Are you looking for a pair of shoes for your child that is dealing with a specific foot condition? Do you feel like you try a whole bunch of shoes on your child’s feet but you always end up empty handed?
Finding a pair of shoes for a child that is dealing with a particular type of disability can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience.
There are certain shoes styles that are more supportive than others, provide more padding to make your child feel more comfortable, and they are lightweight and flexible at the same time, to prevent your child’s feet and legs from easily getting tired. These are the type of shoes I will help you find.
I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now, and I know everything that relates to children’s shoes and the way they fit. This is a specialized shoe store that focuses on children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. We carry some of the most supportive children’s shoes and orthotics, and I am familiar with which shoe brands and which shoe styles are better than others.
Shoes play a key role in improving your child’s body posture, allowing your child to walk and run straighter.
Let me prove it to you:
Why do shoes play such a key role in keeping your child’s feet and legs healthy? Let’s take a look at a picture of a flat-footed child wearing pair of shoes that are too flimsy and unsupportive. Do you notice how the child’s feet are collapsing and tuning inwards?
Now let’s take a picture of the same child wearing a pair of shoes that are supportive. Do you notice how much straighter the child’s feet look?
This proves that something so simple such as providing your child with the correct pair of shoes can significantly improve your child’s posture.
The selection of shoes I will provide you with will also be able to accommodate an orthotic, since they are supportive and come in different widths such as wide and extra wide (since orthotics take a lot of space inside the shoes).
Children with disabilities require particular shoes that in most cases need to accommodate an orthotic. This means that the shoes must provide a certain amount of support,stability, and depth.
Did you know that how deep the shoes are plays a key role when trying to fit an orthotic inside the shoes?
The issue that most parents have when trying to fit a pair of shoes for their kids with disabilities that wear orthotics is finding shoes that are wide and deep enough to accommodate the orthotics. The good news is that I am here to make your life easier and help you find these shoes.
I will show you a selection the best shoes for kids with disabilities shortly, but first I want to shoe you what features these shoes will provide and how you can figure out your child’s exact foot size from home.
Please keep in mind that the shoes I will describe in this article are not orthopedic shoes, they are regular shoes that are the deepest and most supportive ones that I have fitted before, and they are all reasonably priced.
Shoes that Accommodate Orthotics – 5 Important Features!
There are certain features that the shoes must provide in order to help your child with disabilities walk and run more confidently and straighter.
These are the 5 most important features that the shoes I will describe in this article will provide:
❤️ Support: Supportive shoes will minimize the impact that your kids’ feet take every time they come in contact with the ground. If your child wears an orthotic then this is a key feature since the shoes must be supportive or your child won’t get any of the benefits that the orthotics have to offer.
❤️ Lightweight and Flexible: The shoes must be supportive but lightweight and flexible at the same time. These features will prevent your child’s feet and legs from easily getting tired.
❤️ Firm Heel Counter: Do you know what the heel counter of the shoe is? This is the part of the shoe that provides ankle support. Take a look at the picture below for clarification:
❤️ Deep: The deeper the shoes the better, that way your kids’ feet will sit deeply inside the shoes and they won’t have the impression that their feet are coming out of the shoes. If your child wears an orthotic then this is an extremely important feature, since orthotics always fit better in deeper shoes.
❤️ Round Toe-Box: Shoes that come with a rounder toe-box are important because they make the orthotics fit better, and they will also prevent your child’s toes from overlapping against one another or rubbing against the side of the shoes.
Can we find a pair of shoes for your child with disabilities that provides all of these features?
Yes, we can!
I have fitted them before, and I will show you which ones they are.
By the way…
Do you know why I am always emphasizing about the importance of deeper shoes? Let’s take a look at the difference that a pair of deep shoes can make when fitting an orthotic. This picture shows a New Balance shoe style (grey and pink shoelaces) that is deep versus an Asics shoe style (all black shoe style), that is not as deep.
Do you notice how the orthotics are fitting deeper down in the New Balance shoe style? This will allow your child’s feet to fit deeply inside the shoes and it won’t give your child the impression that his or her feet are coming out of the shoes.
Shoelaces or Velcro Closure for your Child with Disabilities?
While it might be a pain to deal with the shoes becoming untie all the time, I strongly recommend parents to provide their kids with shoelaces instead of Velcro closure. The main reason for this is that shoelaces provide more support and more stability.
I can also show you a pair of shoelaces that are called the “bubble shoelaces”, and they are great because they stay tie much better than regular shoelaces. You can learn about these shoelaces and also about which is the best method to tie shoes with orthotics in an article I wrote called:
If you are investing in a pair of orthotics for your child, it’s worth it to take the extra time and help your child with tying the shoes. Please remember that this is the only way to get the full benefits of the orthotics.
I am always emphasizing to parents that it does’t matter how many features a particular shoe style provides, if the shoes are not fitted properly which involves getting the correct shoe length and the correct shoe width, your toddler won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer. Whats even worse you will end up creating all sort of foot issues to their feet.
Are You 100% Sure of Your Child’s Foot Size? – Get it Right!
I always recommend parents to take their children to their local fitting children’s shoe store that they trust, the issue is that most fitting stores have been closing down and parents need to end up buying their kids’ shoes online. There is nothing wrong with this, but you must know your child’s exact foot size in order to know what size to order.
I created a map that showcases the best fitting children’s shoe stores by state, so I suggest you start by taking a look at that map:
If after looking at that map you still can’t seem to identify a shoe store in your area, then proceed to taking a look at an article along with a video I created that describes the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home:
Now that you know which are the features that the shoes must provide and how to make sure that your child is wearing the correct shoe size, we are ready to take a look at the best shoes for kids with disabilities.
The Best Shoes for Kids with Disabilities ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Please keep in mind that I only review shoes that I have fitted before, since that is the only way for me to test the quality and the amount of support that the shoes provide. This also helps me identify which shoe styles are deeper than others.
Here you can find a selection of the best shoes for kids with disabilities:
All of these shoe styles fit “true to size”, which means that you need 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.
Please keep in mind that if your child wears orthotics, you might need to go a whole size longer to a whole size and a half longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale (to be able to fit the orthotics).
Fitting a pair of shoes for a child with disabilities that also wears orthotics is not an easy task to do, so I always recommend parents to take their children to their local kids’ shoe store that they trust. This information is mostly for parents who don’t have a local shoe store in their area and must buy their kids’ shoes online.
Have you found a particular shoe style that has worked well for your child with disabilities that wears orthotics? Please share your findings below so other parents can benefit from them.