Has your child been complaining about foot or leg pain? Did you find out that your child is flat footed and needs to wear an orthotic inside the shoes?
When children are flat footed their feet collapse and they tend to turn inwards or outwards, which leads your children to putting pressure in parts of their bodies where they are not supposed to, and this is what usually leads to foot, leg, and back pain.
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 will provide the same amount of support, and some of them will be easier for your child to get used to.
The good news is that I have fitted several different types of orthotics, and I will be able to tell you which are the most effective ones for kids. 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, and we specialize in helping children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. I have helped hundreds of children who were experiencing foot and leg pain find the correct pair of shoes and orthotics.
I have fitted hundreds of children in orthotics, and I have seen the tremendous difference they make in the way a child walks and runs.
Let me prove this to you…
Start by taking a look at the picture below which shoes a child with flat feet. Do you notice how this child’s feet collapse when she is barefoot and putting pressure on her feet?
Now notice how much straighter her feet are when she is standing in a pair of supportive orthotics. The orthotics are preventing her feet from collapsing and turning inwards:
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 unnsupportive shoes with the orthotics. Do you notice how her feet are still collapsing?
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.
Let me show you the best orthotics for kids along with the best type of shoes for orthotics.
How Can You Tell If Your Child Needs to Wear Orthotics? – Let’s Find Out!
If your child has the following symptoms, he/she might be a candidate to wear orthotics:
- Foot and leg pain.
- Flat feet.
- Rolled ankles.
- Knock knees.
- Low Muscle tone.
I always recommend parents to take their kids to their pediatricians or physical/occupational therapists as soon as they notice them walking or running differently.
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 (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 child has been overpronating.
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.
Did you know that flat feet can lead to long-term lower body conditions if not corrected in time?
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):
Both of these orthotics come with a built-in-arch support to prevent your kid’ feet from collapsing and a heel cup in the back to provide optimal ankle support.
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 Most Important Features!
If you already have the correct type of orthotic for your child, then it’s time to find the correct type of shoes.
There are several features a shoe must provide in order to be suitable to be worn with an orthotic:
- The shoes must come with a removable insole: If the shoes that you provide for your child don’t come with a removable insole, you won’t be able to FIT the orthotic inside the shoe. When you remove the inner sole of the shoe, you are allowing extra space to FIT the orthotic inside the shoe. If you leave the original inner sole in the shoe and fit the orthotic on top, you will be raising your children’s feet up and give them the impression that their feet are coming out of the shoe.
- The shoes must provide a firm heel counter: Do you know what the heel counter of the shoe is? Take a look at the picture below or clarification. 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.
- The shoe must provide a substantial, supportive 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.
- The shoe must be 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.
- The shoe must be deep: Shoes that are deep will allow the orthotic to fit deeply inside the shoes, which will prevent the top of your kids’ feet from rubbing against the top of 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 –⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Remember that you MUST provide your children with the correct type of shoes if you want them to get the full benefits that the orthotics have to offer.
Below you can find a selection of the best shoes for a child that wears orthotics:
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 wider shoe for your child.
IMPORTANT TIP: Always remove the inner 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 much 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 here:
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 experiences below so other parents can benefit from them!