Has your child been complaining about foot and leg pain? Have you noticed your child walking and running differently? Foot or leg pain is never normal, and there are certain steps that you can take in order to significantly reduce or completely eliminate the pain.
Children with flat feet or rolled ankles, tend to pronate. We all have a certain degree of pronation, but the problem comes when it’s excessive. Too much pronation will affect your child’s normal gait cycle.
When children have flat feet or rolled ankles, their feet collapse, twisting their foot, legs, and knees and forcing their body out of proper alignment.
The other issue with pronation is that it forces your kids’ toes to work harder each step, which leads your kids to putting more pressure on their toes, creating calluses, blisters, and corns, among other foot issues.
There are certain shoe styles that will help improve your child’s posture, by helping your child walk and run straighter.
Let me prove it to you…
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 made by the shoe company Nike. Do you notice how the feet are pronating and turning inwards? The shoes are not supportive enough to prevent the child’s feet from collapsing.
Now let’s take a look at a picture of the same child wearing a pair of supportive shoes made by the shoe company Asics. Do you notice how the child’s feet look a lot straighter? The arch support and heel counter of the shoes are preventing the child’s feet from collapsing.
One of the greatest benefits of providing your children with a pair of supportive shoes is to improve the way they walk and their overall posture. During the period of time children grow, their posture is set for the rest of their lives, and it all begins with the foundation for their entire body, their feet!
The correct pair of shoes will improve your kids’ posture by aligning their feet and legs, and they will also prevent leg and back problems in the future.
I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now. 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. Due to my experience fitting thousands of kids, I became familiar with the best shoe brands for children with flat feet feet and the best styles among those brands.
Did you know that something as simple as providing your kids with the correct pair of shoes can considerably improve the way they walk? In addition to helping your kids’ walk and run straighter, the correct type of shoes will significantly reduce or fully eliminate the pain that your child might be experiencing.
Pronation can also occur from your child having rolled ankles. Let’s take a look at a picture of a child with rolled ankles:
In order to straighten your kids’ ankles, you must provide your child with a pair of shoes with a firm heel counter. Do you know what the heel counter of the shoe is? It’s the back part of the shoe that provides ankle support.
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).
Physical and occupational therapists are always referring children with foot and leg issues to our kids’ shoe store to be fitted for good, supportive shoes.
Before I provide you with a selection of the best shoes for kids with pronation, I want to first show you how you can check from home if your child is pronating or not.
Why is your Child Pronating? – Let’s Find Out!
The main cause for pronation is believed to be hereditary. Pronation is a congenital defect which causes the muscles and ligaments of your child’s feet to become more loosely held in place, causing their feet to turn inwards when they walk and run.
Keep in mind that if your child is experiencing pronation before the age of 4, you shouldn’t worry about it too much. While some parents do want to intervene at an earlier age, it is recommended that parents wait until the child turns 4 years old or older.
Before then, you can provide your child with a pair of more substantial shoes and if that doesn’t help, you can always try a pair of orthotics.
How can you Tell if Your Child is Pronating? – Learn the Symptoms!
Figuring out if your child is pronating is easier than you might think. The first way is to look for unusual walking or running. If you notice your children walking or running differently, with their feet or legs turning inwards, that’s the first sign that your child is pronating.
The other way (and the easiest one) is to take a look at the shoes that your child is wearing from behind, and you will be able to notice if the shoes are caving in or not (for this method to work your child should have worn the shoes for a period of 2 to 3 months).
Take a look at the picture below for clarification. Do you notice how the shoe on the left is turning inwards while the shoe on the right is a lot straighter? The shoe on the left has been worn by a child with flat feet, and the shoe on the right is how the shoe used to look when it was new.
You are probably wondering what signs you should be looking for to find out if there are any issues with your kids’ feet.I break them down below:
☹️ Your child complains of tired legs
☹️ Your child asks to be carried or pushed in the stroller
☹️ Your child is reluctant to walk
☹️ Your child appears clumsy or uncoordinated
☹️ Your child is unwilling to participate in sports
☹️ You notice an unusual wear pattern on your kids’ shoes
If your child is complaining of pain in any of the areas below, it might be a sign that your child is pronating.
► Ankle pain
► Arch Pain
► Low back pain
► Heel Pain
► Knee Pain
► Shin Splints
Will the Right Pair of Shoes STOP your Kids’ Pronation?
The correct shoe style will prevent your kids’ feet from collapsing and turning inwards and allow your child to walk and run straighter.
