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The Best Shoes With Arch Support – Stop Leg And Foot Pain!

The Best Shoes For Flat Feet

Has your child been complaining that his feet and legs have been hurting? Foot and leg pain in children are NOT common or normal and you shouldn’t ignore the pain! The good news is that most of the time the pain might be due to  sneakers that are not supportive enough, or maybe your children are simply not wearing the right shoe size!

However, in some other cases having leg, foot, or back pain can be due to your child having flat feet. If your child has flat feet, you must provide him or her with good supportive sneakers. If your child is wearing supportive shoes and still has pain, then he or she might be a candidate to wear orthotics.

Did you know that most kids might not be mature enough to recognize and express that a foot condition is developing until the pain becomes intolerable and thus may not receive a diagnosis as early as they should?

I have been working at a children’s shoe store for over 6 years now, and we specialize in children with foot problems. I handle 200 fitting and try-ons per week, and I evaluate children’s feet and legs to evaluate whether they need orthotics. This post focuses on shoes that will help relieve or completely eliminate the foot and leg pain your child is experiencing.

Wearing a shoe with a firm heel counter and good arch support can help your child realign his or her body posture as well as strengthen the muscles, from the leg to the back of the shoulders. In this post, I want to focus on describing the best shoes with arch support for kids.

One of the greatest challenges parents have is finding the correct pair of shoes for their kids. I want to start off by saying that it doesn’t matter how much support the shoe provides, if you don’t get the correct shoe size for your child he or she will not get the full benefits that the shoe has to offer. 

Runners, walkers, coaches, and the medical community are all awakening to the benefits of wearing the correct pair of supportive shoes!

Flat Feet In Kids

It is a fact that having flat feet is hereditary. This means that if you have flat feet, it is very likely that your children will, too. The key is to not let sore, flat feet impact your child’s everyday activities.

Children with flat feet MUST wear good supportive shoes, especially if their feet or legs hurt. Depending on the amount of pain your kids’ are experiencing, they might need an orthotic inside their shoes. BUT, the first step is to start with good quality and supportive shoes that offer arch support.

Supportive Shoes For Kids’- The Solution To Their Foot Problems!

Just like their parents, children need good shoes that provide arch support, give heel support and absorb shock to reduce the amount of stress to joints while they are running and playing around.

Buying quality shoes for your kid doesn’t mean paying more for the shoes! In fact, most quality shoes cost the same or sometimes even less than non-supportive shoes.

In order to know the difference between high quality shoes and non-supportive shoes, we must know what features a good quality shoe provides. A good quality shoes has:

1- A built-in arch for arch support.

2- A firm heel counter for lateral stability and ankle support

3- A thick, durable sole to reduce the impact of the feet with the ground

Getting a pair of good quality, supportive shoes for your child will assure proper growth and foot development. Supportive shoes are required for every child not just those with specific foot problems. Shoes play a huge role in helping children with pronation, pigeon toes and collapsed ankles.

In Europe children’s shoes are viewed as a “health products” rather than fashion items, therefore shoes are made to comply with the highest quality standards imposed by European manufacturing. Furthermore, European parents buy only high quality shoes for their children, and as a result a great majority of their children grow up without any foot problems or posture defects.

Every parent should view quality shoes as a “developmental need,” not as a fashion statement!

Pre Walking Baby Shoes

Let’s take a look at what supportive shoes can provide for your child!

  • Help correctly develop your kids feet, ankles and joints!
  • Improve your kids posture!
  • Help your kids walk straighter!
  • Prevent your kids from toe walking!
  • Minimize the impact on your kids’ feet and legs when they are playing high intense activities!
  • Help maintain balance!
  • Reduce muscle strain and fatigue!

What Are The Best Shoes With Arch Support?

Did you know that most foot problems are a result of shoes that have little to non-existent support? I will ask you to do the following exercise: Pick up a pair of your kids’ shoes, feel the inside of the shoe where the arch support is supposed to be, and tell me what you feel. I can guarantee that in most cases you will not feel anything, just a flat sole!!!

