As parents, we tend to analyze our little ones from head to toe 24/7 and (over)react when we pick up something is a little bit different.
You might have kissed your baby’s feet and noticed that she has a lower arch and now you’ve started worrying that she’ll have flat feet.
All babies are born with this condition.
A child’s foot has soft bone-like cartilage instead of a formed bone and lots of baby fat in the instep and arch areas.
Your toddler’s arch may not be completely developed yet and that’s okay.
Thankfully, there’s a great variety of toddler shoes for flat feet available which can help with your little one’s foot formation.
This foot condition is completely normal for babies and toddlers up to the age of 5, but if the arch is not developed from the age of 6 and up, it might be a problem.
You don’t have to worry about this foot condition, but you do need to do something and there’s no better way than finding proper shoes for your kiddo.
The right shoes for your child can prevent a more serious and painful condition that could leave lasting consequences on a child’s development.
It’s not easy to find good supportive shoes for kids so, I made it a bit easier for you by creating a list of the best children’s shoes for flat feet! Don’t worry mamma, you don’t have to do everything by yourself.
For all of you busy moms, here’s a quick list of our top picks!
|Tsukihoshi Euro Sneaker
|Pediped Flex Becky Sneakers
|Saucony Jazz Hook & Loop Sneaker
Best Toddler Shoes For Flat Feet
One of the most important periods for the correct and healthy development of feet is usually between 9 months and 3 years old.
Therefore, first steps shoes should be supportive and lightweight to prevent any accidents or unwanted consequences.
Here is the list of the best toddler shoes for flat feet:
1. Tsukihoshi Euro Sneaker
This model is one of the best on the market when it comes to toddler shoes for flat feet (and wide feet, as well)!
They have excellent arch support and a rubber sole with cushioning.
However, they’re still wide enough to fit orthotics for children that have to wear them.
These sneakers also possess heel stabilizers and I must confess, I prefer them over big brands any day, even though these are a bit pricey as well.
The thing I love most is that they’re comfortable, so your child gets full protection, support, and comfort all at the same time.
Parents find them amazing and easy to put on with only one velcro strap that’s very durable.
This encourages the child’s independence, so next time your little one wants to go outside in her Tsukihoshi, let her put the shoes on by herself!
These sneakers are quite large and wide, you can order them in the true size.
The only thing I wouldn’t recommend is washing them in the machine, even though the manufacturer states they’re machine washable, as some parents have reported damages afterward.
2. Pediped Flex Justice Sneakers
Pediped sneakers are great sneakers for your child that have been approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association for the promotion of healthy foot development.
They have a Flex Fit System which reduces the size of the shoe by half a size.
All you need to do is to lift the standard insole from the shoe and put in the white insert instead.
These toddler shoes for flat feet also come with memory foam insoles that adjust to your child’s foot and absorb any moisture that could cause slipping.
Pediped shoes are breathable and lightweight which enables your kiddo to move freely without the feeling of heaviness on her feet.
They fit toddlers and little kids with bigger feet as well, so there’s no need to worry about the size.
Your munchkin can wear these sneakers during rainy days too, as they’re water-resistant.
3. Asics Kids Sneakers
Every parent would agree Asics sneakers are one of the top 5 best children’s sneakers on the market.
These running shoes will be best friends to impatient little explorers who want to run the world!
The mesh upper makes the sneakers more breathable and enables optimal airflow that will cool your little one’s feet.
The Ampli Foam midsole provides extra safety for flat feet during jumps and reduces the risk of feeling pain after applying high pressure to the foot.
It includes a removable EVA footbed that has cushioning properties but it can be removed to make space for medical orthotics if necessary.
There’s a velcro strap on the top, but it does include elastic laces as well for better foot support.
Asics sneakers come in different colors for boys and girls, but I’d say black and white is the class option that can be worn by both.
4. Saucony Jazz Sneakers
Saucony sticks to the good old traditional design that never fails when it comes to chubby baby and toddler feet.
When my son first started walking, I had difficulties finding the best shoes for him and I got lost with all the models that looked great on the store shelf but couldn’t fit those soft little feet full of baby fat.
I accidentally discovered these Jazz sneakers and immediately fell in love with them as my son’s foot fell into them without any problems.
Even though they have a classic design there’s a little bit of play with contrasting colors and a one-strap velcro that imitates the look of two-strap hook and loop fasteners.
Like most toddler and children’s sneakers, these sneakers have mesh on the sides which makes them breathable, while suede makes them comfortable and durable.
They might feel a bit stiff at the beginning but will adjust to your little one’s feet after a couple of uses.
