heel counter.
  • 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.
  • Make sure your child is stretching frequently, since this will also reduce the stress on the heel.

Before I provide you with a selection of the best kids’ shoes for heel pain, I want to make sure that you know your child’s exact foot size, especially if you will be ordering your kids’ shoes online.

Please keep in mind that I always recommend parents to 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 in order to know what size to order.

I created a map that showcases the best fitting children’s shoe stores by state, so I suggest you start by taking a look at that map:

The Best Kids’ Shoe Stores In The United States – Where To Go For Proper Fittings

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

How To Measure Kids Shoe Size From Home – In Less Than 30 Seconds!

Now that you know the key role that shoes play in treating and preventing Sever’s disease in kids, you are ready to take a look at a selection of the best kids’ shoes for heel pain.

The Best Kids’ Shoes for Sever’s Disease ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Please keep in mind that I only write reviews of shoe styles that I have fitted before, otherwise I wouldn’t know how well-made they are, the amount of support that they provide, and how they fit.

Below you can find a selection of the best everyday walking/running shoes for a child who is experiencing heel pain (these shoes are available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide).

Please keep in mind that shoelaces are always going to be more effective in treating heel pain, since your child will get more support and stability from the shoes. I will provide you with a selection of shoes with shoelaces and also Velcro closure, in case your child is not ready to learn how to tie his/her shoes.

Here you can find a selection of the most supportive children’s shoes. Please choose the shoe width accordingly if your child has wide or extra wide feet.

Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

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This selection of shoes also fit “true to size”, which means that you need to go a half a size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.

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

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 do come in wide and extra wide widths!

I want you to remember one thing: It doesn’t matter how narrow or wide your kids’ feet are, there is always at least one particular shoe style out there that will fit the shape of your kids’ feet perfectly, and I will HELP YOU find it.

Sport Shoes For Children

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 still persists, it might be time to provide your child with other alternatives.

Heel cups are extremely effective inreducing 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 a high impact activities or sports such as soccer, basketball, or baseball, the correct type of heel cups swill significantly reduce your kids’ heel pain and in most cases completely 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 will cushion 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:

Fits Shoe Sizes From 10.5 to 6 YouthFits Shoe Sizes From 10.5 to 6 YouthFits Shoe Sizes From 10.5 to 6 Youth

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.

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

Do you happen to be experiencing heel pain yourself? I actually wrote an article where I describe the best shoes for women with heel pain.Please go to the link below:

The Best Shoes for Women with Heel Pain – Alleviate your Heel Pain!

Remember that making sure that your child is wearing the correct type of shoes is one of the most important steps in attacking 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.

Do you have a child who is experiencing heel pain? Have you found a particular shoe style that has worked well for his/her feet? Please share your experiences below so other parents can benefit from them.


I created this webpage to help parents understand the importance that shoes have in healthy foot development and how they can prevent foot problems in the future.Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kid’s feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids’ feet and get my guide for free: The 5 Most Common Mistakes Parents Make when Buying Their Kids’ Shoes

36 Comments on Sever’s Disease In Kids – STOP Your Kids’ Heel Pain!

  1. Thank you so much for this page of information. My 8yr old has just been diagnosed with this painful problem. Your article was really helpful and reassuring.

  2. Thank you for your very informative article. My daughter was diagnosed with severs several months ago and we have been able to address it with PT and lots of stretching, as well as the heel cups you mention here. She has flare ups but they are not as bad as before.
    Would you have a recommendation for shoes for her to play tennis in, on a hard court? She has a wide tow box and narrow heel. We would use the heel cups in the tennis shoes.
    Many thanks in advance!

  3. Hello my son is 12 years old and fighting sever’s disease for 3 years now. He is wearing Tulis heel cups for 1 year now and he has already seen a big differrence now.He is an active basketball player for the past 5 years.We have concerns everytime we have to buy shoes for him if we are getting the proper ones.He has the jordan’s superfly 2017 shoes which he is pretty happy,but I think we need something even better.Can you please reccomend me the best shoes that you think is ideal for my son? Don’t forget to mention that he’s a big footer wearing size 12! Thanks.

    • Hello Arthur,

      In order to help you better I need some extra information.
      Do you know your child’s shoe width? I need to know if his feet are narrow, medium, wide or extra wide (that way I can recommend a pair of shoes that will fit the shape of his feet).
      I also would like to know if he wears his basketball shoes as his everyday shoes. Are you looking for a basketball shoe or for an athletic everyday running shoe for your child?

