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Role of Arch Support Shoes in Children's Foot Health

Role of Arch Support Shoes in Children's Foot Health

a man in a white shirt and blue and pink suspenders
By Babafemi Adebajo
Jovan Mijailović
Edited by Jovan Mijailović

Updated October 4, 2023.

A young boy running through the park wearing arch support shoes.

As parents, we prioritise the health and well-being of our children. One often overlooked aspect of their well-being is the health of their feet, particularly the arches. They support the body weight, absorb shock during activities, and provide stability and flexibility while walking or running.

In this article, we'll explore the significance of arch support shoes in promoting children's foot health and how to choose the right ones to ensure your kid's feet develop correctly.

» Try these tips to help your toddler with feet growing pain

The Anatomy of the Foot Arch

The arch is the area between the heel and the ball of your foot that supports the body weight and absorbs the shock during walking. It also provides flexibility and stability to the foot when walking or running.

There are three types of foot arches:

  • Medial longitudinal: The higher of the two longitudinal arches. It consists of bones like the calcaneus, talus, navicular, cuneiforms, and three metatarsals.
  • Lateral longitudinal: A flatter arch that rests on the ground when you stand. It comprises bones such as the calcaneus, cuboid, and the fourth and fifth metatarsals.
  • Transverse: Located in the middle of the foot and formed by the metatarsal bases, cuboid, and cuneiform bones.

Identifying Flat Feet in Children

Flat feet can cause pain in the heel, knee, or leg. It can worsen during activities, making your kid walk awkwardly, especially when changing surfaces.

Some of the indicators of flat feet are:

  • Heels that angulate outwards when viewed from the back
  • Clumsiness or early fatigue during activity
  • Difficulty finding well-fitting shoes
  • Uneven wear patterns on footwear

To determine if this is correct, you can wet your kid's foot and ask it to step on a paper. If the shape of the whole foot is visible instead of just a portion, your kid may have flat feet. However, for proper diagnosis, you should consult a qualified healthcare professional.

» Check out why orthopaedic shoes are the game-changer for kids

What is Arch Support?

Arch support helps maintain the natural shape and height of the arches. It prevents the arches from collapsing, a condition known as flat feet or fallen arches.

Do Kids Need Arch Support?

Yes. Children's feet are still growing, so they're more prone to stress and injury than adults. Proper arch support can prevent conditions such as flat feet and plantar fasciitis.

Children wearing shoes with proper arch support may exhibit more confident and energetic walking or running. They may also have less pain and fatigue in their feet, legs, knees, or back.

Can Arch Supports Cause Foot Pain?

Arch support shoes can induce foot pain if you position or fit them improperly. Your kid may also need more time to adapt to them, which can cause discomfort.

Proper arch support promotes healthy foot development, prevents arch collapse, reduces the risk of injury, and improves stability and balance while walking or running.

Choosing the Right Shoes

Before buying children's arch support shoes, consult a specialist. They can assess your kid's foot shape and check if it needs pediatric orthotics for flat feet.

While choosing the right shoe for your kid, consider the following:

  • Level of arch support required
  • Durability
  • Comfort
  • Firmness
  • Functionality

Securing a Strong Foundation

Investing in proper arch support shoes for your kid promotes foot health and overall well-being. By understanding the importance of arch support and choosing the right shoes, you can ensure that your child's feet develop correctly and that they enjoy active, pain-free lives.

Prioritise comfort and support in their footwear choices, and consult a specialist if you have any concerns about their foot health.


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