Walking and running have never been easier with these high-quality sneakers!
5. Adidas Originals Kids Swift
The second name for Adidas is “comfort”, based on what their customers gush about most.
I was never a huge fan of big brands because I have been disappointed more than once, but I have to take that back, at least when it comes to kid shoes for flat feet.
Adidas Kids Swift sneakers are really amazing and fit almost every child, even though they have laces instead of velcro (I can be a bit lazy).
To be honest, though, I actually quite like the laces, especially for older children that need to learn how to tie their shoelaces.
These sneakers have a rubber sole as well and are quite large, so I would suggest getting the true size or even half a size smaller (depending on how wide your child’s foot is).
They come in toddler, little kid, and big kid sizes and follow your child as she grows.
I’d definitely recommend these shoes for toddlers whose feet are flat, but not as a replacement for orthopedic insoles.
6. New Balance Hook And Loop
Who said babies don’t need some cool-looking comfortable sneakers?
New Balance certainly thinks they do, so they created great unisex sneakers for little adventurers who are starting their walking journey of great discoveries.
Your child needs the best protection for her first step and New Balance delivers it together with comfort and durability.
Hook and Loop sneakers feature two velcro straps that are connected at the end and a rubber outsole that provides extra security on different surfaces.
New Balance also includes the lightweight EVA footbed which makes their running shoes even more comfortable and suede fabric that increases flexibility.
Babies and toddlers will love wearing them and parents can order almost identical adult-sized sneakers for a cute parent/child look.
7. Stride Rite Made 2 Play Taylor Sneaker
These sneakers are very comfortable, flexible, and made to play in (as the name says), just like every pair of kid’s shoes should be.
They’re made out of synthetic and textile materials, including a rubber EVA outsole with traction for additional safety and durability.
My favorite part of this shoe is the antibacterial mesh that reduces odor, one of the main issues of spending a long time in shoes.
It also includes elastic laces that don’t require tieing and a round toe box.
There’s nothing about the design that’s revolutionary – they look just like all other running shoes, but the inside hides heavenly comfort and protection for your little one.
8. Pediped Flex Becky Mary Jane
These walking shoes are just what your little princess needs for her majestic walks to the park or playground – or any other occasion you find them suitable for.
Of course, they can be used every day as well, as they’re super comfortable.
The lightweight shoes will provide your little girl with arch support for her flat feet and a breathable lining that provides even more comfort.
They are, however, quite sturdy and may even cause blisters if they’re not worn with socks, so if your child wants to wear them sockless, I wouldn’t recommend it.
9. Stride Rite Elliot Leather Sneakers
These are a bit different from the other shoes on this list, as they’re completely closed without any mesh for better airflow.
However, they are 100% leather shoes and leather is breathable, so there’s no need to worry about the airflow system.
These shoes also have eco-friendly fabric that absorbs moisture and reduces sweating.
Instead of velcro straps, Stride Rite Elliot offers shoelaces as a better way of teaching your child how to be independent.
Elliot sneakers come with Sensory Response technology; there are sensory pods added to the outsole, which helps children develop a feeling of walking barefoot on uneven surfaces.
They look very simple, with no special designs and no colors – just closed shoes that get the job done.
It may not be my number one choice, but it definitely deserves to be in the top 10 best shoes for babies and toddlers.
Best Shoes For Older Children With Flat Feet
If you’re a mamma of an older child, you probably already know how difficult it can be to compromise over a pair of shoes.
Your child probably already picks her own shoes based on the outer design, which can also be seen as a positive side of building her own independence.
However, don’t give her too much choice, or she might end up looking for shoes for hours.
Why don’t you check this list of shoes for older children together? You might find a compromise sooner than expected:
1. Keen Chandler CNX Sneakers
Sneakers or hiking shoes? Why not both in one pair?
These are the real deal for kids who enjoy spending time outside and love challenging outdoor activities during summer or any other period with nice weather.
These running shoes have additional arch support for flat children’s feet that ensures everyday support of the foot.
Rubber outsoles are a must for this type of outdoor wear, but these sneakers don’t leave traces indoors.
This means you don’t have to worry about the floors while your kid practices running (although your sanity might take a knock).
Chandlers are not machine washable, or rather, they’re one of the rare brands who admit their shoes are not machine washable.
The best care tip is to clean each shoe with a mild detergent and cold water.
You can use a brush or cloth for hardened dirt, but don’t overdo it.
Chandler sneakers have odor protection, but your kid’s feet might be a bit stinky if she wears them sockless.
