The Best Shoes for Kids with Flat Feet – STOP Your Kids Foot Pain!
Do you have a child with flat feet that has been complaining about foot and leg pain? Did you know that certain shoes can significantly reduce or fully eliminate your child’s foot and leg pain? If you notice something wrong with your child’s walking gait or if your child is complaining about foot or leg pain you need to intervene as soon as possible. I am going to show you a list of the best shoes for kids with flat feet based on my many years of shoe-fitting experience.
It’s important for families to note that pain is not the only reason to treat flat feet. It’s highly likely that if left untreated, flat feet might produce a problem sometime later in the child’s life. It might not be on the foot, it might be on the knee, the hip, the back, all of the structure and joints above the feet depend on the feet!
My Experience Helping Children with Flat Feet
I started working at a specialized children’s shoe store in 2013, and that’s where I learned everything I know about children’s shoes. Several pediatricians, physical, and occupational therapists refer families to the shoe store where I work to be fitted for supportive shoes, and depending on the degree of their flat feet, orthotics as well.
I have noticed throughout the years that something so simple such as providing your children with the correct pair of shoes will help strengthen and straighten your children’s feet and legs, allow them to walk straighter, improve their posture, and significantly reduce or fully eliminate the pain that they have been experiencing.
Are Flat Feet Normal in Kids?
Sometimes parents take their children to their medical professionals and are told to be patient and wait as the child’s foot condition might resolve on its own. It is true that sometimes the child’s foot condition resolves on its own, but there are many instances that doesn’t.
It’s normal for children below the age of 4 or 5 to not have the arch fully developed. However, this doesn’t mean you should leave the condition untreated. Children under the age of 5 don’t have pain, they don’t complain, but they have a treatable condition. Children over the age of 6 are not supposed to have flat feet.
Please trust your parental intuition if you notice something off about your child’s feet and/or walking gait. You know when there is something wrong with your child, you are living with the child, not your doctor.
The picture below will help you visualize how the feet of a flat footed child look like. Does that picture look familiar?
Children with flat feet might experience severe pain in their feet, which may affect their posture and also cause pain in their legs and lower back. When children have flat feet, their feet collapse when they stand, and the knees and hips also become misaligned. This means the muscles that move those joints no longer work efficiently, and it will take more energy for your child to do the same work as other children who don’t have this condition.
What a Difference the Correct Pair of Shoes Can Make!
Let’s take a look at a couple of pictures of children with flat feet standing barefoot and wearing supportive shoes. It’s pretty amazing to visualize what a difference the correct pair of shoes can make in helping improve a child’s foot posture.
Do you notice how the feet are collapsing and turning inwards? When children have flat feet you don’t only need to support the arch, you need to support the heel bone as well.
Do you notice how the arch support and the heel support are preventing the child’s feet from collapsing and turning inwards? This will allow your child to walk and run straighter.
Let’s take a look at a different example of a child with flat feet standing barefoot and wearing a pair of supportive shoes.
This image shows a toddler with flat feet standing barefoot:
This image shows the same toddler with flat feet wearing a pair of the supportive shoes that I recommend:
Wow! What a difference the correct pair of shoes can make!
Is It Normal for Children to Complain About Foot or Leg Pain?
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 your child 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.
Most parents make the common mistake of assuming that children with flat feet must wear orthotics. I always recommend trying a pair of supportive shoes first and check if the child’s feet look straighter and the pain reduces.
Before I show you a selection of the best shoes for kids with flat feet, I want to first show you the 4 most important features that the shoes I recommend provide and how to make sure that you know your child’s exact foot size.
The shoes I recommend below are available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide, that way we can guarantee that the shoes can fit the shape of your kids’ feet, no matter how narrow or wide they are.
What Makes the Shoes that I Recommend Effective for Flat Feet?
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 children to strengthen their muscles and move around with ease and comfort.
The following are the 4 most important features that the shoes I recommend provide for flat footed children:
1️⃣ Substantial Outsoles: Shoes that provide a stable base of support can help realign your kids’ feet by preventing them from collapsing. Let me show you the difference in support between one of the shoes that I recommend and a different style:
2️⃣ Firm Heel Counters: When a child has flat feet you don’t only support the arch. You mechanically control the parts of the foot that causes the foot to be flat, including the heel bone. The heel counter is the back part of the shoe that provides ankle and heel support. Always make sure that the heel counter of your kids’ shoes feels firm and sturdy.