  4. Thanks for all of the information! My son is 8 years old, he plays soccer, football and Lacrosse… what are the best cleats for him? We tried heels cups that were gel but they kept sliding in his cleats. Do the Tulis brand slide around?

  5. Hi. My daughter is 8 years old and diagnosed with Severs. Can you recommend an everyday shoe, basketball and volleyball shoe for her? She is very tiny at 50lbs and very narrow feet. We have been wearing the heal inserts and it’s made a big difference. Thank you

    • Hi Dulcey,

      Yes I can, but next time please send me your daughter’s shoe size instead of her age. I am assuming she knows how to tie her shoes, and she doesn’t she should learn because it will make a big difference in the way the shoes fit, specially since she has narrow feet. All of the shoes that I recommend below are narrow and come with a firm heel counter (to provide heel support).

      Every day shoes:

      Option 1

      Option 2

      Basketball Shoe:

      Option 1

      Volleyball Shoe:

      Option 1

      I hope this helps!

  6. Your article is very informative. My son is 12 years old and is in so much pain from Sever’s Disease. He has wide feet and is wearing size 11 men’s. What would be the best everyday shoe for him? Also, do you have a recommendation for the best soccer cleats for him? Thanks for your help!

  7. Hi, my son has Severs and plays lacrosse. He is a size 5 wide. Do you have a lacrosse cleat you would recommend for him? We’ve been told to buy turf shoes instead of regular cleats. What are your thoughts on that? Thanks!!!

    • Hello Crysta,

      The majority of lacrosse games are played on natural grass/turf. Thus most lacrosse cleats will have molded TPU spikes/studs to offer traction in all conditions. There is a particular cleat that I recommend that comes with a firm heel counter (this will provide ankle support), and you can also fit an orthotic (such as Superfeet) in order to provide extra support for your child’s feet.

      Here is the cleat that I am talking about:

      Lacrosse Cleat with extra support

      Please keep in mind that this shoe style is available in wide widths (“W”), which you will have to choose if you want to fit a pair of Superfeet insoles inside the shoes. You can learn more about Superfeet insoles here:

      Superfeet Insoles Review

      The blue Superfeet is the one that works with cleats.

      I hope this helps!

  8. My 10 year old daughter has been struggling with Severs for a couple of years. She is a size 7 to 7 1/2 and plays basketball and runs. I would love recommendations for both running shoes and basketball shoes.

  9. Hi! Thanks for such an informative website. My 10 year old son (size 3, narrow foot) has been complaining about heel pain for several months now and after reading all of this, I’m pretty sure it’s Sever’s related. He plays competitive ice hockey and soccer and recreational basketball, but up until now I haven’t paid much attention to his shoes. Which is a good everyday sneaker for him to wear to run around and play basketball? He has Adidas cleats for soccer. Is there a solution for the ice skates? It’s so hard to tell how much arch support they provide. Would a heel cup help? Thanks in advance!

    • Hello Amie,

      It seems like your child is extremely active, and the sports he plays involve a lot of high impact movements, sudden stops, and quick direction changes.In order to be able to recommend a pair of shoes for your child I will have to know whether he has a narrow, medium, wide, or an extra wide foot.

      I am not an expert when it comes to ice skating, but I know a coach who will be able to provide me with the right information.

      Heel cups are extremely effective in reducing or fully eliminating heel pain, but they must be fitted correctly in the correct pair of shoes. Once you get back at me with your son’s foot width, I will be able to recommend a pair of shoes and heel cups.

  10. My son is 11 and diagnosed with severs last fall. Aside from severs he also rolled his ankles about 5 times within a year’s period. We purchased the New Balance 860 and he still rolls his ankle a lot. He has also already worn down the fronts of them (tip toe area). Should we just go back to that shoe or do you have another recommendation? He wears a 4 might be in a 4.5 by now though.

  11. I love New Balance, but find the remark made that parents who did not buy supportive shoes, is what lead to severs disease to be false information. If this is true what scientific journals, groups of doctors did these studies to prove this information? Severs according to my sons orthopedic surgeon is caused by a sudden growth spurt where the child’s leg muscles do not grow as quickly as they do and pulls and stretches the heel muscles as they grow causing intense pain in their heals. I agree that sportive shoes are needed if the child ends u suffering from this and that it’s good to have shoes with support but it’s not the fault of the parents who did not buy the correct shoe. If it was the disease would be better known because most every child in poverty would suffer from the disease because many parents cannot afford to buy supportive shoes and there are a lot of kids in poverty.

