9 Best Shoes for Toddlers with Flat Feet (2020) – Shoe Mentor

Has your toddler been complaining about his feet or ankles hurting? Has he not wanted to walk lately? While toddlers are definitely known to be stubborn, he could be suffering from flat feet.

One of the best things to do for a toddler with flat feet is to provide supportive orthopedic shoes that will better accommodate their feet and alleviate pain. There are only a few companies that make shoes specifically for toddlers with foot pain, but we found many big-name shoes that will get the job done as well.

Our experts consulted product reviews, podiatrists’ feedback, and consumer reports to find you the best shoes for your toddler. After an exhaustive search, we can confidently say that the best shoe we found for toddlers with flat feet is the New Balance 880 v2.  It offers great cushioning and arch support at an unbeatable price. And it looks cute to boot!

Note: All of the shoes included in this review are considered unisex, for both boys and girls.

Top Picks Comparison Table
IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS
New Balance Kids’ 888v2 Hook and Loop Running Shoe
  • Features: Injection molded EVA midsole, thermoplastic urethane heel clip, ABZORB heel, split suede upper, hook and loop closure system, rubber outsole
  • Benefits: Durable, dry, comfortable shoe that will significantly reduce heel shock and pain from flat feet
CHECK LATEST PRICE
KEEN Kids’ Seacamp II CNX-C
  • Features: Hook and loop strap closure, PFC-free, grippy rubber outsole, hydrophobic mesh lining, multi-directional lug pattern, secure fit lace capture system
  • Benefits: Secure fit, high traction, washable and water-hardy, supportive and flexible
CHECK LATEST PRICE
Tsukihoshi CHILD01 Euro Sneaker
  • Features: Machine washable, rubber sole, antibacterial insole, heel counter stabilizer, curved hook and loop fastener, arch support cup insole
  • Benefits: Easy to wear, lightweight and breathable, well-distributed impact cushioning, comfortable and effective in any setting, promotes healthy foot development
CHECK LATEST PRICE

9 Best Toddler Shoes for Flat Feet

There are many shoes out there that can make your toddler’s flat feet even worse. We took time to sort through the chaos and find you the 10 best shoes for toddlers with flat feet.

1. New Balance Kids’ 888v2 Hook and Loop Running Shoe – Top Pick

New Balance is known for focusing on supportive, comfortable shoes. They have been a mainstay in the supportive shoe world for many years and are proud of their reputation and success. 

Their Kids’ 888 v2 Hook and Loop Running Shoe is a fantastic product for little ones with flat feet or foot pain. They even claim that the shoe is made specifically to address flat feet. The ABZORB crash pad heel takes away the pain from high-impact activity, absorbing the hit so your kiddo can keep on playing. 

It checks all the boxes from our Buyer’s Guide as well: lightweight, breathable, non-slip sole, cushioned heel, unrestrictive sizing.

Features: Injection-molded EVA midsole, thermoplastic urethane heel clip, ABZORB heel, split suede upper, hook and loop closure system, rubber outsole

Pros

  • Great for high-impact
  • Breathable and lightweight
  • Accommodates wide feet or inserts
  • Reasonably priced
  • Comes in many colors 
  • Provides arch support

Cons

  • New Balance shoes are known to run a little wide

2. KEEN Kids’ Seacamp II CNX-C – Best Sport Sandal 

We were thrilled when KEEN began making and marketing kids’ sandals. They are easily one of the best producers of sports sandals on the market, and we think it’s great that kids get to partake as well. 

The KEEN Kids’ Seacamp II CNX-C is an amazing sandal that works great on dry land as well as water. Because let’s be honest, kids will jump into any water they find. While it may not have been designed for toddlers with flat feet, it provides everything they need to feel comfortable and pain-free.

One of the best things about KEEN shoes is that they will always have incredible traction through their grippy outsoles. They provide a level of comfort and stability that typically wouldn’t be found in a sandal, which is a relief for parents and toddlers alike.