2. Merrell Jungle Moc Frosty
My child says these are her favorite shoes – that’s because she’s even lazier than her mother and prefers slip-on sneakers!
They’re covered with leather and water-resistant suede on the top and have DRY sealing which keeps her feet dry and cozy, and as an added bonus, they look really cool.
I love them because they provide additional safety with the ABZORB feature that absorbs the impact of high pressure on little feet, especially on the heel, which is one of the weakest points.
They can last for a long time until your child outgrows them, but the suede part might get a bit worn down after some time.
This is not a huge deal but is something that should be mentioned.
They’re available in toddler size as well, but I would still recommend them for older children too.
3. Asics Kid’s Contend
If you have a budding runner with flat feet in your house, these will be the best running shoes you could get her.
These Gel-Contend sneakers provide your child with great support and comfort, but the most important part is that she won’t feel any foot pain while running even if she has flat feet.
However, this doesn’t mean you don’t need to get pediatric and podiatric advice related to her condition.
The Contend 6 model is made for neutral pronation for feet that slightly roll to the inside.
These sneakers come with stretchy laces and a velcro strap on the top for better adjustment.
4. Keen Newport H2 Sandals
I think these are some of the most iconic sandals on the market that have been loved by generations of flat-footed kids and their parents.
This is no surprise as they’re super supportive, comfortable, and flexible.
All these characteristics are crucial for children with flat feet that can’t wear regular shoes (technically they can, but it could cause discomfort and pain).
I love the toe bumper feature especially because my kids bump their toes literally anywhere.
It has the EVA midsole, just like the other toddler shoes for flat feet, but can be used at the beach, pool, or even after it has rained!
The water drains quickly and doesn’t leave that damp feeling for a long time.
However, after a while, humidity could cause some odor, so if you don’t want to clean them all the time, you might want to get your kiddo to wear them with socks during the dry weather.
5. Memo Polo Corrective Orthopedic Sneaker
Last but not least, Memo Polo orthopedic sneakers are a great choice for the healthy development of children’s feet.
The brand states that their sneakers are made of natural fabrics and materials including goatskin, to prevent sweating and enable the feet to breathe.
They’re approved by medical professionals and are included in the medical product registry, as they possess Thomas heel for prevention of foot flatness.
High ankles provide additional support to the foot and lock it to prevent any kind of unnatural movement.
The heel counter offers extra protection and stabilization of the foot during high impact upon landing.
I would again recommend you consult with a medical specialist before you take any action by yourself.
These sneakers might be a great choice for your child, but it’s best if your doctor confirms it.
What are flat feet?
Just to make it clear, this condition is not a severe medical issue and many people actually live with it their whole lives.
It’s a common condition in children and adults that can be congenital or acquired.
Congenital flat foot is a genetic condition, meaning your kid probably got it from you or your partner.
The good news is that the inherited type of flatness can be outgrown.
Feet flatness can be caused by other factors as well.
Child obesity is a serious issue that can cause physical changes in the arch.
Basically, if a child is overweight, there’s more pressure on her feet and the arch keeps flattening and altering until both feet are completely flat.
As a parent, you should help your child develop healthy habits, which includes having a height and age-appropriate weight.
Basically, we all had flat feet at the earliest time of our lives, but some people outgrow it, while others live with it their whole lives (which is not the best option).
Baby’s feet are usually flat as their arch and instep are filled with baby fat. Arches are usually developed from the age of 3 to the age of 6 when soft bones turn into strong ones.
However, not all children go through this process.
Feet bones may develop without arches, so if your child doesn’t have it by the time she turns 6, you should consult a podiatrist.
But, don’t wait until your child is 6 if you notice anything out of the ordinary, including ankle or feet pain or an unusual walk.
In such cases, you should visit a pediatrician or podiatrist as soon as possible. Pain is never a good sign and shouldn’t be neglected by any means.
The right toddler shoes will encourage healthy foot development in time to prevent any severe consequences.
Shoes for toddlers and older children should be comfortable and supportive enough to enable your child pain-free walking and running activities.
How will I know if my child has flat feet?
Some people say it’s easy to tell, but I don’t agree.
Actually, what I would say is that if it’s easy to tell, it’s already a serious condition.
If it’s visible and your child is over 6, I would go straight to the doctor, with or without pain in feet or ankles.
However, if you’re not sure whether your child has this condition or not, you can have a fun activity together that will help you find the answer to this question.
“Wet test” is a basic test that requires a few minutes of your time, one piece of cardboard (bigger than your child’s foot), and any kind of dish with water so she can dip the bottom of her foot. You can also use a bathtub for this.
