Most children with dwarfism or achondroplasia have the hardest time finding shoes that fit. The main reason for this is because they have to deal with several foot conditions such as flat feet, rolled and flexible ankles, bowed legs, low muscle tone, and really wide feet.
In addition to finding a shoe style that provides good support and stability, you will have to find a shoe that provides extra depth and comes with a round toe-box to accommodate the shape of your child’s extra wide feet.
Children with achondroplasia have their own development checklist, so keep in mind that it is perfectly normal for a 2-year-old with achondroplasia to not be walking yet. You probably have noticed that most children with dwarfism have larger heads, a normal size torso, and low muscle tone, and those 3 factors make it more challenging for children to be able to balance. However, once they start walking, they won’t have any trouble balancing.
There are two types of dwarfism: disproportionate and proportionate. If your child has disproportionate dwarfism you will notice how your child has an average size torso but shorter arms and legs. If your child has proportionate dwarfism, your child’s body parts are in proportion but shortened. Whichever one of these conditions your child has, it’s important to find the correct pair of shoes to accommodate and support their feet. The correct pair of shoes will also help improve your child’s overall posture and prevent foot, leg, and lower back pain.
I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years. 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 shoe brands for children with dwarfism and the best styles among those brands.
Finding the correct pair of shoes for a child with dwarfism can be extremely frustrating and time-consuming, especially if you don’t know what shoe styles to look for. There have been several families who email me from all over the world asking which are the best shoes for a child with dwarfism. That’s when I decided it was time to create an article answering all of these questions.
One common request that parents have is what type of shoes they can buy for their children to help them look a little taller. Some parents want to help their children reach things that us average people can, while some others want their kids to look a little bit taller when they are around much taller crowds.
Children with dwarfism usually experience foot and leg pain from being flat footed, having rolled ankles and low muscle tone. I have also seen certain cases where they were experiencing lower back pain or numbness.
Take a look at the image below, does it look familiar? Do you notice how the child’s feet and ankles are rolling inwards?
There are certain kids’ shoe styles that come with a substantial sole that provide excellent arch and ankle support, and will help align your kids’ feet and legs, improving their overall posture.
In some cases, I had to fit an orthotic inside the children’s shoes for extra support. However, I always recommend starting with a pair of supportive shoes before you decide to invest in a pair of orthotics.
Before I show you a selection of the best shoes for dwarfism, I want to first show you what features these shoe styles will provide and how to figure out your child’s exact foot size from home.
Shoes for Kids with Dwarfism – The 5 Most Important Features
There are 5 key features that your kids’ shoes must provide in order to accommodate the shape of their extra wide feet and help treat their foot conditions, whichever ones these might be.
Extra Depth: This is a key feature that most parents are not aware of. If you have children with extra wide feet, providing them with a pair of shoes that are labeled as extra wide (“XW”) is simply not enough. You also need to make sure that the shoes that you provide for your children come with extra depth, to prevent the top part of their feet (instep), from rubbing against the top part of the shoes. Parents are often confused as how they are supposed to find shoes that provide extra depth since shoes don’t come labeled that way. The shoes I will describe shortly all provide extra depth.
Round Toe-Box: This feature will prevent your kids’ toes from rubbing against one another or the side of the shoes. Shoes that come with rounder toe-boxes will prevent your children from getting blisters on their toes.
Substantial Sole: Shoes that come with a substantial sole with arch support will prevent your child’s feet from collapsing and turning inwards or outwards. This feature might also be referred as shock absorption, and will reduce the impact that your kids’ feet and legs take when they come in contact with the ground.
Firm Heel Counter: This is the back part of the shoes that provides ankle and heel support. Always check the heel counter of the shoes and make sure it feels firm. Take a look at the example below:
Lightweight/Flexible: Your kids’ shoes must be supportive, but lightweight and flexible at the same time in order to prevent your kids’ feet and legs from easily getting tired.
In addition to providing all of those features, you need to make sure that you provide your child with the correct shoe size. This means getting the correct shoe length and the correct shoe width.
My recommendation is to take your child to be properly fitted for shoes at your local specialized children’s shoe store, where a shoe fitter can properly measure your kids’ feet. The issue is that most specialized children’s shoe stores have been closing down. That is the reason why I created a map that showcases the best fitting children’s shoe stores in the country by state. Go to the link below:
If after looking at the map you still can’t seem to find a good fitting children’s shoe store in your area, then proceed to taking a look at an article along with a video that I created that will show you the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s exact foot size from home:
Now that you know what features the shoes must provide and how to figure out your child’s exact foot size from home, you are ready to take a look at a selection of the best shoes for kids with dwarfism.
If I review a particular shoe style is because I have fitted it before, and I am familiar with the amount of support that the shoe provides, how well-made it is, and how it fits.
The Best Shoes for Dwarfism ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Here you can find a selection of the best shoes for kids with dwarfism. All of these shoe styles are available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide widths. It’s is highly likely that you will need to order the extra wide width for your child.
Flat feet and rolled, flexible ankles might lead to a condition called overpronation. In this condition, the child’s feet either turn inwards, throwing the child’s whole body out of alignment. This normally leads to poor posture habits, leading to foot, leg, knee, and lower back pain.
These are all everyday sneakers that your child can wear for most everyday activities. However, if you are looking for a different shoe style such as a sandal, boot, dress shoe, or sport shoe, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will help you find it: firstname.lastname@example.org
Most parents don’t provide their children with a particular shoe style just because they assume it won’t fit the shape of their child’s feet. From my 10 years of experience fitting children’s shoes, I came to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter how narrow or wide your kids’ feet are, there is always a particular shoe style out there that will fit the shape of your kids’ feet perfectly, and I will help you find it.
Before you leave, I wanted to tell you that the type of socks that your child wears can have a positive/negative impact on your kids’ feet. If your child has wide or extra wide feet, it’s important that you provide your child with a pair of socks that are seamless, in order to prevent your child’s toes from rubbing or overlapping one another.
I have found that seamless socks are the most effective ones for children with extra wide feet. In addition to being seamless, your kids’ socks also need be breathable and durable.
Socks do so much more than just act as a barrier between your kids’ feet and the shoes, they also prevent the buildup of bacteria inside the shoes.
Your kids’ socks shouldn’t be too short or too long, they need to fit just right. I describe the best seamless socks for children in another article called:
Have you found a particular shoe style that has worked well for your child with dwarfism? Please share your findings below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.