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Shoes With Removable Insoles For Orthotics- Make Sure You Get The Right Fit

Shoes With Removable Insoles For Orthotics

Has your child been pronating and diagnosed with flat feet? Is he having sensory and stability issues? Does your pediatrician or physical therapist believe your child might benefit from wearing an orthtotic?

If so, the next step will be to find the right pair of shoes that will work with the orthotics, since these require a particular type of shoe. The best orthotics will be ineffective if your child is not wearing the right pair of shoes, and it all STARTS with a shoe that has a removable insole.

Did you know that NOT all shoes come with removable insoles? For example, the shoe company Sketchers has been making shoes with memory foam, and the insoles in these shoes CAN’T be removed. While you will be able to remove the insoles from most shoes, it is important to know exactly which shoes come with removable insoles and which don’t.

Some of the benefits of providing your child with an orthotic are:

  • They  provide bio-mechanical balance by redistributing body weight.
  • They help straighten your child’s body posture by helping him/her walk straighter.
  • They minimize or eliminate the pain that your child might be experiencing in his/her legs or feet.

Throughout this post, I will describe the best shoes with removable insoles for orthotics.

Why Running Shoes Are Important

The reality is that certain orthotics are designed to be worn with a particular type of shoe, and not all shoes will work with every type of custom or over-the-counter orthotic. The first step when fitting an orthotic into a shoe is to remove the inner sole of the shoe.

This step is extremely important since the orthotics themselves take a lot of space and they eventually raise your kid’s feet up, which will give your child the impression that his feet are coming out of the shoe. If we leave the inner sole inside the shoe, your kid’s feet will be raised even more!

The first two pictures will show you how thick an orthotic is and how much space it will take inside your kid’s shoe.

Orthotics Insoles For KidsOrthotics Inserts For Kids

The next two pictures show how much thinner the inner sole of the shoe is. However, if we keep the inner sole inside the shoes and then insert the orthotics, we will be raising our kids’ feet up too much! NEVER forget to remove the inner sole when you insert an orthotic inside your kid’s shoes!

Removable Insoles Shoes

Removable Insole Shoes

Do you notice how much thicker an orthotic is compared to the insole that comes inside the shoe? If the shoes doesn’t come with a removable insole or they are not deep enough, the chances of the orthotic fitting in the shoe are highly unlikely. Finding a shoe with a removable insole is crucial when fitting an orthotic.

If you are unsure about which orthotics/inserts you need to get for your child, I wrote a post where I describe the best orthotic/inserts for children who are experiencing foot and leg pain. The post is called:

Insoles For Flat Feet – Say Goodbye To Foot Pain

Here is a list of the shoe brands that come with removable insoles:

  • New Balance
  • Saucony
  • Stride Rite
  • Asics
  • Nike
  • Adidas
  • Reebook
  • PLAE
  • IFME
  • Pediped
  • See Kai Run
  • Merrell

When a child is required to wear an orthotic, the chances are that he will need a wider and deeper shoe. Shoe brands like New Balance and Saucony are the two most popular ones for us in the store when fitting a child in an orthotic. Their shoes provide excellent support and stability, and they come in different widths such as narrow, medium, wide, and extra wide!

Another important feature to look for is the DEPTH of the shoe. What do I mean by this? Certain shoes are more shallow than others. The deeper the shoe is, the deeper the orthotic will fit inside the shoe. That means that the foot of the child will not get raised up as much. Let’s take a look at an example of how an orthotic will fit inside a shoe made by  New Balance compared to a shoe made by Nike. Let’s see if you can tell the difference in which shoes the orthotic fits better!

Below you can see a picture of a Nike shoe with an orthotic inside it. Even though the orthotic was able to slide inside the shoe, notice how high up it is, and that means it will raise your child’s foot, giving him the impression that his foot is coming out of the shoe when he walks.

