Shoes for Kids with Sensory Issues – Let’s Find Some Magical Shoes!

Are you having a hard time finding shoes for your child with sensory issues? Do you feel like it’s a constant battle every time you try to put your kids’ shoes on? If your child can’t stand the way shoes and socks feel, I totally understand what they are going through. Be patient, they are complaining for a reason! The best shoes for kids with sensory issues are seam-free and made from soft, premium leather to increase comfort.

Your kids’ shoes need to feel just right, or your child will refuse to wear them. The wrong pair of shoes can be a source of great discomfort for children who experience sensory issues and finding the correct pair of shoes can be quite a stressful and time-consuming experience.

I have found that shoes that are made of softer materials and provide extra padding around the heels tend to be the most effective ones for kids with sensory issues. Shoes with extra depth and rounder toe-boxes tend to fit and feel more comfortable.

Every time I try on a pair of shoes for a child with sensory issues they will always complain and say that the shoes feel:

❌ Too tight!

❌ Too pinchy!

❌ Too bumpy!

Sounds familiar?

I will guide you and help you find the best type of shoes for your child with sensory issues.

Does Your Child Prefer the Shoes to Feel On the “Tighter” or “Looser” Side?

I have noticed how some children with sensory issues prefer their shoes to be fitted loosely, while others prefer their shoes to be fitted on the tighter side.

If your child usually complains that the shoes feel “too tight”, there are certain shoe styles that provide extra depth and rounded toe-boxes which might help resolve this issue. On the other hand, if the shoes always feel “too loose” then there are also certain shoes that provide narrower platforms and heel counters, as well as special lacing techniques that can make the shoe “hug” your child’s feet more effectively.

What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Effective for Kids with Sensory Issues?

Finding a soft, seam-free shoe, made from soft, premium leather it’s a great place to start when trying shoes for your child. Ideally, you will also want to find a shoe with a tongue that opens widely, so it’s easy for your child to get the shoe on without pressing on the foot too much.

There are 3 key features that the shoes I recommend provide to be more tolerable for your child with sensory issues:

1️⃣ Extra Depth: This feature is really important because it allows the child’s feet to fit deeply inside the shoes and prevent the top part of the child’s feet from rubbing against the top of the shoes. Let me show you the difference between a shoe that provides extra depth and one that doesn’t:

2️⃣ Rounder Toe-Boxes: This feature prevents your child’s toes from rubbing against each other or the side of the shoes.

3️⃣ Extra Padding: This feature prevents the shoes from rubbing your kids’ heels in the wrong way.

Be Patient – We Will Find the Perfect Pair of Shoes for Your Child’s Feet

It is important to have a great deal of patience and understanding when dealing with a child with sensory issues. I have fitted shoes for several children with sensory issues, and one of the things you must understand is that the child is not being bratty, he/she is just experiencing a great deal of discomfort!

If you are planning to have your child fitted for shoes at your local kids’ shoe store, then please do not hesitate to tell the shoe fitter or the person assisting you that your child has sensory issues. This allows the shoe fitter to understand the situation better and act accordingly.

I only review shoe styles that I have fitted before since that is the only way for me to tell how well-made and supportive they are, and how they fit. 

Without further ado, let’s take a look at a selection of the best shoes for kids with sensory issues. 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 Sensory Issues

Take a look at the description below each shoe to find out the features that it provides, the type of closure, and the size you should order to allow for the correct amount of growing room. It might be a good idea to  “desensitize” your child’s feet before putting the shoes on, which means warming up your child’s feet with a massage. 

Please note that providing your child with shoes that are too short or too long can create discomfort. In addition, to get the correct shoe size online, you need to be 100% sure of your child’s foot size to begin with.

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

I always recommend parents take their children to their local children’s shoe store to be properly fitted for shoes. The issue is that a lot of independent children’s shoe stores have been closing down. I decided to create a resource that showcases the best-fitting children’s shoe stores by state, that way you can check if you have a good-fitting children’s shoe store in your area or not.

If you can’t seem to find a good-fitting kids’ shoe store in your area, then take a look at the article below that describes the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home.

Does Your Child Need a Pair of Seasonal Shoes Such as Sandals or Boots?

I created additional resources that describe the best sandals and boots for children with sensory issues.

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

Do not hesitate to contact me directly if you are having trouble finding a particular shoe style for your child with sensory issues:

[email protected]

Once you order a pair of shoes for your child, try them on with the right type of socks and have your child walk and run around the house. 

The first step before your child even tries on the shoes is to make sure that your child is wearing the correct type of socks since they will affect the way the shoes feel.

What Are the Best Socks for Kids with Sensory Issues?

I have found that seamless socks are a must for your child with sensory issues. It is important to choose a fabric that feels soft to your kid’s feet and that doesn’t constrict toe movement. I have put together a selection of the best seamless socks for children with sensory issues:

In case you followed all these steps and your kid is still having a hard time putting on the shoes, try warming up his feet by massaging them before putting the shoes or socks on. This will help desensitize the feet and will make him less sensitive to the touch.

Don’t get frustrated when your child keeps telling you that every single pair of shoes feels too tight, keep trying shoes on until you find the perfect one. However, never buy a larger size to accommodate for the tightness, try shoes in a wider width instead. This works 90% of the time, and this way we don’t compromise your kids’ stability by fitting them in shoes that are too long.


Final Thoughts

Kids with sensory issues have special needs that must be taken care of. I have not only given you a set of guidelines to follow when shopping for shoes for your kid with sensory issues, but I have also explained to you the importance of wearing the right type of socks!

Let’s put a smile on your kids’ faces! I want your children to go from:

“These are the worst shoes and socks in the world” to… “I love these shoes! They are the best shoes in the whole wide world!”

Just be patient, follow my guidelines, and you will find the perfect pair of shoes for your child.

Do you have a child with sensory issues? Is there a particular shoe style that you have tried for your child with sensory issues that has worked well for his/her feet? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so other parents can benefit from them as well!