Features: Hook and loop strap closure, PFC-free, grippy rubber outsole, hydrophobic mesh lining, multi-directional lug pattern, secure fit lace capture system

Pros

  • Great traction
  • Extra heel cushioning
  • Perfect for outdoor activities
  • Easy to get on and off

Cons

  • Because this is a premium shoe, it will run on the pricier side of things

3. Tsukihoshi CHILD01 Euro Sneaker – Most Supportive 

Tsukihoshi has been making children’s shoes since 1873 and is the largest producer in Japan. They recently (well, in 1985) expanded into supportive orthopedic shoes for children and we couldn’t be more thrilled with their Euro Sneaker.

This shoe is incredibly well made, but more than that, it’s incredibly supportive. So much so that we dubbed it the “Most Supportive” shoe on our list. And on a list made entirely of supportive shoes, that’s saying a lot!

Features: Machine washable, rubber sole, antibacterial insole, heel counter stabilizer, curved hook and loop fastener, arch support cup insole

Pros

  • Wide toe box for encouraging good weight distribution
  • Removable antibacterial insole with green tea extract
  • Designed specifically to correct over-pronation
  • Available in multiple colors

Cons

  • Definitely pricey
  • Most recommended for toddlers who have a known issue to address, such as clear overpronation or significant pain

4. ASICS Kids Gel-Venture 6 Gs Running Shoe – Best Running Sneaker

For your toddler who likes to run around and around and around and around, the ASICS Gel-Venture 6 Gs is here to support them. This is a kid shoe designed to take a beating, whether it’s on the trail, the track, or in the backyard.

The ASICS Gel-Venture line is a great supportive shoe for kids and adults alike, so the whole family can grab a pair and see their pain disappear. This shoe is stylish, lightweight, and perfect for giving that extra boost of cushioning needed for kids on the go.

Features: Rearfoot GEL cushioning system, reinforced stitched toe cap, trail-specific outsole, 7 oz weight, multi-directional lugs

Pros

  • Really lightweight
  • Great design options
  • Available in adult sizes as well
  • Extra thick heel for high-impact activities

Cons

  • Not available in smaller sizes, so your toddler will need to be on the bigger side before they can wear this shoe

5. Wobbly Waddlers Toddler Sneakers First Walker – Best First Walker

Wobbly Waddlers is a company that knows how to make supportive shoes for early walkers. Their shoes are designed to meet a wide range of needs for your little one all while looking incredibly cute and cool. 


The Wobbly Waddlers Toddler Sneakers are well-built, durable, and perfect shoes for newly walking toddlers. If your toddler has only ever been barefoot before, wearing shoes can take some getting used to. These sneakers provide just the right balance of stability and flexibility to make that transition a breeze. 


Another thing we like about this company is that they have all of their shoes made by artisans in Leon, Mexico. Their workers are guaranteed fair wages and safe conditions. Their packaging is recyclable as well. It’s a company that makes good products that you can feel good about as well!

Features: Nature Flex support technology, flexible rubber sole, velcro closure, arch support insole

Pros

  • Secure design
  • Durable materials
  • Eco-friendly sustainable company
  • Designed for early walkers

Cons

  • These are most suitable for younger toddlers who are just learning to walk. Older walkers might prefer the ASICS Gel-Venture.

6. Apakowa Kids Insulated Snow Boots – Best Winter Boots

Sometimes supportive sneakers just won’t cut it. When the temperature drops and your toddler wants to go play in the snow, you shouldn’t have to give up on your flat feet treatment plan. The insulated snow boots from Apakowa kids will give your kid the support and cushioning she needs in the coldest of temperatures.

You can be sure that she’ll get tired of building snowmen before she gets tired of being on her feet. It’s waterproof, wind-resistant, and super plushy inside for an extra-cozy fit.

Features: Faux fur plush lining, 7.5” boot opening, easy-open side zipper, non-slip rubber sole

Pros

  • Super-cozy inner lining
  • Comes in lots of cool colors and unisex options
  • Waterproof and wind-resistant
  • Keeps little feet comfy and warm in cold, wet conditions

Cons

  • These can tend to run small. When you add thick socks on top of that, it’s probably best to size up so there is some wiggle room.

