Do you have a child with flat feet that has been complaining about foot and leg pain? Did you know that there are certain shoe styles that will significantly reduce or fully eliminate their pain?
I have been working for a 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, and we carry some of the most supportive children’s shoes and orthotics.
How does the feet of a flat footed child look like?
Does that picture look familiar?
I have noticed throughout the years that something so simple such as providing your child with the correct pair of shoes will straighten your kids’ feet and legs, allow them to walk straighter, improve their posture, and reduce or fully eliminate the pain that they have been experiencing.
For example, let’s take a look at a picture of a child with flat feet wearing two different pair of shoes. The first picture shows a child wearing a pair of unsupportive shoes. Do you notice how her feet are still collapsing and turning inwards?
The second picture shows the same child wearing a pair of supportive shoes. Do you notice how the arch support and the heel support will help align the feet? This will allow your child to walk and run straighter!
Lately, parents tend to focus more on the price, how long the kids will wear the shoes and the most popular fashion trend. However, these parents should be more concerned about getting their children the correct shoe style and the correct shoe size, which involves he correct shoe length and the correct shoe width.
Foot and leg pain is never normal, and if your child is complaining about foot and leg pain consistently, this might be a sign that he has a foot condition such as flat feet. Flat feet are usually hereditary, that’s one of the parents has flat feet or has it running in the family gene.
Children with flat feet can experience severe pain in their feet, which may affect their posture and cause also pain in their legs and back. When a person has flat feet, his or her feet collapse when they stand (the feet turn inwards), and they start putting pressure in parts of their body that they are not supposed to.
A pair of substantial, supportive shoes will prevent your kids’ feet from collapsing (will help them walk and run straighter) and they will reduce or fully eliminate the pain your kids’ are experiencing.
In this post, I will describe the best shoes for kids with flat feet. The shoes I will describe are available in different widths such as narrow, medium, wide, and extra wide, that way we can guarantee that the shoes will FIT the shape of your kids’ feet, no matter how narrow or wide they are.
What to Do if your Child has Flat Feet? – Check the Shoes!
Having flat feet will impact your kids’ everyday activities and affect their posture and bone growth in the long run. A good quality shoe must provide comfort, arch support, and a firm heel counter, which will enable your kid to strengthen their muscles and move around with ease and comfort.
Do you know what the heel counter of the shoe is?This is the back part of the shoe that provides ankle support.Sometimes children can experience heel or ankle pain from having rolled ankles, in addition to flat feet. Here is a picture of where the heel counter of the shoe is located:
Now let’s take a look at the difference between a shoe with a soft heel counter (first picture), and one with a firm heel counter (second picture).
A child with flat feet will need to wear a supportive shoe with arch support to minimize the impact that his or her feet receive every time they hit the ground. However, the kid may need orthotics if the pain is way too severe.
If your kids have flat feet, start by checking the shoes that they are wearing. A good supportive shoe is all that your kids might need in order to reduce or fully eliminate the pain that they are experiencing. Wearing the correct type of shoes will help align your kids’ feet and legs, and allow them to walk and run straighter.
Please REMEMBER this: If your child has flat feet, you must start by providing him or her a pair of good supportive shoes, since this might be all they need. Most parents make the mistake of immediately thinking that because their child has flat feet they must provide their child with a pair of orthotics.
The Correct Shoe Size for Kids – Get It Right!
If you get your kids shoes too long or too wide, you will compromise your child’s stability and make him or her more prone to falling down. On the other side, providing your child with shoes that are too short or too narrow will impair the growth of your kid’s feet and create all sorts of foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns. You must get your kids shoes just right!
In most cases, kids complain of foot and leg pain due to not wearing the correct shoe size.
Kids grow fast and will outgrow their shoes in a matter of months, and that is one of the reasons parents tend to buy shoes that are a little in the bigger side. There is nothing wrong with this, since we do want some growing room for your kids’ toes to freely move inside the shoe and don’t get cramped by the other toes or the side of the shoe. However, the amount of growing room is not the only factor you must consider when trying to provide your kids the correct shoe size.