I also would like you to press on the heel counter of the shoe  and check if it feels soft or hard. A firm heel counter is what provides your child with ankle supporthelps with lateral movement, and prevent injuries! The picture below shows what the heel counter of the shoe is.

Firm Heel Counter

The great majority of shoes have flat insoles and flabby heel counters and don’t offer proper support for your kids’ feet. Shoe companies don’t want to invest in the part of the shoe that the consumer can’t see!

You don’t have anything to worry about! I have fitted the most supportive shoes for children and I know exactly which ones they are!

Finding the right pair of shoes with good support is crucial in order to prevent foot, knee and back pain and other complications that can cause problems throughout your kids’ body!

I will describe the best shoes with arch support for kids’ below. However, I always recommend that parents to take their children to their local shoe store, where a shoe fitter will be able to find the perfect pair of shoes for them.

Several parents have contacted me asking where can they get their kids’ shoes online, since they don’t have a kids’ shoe store in their area that they trust. And no, Nordstrom, Stride Rite, and Payless don’t qualify as a kids’ shoe store. I actually wrote a post explaining why you shouldn’t take your child to be fitted for shoes in those places here:

The Best Place To Buy Kids Shoes – Avoid Stride Rite, Nordstrom, Payless…

Did you know that shoes with arch support can help reduce your child’s risk of injury during sport activities? If your child is experiencing leg or foot pain during soccer practice you should consider getting them a pair of insoles with arch support for his or her cleats, to reduce the impact on their feet and legs every time they are playing.

Buying Kids’ Shoes – Make Sure You Get The Right Size!

Most parents don’t realize that their kids have wide feet, and by getting shoes that are too narrow, too short, or too big they are contributing to foot and leg pain.  Always make sure that the shoes are wide enough to allow for natural toe spread and healthy foot development!

We want to find shoes that provide arch support, extra padded cushioning,  firm heel counters, and excellent breath-ability in a supportive, yet lightweight shoe. You can find these shoes in assortment of styles and colors, and they range from toddler’s to adult sizes.

Take a look at the most supportive shoes for kids that have flat feet:

The shoes below will fit a child that has narrow, medium, or wide feet (choose the width accordingly).

This first selection of shoes fit “short”, which means that you need to go a whole size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.

The shoes below will fit a child with medium, wide, or extra wide feet.

This selection of shoes fit “true to size”, which means that you need to go a half a size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.

I have fitted all the shoes that I describe and I am aware of the quality and what they can provide for your child. Try the shoes first, if the pain persists, then you might need to invest in an orthotic.

I wrote a post where I describe the best orthotics for children that have foot and leg pain. You can find it here:  

Insoles For Flat Feet Insoles For Flat Feet – Say Goodbye To Foot Pain

The United States is being flooded with cheap shoes made in China, and it is important to know which shoe styles provide more support in order to provide our children with good, quality shoes!

The Best Shoes For Kids’ With Foot And Leg Pain – Stop The Pain!

Foot pain is never normal in children. If your child suffers from flat feet, it is important to wear good, supportive shoes to assure healthy growth and foot development!

It is important to understand that every child should wear good quality shoes since they properly support kids’ feet and will help assist and improve in postural development!

Did you know that children’s feet suffer about 3 times more stress than average adult feet? Kids are involved in a lot more high intense activity levels and high impact activities than adults. This is the reason why children should wear good supportive shoes with good shock absorption, to reduce the high impact to their knees and feet!

I have provided you with the best shoes with arch support for children, now make sure you get them the right shoe size or they won’t benefit from all the features the shoe has to offer!

I wrote a post where I describe how to make sure your child is wearing the correct shoe size. The post is called:

How To Measure Kids Shoe Size From Home – In Less Than 30 Seconds!

