Has your child been complaining about foot or leg pain? The most common reasons why children experience foot and leg pain are the following:
- Flat Feet
- Rolled Ankles
- Low Muscle Tone
- Knock Knees
- Toe Walking
One of the most common reasons why children experience foot and leg pain is from being flat footed. When children are flat footed their feet collapse and they turn inwards or outwards, throwing your child’s body out of alignment. Did you know that flat feet can lead to long-term lower body conditions if not corrected in time?
If your pediatrician, physical or occupational therapist recommended that your child needs to wear orthotics, you must find the correct type of orthotic and make sure it’s fitted in the correct pair of shoes.
An orthotic will help significantly reduce or fully eliminate the pain that your child is experiencing. However, not all orthotics provide the same amount of support, and some are more effective than others.
The good news is that I have fitted several different types of orthotics for children, and I will be able to tell you which are the most effective ones. The type of orthotic I will describe below will provide biomechanical support and restore your kids walking pattern.
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 orthotics for children with flat feet.
Wearing a pair of orthotics is one of the most effective ways to help treat and correct your child’s foot condition.
Let me prove this to you…
Let’s start by taking a look at the picture of a flat footed child. Do you notice how the child’s feet are collapsing and turning inwards?
Now notice how much straighter the child’s feet are when she is standing in a pair of supportive orthotics. The orthotics are preventing her feet from collapsing and turning inwards:
It’s important for parents to understand that for the orthotics to be effective they must be fitted in the correct type of shoes.
The picture below shows you the key role that shoes play when you fit an orthotic inside them. The first picture shows the same child wearing a pair of unsupportive shoes with the orthotics. Do you notice how her feet are still collapsing and turning inwards?
Now let’s take a look at a picture of the same child wearing a pair of supportive shoes with the orthotics inside them. Do you notice how much straighter her feet are? The orthotics and the shoes are preventing her feet from collapsing and turning inwards.
Do you notice what a positive impact orthotics can have if worn in the correct pair of shoes? I have helped several children with flat feet who were overpronating walk and run much straighter.
They key is to find the correct type of orthotics and fit them in the correct type of shoes. You will be amazed by what a difference it will make in your child’s daily life.
The orthotics that I will describe below are most effective for children who suffer from the following foot conditions:
☹️ Flat Feet
☹️ Rolled Ankles
☹️ Knock Knees
☹️ Low Muscle Tone
☹️ Toe Walking
Before I show you a selection of the best orthotics for kids to help treat and correct these foot conditions, let’s take a look at how you can check if your child is a candidate for orthotics.
How to Tell If a Child Needs to Wear Orthotics? – Let’s Find Out!
If your child has been complaining about foot and leg pain and you notice a change in your child’s walking gait, I recommend taking your child to a pediatrician or physical/occupational therapist.
Keep in mind that we all have a certain degree of pronation or supination. However, when pronation or supination becomes excessive, children might start complaining about their feet and legs hurting. How can you tell if your child is pronating excessively?
There are two ways parents can check from home if their child might be a candidate for orthotics.
✅ First Method: Make sure your child is standing straight and observe his/her feet and legs from behind. If your child’s feet lean inward or appear flat, these can be signs that your child is flat footed and experiencing overpronation.
✅ Second Method: Take a look at the shoes your child is wearing from behind, and you will be able to notice if the shoes are caving in or not, in order for this method to work your child should have worn the shoes for 2 to 3 months. The picture below shows a shoe on the left that has been worn by a child that has been overpronating, and on the right a shoe that has never been worn (keep in mind that these are the same shoes in the same sizes). Do you notice how the left shoe is caving inwards? That means that the child has been overpronating.
The orthotics I will describe below will provide the following features:
✅ Built-In Arch:This feature will prevent your child’s feet from collapsing and turning inwards. The orthotic also provides shock absorption to minimize the impact that your kids’ feet take when they come in contact with the ground.
✅ Heel Cup: This feature will help strengthen and straighten your child’s ankles.
✅ The orthotic is designed to mold over time to fit each child’s unique foot.
✅ Fits most roomy footwear styles with factory insoles you can remove.
✅ Natural NXT anti-bacteria coating, latex-free & vegan.
✅ Durable construction adds comfort, support & structure to shoes.
Now that you know what features the orthotics I will describe below provide, you are ready to take a look at the best orthotics for kids.
The Best Orthotics for Kids ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Please keep in mind that I only write reviews of orthotics that I have fitted before, otherwise I wouldn’t know how well-made they are and the amount of support that they provide.
