Are you having a hard time finding shoes for your child that is complaining about heel pain? Did you know that if you provide your child with a pair of shoes that provides good ankle support you can significantly reduce or fully eliminate your child’s heel pain?
Heel pain in children is more common than you think, but that doesn’t mean it should go untreated. Left untreated, heel pain can lead to difficulty in walking that will require complicated therapy.
Do you know why heel pain is common in children?
Children’s heel bone is not fully developed until they reach age 14 or older, until then, the bone is forming at the growth plate, which is a weak area located at the back of the heel. When children place too much stress on the growth plate, then they start dealing with heel pain.
There are certain children’s shoes that come with a firm heel counter and they will definitely help treat and prevent your child’s heel pain. If you are not sure where the heel counter of the shoe is located, please take a look at the image below for clarification:
That part of your kids’ shoes must always feel firm.
I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now, and I know everything that relates to children’s shoes and the way they fit. This is a specialized shoe store that focuses on children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. We carry some of the most supportive children’s shoes and orthotics, and I am familiar with which shoe brands and which shoe styles are better than others.
If your child is already wearing a pair of supportive shoes and the heel pain persists, then your child might need extra support inside the shoes. In these cases I recommend trying a pair of heel cups inside the shoes, since they are extremely efficient in in reducing or fully eliminating heel pain. I will describe which is the best heel cup for kids in more detail by the end of the article, because the first step is to provide your children with shoes that provide good support.
These are the 5 most common reasons why children experience heel pain:
- Sever’s Disease: This is the most common cause of heel pain in children. This condition is an inflammation in the growth plate due to the repetitive stress that children place on their heels. Sever’s disease usually happens to children who are extremely active or obese.
- Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury that involves irritation of the plantar fascia, the thick band of connective tissue that runs along the arch from the heel to the front of the foot.
- Wearing shoes that don’t fit or that don’t provide enough support.
- Sports activity that puts extra pressure on the feet.
- Fractures: Children who play hard or engage in high-impact sports may also be at risk of a heel or foot fracture.
The most effective and proven method to significantly reduce or fully eliminate your child’s heel pain is to provide your child with shoes that come with extra support around the heel area. These types of shoes are effective in softening the impact on your child’s heels when walking, running, and standing.
I will provide you with a selection of the best kids’ shoes for heel pain shortly, but first I want to show you what features these shoes will provide and how you can figure out your child’s exact foot size from home.
Shoes for Kids with Heel Pain – The 5 Most Important Features!
In order to help treat and prevent your child’s heel pain, your kids’ shoes must provide the following features:
❤️ Firm Heel Counter: This is the back part of the shoe that provides heel support. The heel counter must always be firm, since the firmer it is, the more support it will provide. Take a look at the images below that will show you the difference between a shoe with a firm heel counter versus a shoe with a soft heel counter. When I press on the heel counter of the shoe on the left it feels firm and it doesn’t bend.
However, when I press on the heel counter for the shoe on the right it easily bends, meaning that it doesn’t provide good heel support.
❤️ Substantial Sole: This feature will minimize the impact that your kids’ feet and legs take every time they come in contact with the ground.
❤️ Lightweight and Flexible: While the shoes must be supportive, they need to be lightweight and flexible at the same time to prevent your kids’ feet and legs from easily getting tired.
❤️ Shoelaces VS Velcro Closure: When children experience heel pain, I always recommend parents to provide their children with shoes that come with shoelaces instead of Velcro closure. Shoelaces will provide your child with more support and stability than Velcro closure, since the shoelaces will push your kids’ heels back, securing and supporting them against the back of the shoes.
❤️ Depth: This feature is really important because it will allow your child’s heels to fit deeply inside the shoes, securing them and allowing them to get the full support from the shoes. This feature will also prevent your child’s heels from coming up and down the shoes.
These are the 5 most important features that the shoes I will describe below will provide to your child. In addition, the shoes will also provide other added features such as being breathable, and they all come with a removable insole in case you need to fit an orthotic or a heel cup inside the shoes for added support.
I am always emphasizing to parents that it doesn’t matter how many features a particular shoe style provides, if the shoes are not fitted properly which involves getting the correct shoe length and the correct shoe width, your child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer. What’s even worse you will end up creating all sort of foot issues to your child’s feet.
Are You 100% Sure of Your Child’s Foot Size? – Get it Right!
I always recommend parents to take their children to their local fitting children’s shoe store that they trust, the issue is that most fitting stores have been closing down and parents need to end up buying their kids’ shoes online. There is nothing wrong with this, but you must know your child’s exact foot size in order to know what size to order.
I created a map that showcases the best fitting children’s shoe stores by state, so I suggest you start by taking a look at that map:
If after looking at that map you still can’t seem to identify a shoe store in your area, then proceed to taking a look at an article along with a video I created that describes the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home:
Now that you know what features these shoes will provide for your child and how to figure out your child’s foot size from home, you are ready to take a look at a selection of the best kids’ shoes for heel pain.
The Best Kids’ Shoes for Heel Pain ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I only write reviews of shoe styles that I have fitted before, otherwise I wouldn’t know how well-made they are, the amount of support that they provide, and how they fit.
These are the best shoes styles that I have fitted before for children with heel pain and they significantly reduced and, in some cases, fully eliminated the pain. Here you can find a selection of the best kids’ shoes for heel pain.These shoe styles will fit a child with medium, wide, or extra wide feet, so please choose the shoe width accordingly.
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This selection of shoes fits “true to size”, which means that you need to go a half a size longer of the size that your child measures in the standard foot measuring scale (Brannock device), in order to allow for growing room.
If after trying these shoe shoe styles for 2 months the heel pain persists, then I recommend that you try a pair of heel cups inside the shoes.
The Best Heel Cups for Kids with Heel Pain ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
There is a heel cup that offers superior shock absorption, protects the heel, and prevents foot fatigue. This is one of the most advanced shock absorbing heel cups available today.
This heel cup will help reduce heel pain by acting as shock absorbers for your children’s feet. I have fitted this heel cup in several different children’s shoes before, and in most cases the pain disappeared or was significantly reduced.
Tuli’s Heel Cups are the #1 Podiatrist recommended Heel Cups in the world.
Here you can find the best heel cup for shoes that I have fitted before:
This heel cup is really easy to fit inside the shoes, and all of the shoe styles I recommended above are very deep, meaning that the heel cup will fit deeply inside your kids’ shoes and it won’t raise your kids’ feet up, giving them the impression that the feet are coming out of the shoes.
I always recommend parents to put in a little time to address their child’s heel pain condition early because if you wait, your child might be in a cast or boot later for a long time.
Have you found a particular shoe style that has worked well for your child’s heel pain? Please share your findings below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.