Does your child have flat feet? Is he or she experiencing leg or foot pain? Have you already found a pair of shoes or orthotics that work for his or her foot? Please share your findings below so we can all 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 kid’s feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids’ feet and get my guide for free: The 5 Most Common Mistakes Parents Make when Buying Their Kids’ Shoes

38 Comments on The Best Shoes With Arch Support – Stop Leg And Foot Pain!

  1. This is an awesome post, I highly agree with kids being able to perform better in corrective shoes, as a fitness coach, I have teens-adults retraining their movement pattern and this involves proper foot stability. The way we stand is crucial to our bodies overall performance.
    I will be sharing this with parents I know, there is a lot of them that can use this.

    • Damian,

      I am glad that you, as a fitness coach, agrees that children will perform better if they are wearing the right type of shoes. Our feet are the foundation for our entire body, and it is important that we take care of them!

  2. Yes, shoes with arch support are the best and most comfortable ones. The fact that a foot is not flat as it looks, there is an arch so as you said if the shoe has an arch it supports the leg to feel comfortable in the shoe.

    Thank you for letting me know that even shoes can affect the child’s proper growth. It is something I didn’t know, nor even think about it.

    People tend to buy products made in China because they are cheaper. However, when it comes to shoes, we should provide only the best for our children. I believe this will help many parents about choosing shoes.

    What advice do you give me for a child whose feet grow so rapidly? He cannot wear shoes for a long time. He quickly says they are tight on him.

    • Mariam,

      I agree that we all try to economize, but buying the proper type of shoes is crucial to provide them with the everyday support they need. Plus, you don’t need to spend a lot of money in order for the shoes to be supportive, you just need to know how to choose them.

      Children feet do grow fast, but there is a certain amount of growing room we can leave in their shoes, without leaving too much room. You need to accept the fact that your child will keep growing, and shoes must be replaced often depending on your kids age. How old is your child?

  3. This is an awesome article. My child was having leg and foot pain. and I ordered one of the shoes that you recommended. It worked! He stopped complaining about the pain and said he loved the shoes. I got the one with the shoe laces since you stated they provide more support!

    • Billy,

      Awesome! I am glad the foot and leg stopped. However, keep a close eye and make sure it doesn’t come back by keep getting your child the right pair of shoes.

  4. I agree with you that it is important that children’s shoes have good arch support. As an adult I can relate to that, therefore I believe that children should be treated the same way.

    It was interesting to read that in the United Kingdom shoes are regarded as a health product. It would be good if that same policy was adopted in the United States, then there would be less people with foot problems.

    • Hello Judy,

      Children impose an enormous amount of stress to their feet and legs! Some of them put more stress in their feet than an adult does, so why wouldn’t they need shoes with good arch and ankle support?

      I talk with a lot of parents who bring their children to the shoe store, and they are always saying how they would have preferred to wear good shoes since they were young to avoid some of the problems they are experiencing now relating to their feet, legs, and back.

  5. Until I read your article I didn’t realize that there were so many issues that little feet could experience. I have 2 young grandsons and any time I or their mother buy shoes for them we just look for the cutest ones or let the boys pick them out themselves. Thank you for this most informative look at what shoes little ones should be wearing.

    • Jen,

      It is important to always choose the most supportive, best fitting shoes for our children to promote healthy foot development. It is also nice to give them options of shoes to choose from! Let me know anytime you might have an specific question!

  6. by any chance do you know about shoes, not sneakers, for a girl that will have arch support?
    We can not bring them every time her feet grow from Mexico, and I do not want sneakers on her all the time.
    she has a high instep, foot pointing outward and always complains about how narrow are the sneakers and shoes on her toes or that they are too tight.
    With the Mexican shoes she never complains. Help me please!!