Nike Shoes With OrthoticsNike Shoes With Orthotics

Below you can see a picture of the same shoe size (wide and length) with an orthotic, but with a shoe made by New Balance. Do you notice the difference in shoe depth? The orthotic inside the New Balance shoe is sitting properly inside the shoe, and when your child slides his foot inside the shoe, he will feel his feet sitting securely inside the shoe.

New Balance Shoes With OrthoticsNew Balance Shoes With Orthotics

Now, you can see that fitting an orthotic inside your kids’ shoes is NOT an easy task. I wrote a post where I describe the best shoes for orthotics, and the post is called:

Best Shoes For Orthotic Inserts – Don’t Ignore Your Children Foot Or Leg Pain!

How Do I Remove The Inner Sole Of The Shoe?

Keep in mind that certain insoles will be easier to remove than others. In most cases, you can use your hand to easily remove the inner sole of the shoe. In certain cases, shoe companies glue down the inner sole to the bottom of the shoes, which makes it hard, if not impossible, to remove it from the shoe.  When this is the case, I use a screwdriver to help me remove the inner sole and any material left in the shoe.

NEVER purchase a shoe that contains a non removable inner sole if your child wears orthotics. Shoes that contain memory foam should also be avoided, since  90 percent of the time you WILL be not be bale to remove the insole from these shoes.

Getting Used To The Orthotics – Ouchie, It Hurts!

When your child is wearing an orthotic, he will need some time to adapt to the different features that the orthotic provides such as the arch or the heel cup support. Your child will complain about feeling a bump behind his feet, which is normal since he is feeling the arch support of the orthotic.

Your child will have enough to deal with when trying to get used to the orthotic, so PLEASE make sure you provide him with the correct shoe size. The last thing we want for him is to worry about his foot coming out of the shoe, so provide him with a shoe that comes with a removable insole!

Before you purchase a shoe to fit an orthotic, there are 5 main features the shoe must provide:

1. The shoe must have a firm heel counter (the firmer, the more ankle support it will provide to your child).

2. The shoe must be firm in the area called the medial – or inside – mid-sole (a firm mid-sole will prevent the shoe from collapsing underneath your child’s foot).

3. The shoe must have a deeper end in order for the orhotic to sit properly inside the shoe.

4. The shoe must bend where the toes bend.

5. Your priority should be to look for a shoe that comes with shoe laces. If your child is not ready for shoe laces, choose a shoe with a thick velcro strap.

I wrote a post where I describe the best tying method for a child that is wearing an orthotic. The post is called:

How To Tie Shoes With Orthotics – Stop Heel Slippage

To summarize, the 3 steps to follow when fitting your kids’ shoes with orthotics:

1. The first step is to remove the existing insoles of the shoe.

2. The second step is to insert the orthotic inside the shoe and make sure it is sitting inside the shoe properly.

3. The third step is to stand your child up and test the shoes with the orthotics.

If you find that the orthotic is giving your child the impression that his foot is coming out of the shoe, please don’t feel the need to buy a smaller shoe size. If your shoe is a lace up shoe there are a variety of different lacing techniques that can help minimize heel slippage and make your kid’s shoes fit and feel entirely different!!!

I ALWAYS recommend that parents take their kids to a local children’s shoe store to have their feet properly measured. However, several parents have told me that they either don’t have a kids’ shoe store in their area or they don’t like the service they provide. If this is your case, below you can find a selection of the best fitting kids’ shoes that provide excellent support and stability and that also come with a removable insole.

The shoes below will fit a child that has narrow, medium, or wide feet (choose the width accordingly).

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

The shoes below will fit a child with medium, wide, or extra wide feet.

This selection of shoes 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.

Does your child wear shoes with orthotics? Have you found a particular shoe style that has worked best? If your child wears orthotics and you have found certain brands or shoe styles that work better than others please share your finds in the comments section  below so we can all benefit from your experiences!


