Has your child been overpronating and diagnosed with flat feet? Is your child experiencing sensory and stability issues? Does your pediatrician or physical therapist believe your child might benefit from wearing an orthotic?
If that is the case, the next step will be to find the right pair of shoes that will work with the orthotics. Not all shoes styles are capable of accommodating an orthotic, and the best orthotics will be ineffective if your child is not wearing the right pair of shoes.
It all starts with finding a shoe that comes with 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 if you need an orthotic to be fitted in the shoes.
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 your child walk and run straighter.
✅ They minimize or eliminate the foot or leg pain that your child might be experiencing.
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.
I will provide you with a selection of the best kids’ shoes that come with removable insoles so you can fit an orthotic inside them.
Fitting Orthotics in your Kids’ Shoes – Follow These Simple Steps!
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 will 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 up even more.
The first two pictures will show you how thick an orthotic is compared to the original insoles that comes with the shoes.
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 your kids’ feet up even more. Never forget to remove the inner sole when you insert an orthotic inside your kid’s shoes.
Do you notice how much thicker an orthotic is compared to the original 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:
Removing the Original Insoles of the Shoes – Easy Steps!
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 by pulling it out.
In certain cases, shoe companies glue down the inner sole to the bottom of the shoes, which makes it hard, if not almost impossible to remove it from the shoe. When this happens, 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 you need to fit an orthotic inside the shoe. 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.
Which Shoe Brands Make Shoes with Removable Insoles – Let’s Find Out!
Here is a list of the most popular shoe brands that come with removable insoles:
- New Balance
- Stride Rite
- See Kai Run
This doesn’t mean that all the shoe styles among this shoe brands will be able to accommodate an orthotic. In fact, there are only a few shoe styles that will be able to accommodate an orthotic. The good news is that I know exactly which shoe styles these are, and I will help you find them!
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.
What Features Must the Shoes Provide to Fit an Orthotic? – Deep and Supportive!
When a child is required to wear an orthotic, the chances are that he/she will need a wider and deeper shoe. We need to find shoes that provide excellent support and stability, and that come in different widths such as narrow, medium, wide, and extra wide.
Before you purchase a shoe to fit an orthotic, there are 5 important features that the shoe must provide:
✅ The shoe must have a firm heel counter (the firmer, the more ankle support it will provide to your child).
✅ 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).
✅ The shoe must have a deeper end in order for the orthotic to sit properly inside the shoe (I will go over this in more detail soon).
✅ The shoe must bend where the toes bend.
✅ Your priority should be to look for a shoe that comes with shoelaces instead of Velcro closure.
I wrote a post where I describe the best shoe tying method for a child that is wearing an orthotic. The post is called:
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 deep pair of shoes 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 fitted 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 kids’ feet up, giving them the impression that their feet are coming out of the shoe.
Below you can see a New Balance shoe style in the same 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 fitting deeply inside the shoe, which will make your child feel much more comfortable.
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:
I did promise you I will provide you with a selection of the best shoes with removable insoles for orthotics that also provide the features I mentioned above.
The Best Shoes that Fit Orthotics ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The shoes below will fit a child that has medium, wide feet, or extra wide feet (choose the width accordingly).
Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.
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 standard foot measuring tool (Brannock device) in order to allow for growing room.
Getting Used To The Orthotics – Ouchie, It Hurts!
When your child wears an orthotic, there will need some time to adapt to the different features that the orthotic provides such as the arch or the heel cup support. Your kids will complain about feeling a bump below their feet, which is normal since they are feeling the arch support of the orthotic.
Your child will have enough to deal with when trying to get used to how the orthotic feels, so please make sure you provide him or her with the correct shoe size. The last thing we want for your kids is to worry about their feet coming out of the shoe, so provide them with a shoe that comes with a removable insole.
To summarize, let’s go over 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 fitting inside the shoe properly.
3. The third step is to lace the shoes properly and have your child test the shoes with the orthotics.
If you find that the orthotic is giving your child the impression that his/her feet are coming out of the shoe, please don’t feel the need to buy a smaller shoe size. Use the shoe lacing technique that I showed you that will help you minimize heel slippage.
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.
Start by taking a look at a map I created where I describe the best children’s shoe stores by state:
If after looking at that map you still can’t seem to find a good fitting kids’ shoe store in your area, then take a look at an article I wrote where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size:
Have you found a particular shoe style that has worked well for your child that wears orthotics? If your child wears orthotics and you have found certain shoe style that work better than others please share your experience in the comments section below so other parents can benefit from your input!