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Straight Last Shoes for Kids – Let’s Help Treat Your Child’s Foot Condition!


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated and revised for accuracy on May 2022 and reflects an up-to-date selection of straight last shoes for kids.

Did your medical professional recommend that your child wear a pair of straight last shoes? Is your child dealing with a foot condition that requires him/her to wear supportive shoes with straight lasts?

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes 

I have been fitting children’s shoes for the last 10 years, and the shoe store that I work for specializes in helping children with “complicated” foot shapes as well as foot conditions. I have helped hundreds of families find the correct pair of shoes for their children with flat feet, rolled ankles, low muscle tone, hypermobility, metatarsus adductus, toe walking, and other conditions as well.


Most parents get confused when they are told to look for straight last shoes for their children. My goal is to explain to you what qualifies as a straight last shoe and also provide you with a list of the best straight last shoes for kids.

What Are Straight Last Shoes?

The “last” of the shoe is basically what determines the overall shape of the shoe. Shoes might have a straight or curved last. In addition, straight last shoes basically help keep the child’s feet in the correct position.

If you want to determine the “last” of your child’s shoe, turn the shoe upside down and look at the outsole. Now, picture an imaginary line that runs from the center of the heel of the shoe to the center of the toe area of the shoe. Let me show you an image of the difference between a curved last shoe and a shoe with a straight last:


You need to stay away from shoes that have excessively curved lasts as this can aggravate your child’s foot problems. If your child has a foot condition and wears curved last shoes it might lead to your child placing an excessive amount of pressure on the outside of the foot.

When children have a foot condition —let’s say flat feet for example— the child’s foot posture is affected, and the feet might turn inwards or outwards. The correct pair of straight last shoes can help improve your child’s foot posture and walking gait.

What a Difference the Correct Pair of Shoes Can Make!

Let’s take a look at an image of a flat-footed child with rolled ankles standing barefoot. Do you notice how the child’s feet are collapsing and turning inwards?


Now let’s take a look at an image of the same child wearing a pair of the straight last shoes I recommend. Do you notice how the child’s feet are a lot straighter?


Where Can You Find Straight Last Shoes?

Most parents get confused as to how they are supposed to find shoes that provide straight lasts if shoes don’t come labeled “straight lasts”. I know which shoes provide straight lasts from having fitted them before, and I will shortly show you a list of straight last shoes.

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

Keep in mind that for your child to get all of the benefits that the shoes have to offer you must order the shoes in the correct size. Before you order your child’s shoes you need to be sure whether your child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet. The instep height of your child’s feet also plays a role in which type of shoes your child can wear.

I help parents determine their child’s exact foot length and shape for free and in two simple steps:

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

What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Effective?

The shoes I recommend provide straight lasts and the following 3 important features:

✅ Substantial Outsole: This feature is going to provide a stable base of support at the medial arch and forefoot. Shoes with substantial outsoles help minimize the impact that your child’s feet take when they come in contact with the ground.

Do you notice how the shoe on the right (New Balance) has a more supportive/substantial outsole compared to the shoe on the left (Saucony)?

✅ Firm Heel Counter: This is the part of the shoe that provides ankle and heel support. Take a look at the difference between a shoe with a soft heel counter versus a shoe with a firmer one. Always press on the heel counter of your kids’ shoes and make sure it feels firm instead of soft:

Do you notice how the New Balance shoe (right image) provides better heel support compared to the Nike shoe (left image)?

✅ Correct Amount of Flexibility: Your kids’ shoes should bend with your child’s toes. The shoes shouldn’t be too stiff or bend too much in the toe box area. If you can bend your child’s shoes like a spiral then it’s highly likely that your kids’ shoes don’t provide the correct amount of support:

Your kids’ shoes should always bend at the ball of the foot but no further.

Best Straight Last Shoes for Kids

Take a look below each image to check if that specific shoe can fit narrow (N), medium (M), wide (W), or extra wide feet (XW). Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

Unsure About What Shoe Size You Should Order?

In each of the descriptions of the shoes I indicate whether you need to order a half a size or a whole size bigger than your child’s foot size to provide the correct amount of growing room.

*A half a size bigger translates to 3/16 of an inch or 0.4 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.

*A whole size bigger translates to 3/8 of an inch or 0.8 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

Do not hesitate to contact me if you are having a hard time finding a different pair of shoes for your child’s feet. I will be happy to help you find it:


Don’t wait for your child’s foot condition to resolve on its own. Some medical professionals advise parents to wait as the child might simply “outgrow” the condition. Many children’s foot problems do indeed resolve as the foot continues to develop. However, there is no evidence presented that a medical professional can predict which children will outgrow their conditions and which ones will not.

Trust your parental intuition if you notice something off about your child’s feet and/or walking gait. You know when there is something wrong with your child, and keep a close eye.


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.

Do You Buy Your Kids’ Shoes Online?

Subscribe and get my personalized shoe size chart for free to help you find what size to order online.

Shoe Sizing Chart

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