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

14 Comments on Shoes With Removable Insoles For Orthotics- Make Sure You Get The Right Fit

  1. First I want to ask, where do you buy the orthotic insert for the shoes? My son does have flat and wide feet, so I buy New Balance since that brand tends to carry a variety of wide shoes. Can you get the inserts wide as well? If not, do you think they would work?

    • It depends on what type of orthotic you are looking for, some of them are sold over the counter at sports stores or shoe stores. The kind we sell at the store I work for are from Cascade and Superfeet. The type he might need will depend on whether he is experiencing feet or leg pain. The inserts do come in different widths. New Balance is the brand that makes the widest shoes. With widths available in wide and extra wide, New Balance shoes will fit even the widest feet out there!

  2. Hey there, really interesting information 🙂 I know someone who had flat feet in childhood and she used to wear some orthotics in her shoes. The great thing about it is that her problem was totally solved and today she hardly remembers it. So I do recommend this orthotics for children who have flat feet issues.
    I really love those tips you gave about how a shoe should be in order to fit an orthotic. For example I had no idea that the shoe should have a deeper end. It’s really good to know 🙂

    • Ashley,

      If treated early, orthotics will be only a temporary solution to your kids foot problems. However, some children have to use orthotics for longer periods of time. The shoe must be supportive in order for your child to get the full benefit of the orthotic. I am glad you have seen the positive impact that orthotics can have in children!

  3. Hi, Interesting article and sharing the removable insoles brands. It is useful. Beside this, do you know about treatment for flat feet for children. Now I realize children shoe should have a deeper end and the shoe must bend when your toe bend. It look like New Balance is a reputable brand and I heard long time ago. Thank you for the article.

    • Wilson,

      The treatment is wearing good supportive shoe with a built in arch, If that doesn’t work, or if your child is pronating excessively, a pair of orthotic insoles will be required. Orthotics will help your child walk and run straighter, and reduce or eliminate any type of foot or leg pain they were experiencing.

  4. I just read one of your previous articles, but this one is the one that targets me for my kids. My son has cleats from Nike so I will check if he has removable insoles. His other pair of regular shoes have that but I never thought to remove it because it actually made the fit tight enough for him to keep the insoles in place, which now that I think about it might now be healthy for his foot. I will bookmark this page to look back on. I will remove his insoles and using that reverse laces trick you mentioned. Thanks!

  5. Hey, there!

    When my son was 3 (now he is 7) we thought that he tends to have flat feet. We did bring him to doctor and asked about orthopaedic shoes. However, the doctor said that at this age the feet is only forming and we shouldn’t be so worried. He said that an easy way of checking whether or not the feet is flat is to ask him to stretch on his foot toe – if you can see the feet curving, then there is no flat feet and no need for orthopaedic shoes. So for our son we saw the curves.

    • Arta,

      Children can develop an arch up to age 5. I have seen so many children feet, that I can tell if they are flat footed just by looking at them standing. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Is there a shoe with holes/sandals that a toddler with custom orthotics can wear? Or is that no such thing? My 2 yr old has custom orthotics and it is summer here and so hot. I feel bad that he can’t wear sandals or shoes that would keep his feet somewhat cooler in the summer. Anyone have any luck with anything like that?

    • Keen sandals are the best kind for children who have foot issues and wear orthotics. You won’t be able to put your kids custom orthoics inside the sandals, but Keen sandals come with a built in arch support and are the best sandals for children who wear orthotics. I would allow the child to wear them for 5 hours a day, and then switch to his sneakers for the rest of the day. I wrote a post where I describe the best sandals for children who wear orthotics and you can find it here: Keen Sandals For Children – The Best Summer Sandal

  7. Thanks for this information. My daughter has significant tibial torsion and is getting custom orthotics. I notice that most of the shoes you’re mentioning are great for boys but so not pretty for my daughter! She wants to wear beautiful shoes like her big sister! Any options for even remotely good looking dress shoes? Thanks!

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