    • Hello Susy,

      Are you looking for a dress shoes or a casual shoes for you daughter?
      If you are looking for a casual shoe that she can also wear to school there is a mary jane style that has a firm heel counter and good structure that provides excellent support. You can even remove the inner sole and fit an orthotic for extra arch support. The shoe is also available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide. It seems like your daughter has a wide foot since she is always complaining about the shoes feeling too tight. You can find that shoe here: Mary Jane Shoe With Support For Girls

      Here you can find a shoe your daughter might find more appealing which also provides good support, but it’s not available in different widths. You can find that shoe here: Mary Jane Shoe With Support

      I hope this helps! Let me know if you have further questions.

      • Hi!

        Thank you so much for your reply. In fact all Stride Rite do not have arch support, I just bought 2 sandas and was asking about the wides and they assure me that non of their shoes have arch support ir padded arch insole.. The insole is flat, completely flat.
        She was wearing all spring the same model (but Clarks not Stride Rite) and she doesn’t have enough support on the heel neither arch support.
        I was thinking more of a T-bar buckle shoe like Kickers or Dr Martens. But Dr Martens has the straps way too short and it doesn’t fit high instep (we just return from the store and we couldn’t close them) and kickers are way too expensive too guess the size and width.
        The shoes that she was wearing until last year were Mexican with padded arch support in the insole.

        Do you know any shoe that has the padded arch support in the insole? We just need shoes, not sneakers, for everyday use.
        Wish I can send you pics of what we have so you can have a better idea of what I’m describing.
        All Europpean and Mexican shoes (well Latin American shoes) have padded arch support in the insole.

        • Hello Susy,

          I understand your concern. There is a shoe brand called Beeko that we carry at the shoe store that I work for that comes with a padded arch support (I am just not sure if it will fit your daughter’s wide feet though). However, for our children who need extra support in their shoes (not sneakers), we tend to insert what we call a “cookie”, I took a picture for you for clarification:cookie for arch support

          In this picture you will notice how the cookie fits inside the shoe( it actually fits behind the inner sole) Arch support

          You will have to go to your local children‘s shoe store to have this done by a person who knows how to do it.

          Here you can find ann example of how the Beeko shoes look like: Beeko shoes with arch support

          I hope this helps!

  7. I completely agree with you! If Children wearing the right type of shoe will definitely perform better. Each & Every tip is very beneficial with respect to leg and foot pain. Keep sharing!

  8. Hello… I have a question.My daughter has flat feet and complains of ankle, foot and back pain. I took her to see a sports medicine doctor who was recommended by her Pediatrician. He custom made her a insole when she was a size 3 but she could only wear it in the sneaker he use (Kangrools) which I purchased from Payless. It helped some but not much. Her foot has since grown at 8 years old, she now wears a size 4 and her foot is still growing. She complains about foot/ankle pain when she is running around at school or on the playground at the park. I looked at the sneakers you had posted but they didn’t have them in her size. Could you possibly recommend a good fitting shoe/sneaker for her along with the best insole with a arch for her age group. She is flat foot, has ankle,foot and back pain. Thanks for any advice in advance!:-)

    • Shynese,

      I am not familiar with the shoe brand “Kangrools”, but please avoid purchasing your daughter’s shoes (especially since she wears orthotics) at places such as Payless. They offer shoes at great prices but they are poorly made and offer no support. It’s always better to take her to your local kids’ shoe store if you have one in your area to be properly fitted for shoes.

      There are three important features you must look for when purchasing her shoes:
      · Arch support
      · Ankle support
      · Depth (The deeper the shoe the better, since that way the orthotics will fit deep inside the shoe and not raise her feet up).

      It is important to have the shoe fitter properly if you want to get all the benefits the shoe has to offer, so when you tell me she wears a shoe size 4, is this a shoe size 4 medium, wide, or extra wide? I am assuming that since she wears an orthotic she will need a wider width shoe, but please clarify this.

      Are you going to be using the same type of orthotic that the sport medicine doctor recommended back then? There is an insole I recommend for kids that are experiencing foot and leg pain, but her issues tell me that she might need a more substantial orthotic (you can always try this one and see if the pain goes away, if it doesn’t you should definitely look for a more substantial orthotic but it’s hard for me to recommend one without looking at her feet). Here you can find a post where I describe this insert:

      Insoles For Flat Feet – Say Goodbye To Foot Pain

      If the Superfeeet insole is not supportive enough, go to this website below and try the HotDog one.

