Has your child been complaining about ankle pain? I always recommend to parents that before they decide to take their children to their pediatrician or physical/occupational therapist, to START by checking the shoes that they are currently wearing.
I have been working for a children’s shoe store for over 10 years now, and I know about everything that relates to children’s shoes and the way they FIT. The shoe store has been in business for over 40 years and specializes with children that have foot issues, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. We carry some of the most supportive children’s shoes in the market, as well as orthotics. I am familiar with the best shoe brands for children and the best shoe styles among those brands.
There is a particular shoe brand that you might want to start getting familiar with called New Balance. There are certain styles among this brand that come with a firm heel counter (for extra ankle support), and the shoes are available in different widths such as narrow, medium, wide, and extra wide (meaning that they will fit the shape of your kids’ feet no matter how narrow or wide they are).
Throughout this post I will be mentioning the term “heel counter” a lot, and if you don’t know what the heel counter of the shoe is, take a look at the picture below for clarification:
I have noticed through the years that most children’s foot pain is directly associated with the shoes that they wear. Parents tend to worry a lot when they hear that their children are experiencing foot pain, but the good news is that something so simply such as providing your child with the correct shoe style and the correct shoe size will significantly reduce or fully eliminate the pain that they are experiencing.
In some cases, children will need an orthotic fitted in their shoes for extra support, but it all STARTS with wearing the correct type of shoes.
If your children have been complaining about heel pain, they might be experiencing a condition called Plantar fasciitis or Sever’s disease.
You might be wondering, what shoes are best for a child that is suffering from Plantar Fasciitis? I have found that certain New Balance shoe styles provide excellent arch and ankle support which will help reduce the impact that your kids’ feet take every time they come in contact with the ground.
This doesn’t mean that New Balance is the only shoe brand for children that will reduce ankle pain. There are several other shoe brands that make shoes with firm heel counters and arch support but I just found New Balance to be the most versatile one since it is available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide.
At the shoe store that I work for, we see hundreds of children’s feet per week, and these feet come in all different shapes and sizes. If a child comes with a wide or an extra wide foot, 90% of the time we end up fitting him/her in a pair of New Balance shoes. Keep in mind that New Balance tends to make the deepest shoes with the roundest toe-boxes (this is really helpful specially for those children with extra wide feet).
A pair of good, supportive shoes will cushion and protect your kids’ heels, allowing them to walk and run straighter, and reduce or fully eliminate the pain that they were experiencing.
The right type of shoes will also keep your kid’s feet healthy and will enable them to participate in sports without having any foot or leg pain. They will maintain the natural posture of the legs and protect and prevent the foot of many injuries.
IMPORTANT TIP: Wearing non-supportive footwear or going barefoot is not advisable for kids who suffer from Plantar Fasciitis since it will cause them to put more strain and cause more inflammation of the plantar fascia.
Let me show you a selection of the best New Balance shoes for Plantar Fasciitis.
Has your Child Been Diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis? – Steps to Take!
While I will provide you with a selection of the best shoes for children with plantar fasciitis, I still want you to get familiar with what this condition is all about.
Plantar Fasciitis is a medical condition that is caused by the inflammation of the connective tissue of the foot known as the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia runs through the arch of the foot, connecting the heel and the toes. When it becomes inflamed, your children start experiencing pain in their heels or their arches. This pain is usually worst in the morning, but it tends to persist throughout the day and may also arise when they are playing sports since they are stressing their feet and legs at a whole different level.
If you have never experienced this condition, please keep in mind that your children probably feel like a stabbing pain in their feet, and we must find a solution to help them reduce or fully eliminate the pain.
Let’s keep in mind that the condition may merely be the result of wearing shoes that don’t offer enough support for your kids’ feet. Any pediatrician, physical therapist, or shoe fitter will tell you that choosing the right type of shoes is critical if your child suffers from plantar fasciitis (or any other type of foot pain).
Let’s take a look at how to choose the correct type of shoes for your child. If you follow the steps below you will be keeping your kids’ feet and legs healthy.
5 Important Tips for Choosing the Best Shoes for your Kids’ Feet!
Here are some tips you should take into account before getting your kids’ shoes:
✅ If possible, get your kid’s feet fitted by a person knowledgeable in specific foot conditions. Make sure they size their feet correctly, given that shoes that are too short or too long will squeeze their feet or allow for the foot to move too much inside the shoe and will further irritate the plantar fascia
I always recommend parents to take their kids to their local children’s shoe store where a shoe fitter can properly measure their feet and find shoes that fit. The issue is that most local children’s shoe stores have been closing down, and we are left with big retailers such as Nordstrom’s or Payless, which have staff that are not properly trained on how to properly FIT shoes.
IMPORTANT TIP: If you must get your kids’ shoes online, take a look at a post I wrote where I explain exactly how to make sure your child is wearing the correct shoe size:
✅ Make sure that the shoes that you choose for your child provide good arch and ankle support. We need the shoes to provide a very firm heel counter in order to provide good ankle support and reduce or fully eliminate the pain that your child might be experiencing. As I am pressing on the heel counter of the shoe style below, it feels firm:
When I press on the heel counter of the shoe below it feels soft (you must stay away from these type of shoes):
✅ If your child is experiencing severe pain, choose a pair of shoes that come with shoelaces instead of Velcro closure. Sneakers that come with shoelaces always provide more support and more stability than shoes that come with Velcro closure.
✅ Look for shoes that come with removable insoles, since it will allow you to replace the original insoles of the shoes in case you need an orthotic to be fitted inside the shoes.
✅ Don’t only focus on the amount of length space you need to leave for your child to grow into the shoe. You must provide your child with the correct shoe width as well, or your child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer.
The Best New Balance Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Now that you know what features a good shoe must provide in order to reduce or fully eliminate your kids’ feet and leg pain, take a look at a selection of the best New Balance shoes for Plantar Fasciitis:
The shoes below will fit a child with medium, wide, or extra wide feet (as long as you choose the shoe width accordingly):
This selection of shoes fit “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.
Wearing the proper shoes can make the world of difference when it comes to healing your kids’ plantar fasciitis condition.
IMPORTANT TIP: The best way to cure plantar fasciitis is through appropriate footwear. Some shoe companies make footwear that help this condition and one of them is New Balance.
If you have provided your children with the correct type of shoes but they are still experiencing pain, then they might be a candidate for orthotics.
Orthotics for Kids with Plantar Fasciitis – Let’s Find Extra Support!
Do you know what an orthotic is? An orthotic is basically a shoe insert that is specifically designed to provide cushioning, support, stability, and relief pressure areas of the foot.
The correct type of orthotics will provide extra arch and ankle support to help your child walk and run straighter, and prevent him or her from putting pressure in areas of the feet and legs where they are not supposed to.
While I can’t’ get into too much detail about which are the best orthotics for children in this article, you should definitely take a look at a post I wrote where I explain which are the best orthotics for children that are experiencing foot or leg pain:
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns about your kids’ feet or legs. Just please remember that it all STARTS by providing your child with the correct type of shoes in the correct shoe size. NEVER underestimate the importance of well fitted shoes, they will end up saving you a lot of time and money in the future.
Have you found a particular shoe style that has reduced or fully eliminated your kids’ ankle pain? Did you have to use an orthotic s well? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.