Have you noticed your toddler walking and running differently? Has your toddler been diagnosed with flat feet and overpronation?
I have been working for a children’s shoe store for over 8 years now, and I know about everything that relates to children’s shoes and the way they FIT. The shoe store specializes with children that have foot issues, but we provide regular shoe fitting as well. We carry some of the most supportive children’s shoes in the market, as well as orthotics.
The right type of orthotics fitted with the correct type of shoes will allow your child to walk and run straighter. Orthotics are meant to treat feet and leg problems caused by foot abnormalities such as flat feet or feet with high arches.
Let me start by explaining what an orthotic is:
Orthotics are shoe inserts that are specifically designed to offer cushioning, support, stability, and relief pressure areas of the foot.
If your toddler has been diagnosed with flat feet, DON’T PANIC, it’s more common than you think!
A flat foot in toddlers is normal, the issue comes when they start getting older and the feet remain flat. If your children turn 5 years old and they still have flat feet, then you should definitely take them to the pediatrician or physical therapist for a consultation.
The main issue when our children are flat footed is that they are putting pressure in areas of their body where they are not supposed to. If you pay close attention, you will notice that when a child that is flat footed stands up, their feet collapse, making their legs and feet turn inwards.
This will lead to foot, leg, and back pain. The problem is that until children reach a certain age where they can express themselves, they won’t tell you that they are experiencing pain. That is the reason why it’s so important to always observe the way they walk for any change in their walking pattern.
If your children have been diagnosed with overpronation, you must pay attention to the shoes that they are wearing! I have helped hundreds of children with this issue, and is more common than you think. It’s important to understand that if caught at a young age, your child might not need orthotics for the rest of his/her life. While we have some teenagers coming to the store who has been wearing orthotics for a long time, some children will only have to wear them for a couple of years.
The right type of shoes with the correct type of orthotics will help align your kids’ feet and allow them to walk and run much straighter.
After I am done finding the perfect pair of shoes with orthotics for children, I immediately take them to the hallway to watch the way they walk. I always invite the parents to come as well so they can see the difference for themselves.
I will say that 80% of the time we can notice an improvement right away in the way the child walks. In certain occasions, children might have a hard time getting used to the way the orthotics feel, so it might take them longer to change their walking pattern.
IMPORTANT TIP: Orthotics and shoes work together in keeping your kids’ feet and legs healthy. If you get a good orthotic but it’s fitted in a pair of shoes that are not supportive or the wrong shoe size, you won’t get any of the benefits that the orthotics have to offer.
In this post, I will describe the best toddler’s orthotics.
Where Can I Have My Toddler Fitted For Orthotics?
First of all let me clarify that the use of orthotics for toddlers is a very controversial subject that is rarely agreed by medical practitioners. My opinion is that orthotics should only be used for toddlers when symptoms related to foot and leg function are evident, and they are experiencing foot or leg pain.
I always recommend parents to take their children to their local kids’ shoe store that they TRUST, where a shoe fitter can properly measure your kids’ feet and find shoes that FIT. Did you know that the children’s shoe store that I work for is one of the few in the country that FIT shoes and orthotics?
If you believe your child might be a candidate for orthotics, I will recommend you consult with your pediatrician or physical therapist to see what steps to take. They will guide you on the next steps and recommend a local shoe store that might be able to help.
Please don’t take your child to be fitted for shoes to places such as Nordstrom’s or Payless, these are big retailers who have people working for them that don’t know how to FIT shoes. I tell you this because I have helped several children that came from those shore stores wearing the wrong shoe size.
I have been contacted by several parents asking me about where they can get their kids’ shoes online, since they don’t have a local shoe store that they trust. If you are one of those parents, don’t worry, I will describe in this post which are the best toddlers orthotics.
Let’s take a look at what features an orthotic must provide in order to improve the way your child walks and runs.
Orthotics For Toddlers – Arch And Ankle Support!
The orthotics that we want for our kids must provide the following features:
- Arch support: You will notice how the orthotic will have foam or a visible bump where the arch of your kids’ foot is supposed to be. This will prevent your child’s foot from collapsing every time it comes in contact with the floor.
- Ankle support: You will notice how orthotics come with a heel cup in the back. This is where the ankle of your child is supposed to sit. Certain children have “rolled ankles” which means that the bone of the ankle (which is supposed to be straight), turns inwards or outwards. This is fully correctable if the orthotic is fitted with the correct pair of shoes.
- Breathable: The orthotic must also be breathable in order to prevent bacteria from forming inside the shoe.
Now that you know which features a good orthotic must provide, let’s take a look at the best orthotic for toddlers.
The Best Toddlers Orthotics – The Secret Revealed!
Please keep in mind that for your child to get the full benefits that the orthotic has to offer, you must provide him/her with a pair of good, supportive shoes.
Please take a look at a post I wrote where I describe the most supportive shoes for toddlers that are also available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide widths:
I have fitted orthotics for hundreds of children, and I can tell you with confidence that 80% of the time you will require a wider shoe in order to be able to FIT the orthotic inside the shoe. Every orthotic fits a little bit different, but most of them take a lot of space inside the shoe.
Besides the fact that the shoe needs to come in different widths, you will also need the shoe to be deep. What do I mean by this? A shoe that is deep will allow for the orthotic to fit deeper inside the shoe, and it won’t give your child the impression that his or her feet are coming out of the shoe.
The deeper the shoes the better! In the post I mentioned above, you will find the deepest and wider shoes for toddlers.
Now that you know the key role that a shoe plays when providing your child with an orthotic, let’s take a look at the best toddler’s orthotic!
This orthotic has been developed by orthopedic experts and it has been proved to be extremely useful when it comes to the development of children’s feet. The arch support that it provides will keep your kids’ feet n the correct, naturally balanced position, allowing him or her to walk and run straighter.
IMPORTANT TIP: Always remove the original inner sole of the shoe before putting an orthotic inside your kids’ shoes.
If you have an older child, below you can find an orthotic that works great for older kids.
I always recommend removing the original sole of the shoe before putting the orthotic inside the shoe. The main reason for this is that you don’t want to raise your kids’ feet up so much that you are giving them the impression that their feet are coming out of the shoe. What I love the most about this particular orthotic is how they are crafted from premium medical grade PU foam for children with heel and arch problems, and how that material increases comfort.
Another great feature of these orthotics is how they are designed to mold over time to fit each unique kids foot.
Please keep in mind that I have fitted this orthotics before, so if you have any specific questions about it please do not hesitate to contact me!
Have you found a particular orthotic style for your toddler that has worked well for his or her feet? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so we can all benefit from them!