Getting the correct shoe width has the same importance as getting the correct shoe length. I explain how to get the correct shoe size in more detail in a post I wrote called:
Please keep in mind that it doesn’t matter how supportive the shoe that you provide to your child is, if it’s not fitted properly, your child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoe has to offer.
Why are Supportive Shoes Important? – Keep your Kids Feet Healthy!
Good supportive shoes are not only recommended for kids with flat feet, but also for kids whose feet are still developing. Supportive shoes will provide arch support, adequate support for the heel and a substantial sole to withstand the pressure and tension that kids put to their feet when they play around.
How can you tell if a shoe comes with a substantial sole? The sole of the shoe should be thick and not flat. Take a look at the picture below for clarification:
The advantages of supportive shoes include:
- They promote healthy foot development.
- They help improve your kids’ posture.
- They provide stability.
- They help minimize the impact to your kids’ feet when they hit the ground.
- They help prevent foot injuries.
While we are all always trying to economize, saving money by purchasing a pair of low quality shoes is just false economy. Investing in a pair of good supportive shoes will end up saving you a lot of time and money in the future!
Don’t forget to remind your kids.to stretch regularly, since that will help relieve some of the pain that they might be experiencing.
The Best Shoe Styles for Kids with Flat Feet!
One of the best shoe styles I have fitted for children with flat feet is the New Balance KV990V4, since it is specifically manufactured to provide support to the foot since it comes with a built in arch and a high and well-padded heel.
This shoe is also great if you must fit an orthotic inside the shoe, since it is one of the deepest shoe that I have found.
So, if your child has flat feet and has been experiencing foot and leg pain, you should start by providing him or her with a pair of good supportive shoes. After 4 to 5 months of wearing the shoe, check if the pain has reduced and if it hasn’t, you child might need a pair of orthotics. Hopefully this shoe style is all your child will need!
The shoesI recommend below all come with shoelaces, since shoelaces provide more support and stability to your child’s feet.
Below you can find a selection of the best shoes for kids’ with flat feet.The shoes below will fit a child that has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet (as long as you choose the width accordingly):
This selection of shoes fit “true to size”, which means that you need to go 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.
You should strongly consider providing your child with a pair of shoes that come with shoelaces instead of velcro closure, since shoelaces will provide more support and more stability to your child’s feet.
If you must provide your child with a pair of shoes with Velcro closure, then you can find a selection of the best shoe styles below:
This selection of shoes also fit “true to size”, which means that you need to go a half a size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.
Orthotics for Kids with Flat Feet – When the Shoes are Not the Solution!
In extreme cases when the pain in the foot is so intense that supportive shoes cannot reduce or eliminate it, providing your child with a pair of orthotics is the next step. Orthotics will help your children walk and run straighter, by aligning their feet and legs and reducing the stress they are putting to their feet.
Do you know what an orthotic is?An orthotic is basically a shoe insert that is specifically designed to provide cushioning, support, stability, and relief pressure areas of the foot.
Orthotics are recommended for the following reasons:
- Excessive foot pain: Orthotics will help provide cushion and support to your kids’ feet to help reduce the pressure on the affected part.
- Flat feet: Orthotics will prevent your kids’ feet from collapsing and allow him or her to walk and run straighter.
- Orthotics are recommended for kids that are very active in sports or high intense activities that induce pressure on the foot. They will help relieve some of the stress your kids are putting on their feet when they are running or playing at high intense levels.
- Rolled ankles: Orthotics are also recommended for strengthening and straightening your kids’ ankles.
I actually wrote an article where I describe the best orthotics for children and you can find it here:
Please don’t ignore your kids’ feet and leg pain. Keeping your kids’ feet healthy is essential for the health of the whole body, and they are regarded as the foundation that holds the entire body.
The problem of foot pain is how it is much harder to diagnose in kids as they may not necessarily know how to express the pain they are feeling on their feet. It is left for the parents to recognize discomfort in their kids and detect what is the cause of the pain.
In some countries, kid’s shoes are not categorized as fashion; rather they are placed in the health categories. This categorization is because; medical practitioners acknowledged that it is important that kids have the right kind of shoes that will ensure their healthy growth, posture and proper bone structure development.
Does your child has flat feet? Have you tried a particular shoe style that you will recommend? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so other parents can benefit from them!