Having flat feet is common in younger kids and some children never outgrow it. Choosing the right footwear is essential, even if your kiddo’s flat feet don’t bother them or cause pain. The best kids’ shoes for flat feet prevent the foot from rolling inward while walking (called overpronation), which can strain muscles in the legs and feet. Scary Mommy asked New York-based podiatrist Dr. Suzanne Levine for help in choosing the best shoes for supporting those little ankles and growing feet.
Why The Right Shoes Are So Important
Dr. Levine explains that all babies are born with flat feet and, “the arch develops over time and will change, and can even be covered with baby fat.” But if you kiddo is one of the roughly 5% who don’t grow out of their flat feet, supportive, well-fitting shoes are key.
Choosing supportive shoes can make a long-term difference in how your child’s foot develops by helping the arch and foot form properly. Dr. Levine says, “By restricting motion, you are eliminating the deforming forces that affect the forefoot.” She recommends seeing a podiatrist if your child suffers pain or any of the other complications associated with flat feet like “back pain, knee pain, neuromas, plantar fasciitis, juvenile arthritis, and juvenile bunions.”
According to Dr. Levine, choosing well-structured shoes that fit properly is critical so that children with flat feet “don’t over-pronate and [cause] problems with their knees, hips, and back.”
What To Look For When Shopping For The Best Kids’ Shoes For Flat Feet
Want to know what to avoid? Dr. Levine has a list of no-gos including, “anything flimsy, Converse, ballerina [flats], flip flops, super-flat sandals, or jellies.”
With all that in mind, it’s time to find the right footwear for your flat-footed kid. From sandals for the splash pad to sneakers for the playground (grab some socks too!), check out our picks below, including one of Dr. Levine’s favorites.
Expert’s Choice: The Comfiest Sneakers With Great Arch Support
Dr. Levine loves this pair because “they provide fantastic arch support and stability that prevents overpronation and reduces pressure on tendons.” This supportive children’s sneaker’s good looks were inspired by the popular adult 997 model — meaning you can even match your little one. The sneakers feature a specially designed ground-contact EVA outsole that has rubber pods for shock absorption. Despite its generously sized outsole, the shoe itself is lightweight and comes in 25 different color combinations.
Helpful Review: “LOVE these shoes! Purchased for my 2 year old son, they look great and seem super comfortable on his feet. We get tons of compliments on them, would love to purchase again in other colors. Worth the money!”
Available sizes: Little Kid 10.5 — 3 (wide and standard); Infant, Toddler and Big Kid sizes also offered
[The head of the shoe is upturned by 15°]-Protect the baby’s little toe, which is more suitable for the baby’s habit of walking on tiptoe, and protects the baby to walk steadily without falling.
[Anti-slip groove sole] – upgrade wear-resistant grip, light and flexible sole, upgrade deep texture wear-resistant non-slip light running without slipping.
[Heel Reinforcement] – Heel reinforcement effectively improves support, maintains ankle balance, reduces the probability of falling, and makes baby travel safer
[Stable Velcro] – Soft and adjustable, suitable for fat and thin feet, not tight, easy to put on and take off.
[Breathable Mesh Upper] – Breathable mesh upper circulates perspiration to keep the inside of the shoe dry
Some Lace-Up Sneakers Parents Say Are Magic For Flat Feet
Another flexible and supportive shoe from New Balance, this pair is worth an “add to cart” for any active child, but reviewers call them “magic!” for flat feet. The leather and mesh upper uses a stitched-down tip and other specially stitched details to deliver the flexible support that flat feet need. The brand’s proprietary ABZORB midsole cushions against impact to keep kids’ feet comfortable throughout the day and the durable rubber outsole will stand up to all the playground play and running your LO can throw at it. Ready to match any outfit, they come in 25 unique colors.
Helpful Review: “My daughter needed shoes with high arches that would support her feet. She has flat feet. These shoes have helped her feet. She hasn’t been complaining about her feet hurting. I would recommend them for kids with flat [feet]. Not [to]mention the shoes are cute too.”
Available sizes: Little Kid 10.5 — 3 (wide and standard); Big Kid sizes also offered