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The Best Shoes with Ankle Support – Support Your Kids’ Ankles!


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated and revised for accuracy on April 2022 and reflects an up-to-date selection of the best shoes with ankle support.

Do you have a child that is experiencing ankle pain? Did you know that the correct pair of supportive shoes with a firm heel counter can significantly reduce or fully eliminate the pain?

Ankle pain normally occurs due to the overuse and inflammation around the growth plate located in the heel bone. Most physical or occupational therapists recommend that children wear shoes with ankle support to help reduce or fully eliminate the pain.

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 certain shoes can 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 very active children and in those who participate in organized sports. When a child comes to our shoe store experiencing ankle pain, I start by checking the shoes that the child is wearing to make sure that they are providing the correct amount of ankle support.

This means that before you take your child to be evaluated by your doctor, check the shoes that your child is wearing and press on the heel counter of the shoes to make sure it feels firm. The heel counter is the part of the shoes that provides ankle support, and the firmer it is, the better.

Once you grab your child’s shoes please press on the heel counter and check whether it feels soft or firm. Let me show you the difference between a shoe with a soft heel counter versus a shoe with a firm heel counter:


I also want you to inspect the outsole of your child’s shoes and make sure the shoes come with a substantial outsole. The outsole of the shoe is the part that provides arch support and shock absorption. These feature helps reduce the impact that your child’s feet take every time they become in contact with the ground. Below you can see the difference between a shoe with a substantial outsole versus a shoe with an outsole that is too thin and doesn’t provide the correct amount of support:


It’s important to always provide your child with shoes that provide the correct amount of support to keep your child’s feet healthy. The shoes I describe in this article provide ankle and arch support, and they will reduce your child’s ankle pain.

Before I show you a selection of the best shoes with ankle support, let’s make sure that you know your child’s exact foot size.

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.

How to Retrieve Your Child’s Exact Foot Length and Shape

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:

How to Measure Your Kids’ Foot – 2 Simple Steps to Determine Foot Length and Foot Width

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.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at a selection of the best shoes with ankle support. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

The Best Shoes with Ankle Support ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The shoes below are available in medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW) widths, so please choose your child’s foot width accordingly.

Unsure About What Shoe Size You Should Order?

In each of the descriptions of the shoes I indicate whether you need to order a half a size or a whole size bigger than your child’s foot size to provide the correct amount of growing room.

The shoes I recommend provide these additional features:

✅ Lightweight and flexible: The shoes are lightweight and flexible to prevent your children’s feet from easily getting tired.

✅ Breathable: This feature allows your child’s feet to breathe and prevent the formation and build-up of bacteria inside the shoes.

✅ Shoelaces instead of Velcro closure: When the child is experiencing any sort of foot pain, I always recommend parents to provide their children with shoelaces instead of velcro closure  —as shoelaces provide better support and stability. Shoelaces play a key role in securing the heel area and providing maximum heel support.

What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Effective for Ankle or Heel Pain?

The shoes provide targeted support to the heel. Let me show you the difference between one of the kids’ shoes I recommend and a different pair. Do you notice how the shoe on the right has more padding below the heel area? This will help reduce the impact on your kids’ heels every time they impact the ground.


If you tried a pair of supportive shoes already and your child’s ankle pain persists, the next step is to try a heel cup inside your kids’ shoes as they work wonders in reducing or completely eliminating ankle pain. Heel cups are going to be the most cost-effective alternative, but I will expand on this shortly.

Heel Cups for Kids – Targeted Support to Your Child’s Ankles!

The children’s shoe store that I work for 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 help treat and prevent ankle pain, I recommend that you try a heel cup instead. This is going to be a more efficient and cost-effective alternative.

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 inside 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 as 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 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Small Size – Fits from a little kid shoe size 10.5 to a big kid shoe size 6.

Regular Size – Fits big kid shoe size 6 and above.

Heel cups only fit in shoes that provide extra depth, otherwise, the heel cup won’t fit deep enough inside the shoes and will raise your kids’ feet, giving your child the impression that his/her feet are coming out of the shoes. All of the shoes I recommend above provide extra depth, so you will be able to fit a heel cup inside of them.

If you want to learn more about how this heel cup works, I created an article along with a video that explains all the benefits that this heel cup provides and how to fit them inside the shoes. That article also describes the best sport shoes for children with ankle pain:

Heel Cups for Shoes – How to Stop Heel 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 and more informed decision.

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

Do not hesitate to contact me directly at my e-mail if you have any further questions or if you need a different pair of shoes for your child. My e-mail address is:


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 findings below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.


I created this webpage to help parents understand the importance that shoes have in healthy foot development and how they can prevent foot problems in the future.Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

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12 Comments on The Best Shoes with Ankle Support – Support Your Kids’ Ankles!

  1. My step daughter has heaps of ankle pain she is 10 , unfortunately she has to beable to do her own shoes up at school as they take them on and off, she can not pull the laces tight enough on her own nor can she tie them tight either , what runner do you recommend that doesn’t have laces as she has had quiet a few runners including sketches all with laces but I feel this is where the problem is, not old enough to tie them tight enough to give her supports

  2. Hi my son is 9 years old, he has hyper mobility and hind foot valgus deformity, where his ankles are in turned. He is flat footed and has narrow, slim feet. His foot size is 1 or 2 depending on shoe brand. He is being provided with shoe inserts from the podiatrist but they have requested I buy him good trainers that support his ankles to use the supports in.

  3. Hi, we have tried New Balance 680v6 running shoe, the Saucony Axon, and heel cups. Thanks to your article, my son’s ankle pain has decreased TREMENDOUSLY. I don’t know what I would have done! We also use the heel cups now. THANK YOU!!!

  4. Hi, we have tried New Balance 680v6 running shoe, the Saucony Axon, and heel cups. Thanks to your article, my son’s ankle pain has decreased TREMENDOUSLY. I don’t know what I would have done! THANK YOU!!!

  5. I just wanted to say thank you so much for this article.. every time my son needs a new says pair of shoes, I always come back to this!! I see it even has been updated! Thank you so much and I hope this stays up forever! 😆

  6. I just wanted to say thank you so much for this article.. every time my son needs a new pair of shoes, I always come back to this!! I see it even has been updated! Thank you so much and I hope this stays up forever! 😆

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