Is the weather warming up where you live and you are getting ready to provide your child with a pair of summer sandals? Are you looking for a supportive sandal that your child can run around and play with for most of the day?
I have been fitting children’s shoes and orthotics for the last 10 years at a specialized children’s shoe store. We specialize in fitting 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 fir better than others.
If your children have a foot condition that requires them to wear orthotics in their everyday sneakers, it’s important that you provide them with a pair of supportive sandals for the summer.
I decided to create this article since I have been contacted by several parents that want to know if they can fit orthotics inserts inside their kids’ sandals. The answer is no, and let me explain you why. Orthotics only work in enclosed shoes that are supportive and come with a firm heel counter.
The main reason why you can’t fit orthotics/inserts inside your kids’ sandals is because 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.
The second reason why you can’t fit an orthotic inside you kids’ sandals is because sandals don’t provide any ankle support, since they all come with a soft heel counter. Certain sandals offer more arch support than others, but there are no sandals that provide ankle support.
Do you know what the heel counter of the shoes is? 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. Take a look at the picture below for clarification:
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 since it’s non-supportive.
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 summer time that will offer good support for their feet?
I recommend a pair of supportive sandals that come with a substantial sole 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.
This particular sandal will 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.
If you have a child that needs extra support from his or her sandals, here you can find the most supportive styles made by the shoe company Keen:
These sandals all fit “true to size”, which means that you need to go a half a size longer of the size that your child measures at the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room. Keep in mind that Keen sandals don’t come in half sizes, so if your child falls between sizes, always go for the half a size up. For example, if your child measures a foot size 1 in the shoe measuring scale, you will have to provide your child with a foot size 2 (since half sizes are not available).
Keen sandals come with a sole 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 features you will love about these sandals is how they dry really fast and that they are all machine washable.
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.