7. Reebok Kids’ Freestyle Hi – Most Stylish

Take a look at these shoes. They simultaneously remind us of our youth and of youth today. They’ve got that classic retro Reebok look that will also appeal to today’s kids and adults alike. The high-top design gives great ankle support to kiddos experiencing issues with their feet and helps prevent injuries while on the go.

You can get these shoes in a wide range of colors for both boys and girls. But aside from looks, they are recommended by the American Podiatric Medical Association and designed specifically to provide high-impact protection for little heels and arches.

Features: High-abrasion rubber outsole, APMA seal of approval, two hook and loop closure straps with laces, EVA midsole, soft leather upper, terrycloth lining

Pros

  • Really cool style!
  • Great ankle support
  • Well-cushioned heel 
  • Adjustable fit with two velcro closures in addition to laces

Cons

  • We heard some complaints about the leather starting to crack sooner than expected. This doesn’t seem to be an issue for all users, but it’s something to consider if you’re looking at one of the pricier style options available.

8. Memo Polo Ankle Support Children’s Corrective Orthopedic Sneaker – Best Ankle Support

While the Reeboks start the conversation about ankle support, the Memo Polo is here with the final word. These corrective orthopedic sneakers are made specifically for correcting issues with little feet and provide a wide range of supportive features.

It boasts a “uniquely designed rubber outsole system” that helps keep your toddler’s feet properly aligned while walking. The leather materials are durable and flexible so your toddler’s feet are both comfortable and well-ventilated at the same time.

What is unique about Memo shoes is the Memo System Technology that allows you to assess any progress or regression after your child has worn them for a period of time. The outsole and heel are separated into different numbered zones with stripes. The stripes will show abrasion allowing you to see where your child is applying the most pressure and making any necessary corrective measures. 

We think this is a great way to evaluate success since toddlers aren’t always known for their communication skills!

Features: Memo arch support insoles, Memo System Technology, ankle support, thermoplastic stiff heel counter, Thomas heel

Pros

  • Memo System Technology
  • Great for ankle support
  • Dual velcro closures
  • Reinforced toe box

Cons

  • Not waterproof

9. Apakowa Toddler Kid’s Sneakers Boys Girls Hook and Loop Casual Running Shoes – Best Value

Apakowa has a great line of toddler shoes with arch support to help alleviate pain from flat feet. We chose their Casual Running Shoes for our list because they provide a great product at an incredibly low price.

If you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford some of the pricier shoes on our list, you should definitely check these out as an alternative. They are lightweight with breathable mesh and removable leather insoles. 

The dual velcro closures mean you can get an adjustable fit to suit your toddler’s feet. The high-quality TPR outsole means your kiddo will have a great grip while running around and you will have great peace of mind.

Features: Cooling mesh panels, TPR outsole, Leather insole, dual velcro closure

Pros

  • Good for those on a budget
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Strong outsole traction

Cons

  • These can run narrow and be tougher for little hands to take on and off by themselves. However, that also means that they can’t take them off when they aren’t supposed to!

10. Merrell Jungle Moc Frosty Waterproof Slip-On Shoe – Best Slip-On

Sometimes you just need a shoe that doesn’t have any moving parts. Enter the Merrell Jungle Moc Slip-On. A slip-on shoe makes getting your kid dressed a painless task so you can get out the door and on your way.

Slip-on shoes aren’t exactly recommended for kids prone to removing their shoes without permission, but they are great for kids who like the independence of getting dressed by themselves.

The Merrell slip-on is another great outdoor shoe that is waterproof, rugged, and comes with an incredible outsole for tackling rough terrain. And unlike most water shoes, it has a specially designed arch shank to offer extra support. You can see the incredible arch-line just by looking at it.

Features: M-Select DRY waterproofing treatment, nylon arch shank, 100% leather outer

Pros

  • Completely waterproof
  • Super thick rubber outsole
  • Easy on/off capability for little hands
  • Strong arch support and cushioning

Cons

  • As with KEEN, you will pay a premium for a premium shoe, but it will last you through many kids and many camping trips.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you identify flat feet in toddlers?

“Flat feet” is also referred to as overpronation and refers to feet that are mostly flat along the bottom. If you aren’t sure, have different members of your family do the “wet test.” Have everyone get the soles of their feet damp and then step on a piece of paper. 

