Has your child been complaining about foot and leg pain? Has he/she been diagnosed with flat feet? If your pediatrician or physical therapist recommended that your child needs to wear orthotics, you MUST find the correct type of orthotic and the correct pair of shoes, otherwise your child won’t get any of the benefits that the orthotic has to offer.
All babies have flat feet, but by the time they turn 4 or 5, the arches should have already developed. If your kids’ feet remain flat after the age of 5, you must find a pair of orthotics to allow him/her to walk and run straighter.
I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 8 years, and we specialize in helping children with foot and leg issues. I have helped hundreds of children who were experiencing foot and leg pain, find the correct pair of shoes and orthotics to reduce or fully eliminate the pain they were experiencing.
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 knee.
- Low tone.
An orthotic will help reduce or fully eliminate the pain your child might be experiencing.
When a child is flat footed, he or she will walk differently, which means that they will put pressure in parts of their body that they are not supposed to. A child that wears an orthotic with a good supportive shoe will walk and run straighter.
I have seen the positive impact that orthotics can have if worn with the proper type of shoes. I have helped children who were pronating walk and run much straighter.
They key is to find the correct type of orthotics and FIT it in the correct type of shoes. You will be amazed by the difference it will make in your child’s daily life.
In this post, I will describe the best orthotics for kids along with the best type of shoes to FIT the orthotic with.
How Can You Tell If Your Child Needs Orthotics?
I always recommend parents to take their kids to their physical therapist or pediatricians as soon as they see them walking or running differently. However, several parents have contacted me asking how they can figure out if their kids are pronating.
Overpronation is not that hard to diagnosed. If you draw an imaginary line from the tip of the ankle bone all the way down to the floor and the line ends away from your kids’ foot (take a look at the picture below), it means that your child overpronates and his/her feet need correcting.
The type of orthotic I will describe below will provide biomechanical support and restore your kid’ walking pattern.
What Are The Best Kids Orthotics? – The Secret Revealed!
Flat feet or low arches can cause severe pain and discomfort to your kids’ feet and legs, since it will make them walk inwards and put pressure in parts of their feet and legs that they are not supposed to.
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 was developed by Australian podiatrists specifically for treating kids who suffer from flat feet, rolled ankles, and over-pronation. One of the greatest advantages of this type of orthotics is how it can be fitted in most shoes including school shoes, sports shoes and dress shoes!
Every time your child pronates they are developing an abnormal walking and running pattern. If you don’t take care of this issue from an early stage, this pronation 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.
There is a type of orthotic called Footminders which will greatly reduce or fully eliminate your kids’ pain. It comes 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.
This type of orthotic will help correct this condition and it will prevent several foot and leg issues in the future.
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 notice that your kids’ feet are still pronating, wait until you fit the orthotics inside the shoe and watch them walk.
Below I will show you which is the best orthotic for kids!
The size is really easy to figure out since the size “SK” will FIT a child with a shoe size from 11 to 13. The size “K” will fir a child with a foot size 1-3 1/2
What Type Of Features Must A Good Supportive Shoe Provide?
If you already have the right of orthotic for your child, it’s time to find the correct type of shoes. If you haven’t find the correct type of orthotic, take a look at a post I wrote where I describe the best orthotics for children:What Type Of Features Must A Good Supportive Shoe Provide?
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 we remove the inner sole of the shoe, we are opening for extra space to FIT the orthotic inside the shoe. If we leave the original inner sole in the shoe and put the orthotic on top, we will be raising our children’s feet too much which will 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? 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 flimsy, he/she 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 provide good traction: it’s important that the shoe you provide for your child has good traction in order to prevent your child from slipping and falling.
- The shoe must be flexible and lightweight: While we want the shoe to be supportive, the shoe must be also lightweight and flexible to prevent your kids’ feet and legs from feeling tired.
- The shoe must be deep: Shoes that are deep allow the orthotic to FIT deeply inside the shoe, which means that it won’t raise your kids’ feet up and give them the impression that their feet are coming out of the shoe.
If we find a shoe that provides all of those features, we are guaranteed to provide our child with the best type of shoe that they can wear with their orthotics.
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 have shoelaces instead of velcro closure. Shoelaces allow the shoe to “hug” your 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 or adults who wear orthotics. You just need to follow these three easy steps:
1- Start with leaving the two eyelets (shoe holes) of the shoe open.
2- Go through the top hole first.
3- Go through the holes you left open.
You are all done! BY tying your kids shoes this way you will securing their heels and provide more ankle support. Your child will also feel more stable when walking and running around.
I wrote a post where I describe this shoe tying method in more detail and you can learn about it here:
The Best Shoes For Orthotics – The Secret Revealed!
Remember that you MUST provide your child with the correct type of shoes if you want him/her 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 shoes are also available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide, which will guarantee that will FIT the shape of your kids’ feet no matter the shape of them. Remember that orthotics do tend to take a lot of space inside the shoe which means you might have to end up with a wider shoe.
NEVER forget to remove the inner sole when you are fitting an orthotic inside the shoe.
Is there a particular shoe style you have found that works well with orthotics? Is there a particular orthotic type that has work well for your kids’ feet? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so we can all benefit from them!