Eek! I recently learned Olivia has flat feet! I know I am not the only mom dealing with this issue as it is actually pretty common in kids. If your kid is one of the 44% of a 3-to-6-year old child with flat feet, then rest assured you are not alone.
Fortunately, for most children, the problem corrects itself as children grow. However, if the problem is not addressed, it can lead to more serious problems in the future. As a mom, I want to be sure I am doing all I can to make sure my daughter starts off on the right foot (sorry – I couldn’t resist a foot pun!).
So, I have done my homework to find out all I need to know about flat feet (or pes planus – a flattening of the arches) and how to treat it.
What Causes Flat Feet in Kids
According to the Mayo Clinic, “A flat foot is normal in infants and toddlers, because the foot's arch hasn't yet developed. Most people's arches develop throughout childhood, but some people never develop arches.”
While the condition is common, the problems occur when little ones never develop arches. In these cases, children may experience pain, improper walking, and poor foot development. Ouch! Not at all things I want my sweet daughter to have to face.
Do’s and Don’ts for Kids with Flat Feet
Thankfully, most kids with flat feet do not need to have anything extreme done to help them overcome this issue. However, there are few simple do’s and don’ts we can try as parents.
Do speak to your pediatrician. A pediatrician will be able to evaluate your child and make recommendations.
Do take your pediatrician’s advice, such as pursuing physical therapy.
Do have your child wear inserts (especially your doctor recommends a custom orthotic device).
Do teach your child to rest and stretch.
Do temporarily modify your child’ activities, so he/she isn’t standing or walking for long periods of time if your child is experiencing pain as a result of pain feet.
Do invest in supportive footwear. (I’m listing the best brands of supportive footwear below!)
Don’t wear shoes without support.
Don’t wear shoes without an arc (such as Converse or Vans).
Don’t try to save money by buying lower quality shoes.
Don’t buy shoes without having your child try them on. If your child is wearing a shoe that does not fit, it will only make the problem worse.
7 Shoe Brands to Invest in for Kids with Flat Feet
When it comes to giving your kid the best shot at living with flat feet, the best thing you can do is invest in great, supportive footwear. It will be worth it in the end! To give you some ideas, I have identified the seven best shoe brands for kids with flat feet.
Asics – They offer a great selection of supportive and colorful sneakers for toddlers on up.
Saucony – Their kid’s athletic shoe line begins with baby sizes and are all designed to offer support.
New Balance – They are known for their supportive athletic shoes for adults, but their shoes are also great for toddlers and preschoolers with flat feet.
Robeez – This brand is recommended by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) because their shoes are designed to help healthy foot development.
Stride Rite – They make high-quality children’s shoes designed to encourage healthy movement for babies up to big kids.
Crocs – Kids love crocs, and their arch design and ability to contour to the shape of the foot make them stand out.
Salt Water Sandals – If you are looking for sandals for your child with flat feet, I recommend Salt Water sandals. These high-quality sandals are made of genuine leather and come in a variety of colors.
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