Do you have a child that is experiencing ankle pain? Did you know that a pair of supportive shoes with a firm heel counter will significantly reduce or fully eliminate the pain?
Has your physical or occupational therapist recommended that your child wears shoes with ankle support? Ankle pain normally occurs due to the overuse and inflammation around the growth plate located in the heel bone.
I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for the last 10 years, where we specialize in children with foot and leg problems, but provide regular shoe fittings as well. I have helped hundreds of children who were experiencing ankle pain find the correct pair of shoes.
Ankle pain in children is more common than you think. The good news is that there are certain shoe styles that will significantly reduce or fully eliminate your child’s ankle pain, and I know which ones they are from having fitted them before.
I have noticed how ankle pain occurs particularly in children who are very active and in those who participate in organized sports.
When a child comes to the shoe store experiencing ankle pain, my first step is to check the shoes that they are wearing and check whether they are providing the correct amount of ankle support.
This means that before you take your child to be evaluated by your doctor, please grab the shoes that your child is currently wearing and press on the heel counter of the shoes to make sure it’s firm. The heel counter is the part of the shoes that provides ankle support, and the firmer it is, the better.
If you are not sure what the heel counter of the shoe is, please take a look at the picture below for clarification:
Once you grab your child’s shoes please press on the heel counter and check whether it feels soft or firm. This is an example of a shoe with a soft heel counter:
This is an example of a shoe with a firm heel counter:
I also want you to look at the sole of the shoe and make sure the shoes come with a substantial sole. The sole of the shoe is the part that provides arch support and provides shock absorption. This will reduce the impact that your child’s feet take every time they come in contact with the ground.
Take a look at the picture below to identify where the sole of the shoe is:
It’s important to provide your child with the correct type of shoes in order to keep his or her feet healthy. The shoes I will describe in this article will provide ankle and arch support, and they will reduce your child’s ankle pain.
The shoes will also be available in different widths, meaning that it doesn’t matter if your child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet, the shoes will fit the shape of his or her feet perfectly (as long as you choose the correct shoe width).
For the last three years, I have dedicated myself to helping families find their kids’ shoes ONLINE.
Before I show you a selection of the best shoes with ankle support, I want you to get familiar with the features these shoes provide. If your child is already wearing a pair of good, supportive shoes with a firm heel counter and the pain persists, I will show you which heel cups to use inside your kids’ shoes for extra support.
Shoes with Ankle Support – The Features
I have already mentioned the importance of the shoes providing a firm heel counter. This is the most important feature the shoes must provide in order to significantly reduce or fully eliminate your child’s ankle pain.
The other feature I already mentioned was how the shoes must provide a substantial sole.
Besides these two important features, the shoes must also provide the following features:
- Lightweight and flexible: The shoes must be supportive, but lightweight and flexible at the same time in order to prevent your children’s feet from easily getting tired.
- Breathable: This feature will allow your child’s feet to breathe and prevent the formation and build-up of bacteria inside the shoes.
- Shoelaces instead of Velcro closure: I always recommend parents to provide their children with shoelaces instead of Velcro closure (when the child is experiencing any sort of foot pain), since shoelaces will provide much more support and stability. Shoelaces play a key role in securing the heel area and providing maximum heel support.
Parents need to keep in mind that 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 that the shoes have to offer. What’s even worse, if the shoes are not the correct size, you might end up creating several foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns.
This is the reason why I always recommend parents to take their children to their local kids’ shoe store, where a shoe fitter can measure their feet and find shoes that FIT.
The issue is that most parents don’t have a local children’s shoe store that they TRUST, and they have to end up buying their children’s shoes ONLINE. If you identify with this, START by reading an article I wrote where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s shoe size from home:
Now that you know what features the shoes must provide to STOP your child’s ankle pain and how to make sure that your child is wearing the correct shoe size, let’s take a look at a selection of the best shoes with ankle support.
The Best Shoes with Ankle Support ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
All of these shoe styles below provide all of the important features I mentioned previously, these will significantly reduce, or fully eliminate your child’s ankle pain.
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All of these shoe styles fit “true to size”, which means that you need to get your child a “half a size longer” of the size that he or she measured in the standard foot measuring scale (Brannock device) in order to allow for growing room.
If you tried a pair of supportive shoes already and your child’s ankle pain still persists, then I will recommend that you try a heel cup inside your kids’ shoes since they work wonders in reducing or completely eliminating ankle pain.
Heel Cups for Kids – When the Shoes are Not the Solution!
The children’s shoe store that I work is one of the few retailers in the country authorized to fit prescription orthotics. Moreover, I have seen first-hand the positive impact that good shoes and orthotics have in keeping feet and legs healthy! However, instead of fitting an orthotic in your kids’ shoes to attack ankle pain, I recommend that you try a heel cup instead.
I have experience in fitting several heel cups not just for children, but for women and men as well. Heel cups are extremely effective in reducing and eliminating heel pain. They are very easy to fit in shoes (they fit in most shoes), and they are more affordable than an orthotic.
There is a particular heel cup that I have fitted before and I know it’s the most effective one since it provides maximum shock absorbing protection to support your child’s heels. I have seen how this heel cup has significantly reduced or fully eliminated the pain that children were experiencing.
The Best Heel Cups for Kids ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Tuli’s Heel Cups are the #1 Podiatrist recommended Heel Cups in the world! You can find the heel cup I have fitted before and recommend here:
Please keep in mind that heel cups will only fit in shoes that are deep, otherwise the heel cup will not fit deep enough inside the shoes and raise your kids’ feet up, giving your child the impression that his/her feet are coming out of the shoes. All of the shoe styles I recommend above are deep, so you will be able to fit a heel cup inside them.
If you want to learn more about how this heel cups work, I created an article along with a video that will explain you all the benefits of the heel cups and how to fit them inside the shoes. That article also describes the best sport shoes for children with ankle pain:
Now that you know which are the best shoes with ankle support and what are the best heel cups in case the shoes don’t reduce or eliminate the pain, you are ready to make a better a more informed decision!
Have you tried any of the shoe styles that I recommend in this article? Is there a particular shoe style that has worked well for your children’s ankle pain? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.