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The 3 Most Common Reasons Why Children Complain About Foot Pain – Do This Before Going to the Doctor!


Parents always worry when their children complain about pain, and they should worry, as foot and leg pain is never normal. I always recommend parents to be proactive and don’t take the “wait and see approach” when it comes to dealing with their kids’ foot pain. Let me show you the 3 most common reasons why children complain about foot pain.

Don’t Take the “Wait and See Approach” – Be Proactive!

If your pediatrician told you that your child is just having “growing pains” and will eventually “outgrow them”, let me show you the most effective way to help treat and prevent your child’s foot pain. I don’t know of many parents who are willing to wait around and see if their child’s foot pain will simply “go away.” 

I want to emphasize that when it comes to dealing with foot-related problems, early intervention is the key to proper treatment.

These are the 3 most common reasons why children experience foot pain: 

1️⃣ Flat Feet

2️⃣ Heel Pain

3️⃣ Low Muscle Tone

Do you know what these 3 foot conditions have in common? They can be treated by simply wearing the correct type of shoes, and depending on the degree of the condition your child might need orthotics as well. 

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes – Over a Decade of Shoe Fitting Experience!

I have been helping children with foot pain find the perfect pair of shoes for their feet. I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store that focuses on helping children with foot and leg problems for the last 10 years. Over the years I became familiar with the most common causes of foot pain and the best shoes to help treat and prevent them.


I am going to show you how to identify whether your child has any of these 3 foot conditions and the most effective way to treat them.

1️⃣ Most Common Cause of Foot Pain: Flat Feet


Having flat feet is a hereditary condition that in addition to causing pain, it can directly affect your child’s walking gait and overall posture.

Children with flat feet often complain that their feet hurt and parents really don’t know what caused it because there hasn’t been an injury. Let me show you some examples of children with flat feet:


I have spoken with several parents who after taking their children to a pediatrician they are told that the child is indeed flat footed, but they shouldn’t worry about it because the child might still develop an arch. It is a fact that children can develop arches until they are 5 years old, but why leave this condition untreated when it’s affecting other parts of your child’s body?

Children who are flat footed walk with their feet turned inwards, which shifts their bodies out of alignment and affects their overall posture.

Once the feet are pronated, the knees and hips also become misaligned. When foot posture is not in alignment then your child’s body will have to recruit more muscles for each movement, which leads to an increase in muscle fatigue, tightness and strain.

What Can You Do for a Child with Flat Feet?

The good news is that the correct type of shoes can help prevent your child’s feet from collapsing and allow your child to walk and run straighter. I am not talking about providing your child with orthopedic shoes, just regular everyday sneakers that simply provide better support than others. Let me prove it to you!

Below is an image of a flat-footed child 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 standing in a pair of supportive shoes I recommend. Do you notice how the child’s feet look a lot straighter? The shoes are preventing the child’s feet from collapsing and turning inwards, allowing the child to walk and run straighter.

What a Difference the Correct Type of Shoes Can Make!

Remember how I mentioned that there is only a small selection of shoes that are supportive enough for a child with flat feet? Let’s see what happens when we fit that same child in a pair of unsupportive shoes:

The feet are collapsing and turning inwards again.

What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Effective for Kids with Flat Feet?

The shoes I recommend come with a substantial outsole that is going to support your child’s feet and prevent them from collapsing. Let me show you the difference in support between one of the shoes I recommend and a different style:


Shoes that come with shoelaces are always better than shoes that come with velcro closure, as shoelaces are going to provide better support and stability to your child.

Can You Correct Flat Feet?

Supportive shoes and orthotics won’t mold your child an arch but will allow your child to live a healthy lifestyle without foot pain.

The correct types of shoes are going to help prevent your child from having to deal with foot and leg pain. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

Best Shoes for Kids with Flat Feet ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The shoes below are going to help treat your child’s flat feet by preventing your child’s feet from collapsing and turning inwards. These shoes can fit children with medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW) feet.

It’s important that you fit your child’s shoes correctly. This means that the shoes can’t be too small or too large. 

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 size or a whole size bigger than your child’s current foot size to provide the correct amount of growing room.

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

If you are unsure of your child’s foot size please refer to the following article:

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

Let’s say you try the shoes I recommend and after 3 months of wearing them, your child’s walking doesn’t improve. In this case, your child might need an orthotic to be fitted inside the shoes for extra support.

I explain which are the best orthotics for children with flat feet in another article called:

Orthotic Inserts for Kids with Flat Feet – Align Your Kids’ Feet and Improve Their Posture!

2️⃣ Second Most Common Cause of Foot Pain: Heel Pain

Severs disease is the most common cause of heel pain in children and is an inflammation of the heel’s growth plate due to muscle strain and repetitive stress.  This condition happens to children between the ages of 8 and 15 years old.

Heel pain problems are often associated with these signs:

  • Pain in the back or bottom of the heel.
  • Limping.
  • Walking on toes.
  • Difficulty participating in high-impact activities or sports.

Most pediatricians will tell you how to help treat your child’s heel pain your child will have to reduce or stop the activity. This means that the child might have to sit out from playing sports or being involved in activities for up to 2 months. For most children, this is simply not an option.

How Do You Treat Severs Disease?

I recommend wearing shoes to help cushion the heel. Certain shoes are extremely effective in softening the impact on the heel when walking, running, and standing.

Let me help you visualize the difference in heel support between one of the shoes I recommend a different style. Do you notice how the shoe on the right has a lot more padding below the heel compared to the shoe on the left?


To help treat and prevent your child’s heel pain, your child’s shoes must provide a firm heel counter. The heel counter is the back part of the shoes that provides heel support.

Take a look at the difference between a shoe with a firm heel counter and a shoe with a softer one:


Best Shoes for Kids with Heel Pain ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The shoes below are going to help treat your child’s heel pain by supporting and reducing the impact on your child’s heels. These shoes can fit children with medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW) feet.

There is a specific heel cup that has proven to be the most effective one when it comes to treating your child’s heel pain. You can learn more about the heel cup I recommend in a different article:

Heel Cups for Kids – How to Stop Heel Pain

3️⃣ Third Most Common Cause of Foot Pain: Unsupportive Shoes

Wearing unsupportive shoes or the wrong shoe size are a direct cause of foot pain.

Children who wear poorly made shoes are at an increased risk of developing foot and leg pain. This doesn’t mean that you have to pay more for your kids’ shoes. More expensive shoes don’t automatically translate into better shoes for your child. You just need to know which shoes provide better support than others.

In addition to providing good support, your kids’ shoes must be the correct shoe size. Shoes that are too small will cramp your kids’ toes together and make them rub or overlap against one another. On the other hand, shoes that are too large will allow for too much foot movement inside the shoes and that constant friction and rubbing between the feet and the shoes might lead to foot pain. Your kids’ shoes must fit just right!

Children’s feet come in all different shapes and sizes. Some children have extra narrow feet while others have extra wide feet. Even children with standard feet might have high insteps, which makes it a lot harder to find shoes that fit.

Click on the article that matches your child’s foot shape to make sure that your child wears good quality shoes that fit their unique foot shape:

The Best Shoes for Kids with Narrow Feet – Stop Hurting Your Kids’ Feet!

Wide Shoes for Kids – The Best Shoes for Children with Wide or Extra Wide Feet Reviewed

Extra Wide Shoes for Kids – The Best Everyday Shoes for Your Child with Extra Wide Feet!

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

Do not hesitate to contact me directly if you are having trouble finding a good pair of shoes for your child:


Is your child dealing with foot pain? Have you found a particular shoe style that has been effective in treating your child’s foot pain?


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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