Has your child been complaining about pain around the ball of the foot? The medical term for pain in the ball of the foot is metatarsalgia.
I want to start by claying where the ball of the foot is. The ball of the foot is located in the bottom part of the foot (between your arch and toes), and if your chid is experiencing pain in this area it generally means that the shoes that your child is wearing are not supportive enough.
If your child is complaining about pain in the ball of the foot then you must take action immediately, since if not treated properly this condition can lead to hammertoes, can cause your child to limp and cause pain in other parts of the body, including the lower back and hip.
Most children are extremely active and they impose and enormous amount of stress on their feet, which can lead them to experience pain and inflammation in the padding directly below the toes (this is where they place the most pressure when standing and moving).
Metatarsalgia can also be a result of too much physical exercise, and in this case you have to let your child’s foot rest as much as possible until the pain subsides.Wearing shoes that FIT and that are SUPPORTIVE can help prevent ball of foot pain.
There is only a small selection of kids’ shoes that will provide the correct amount of support for their feet. The good news is that I will HELP YOU find them!
I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for the last ten years, and I am familiar with the most common children’s foot problems. We are one of the few children’s shoe stores in the country that is certified to fit orthotics, and we carry the best shoe brands and the best shoe styles for children.
For the last three years I have been helping parents find their kids’ shoes ONLINE.
Did you know that the most common cause of ball of foot pain is wearing ill-fitting shoes? You must make sure that you don’t provide your child with unsupportive shoes or shoes that have narrow toe boxes since they can be very damaging to the feet, especially after prolonged use.
I am always emphasizing to parents to remember one thing:It doesn’t matter how narrow or wide your kids’ feet are, there is always at least one particular shoe style out there that will fit the shape of his or her feet perfectly, and I will HELP YOU find them!
Throughout the years of fitting children’s shoes I learned that children experience foot pain due to two important factors:
- They are wearing the wrong shoe size.
- They are wearing shoes that are not supportive.
Of course some children experience foot pain due to hereditary issues such as flat feet, low muscle tone, or rolled ankles.
In this article I will show you a selection of the best kids’ shoes for the ball of the foot pain!
What are the Causes for the Ball of the Foot Pain?
A child can develop metatarsalgia due to a number of factors, but here are the most common ones:
- Wearing the wrong shoe size.
- Wearing shoes that don’t provide enough support.
- Being involve in intense physical activity.
- Having the second toe longer than the big toe (Read my article: Second Toe Bigger that the Big Toe – The Best Shoes to Keep your Kids’ Feet Healthy
- Having a high arch.
- Being overweight.
All those causes can contribute to your child experiencing foot pain in the bottom of the foot.
How Can we Treat your Child’s Ball of the Foot Pain?
The most effective way is to provide your child with a pair of supportive shoes (they will minimize the impact that your child’s feet and legs take every time they come in contact with the ground), and the shoes must fit the shape of your child’s feet perfectly.
I always recommend parents to take their kids’ to be properly fitted for shoes at their local shoe store that they TRUST, where a shoe fitter can properly measure their feet and find shoes that FIT.
Not all parents have a good fitting children’s shoe store in their area. That is the reason why I decided to create a map where I describe the best fitting children’s shoe stores by state:
If after looking at the map you still can’t seem to find a kids’ shoe store in your area, then proceed to reading an article along with a video I createdwhere I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home:
Now that we are sure that you will provide your child with the correct shoe size, let’s move on and see what features the shoes must provide for your child.
To summarize, in order to treat your child’s ball of the foot pain you must:
- Rest your child’s feet: Especially after he/she has been involved in intense physical activity.
- Provide your child with shoes that FIT (we went over this)
- Provide your child with supportive shoes (will expand on this shortly).
- Provide your child with orthotics (in case the pain is not reduced after wearing good shoes).
What Features Must the Shoes Provide to Treat and Prevent Metatarsalgia?
There are three important features that your child’s shoes must provide in order to treat and prevent metatarsalgia:
- Support: This feature will minimize the impact that your kids’ feet take every time they come in contact with the ground. When children are running or jumping they are stressing out their feet and legs at a whole different level, and a supportive shoe plays a key role in minimizing the impact between your kids’ feet and the ground.
- Flexible and Lightweight: The 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.
- Shoelaces vs Velcro: I always recommend parents to provide their children with shoelaces instead of Velcro closure, since shoelaces will allow your child to get the full benefits of the shoes. Shoelaces will also provide more support and more stability for your child’s feet.
If we find a shoe that provides all of these features, your child with be good to go! Please keep in mind that your child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer if you don’t provide him or her with the correct shoe size!
The Best Kids’ Shoes for the Ball of the Foot Pain – The Secret Revealed!
Now that you know how to make sure that your child is wearing the correct shoe size and what features the shoes must provide for your child’s feet, you are ready to see a selection of the best kids shoes for metatarsalgia:
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 I only review shoes that I have fitted before, since that is the only way for me to tell the quality of the shoes, how much support they provide, and also how they fit.
Is your Child Still Experiencing Pain after Trying Supportive Shoes?
If you have tried a pair of supportive shoes (for at least a month), and your child still complains about pain in the ball of the foot, then the next step is to try an orthotic inside the shoes for extra support.
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 can be extremely effective in reducing or fully eliminating foot and leg pain.
While I can’t get into too much detail about the importance of orthotics in this article, there is another article I wrote where I describe the best orthotics for kids and you can find it here:
That article describes the most effective orthotic that I have fitted for children in terms of support and comfort.
I want parents to remember one thing: Never ignore your child’s foot and leg pain thinking that it might be “growing pains”. Now that you know how to prevent and treat pain in the ball of your child’s feet you can keep your kids’ feet and legs healthy.
Do you have a child with metatarsalgia? Is there a particular shoe style that you have tried that has worked well for your child’s feet? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.