The Best Shoes for Children with Flat and Narrow Feet
Does your child have flat and narrow feet? Are you looking for affordable and comfortable shoes for your child’s unique feet shape? Has your child been complaining about foot and leg pain or discomfort? Finding the right pair of shoes for any child can be difficult, but trying to accommodate both narrow and flat feet can be extremely challenging for families.
However, there are shoes available that are effective for children with flat and narrow feet. In this article, I aim to provide a substantial list of some of the best shoes in this category. Furthermore, with the right pair of supportive shoes, your child will likely experience much less pain. Keep in mind that what works for one child may not work for another, and your child may need to try out multiple different shoes and shoe brands before finding the one that works best for them.
If you are in a rush, you can go directly to the selection of the best shoes for children with flat and narrow feet.
My Take on The Difficulties with Flat Feet
First, allow me to assure you that you are in good hands. As a professional shoe fitter with over 10 years of experience, I handle approximately 100 shoe fittings/try-ons per week and I have become familiar with the best shoes for children with both flat and narrow feet.
Flat feet occur when a person’s feet have little to no arch. Having flat feet is especially common in children as their arches are still developing until about age 6. However, some children continue to have flat feet through their teenage years and adulthood. Some children are also born with a congenital disability called vertical talus that prevents their arches from ever developing.
Whatever the case may be, flat feet can be very painful for children if not treated. When a child has flat feet, all of their body weight gets pressed straight down into their feet when they stand up or move around. This occurs because as arches collapse, their feet are not able to disperse their body weight evenly throughout their feet. Furthermore, with all of this added pressure to a specific point in your child’s feet, their walking gait, posture, and other movements may begin to shi. Other muscles in your child’s legs, hips, and back can also start to hurt in order to compensate.
Difficulties with Narrow Feet
Unlike flat feet, having narrow feet is not a condition but a specific foot shape/width. So, while having narrow feet is less of a medical concern, there are definitely issues that can arise when searching for the right pair of shoes for this foot shape. If shoes are too wide, children with narrow feet can get blisters, calluses, or other skin irritations as their feet can be moving around too much inside of their shoes. It can also be very difficult in general to find good, supportive shoes that accommodate narrow or very narrow feet as few brands have these specific width sizes.
Additionally, I have found that some children can be a little self-conscious about having smaller and more narrow feet. While of course, I believe that all feet and feet shapes are wonderful, I definitely understand that children can feel insecure about their feet just as they can feel insecure about any other part of their body while growing up. So, finding a pair of stylish yet comfortable shoes that can accommodate their feet is one of the best ways to help them feel more confident with their feet shape.
If you want to learn more about this specific topic, take a look at the article below, where I cover some of the best shoes for boys with narrow feet. Though any person can feel self-conscious about their feet, I have noticed this particular insecurity to be common among boys with narrow feet.
Challenges with Both Flat and Narrow Feet
As both foot problems provide individual concerns when looking for the right pair of shoes, finding a pair of shoes that accommodate both flat and narrow feet can be especially challenging. Itʼs important to look for key shoe features that will accommodate one foot problem without compensating the other, or, even better, features that will help both problems simultaneously.
Below, I address some of these key shoe features that best accommodate flat and narrow feet. These are the types of shoe features that I always look for when recommending shoes for children with this foot shape:
What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Effective for Flat and Narrow Feet?
1️⃣ Supportive and Narrow Footbeds: The shoes I recommend provide footbeds with an internal support mechanism (the shoeʼs sole) that are engineered to provide excellent arch support and cradle the natural contours of the foot. This feature will help stabilize your child’s feet without adding unwanted pressure. Having an impact and pressure-reducing footbed like this is especially important for children with flat feet as it will help disperse their body weight throughout their feet when walking or moving. For children with flat and narrow feet, I look for these types of supportive footbeds that also have more narrow platforms. Take a look at the footbed comparisons below:
2️⃣ Firm and Narrow Heel Counters: The heel counter is the back part of the shoe and provides ankle and heel support. The firmer a shoeʼs heel counter is, the more protection and comfort to the heel it provides. This feature is very important for children with flat feet as all parts of their feet (not just their arches) should be supported and protected. Once again, looking for heel counters that are both firm and narrow is the goal.
3️⃣ Narrow Toe-Box: This feature prevents too much foot movement inside of the shoes. Your child should always have some room in the front of their shoes to prevent their toes from getting cramped. However, too much extra room can cause your child’s feet to move around too much, rub against their shoes, and lead to blisters or other skin irritations. Having narrower toe-boxes ensures that your child’s feet can stay comfortably supported in the front of their shoes.
Keep in mind that shoes with laces will provide better support and stability compared to shoes with velcro closure. The laces will also help accommodate your child’s narrow feet more effectively.
Let’s now take a look at a list of the best shoes for children with flat and narrow feet. Disclosure: Some links in this post may be affiliate links and we may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) when you click our links and make purchases.
The Best Shoes for Children with Flat and Narrow Feet
Take a look at the information below each shoe to determine:
- The best size to order allowing for growing room
- The type of closure (velcro or laces)
- Other important information such as material
All of the shoes that I recommended above come with removable insoles in case you need to remove them to fit an orthotic.
Are You Unsure of What Shoe Size to Order?
Itʼs important to get the right shoe size for your child in order to get the full benefits that these shoes have to offer. Shoes that are too big allow for too much foot movement inside the shoes, making your child’s feet and heels less supported. On the other hand, shoes that are too small may cramp your child’s feet and heels and cause pain.
If you are unsure of your child’s exact foot length and shape, I recommend taking a look at another resource I have created. In just two simple steps, I will be able to determine what shoe size your child should wear.
How to Tie Your Kids’ Shoes to Get Extra Support and Stability
Properly tying your kids’ shoes can make a world of difference when it comes to improving a child’s foot posture and stability!
Did you know that if the shoes are not properly tied your child won’t get the full benefits that the shoes have to offer? There is a specific shoe lacing technique that I learned at the shoe store that works wonders for children with narrow feet.
Donʼt hesitate to contact me via email if you have any further questions or are having trouble finding a pair of shoes to best accommodate your childʼs flat and narrow feet:
Make sure that your child undos the laces or velcro straps of the shoes before getting the shoes on and off. This is important to preserve the support of the shoes and prevent the heel counter from getting stretched out.
Have you found a specific shoe style or brand that has worked well for your child with flat and narrow feet? Let us know in the comments below so other families can benefit from your experiences.