Supportive and sturdy shoes are best for a child who is pronating. However, it’s not easy to identify these type of shoes since there are not that many of them available. However, I have been fitting these type of shoes for over ten years and I know exactly which shoe styles are better than others.
Once I have fitted a child in a pair of supportive shoes I proceed take them outside the shoe store to watch them walk and run. I always ask the parents to come with me so they can see the difference for themselves, and 75% of the time we can see an improvement right away, but in certain cases it might take up to two weeks before seeing an improvement. In certain cases the child needs extra time to adjust how the shoes feel.
I always prefer lace-up sneakers instead of Velcro closure, since shoes that come with shoelaces provide more stability and support.
The shoes I will describe below are not orthopedic shoes, they are regular everyday running shoes that simply provide more support and structure. There are 3 key features that your kids’ shoes must provide in order to help treat and correct your child’s pronation:
✅ Arch Support
✅ Ankle Support
✅ Shock Absorption
The shoes I will describe shortly will provide all of those 3 features and they are also available in different width such as medium, wide, and extra wide. However, I am always emphasizing to parents how it doesn’t matter how many features a particular shoe style provides, if the shoes are not fitted properly, your child won’t get any of the benefits the shoe offers.
I always recommend parents to take their kids’ to their local children’s shoe store, where they can be properly fitted for shoes. However, a number of parents have contacted me asking me how and where they can get their kids’ shoes online, since they don’t have a local shoe store in their area that they trust.
If you are not sure whether you have a good fitting children’s shoe store in your area, start by taking a look at a map I created where I describe the best fitting shoe stores for kids in the United States. Go to the link below:
I am here to help those parents whose children are suffering from foot and leg pain and who don’t have a local children’s shoe store to take their children to be properly fitted for shoes. I can guide you not only through the process of finding good supportive shoes, but also through the process of providing your child with the correct shoe size.
If you were not able to locate a kids’ shoe store in your area, then proceed to take a look at an article along with a video I created where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home:
Even though some people believe that kids can “grow out” of flat feet, this is actually false. In fact, if we don’t take corrective action at an earlier stage, the issue will lead to painful flat feet as adults. This is why it’s so important to take proper action and treat your kids’ feet earlier rather than later.
Early intervention will restore balance to your kids’ muscles and joints, which will help your child walk and run without pain or discomfort.
Now that you know how to figure out your child’s exact foot size from home and what features your kids’ shoes must provide, you are ready to take a look at a selection of the best shoes for kids with pronation.
The Best Shoes for Kids with Pronation ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I only review shoe styles that I have fitted before, since that is the only way for me to tell how well-made and supportive they are, and how they fit.
Below you can find a selection of the best shoes for kids with pronation. The shoes below will fit a child that has medium, wide, or extra wide feet (as long as you choose the width accordingly).
Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.
This selection of shoes fits “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 foot measuring tool (Brannock device), in order to allow for growing room.
I have fitted all of these shoe styles before and they have proven to significantly improve the way children walk and run . All of these shoe styles come with a firm heel counter, good arch support, and excellent structure to provide your children with shock absorption.
If you try a pair of any of these shoe styles for 3 to 4 months and your child’s walking gait doesn’t improve, your child might be a candidate for orthotics.
Orthotics for Kids with Pronation – Let’s Help Them Walk Straighter!
Sometimes a pair of supportive shoes is not enough to improve and correct your children’s walking gait. If you have tried a pair of supportive shoes and your children are still having foot pain or walking differently, you might need to try a pair of orthotics for extra support.
A pair of orthotics will help redistribute your kids’ body weight, correct the abnormal placement of the foot , and make their gait balanced and efficient.
Orthotics will help improve your kids’ posture and reduce or completely eliminate the excess stress on their knees and hip joints. While I don’t discuss the importance of providing your kids’ with orthotics in as much detail in this article, I have written another article with a video where I describe the best orthotics for children with foot and leg pain. Go to the link below:
Here you can find the best orthotics for children between the ages of 4 to 9 years old or shoe size 11 to 3.
Here you can find the best orthotics for older kids, the size “XS” will fit children between a shoe size 3 1/2 to 6.
Please don’t ignore your kids’ foot and leg pain! Remember that pain in your kids’ feet and legs is never normal, and the earlier you take action the better. You will end preventing future problems such as back, leg, or knee pain.
Also, if your children are involved in sports. which stresses their feet and legs at a whole new level, you can reduce the impact on their feet, legs, and knees by providing them with the correct pair of sport shoes and orthotics.
Have you found a particular shoe style that has improved the way your child walks and runs? Please share your findings below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.