Most children who experience foot or leg pain are not able to express for themselves or they don’t say anything and just deal with the pain, which leads to the pain going unnoticed. It’s important to have any problems checked out early and protect and support your child’s growing feet by providing your child with the correct pair of shoes.
Keep in mind that in girls, the normal age for feet to stop growing is around 14 years, while in boys, it’s usually around 16.
Most children’s foot problems are related to the shoes that they wear and how they fit. I have helped hundreds of children who were experiencing foot and leg pain find the correct pair of shoes to help treat their pain.
I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now. This experience has afforded me many insights into children’s shoes and the way they fit. Our store specializes in shoes for children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. From my experience fitting thousands of kids, I have become familiar with the best shoe brands for children with foot problems and the best styles among those brands.
Addressing your child’s foot conditions from an early stage can prevent future foot, knee, leg, back, and neck problems. I don’t recommend taking the “wait and see approach” since this can only lead to your child’s foot condition getting worse. Be proactive!
I have been contacted by several families who took their kids to their pediatricians or physical therapists and were told that the child will most likely “outgrow the pain”. These parents contact me on a daily basis explaining me how they are still concerned about it, and they want to know what steps they can take to either reduce the pain or completely eliminate it.
I have found that depending on the degree of your child’s foot condition, the correct pair of shoes and in certain cases orthotics might be all that your child needs to significantly reduce or fully eliminate the pain.
The 5 Most Commons Signs that Your Child has a Foot Problem
I have put together the 5 most common signs that parents need to watch out for in order to prevent their kids’ foot issues from escalating. Ask yourself the questions below in order to figure out how to treat your child’s foot problems:
#1 Flat Feet
✅ Are your children not able to keep up with their peers? When children refuse to participate in sport related or regular activities because their feet and legs feel tired, that might be the first sign that your children have a foot condition called flat feet. When children have flat feet, their feet tend to collapse and roll inwards, which throws their whole bodies out of alignment, leading them to put pressure in parts of their bodies where they are not supposed to.
The correct type of shoes and in certain cases orthotics, can prevent your child’s feet from collapsing and improve your child’s overall posture.
Let me prove this to you. Let’s take a look at an image of a flat footed child. Do you notice how the child’s feet are collapsing and turning inwards?
Now let’s take a look at a picture of the same child wearing a pair of supportive shoes. Do you notice how straighter the feet are?
In most cases the correct pair of shoes will help align your child’s feet and legs. I have written several articles that will help you identify whether your child is flat footed or not. In those articles I also describe the best shoe styles and orthotics for a child with flat feet. Go to the link below:
#2 Rolled Ankles
✅ Are your children refusing to participate in activities that they used to enjoy? If your children don’t want to participate in sports or high impact activities that they used to enjoy before, they might be experiencing pain around the heel area. The repetitive stress from playing sports or performing high impact activities can cause an inflammation of the growth plate, a weak area located at the back of the child’s heels.
Some children are also born with rolled ankles. This condition can be fully corrected by wearing the correct pair of shoes and orthotics. Let’s take a look at an image of a child with rolled ankles. Does it look familiar?
Most children who deal with heel pain are between the ages of 8 and 14, but I have also seen cases where the heel pain started sooner. I have written several articles that describe the best shoes and heel cups for children with heel pain. Go to the link below:
#3 Ingrown Toenails
✅ Are your children refusing to show you their feet? When children notice a change in the appearance of their feet or nails they might not say anything to the parents because they fear a trip to the doctor. I always recommend parents to periodically inspect their children’s feet.
Shoes that are too short or too narrow are a direct cause of why children develop ingrown toenails. Deeper shoes that come with rounder toe-boxes are the most recommended ones if your child is dealing with an ingrown toenail.
If you believe your child might have an ingrown toenail, please take a look at an article that will help you identify whether your child has an ingrown toenail or not, and the best shoes to prevent this problem from reoccurring again. Go to the link below:
#4 Stability Issues
✅ Are your children constantly falling down? When children keep falling down it might be a sign that your child has stability issues. Shoes that are too short or too long are a direct cause of why children fall. Children with stability issues can benefit from shoes that come with shoelaces instead of Velcro closure, since shoelaces will hug your kids’ feet better and make them feel more stable.
In order to make sure that your child is wearing the correct shoe size, I recommend taking your child to your local specialized children’s shoe store, where a shoe fitter can properly measure your child’s feet and find shoes that fit. If you don’t have a local shoe store, there is an article I wrote where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s exact foot size from home. Go to the link below:
#5 Toe Walking
✅ Are your children walking on their toes? Toe-walking for children who are in the learning walking stage is common, but if you notice that your child continues to toe walk beyond the toddler years (by 3 years of age), then you must take action since it can lead to stiff muscles and make your child more prone to falling down.
There are certain shoe styles that will prevent your child from getting on his/her toes. These shoes are less flexible at the front and come with shoelaces instead of Velcro closure. The article below will help you identify whether your child is walking on his/her toes or not, and the best shoes to help “ground” your child. Go to the link below:
I have helped you identify the 5 most common signs that your child might have a foot problem. Your next step requires you to be proactive, since the earlier that you take action, the higher the chances that you can effectively treat your child’s foot condition.
Has your child been complaining about foot or leg pain? Does your child have a condition that I haven’t addressed? Please share your experiences below so other families can benefit from your experiences.