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

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.

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.

If you’re pressed for time, you can jump directly to the selection of the best shoes that fit orthotics.

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?

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?

When children are required to wear orthotics, the chances are that they will need wider and deeper shoes. Before you buy shoes to fit an orthotic, there are 5 important features that the shoe must provide:

1️⃣ The shoe must have a firm heel counter —the firmer, the more ankle support it provides.


2️⃣ 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.

3️⃣ The shoe must provide extra depth for the orthotic to sit properly inside the shoe.

4️⃣ Your priority should be to look for a shoe that comes with shoelaces instead of velcro closure.


5️⃣ 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.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best shoes with removable insoles for orthotics. 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 with Removable Insoles for Orthotics

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

Fitting Orthotics in your Kids’ Shoes – Remove the Original Insoles!

Your first step when fitting an orthotic into a shoe is to remove the original insoles of the shoes. 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:

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:

Is Your Child Wearing the Correct Type of Orthotics?

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.

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:

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

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

3️⃣ 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.

3 Important Benefits of Providing Children with Orthotics

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

1️⃣ They provide biomechanical balance by redistributing body weight.

2️⃣ They help straighten your child’s body posture by helping your child walk and run straighter.

3️⃣ They minimize or eliminate the foot or leg pain that your child might be experiencing.

Looking for Other Shoe Recommendations?

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:

[email protected]

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.