This type of orthotic is one of the most recommended by pediatricians and podiatrist in order to prevent overpronation. It has been specifically developed by podiatrists for treating kids who suffer from flat feet, rolled ankles, and overpronation. One of the greatest advantages of this orthotic is how it can be fitted in most shoes including school shoes, sports shoes and dress shoes.
Here you can find the best orthotics for toddlers:
Here you can find the best orthotics for older kids (4 years old or older):
Please keep in mind that the orthotics and the shoes work together in trying to properly align your kids’ feet and legs. If you stand your child in the orthotics and you still notice that the feet are collapsing, wait until you fit the orthotics inside the shoe and watch them walk.
The Best Kids’ Shoes for Orthotics – The 5 Must Have Features!
If you already have the correct type of orthotic for your child, then it’s time to find the correct type of shoes.
These are the 5 most important features that your kids’ shoes must provide in order to be able to accommodate an orthotic:
✅ Removable Insole: If the shoes that you provide for your child don’t come with a removable insole, it’s highly likely that you won’t be able to fit the orthotic inside the shoes. When you remove the original insole of the shoe, you are allowing extra space to fit the orthotic inside the shoe. If you leave the original insole inside the shoes and fit the orthotic on top, you will be raising your children’s feet up, making them rub against the top of the shoes and giving your children the impression that their feet are coming out of the shoe.
✅ Firm Heel Counter: The heel counter of the shoe is the part of the shoe that provides ankle support. If you provide your child with a heel counter that is too soft, your child won’t get any of the benefits that the orthotics have to offer.
✅ Substantial Sole: In order for the shoe to hold the orthotic in place and support your kids’ feet, the shoe must provide a substantial, supportive sole.
Flexible and Lightweight: While we want the shoes to be supportive, the shoes must be lightweight and flexible tat the same time o prevent your kids’ feet and legs from easily getting tired. Your kids’ shoes should always bend at the ball of the foot but no further. It’s important for your kids back to school shoes to be flexible but not too flexible otherwise they won’t provide enough support.
The picture below shows a shoe style that is too flexible and won’t provide good support to your child’s feet:
Extra Depth: Shoes that are deep will allow the orthotic to fit deeply inside the shoes, which will prevent the top part of your kids’ feet from rubbing against the top part of the shoes. Orthotics can take a lot of extra space inside the shoes, and some of them take more space than others. Let me show you the difference between a pair of deep shoes versus one that is not. For better visualization purposes, the orthotic below is fitted inside the shoes.
This is how the orthotic looks in a pair of deep shoes. Do you notice how the orthotic is fitting deeply inside the shoes?
In the image below you will notice how the orthotic is fitting further up, since the shoes are not deep enough for the orthotic to fit further down inside the shoes.
If we find a shoe that provides all of those features, you are guaranteed to provide your child with the best type of shoe that they can wear with their orthotics.
The Best Shoes for Orthotics ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I only write reviews of orthotics that I have fitted before, otherwise I wouldn’t know how well-made they are and the amount of support that they provide.
Below you can find a selection of the best shoes for a child that wears orthotics. All of the shoe styles that I recommend are available in shoelaces instead of Velcro closure, since shoelaces provide better support and stability.
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 shoe measuring scale (Brannock device) in order to allow for growing room.
These shoe styles are all available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide, which will guarantee that they will fit the shape of your kids’ feet no matter how wide they are. Please keep in mind that orthotics tend to take a lot of space inside the shoes, which means that you might have to get a
Please don’t forget to remove the original sole of the shoes before placing the orthotics inside them.
How To Tie Shoes with Orthotics? – The Best Method!
Please keep in mind that is always better to provide your child with a pair of shoes that come with shoelaces instead of Velcro closure. Shoelaces will allow the shoe to “hug” your kids’ feet in a more effective way than Velcro closure. This means that the shoe will provide more support and more stability to your child’s feet.
There is actually a shoe tying method that has proven to be the most effective one for children who wear orthotics. While I can’t get into too much detail about this shoe tying technique in this article, you can learn about this technique in another article I wrote. Please go to the link below:
Every time your children overpronate they are developing an abnormal walking and running pattern. If you don’t take care of this issue from an early stage, this overpronation may cause severe foot and leg pain in the short term , and will result in other painful conditions as your child grows such as Sever’s Disease (heel pain), knee pain and aching legs.
Is there another type of orthotic that has worked well for your kids’ feet? Please share your thoughts and findings below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.