Now let’s take a look at the difference between a shoe with a soft heel counter, and one with a firm heel counter:
3️⃣ Straight Lasts: This feature helps prevent the forefoot from pushing out. You need to stay away from shoes that have an excessively curved last as they lack heel stability. Most Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour shoes come with a curved or semi-curved last. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes:
4️⃣ Lightweight and Flexible: We want the shoes to be supportive, but lightweight and flexible at the same time to prevent your kids’ feet from easily getting tired. Your kids’ shoes should always bend at the ball of the foot but no further. It’s important that your kids’ shoes are flexible but not too flexible, otherwise, they won’t provide enough support.
Below you can find a picture of a pair of shoes that provides the correct amount of flexibility vs a shoe that is too flexible:
Keep in mind that shoes with shoelaces will provide better support and stability to your child’s feet compared to shoes with velcro closure. 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. This allows us to create free content and resources for many families around the world.
The Best Shoes for Kids with Flat Feet
Take a look at the information below each shoe to determine:
- The foot shape the shoe can accommodate (narrow, medium, wide, extra wide)
- The best size to order allowing for growing room
- Other important information such as material
Does Your Child Have Narrow Feet?
Children with flat and narrow feet will need a different set of shoes, that are supportive but also capable of accommodating your child’s unique foot shape.
Get in Touch With Us for a Personalized Suggestion
Without a doubt, children’s shoe needs can vary depending on their age, activity level, and any specific foot conditions they may have. If you have any questions or need any further assistance, you can also contact us via e-mail and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We are happy to help you find a different pair of shoes for your child so don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
How to Retrieve Your Child’s Exact Foot Size – Order the Correct Shoe Size Online!
You won’t be able to order the correct shoe size online if you don’t know your child’s exact foot size to begin with. I created a different article to assist parents in determining their kids’ foot size and shape at home effectively and with ease:
In that article I help parents determine their child’s exact foot size and whether the child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet. I also will be able to tell you whether your child has a high instep or not.
All of these shoes are specifically manufactured to provide support to the foot as they provide a substantial outsole and a high and well-padded heel. All of these shoes are also capable of accommodating an orthotic, as they are the deepest shoes that I have fitted before.
These are some of the advantages that these shoe styles provide:
- They promote healthy foot development.
- They help improve posture.
- They provide stability.
- They help minimize the impact on 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.
Feedback from Families Who Already Tried the Shoes!
These are some reviews from families who already tried the shoes that I recommend and they have seen an improvement in their child’s walking gait and posture.
If your child wears any of the shoes that I recommend for 4 to 5 months and the pain has not been significantly reduced or fully eliminated, then your child might be a candidate for orthotics.
Orthotics for Kids with Flat Feet – Extra Support and Stability!
Children who are dealing with strong overpronation due to their flat feet might need an orthotic to be fitted inside the shoes for extra support.
The correct type of orthotics can help your children walk and run straighter, by aligning their feet and legs and reducing the stress that they are putting on 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.
What Are the Best Orthotics for Kids with Flat Feet?
Keep in mind that I recommend that you try a pair of supportive shoes first before you try an orthotic. However, there is one specific orthotic that provides excellent arch and heel support, and at the same time is not as invasive as other orthotics. This means that this orthotic allows the child’s foot and leg muscles to develop on their own while supporting them.
Shoes for Kids with Flat Feet – Watch Video!
I created a video that will help you better visualize everything I discussed in this article.
The Final Fitting
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. Don’t forget to remind your children to stretch regularly, since that will help relieve some of the pain that they might be experiencing.
The problem with foot pain is that it is much harder to diagnose in kids as they may not necessarily know how to express the pain they are feeling. It is left to the parents to recognize discomfort in their kids and detect the cause of the pain.
Nowadays, 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.
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.
Do you have a child with flat feet? Did you find a particular shoe style that has worked well in improving your child’s posture and reducing or fully eliminating your child’s foot pain? Please share your findings in the comment section below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.
Finally, if you would like to show your support of Fitting Children’s Shoes, you have the option to make a donation. Your support helps ensure that families around the world can find the correct shoes for their children, regardless of their foot shape or condition.