When the bottom of her foot is wet (not soaking wet, of course), tell your little one to step on the cardboard.
After that, take the cardboard and analyze the results.
If you can’t see a curve from the foot’s ball to the heel, it could mean your child has low or flat arches.
If you still have some doubts or would like a double-check, you can visit the podiatrist and get more information.
Are there any treatments?
This condition does not require any special treatment if there aren’t any notable symptoms like ankle or foot pain, swelling, muscle fatigue, or leg pain during physical activity.
However, even though it doesn’t require special treatments, you should take your child to the doctor if you see that your child has flat feet after the age of 5 or 6 at the most.
A podiatrist can give you useful information about this medical condition and decide whether your child needs any kind of treatment or not.
Most of them usually recommend physical therapy to prevent muscle fatigue and to strengthen leg muscles in general, to spare the feet from full-body impact upon landing.
Also, this type of therapy could actually correct the low arch issue, but only if the flatness is caused by some kind of injury or a bone deformity.
Walking or running shoes with arch support can ease the pain or prevent any further damage, but none of them can cure the flatness (especially when it comes to adults).
What shoes are best for flat feet?
There’s no magical pair of shoes that will solve all the issues related to this condition.
It’s impossible to name one brand that suits all toddlers and children with flat and wide feet.
However, there are certain factors that can help you find the best shoes for your child.
The most important thing to look out for is arch support.
Your child needs to have high-quality foot support during the process of bone formation.
Feet that are flat cannot minimize the pressure of your child’s weight every time she touches the ground, so they need the additional support of a rubber outsole.
Active children need shoes with good traction for every surface that a little one’s feet touch.
Without any grip, the foot will slip while running or walking.
The outsole should be made out of natural rubber and have a good grip for maximum protection.
Also, before you buy shoes for your toddler or older child, you need to determine which size fits your munchkin.
Even though manufacturers usually state their products are true to size, it might not be true.
However, each brand does have its own size chart, so make sure to check it and compare it with your kid’s feet before you make the purchase.
Sometimes you’ll have to get a bigger or smaller size than your standard size which can be determined through measuring the feet.
Arch support is very important, but it’s not the only part of the foot that requires protection.
The whole foot takes the impact and causes flatness, including the heel bone.
Therefore, the heel counter on the back of your child’s shoe should always be sturdy and firm.
If the heel counter is soft, her heel can easily move from side to side and cause ankle pain and a lower arch.
Also, the right shoes for your child should be flexible and lightweight.
If the shoes are too sturdy or heavy, your child could start feeling foot pain and muscle fatigue, which may cause serious health issues.
When it comes to flexibility, there’s an unwritten rule on how flexible children’s shoes should be.
Essentially, the shoe should bend to the ball of the foot.
If the whole shoe is flexible without any support, it could cause an irregular walk and foot or ankle deformities.
Can my toddler have flat feet?
The feet of children and adults usually have arches that improve body posture, physical strength, and healthy development.
Flat feet start from a deformation of the heel bone when it rotates inwards and causes a straight foot line on the ground.
Toddlers usually don’t have a medical condition that has to be treated, but if your child tells you that she feels any type of pain in her legs, it’s time to visit the doctor.
Also, if you notice that your toddler is walking with a low arch for more than 6 months, don’t wait until it gets worse to ask for professional advice.
The Bottom Line
Flat feet are not a very serious medical issue but can turn into a severe medical condition if the pain in the ankles and feet is ignored.
Babies have fat feet and it fills any space available in the outsole, arch, heel, or anywhere else in the foot or ankle.
This condition is common in toddlers, as the foot is still not fully developed during that period and it doesn’t require any special treatments.
Still, you shouldn’t sit and wait for your kiddo’s feet to magically stop being flat.
Finding the proper toddler shoes for flat feet will improve your little one’s healthy development of feet and body, in general.
There are lots of brands that offer high-quality supportive shoes for toddlers and older children that have a lower arch than usual and most of them can be found on online shopping sites like Amazon.
This means you don’t have to go to medical supply stores anymore to buy special sneakers or walking shoes that your child doesn’t like at all.
Nowadays, the choice of designs and colors is greater than ever, so your child can be stylish and protected at the same time!
If you notice that your toddler or big kid walks in an unusual way or has any type of pain in the ankles or feet (even the slightest pain), you should go to the podiatrist for a checkup and medical advice.
Always trust your instinct, mamma.
If you feel like something is not right, insist on getting professional advice from a podiatrist or pediatric orthopedist. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
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