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What Makes a Shoe Orthopaedic? – First Walkers Answers

What Makes a Shoe Orthopaedic?

Explore the anatomy of supportive footwear and ensure the best fit and comfort for your kid

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By Babafemi Adebajo
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Edited by Lucia Gcingca

Updated November 2, 2023.

a close up of a person's feet wearing blue shoes

The term orthopaedic shoe may conjure up visions of the functional footwear beloved by grandparents everywhere; they also provide unmatched foot support to kids.

Children's feet are still growing and developing, making them particularly vulnerable to foot problems. Orthopaedic shoes can help to prevent and correct them, ensuring proper foot development so they can stay active and healthy.

» Make sure your kids' shoes are appropriately sized

Key Features of Orthopaedic Shoes

Orthopaedic shoes stand out because of the following distinctive characteristics:

  • Supportive Heel Cup: The firmness of the heel cup secures stability, aligning your kid's foot.
  • Durable Outsole and Midsole: More padded and reinforced parts of the shoe that provide support and protection.
  • Wide Toe Boxes: Shoes with wide toe boxes offer room, essential for kids with flat feet.
  • Supportive Design: Orthopaedic shoes fit various foot shapes.
  • Smooth Uppers: Designed to prevent abrasion, these are ideal for forefoot problems such as hammertoes or bunions.
  • Snug Closures: Their easily fastened closures guarantee a snug fit for your kid.

The Role of Support

Doctors recommend orthopaedic shoes for a reason: their unparalleled support, especially in crucial areas like the arch, heel, and ankle. This level of care can make a difference between comfort and persistent foot, leg, or even back pain.

Custom Insoles

Pairing orthopaedic shoes with custom insoles can improve foot support because they contour perfectly to individual foot shapes. Plus, they're adjustable, ensuring a snug fit as children's feet grow.


Orthopaedic shoes are tested rigorously to ensure optimal support. Some of the most common materials you can find in these types of shoes are:

  • Leather
  • Cork
  • MESH
  • Rubber
  • EVA foam
  • Steel

Other materials such as carbon, fibreglass, and plastic may also be used depending on the needs and the shoe's function.

Walking the Walk

Orthopaedic shoes offer features that ensure the healthy growth of children's feet. Their supportive heel cups, durable outsoles, wide toe boxes, and snug closures give the necessary stability and protection, while custom insoles offer personalised support as children's feet develop.

Buying your kid orthopaedic shoes gives them the foundational support needed for a healthy and active lifestyle, helping them to explore the world confidently and comfortably.

Consider trying out First Walkers for top-notch support and quality in toddler shoes. Don't hesitate to seek professional guidance if you are unsure about what you want. Remember, happy feet pave the way to a happier kid.


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