Have you noticed your toddler walking and running differently lately? Has your toddler been diagnosed with flat feet and overpronation?
The correct type of orthotics fitted in the correct type of shoes will straighten your toddler’s feet and legs, allowing them to walk and run straighter. If your toddler is experiencing foot or leg pain the orthotics will help significantly reduce or fully eliminate the pain.
Let me prove this to you…
Let’s take a look at a picture of a flat-footed child and notice how the feet collapse (turn inwards):
Now let’s take a picture of the same flat-footed child standing in a pair of orthotics. Do you notice how much straighter the feet and legs are?
I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now, and we specialize in children with foot and leg problems but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. We carry some of the most supportive children’s shoes and orthotics to help treat and correct their foot issues.
Orthotics are extremely effective in significantly reducing are fully eliminating your toddler’s foot and leg pain, since they are meant to treat foot 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, but the issue with your toddlers being flat footed is how they will start putting pressure in areas of their body where they are not supposed, and this can lead to foot and leg pain. 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 is the main reason why orthotics for toddlers who experience overpronation are so important.
The problem is that until children reach a certain age where they can express themselves, they won’t be able to tell you that they are experiencing foot or leg pain. That is the reason why it’s so important to always observe the way they walk for any change in their walking pattern.
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 their whole lives, some children will only have to wear them for a couple of years.
After I am done finding the perfect pair of shoes with orthotics for children, I immediately take them to the hallway to observe the way they walk and run. 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 how the orthotics feel, so it might take them longer to improve 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.
I will show you a selection of the best toddler’s orthotics shortly, let’s first get familiar with what features these orthotics will provide for your toddler. The orthotic that I will describe below has proven to be the most effective one in improving a child’s walking pattern.
Is Your Toddler Ready to Wear Orthotics? – Let’s Find Out!
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.
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.
I always recommend parents to take their children to their local children’s shoe store that they trust, the issue is that most stores have been closing down and parents need to end up buying their kids’ shoes online. There is nothing wrong with this, but you must know your child’s exact foot size in order to know what size to order.
I created a map that showcases the best fitting children’s shoe stores by state, so I suggest you start by taking a look at that map:
If after looking at that map you still can’t seem to identify a shoe store in your area, then proceed to taking a look at an article along with a video I created that describes the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home:
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.
Now 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 – The 3 Most Important Features
The orthotics I will describe below will provide the following features:
- Arch support: You will notice how the orthotic will have foam or a visible bump where the arch of your toddler’s foot is supposed to be. This will prevent your toddler’s foot from collapsing every time it comes in contact with the ground. This feature will also minimize the impact that your toddler’s feet and legs take every time they come in contact with the ground.
- Ankle support: You will notice how orthotics come with a sturdy and supportive 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 for your toddler, you are ready to take a look at the best orthotic for toddlers.
The Best Toddler’s Orthotics ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Please keep in mind that I only write reviews of orthotics and shoe styles that I have fitted before, otherwise I wouldn’t know how well-made they are, the amount of support that they provide, and how they fit.
Here you can find the best orthotic for toddlers:
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.
I have fitted several different types of orthotics for children, and I can tell you with confidence that 90% 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. Another great feature of these orthotics is how they are designed to mold over time to fit each unique kids foot.
IMPORTANT TIP: Always remove the original inner sole of the shoe before fitting the orthotic inside your toddler’s shoes.
The main reason for this is that you don’t want the orthotic to raise your kids’ feet up, giving them the impression that their feet are coming out of the shoes.
Please keep in mind that for your toddler to get the full benefits that the orthotic has to offer, you must provide him/her with a pair of good, supportive shoes.
I will also show you a selection of the best toddler’s shoes for orthotics, which will be deep (so the orthotic fits deeply inside the shoe), they will come with a round toe-box (to prevent the orthotic from breaking the shoes), and they will come with a substantial sole to hold the orthotic in place.
Besides the fact that the shoe needs to come in different widths, you will also need to find shoes that are deep. The deeper the shoes the better.
Here you can find a selection of the best shoes for toddlers who wear orthotics:
Please keep in mind that shoes that come with shoelaces will always provide more support and stability than shoes that come with Velcro closure. When a child wears orthotics, I always recommend parents to provide the child with shoelaces.
All of these shoe styles fit “true to size”, which mens that you need to provide your child with a half a size longer of the size that he/she measured at the standard foot measuring tool (Brannock device) in order to allow for growing growing. Since orthotics take some extra room inside the shoes, please consider providing your toddler with a whole size longer.
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!