      I can definitely recommend you the best fitting sneakers for orthotics and please find them below (they have shoe laces which offer more support and more stability, but if you feel like your daughter needs Velcro please get back at me and I will offer some other alternatives):

      1st choice: Supportive shoes for girls
      2nd choice: Supportive shoes for girls

      I hope this helps and clarifies, and please get back at me anytime you have any other questions!

  9. Thank you for this. It has been a struggle to find good sneakers for my son. He has a wide foot and the selection at stores is terrible. Ever since Stride Rite closed it’s retail stores there aren’t any specialty kids shoe stores. All we are left with is Footlocker and other crappy mall retail stores. We also tried Road Runners a running/sports specialty store. The choices for kids was pretty small. I did order a pair of Stride Rite from Amazon because school starts in a week and did not want him not to have any new shoes. Luckily I did find out that there is a New Balance retail store about 30 min away, so we are going to check them out this week. I really wish there was more out there for kids in terms of good quality shoes.

    • Hello Lorena,

      You are not alone! Several parents struggle finding a local children’s shoe store these days. I have to say that while Stride Rite was better than Footlocker and Nordstrom’s, they still did a bad job when it came to measuring and fitting children shoes. Hopefully that New Balance store will have good shoe fitters that will be able to help your son! In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any doubts or questions about your kids’ shoes.

  10. Hi, My 3 year old girl has complained about foot and knee pain for a while. She was diagnosed with flat feet. I need to get her “indoor shoes” for her Montessori. I don’t know where to even start. The other moms have said Natives, Tom’s or See Kai Run but I don’t know if these are appropriate for flat feet. Any recommendations will be appreciated

  11. Sir my son is 3 years old he is having pain due to flat foot I checked to one of the doctor he has told me that it is flat foot please tell me which shoes I will purchase so that he can walk easily because which while walking after five minutes he used to sit because his foot is paining sir please help me I will be be very grateful to you.

    • Hello Ayushi,

      First I would like to know two things. What is your son’s shoe size (I need the length and width), and I also would like to know if the doctor recommended orthotics. Once you get back at me with those answers I will be able to help you.

  12. I am so happy I came across this post. Iam looking for a pair of supportive shoes for my eight year old grandson; our family doctor just told us that his physical that he is going flat footed and to get him shoes with arch support. His feet are somewhat wide. He plays baseball and is very active. Any suggestions?

    • Hello Donna,

      There are a couple of questions I have before I can recommend a particular shoe style for your grandson. Is he experiencing foot or leg pain? Do you need a pair of everyday shoes or a pair of baseball shoes? Do you know what shoe size your grandson wears?

      Thank you.

  13. What a great article! It seems that the recommended shoes are primarily athletic in nature. My 14-year-old son has a pair of athletic shoes that, along with some custom orthotics, work fairly well for most things. However, he is starting at a private high school, and they require leather shoes. Can you recommend a good black/brown leather shoe that will provide adequate foot/ankle support?

  14. This is great for shoes…but what about rainboots/muckboots/waterproof boots? I have a child with flat feet but we live on a farm and live in rainboots 8 months of the year but have yet to find any brands locally that have any arch support at all (size 13t or 1 big kids) Are there such a thing as a half decent supportive boot? Not sure insoles will work either since boots are always so flat on top of the toes….

    • Hello Kat,

      Rainbows don’t provide any support, since they are only meant to be worn for very short periods of time. There are certain hiking boots that are good for children with flat feet since they come with a substantial sole and a firm heel counter. Do you need them for a boy or a girl? Do you know if your child’s feet are narrow, medium, wide or extra wide?

      Once you get back at me with that information I can provide you with a selection of supportive hiking boots.

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