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Shoes with Removable Insoles for Orthotics – Make Sure You Get the Right Fit


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated and revised for accuracy on April 2022 and reflects an up-to-date selection of shoes with removable insoles for orthotics.

One of the most common reasons why children need shoes with removable insoles is when they have to wear orthotics inside their shoes.

Not all shoes are capable of accommodating an orthotic, and even 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 Skechers 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 inside the shoes.

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

✅ They provide biomechanical 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. However, there are 2 other key features that your kids’ shoes must provide to be able to accommodate an orthotic: extra depth and rounder toe-boxes.

Fitting Orthotics in your Kids’ Shoes – Follow These Simple Steps!

The first step when fitting an orthotic into a shoe is to remove the original insole of the shoe. If you leave the original insoles and you place the orthotic on top, you will raise your kid’s feet, giving them the impression that their feet are coming out of the shoes.

The image below shows how thick an orthotic is compared to the original insoles that come with the shoes:


Do you notice how much thicker an orthotic is compared to the original insole that comes inside the shoe? If the shoes don’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.

Removing the Original Insoles of the Shoes – Easy Steps!

Certain insoles will be easier to remove than others. In most cases, you can use your hand to easily remove the original insoles by pulling them out:


In certain cases, shoe companies glue down the original insoles to the bottom of the shoes, which makes it hard, if not almost impossible to remove them from the shoes.  When this happens, I use a screwdriver to help me remove the original insole and any material left in the shoe.

Never buy shoes with non removable original insoles if you need to fit an orthotic inside the shoes. Shoes that contain memory foam should also be avoided, as 90 percent of the time, you will not be able to remove the insoles from these shoes.

Which Shoe Brands Make Shoes with Removable Insoles – Let’s Find Out!

Below is a list of the most popular shoe brands that come with removable insoles:

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

This doesn’t mean that all of the shoes among these shoe brands are capable to accommodate an orthotic. 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 fitting orthotics.

What Features Must the Shoes Provide to Fit an Orthotic? – Deep and Supportive!

When children are required to wear orthotics, the chances are that they will need a wider and deeper shoe.

Before you buy shoes 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 provides.

✅ The shoe must be firm in the area called the medial – or inside – mid-sole. This feature helps prevent the shoe from collapsing underneath your child’s foot.

✅ The shoe must provide extra depth for the orthotic to sit properly inside the shoe.

✅ Your priority should be to look for a shoe that comes with shoelaces instead of velcro closure.

✅ The shoes must come with a rounder toe-box.

The Importance of Shoes that Provide Extra Depth

Let’s take a look at an example of how an orthotic fits 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 inside. Even though the orthotic was able to fit inside of the shoe, notice how high up it is, and that means it will raise your kids’ feet and give them the impression that their feet are coming out of the shoes.


Below you can see a New Balance shoe in the same size (wide and length) with an orthotic inside. 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 a lot more comfortable.


Below there is another image to help you visualize what difference shoes with extra depth make when fitting orthotics:


Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best shoes with removable insoles for orthotics. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

The Best Shoes with Removable Insoles for Orthotics ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The shoes below can fit children with medium (M), wide (W), or extra wide (XW) feet.

I wrote a post where I describe the best shoe tying method for a child that is wearing an orthotic. Go to the link below:

How to Tie Shoes with Orthotics – Stop Heel Slippage

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:

The Best Orthotics for Kids – The Most Effective Way to Correct Your Child’s Overpronation

Do You Know Your Child’s Foot Size? – Let’s Find Out!

You won’t be able to order the correct shoe size online if you don’t know what your child’s foot size is to begin with.

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 resource I created where I describe the best children’s shoe stores by state:

The Best Kids’ Shoe Stores – Where To Go For Proper Fittings

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

If after looking at that resource 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:

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

In that article I help parents determine their child’s exact foot size and whether the child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet. I also will be able to tell you whether your child has a high instep or not.


Getting Used to the Orthotics – Ouchie, It Hurts!

When children wear orthotics, they need some time to adapt to the different features that the orthotic provides such as the arch or the heel 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.

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

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

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

✅ 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 to help minimize heel slippage.

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:


Have you found a particular shoe style that has worked well for your child that wears orthotics? Let us know in the comments section below so other parents can 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 kids feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

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16 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!

  8. Very interesting and I really looking for this type of shoes for my shoe shop. I will be very glad to have further discussion on this and to have these shoes. Kindly contact me on my email.
    Kind regards,,

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