    • Hello Nicole,

      Thank you for sharing. I don’t believe that I mention anywhere on my article that parents who didn’t buy supportive shoes for their children are the ones at fault for their kids experiencing Sever’s disease.

      I created this website to help parents make the most informed decision when buying their children’s shoes based on my experience as a shoe fitter, and what I have learned through the last 10 years. Sever’s disease is a type of bone injury that occurs when the heel becomes inflamed and causes pain. Just because a child doesn’t wear supportive shoes it doesn’t mean that he/she will get Sever’s disease. There are a lot of children who wear minimalist shoes or go barefoot and never experience any sort of foot or leg pain, and this is because of the simple fact that they all have a different type of foot anatomy.

      If the child is experiencing heel pain, supportive shoes and in some cases orthotics and heel cups are the best way to help treat this condition.

  12. Hi, my daughter has been experiencing heel pain for about three years, going into her fourth. We have tried heel cups, compression socks, different shoes, inserts, stretching, strengthening, and nothing has made a difference. I am 5-11, and my husband is 6-7 my daughter is 5-10 and hasn’t hit puberty yet, she is thirteen and a little late on maturing. She wears a size 10 in regular shoes, and she has an EXTREMELY high arch, I have failed to find a shoe that helps her severs as well as her high arch. She played basketball all her life, and now is getting into volleyball. I was wondering if you have any recommendations for a volleyball shoe for her situation or a good insert for her arch.

    • Hello Lainie,

      It seems like you have tried it “all”, but not all heel cups and inserts will provide the same level fo effectiveness. You also need to consider that if your daughter doesn’t wear supportive shoes, then the heels cups and the inserts/orthotic won’t be effective. In addition, the shoes need to be tied properly for your daughter to get the full support from the shoes. There are a lot of factors that play a role when trying to significantly reduce or fully eliminate heel pain.

      What type of everyday shoes is your daughter wearing? The shoes need to provide a firm heel counter and extra cushion and padding right below where her heels are. Please feel free to send me a picture of the shoes that your daughter is wearing:

      What shoe inserts have you tried?

      Before I send you a recommendation of a volleyball shoe, I need to know whether your daughter has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet.

      • Thank you for responding so quickly, my daughter has been wearing the HyperDunk basketball shoes to volleyball practice, I think that the problem may also be that her ankles have no room to breath. She has a medium foot width, and we have tried the foot machine where you get custom inserts for your arch, but none of the inserts have applied to her heel.

        • Lainie,

          The problem is not that her ankles have no room to breathe.

          Here are the recommendations for a volleyball shoe:

          Option 1

          Option 2

          I am not sure what do you mean when you say that none of the inserts have applied to her heel. The inserts usually come with a heel cup, and that’s supposed to reduce the impact that the heels take when they come in contact with the ground. Some inserts provide better support than others, that’s why I was asking you which specific inserts you have tried.

          I recommend that you start by trying pair of Superfeet inserts, and if the pain persists, then I can recommend a more substantial orthotic.

          Superfeet: Green

          I want her to tie her shoes the same way it shows in this article:

          How To Tie Shoes With Orthotics- Stop Heel Slippage

          I am curious to know what type of everyday shoes she wears. They need be supportive or we won’t be able to combat her heel pain.

  13. To answer your questions, the inserts she has worn in the past are Dr. Scholls pain relief orthotics, she wears vans everyday to school with the heel cups in, though sometimes that makes the pain worse. The inserts she has worn in the past have helped her arch pain, but then it led to heel pain so she stopped wearing them.

    • Lainie,

      Dr. Schools are comfort insoles, despite of what they might say on their package label.

      Vans are casual shoes, not everyday shoes and they don’t provide any heel support whatsoever.

      In conclusion, your daughter is experiencing heel pain from wearing unsupportive shoes. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  14. Hi, this is Lainie again we took your advice and ordered, “option one” of the volleyball shoes. They were great, the heels were amazing and every thing was good expect for the foot fit. I realize now that my daughter has a very wide foot or that shoe just ran small. I was wondering if you had another recommendation that was very similar to the first option but had a wider foot space towards the front of the shoe.

    • Hi Lainie,

      We need to find a shoe that comes with a rounder toe-box at the front but has a narrower heel. There are no volleyball shoes available in wide widths, but there is a tennis shoe style that your daughter can wear to play volleyball that provides good ankle support and it’s available in wide widths. Please find below my recommendation:

      New Balance Tennis Shoe for Volleyball: Chose “W”

      I hope this helps!

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