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Shoe Inserts for Sandals – Can You Fit an Orthotic Inside Your Kids’ Sandals?


Is the weather warming up where you live and you are getting ready to provide your child with a pair of summer sandals? Do you have a child with a foot condition that requires him/her to wear sandals that provide good support? Several parents want to know the answer to the following questions: Do shoe inserts for sandals exist? Is it okay to fit an orthotic inside my kids’ sandals?

Children with foot conditions such as flat feet, rolled ankles, and low muscle tone usually have to wear orthotics inside their everyday sneakers for extra support. Parents are often confused as to how they are supposed to treat these foot conditions over the summer and sometimes try to fit an orthotic inside their kids’ sandals. Please don’t do this, as orthotics only work in enclosed shoes that are supportive and come with a firm heel counter.

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes and Orthotics

I have been fitting children’s shoes and orthotics for the last 10 years at a specialized children’s shoe store that focuses in children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. I am familiar with which shoe brands and which shoe styles among those brands provide better support than others, and I will help you find them.


Shoe Inserts Don’t Work in Sandals — Here’s Why!

These are the 3 main reasons why orthotics don’t work with sandals:

1️⃣ The first reason why you can’t fit orthotics/inserts inside your kids’ sandals is that the orthotics will move too much inside the sandals and your child won’t get any of the benefits that the orthotics have to offer.

2️⃣ The second reason why you can’t fit an orthotic inside your kids’ sandals is that sandals don’t provide any ankle support, as they all come with a soft heel counter. Certain sandals offer better arch support than others, but there are no sandals that provide ankle support.

Do you know where the heel counter of the shoes is located? The heel counter is what provides ankle support and also helps keep the orthotic in place. The heel counter of the shoe is the back part of the shoe, and the firmer it is, the better. There are no children’s sandals that come with a firm heel counter. Let’s take a look at the picture below for clarification. When I am pressing on the heel counter of the sandal, it easily bends as its non-supportive:


3️⃣ The third reason why you can’t fit orthotics inside your kids’ sandals is that it’s highly likely that the orthotics/inserts will get wet and you will end up ruining them.

So, you might be asking yourself: What type of shoes should I provide for my children during the summertime that will offer good support for their feet?

I recommend a pair of supportive sandals that come with a substantial outsole that offers arch support.

There is a particular type of sandal made by the shoe company Keen that offers the best support for children with foot conditions such as flat feet, rolled ankles, or overpronation:

Supportive Sandal for Kids with Wide Feet

This particular sandal helps reduce the impact that your child’s feet take every time they become in contact with the ground. It will also help your kids walk and run straighter.

Keen sandals come with an outsole that can tackle all terrain and come with a metatomical footbed design that has an internal support mechanism that is engineered to provide excellent arch support. Another awesome feature you will love about these sandals is how they dry really fast and that they are all machine washable.

What Makes the Sandals I Recommend Effective for Kids with Foot Conditions?

Reason #1: The internal support mechanism is anatomically engineered to provide excellent arch support and cradle the natural contours of the foot. Do you notice how the sandal on the right image (Keen) has a much thicker and supportive outsole than the sandal on the left image?


Reason #2:  In addition to providing excellent arch support, these sandals also come with extra support around the heel area. This is a great feature, especially if your child has rolled ankles. Let me show you the difference between a Keen sandal style that provides extra cushion around the heel versus one that doesn’t. This extra padding helps reduce the impact on your kids’ heels and prevents ankle and heel pain.


Without further ado, let’s take a look at the most supportive sandals for kids. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

The Most Supportive Sandals for Kids ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Many of the sandals featured below come in several color options, so if your child likes a specific model, please make sure to click through and see if they have the desired color.

What Sandal Size Should You Order?

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

How to Retrieve Your Child’s Exact Foot Length and Shape

If you want to be 100% sure about what shoe size to order online, I suggest that you follow the instructions in the article below:

How to Measure Your Kids’ Foot – 2 Simple Steps to Determine Foot Length and Foot Width

Keep in mind that most sandals are not available in half sizes, so if your child falls between sizes, always order the half a size up. For example, if your child measures a foot size 1 on the shoe measuring scale, you will have to provide your child with a foot size 2 – as half sizes are not available.

Some of the sandals I recommend provide a built-in arch mechanism to support your child’s feet:


Now that you know which are the best sandals for children with flat feet, overpronation, or rolled ankles, you can keep their feet and legs healthy.

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:



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 kids feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

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