The more of a foot that is shown by the wet stamp, the flatter the person’s foot. If only the toes, balls, and heels make an imprint, the higher the arches. 

The same test can be done with toddlers if you can make them cooperate of course! But it can sometimes be hard to tell because most babies and young toddlers have an extra layer of fat under the arches that make their feet seem flatter than they really are. 

To know if your toddler actually has flat feet, check to see if they are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the heels or arch area
  • Foot pain that gets worse with heavy activity
  • Swelling in the ankles

You should make sure to talk to your pediatrician if you think your toddler is in pain. They will be best equipped to make a diagnosis and give you treatment advice. 

At what age do foot arches develop?

As we mentioned, it is perfectly normal for babies and toddlers to have flat feet. Arches can develop for up to 8 years. If you look at the bottom of most babies’ feet, you will see that not only do they look flat, some even look rounded on the bottom! This is just an extra layer of fat that serves to provide arch support and will dissipate over time. 

If no arches have appeared by around age 5, your child may be naturally flat-footed. If you have any concerns or your child is experiencing foot pain, please talk to your pediatrician ASAP. The longer a foot condition goes unexamined, the worse the outcome can be and the need for insoles for flat feet.

What can be done for flat feet?

If you know or suspect that your toddler has flat feet, you’re probably wondering what should be done. Luckily it’s fairly straightforward. In the early years, the best way to approach flat feet is with the right footwear. 

Refer to our Buyer’s Guide for the best tips on how to shop for supportive shoes for your toddler with flat feet. You want shoes that are flexible, cushioned, and with enough traction to keep them upright. 

If your toddler’s flat feet aren’t resulting in pain or discomfort, you don’t really need to do anything more. But if they are in pain even after adjusting their footwear, their doctor will likely need to do further diagnostics. 

They will likely want to observe your kiddo moving- walking, running, jumping- to see how motion may be contributing to or impacted by their pain. They may also want to spend more time examining the child’s shoe to see if there are areas for improvement. 

If the pain continues, imaging tests like MRIs can show problems hiding beneath the surface. It is not likely that they will need surgery, especially because arch development will not be completed until they are school-aged. But there may be additional ways to alleviate pain:

Stretching: Help your toddler with daily stretching exercises to strengthen the arches and tendons.

Orthotics: Special orthotic devices could be useful in cases of severe pain, but they are not generally recommended until around age 5. 

Physical Therapy: Along with stretching, a physical therapist can give you even more tools to improve your toddler’s pain over time. 

Medication: Over the counter pain relievers (that are safe for toddlers) can provide some relief if recommended by your pediatrician. 

Rest: If the pain is made worse with activity, have your toddler rest and recover to the greatest extent possible. Reduce high-impact activities when possible and encourage new activities like swimming and trampolining.


Kids Shoes With Arch Support – Buyer’s Guide

As we mentioned, there aren’t a lot of companies making shoes specifically for toddlers with flat feet. It can often be hard to tell if a shoe will be supportive enough to help your child.

To compile the best set of shopping considerations, we consulted guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Their recommendations state that shoes should be flexible, non-slip, well-fitting, lightweight, breathable and cushioned.

Let’s dive further into these recommendations and explore all of the considerations you should take when buying shoes for your toddler with flat feet. 

Fit

When you are buying shoes for your child for any purpose, it’s crucial to make sure they fit correctly. An improper fit at a young age can significantly impact their walking posture and joint development.

When it comes to flat feet and foot pain, make sure the shoes are not too small and constricting. You want to feel a finger’s width between the tip of their toe and the end of the shoe. You may also like our reconditions on this page of the best shoes for standing all day.

Cushioning

While “arch support” as we usually discuss it for adults is less important here, you do want to make sure you are buying shoes that have a good amount of cushion. If your toddler is experiencing pain it is likely because he does not have a shoe with a supportive enough sole to absorb shocks from running and jumping. You may also like the best running shoes for women with flat feet.

Look for shoes with nicely padded soles and stable heels to best position your toddler’s feet and ankles as well. 

Traction

Traction is always an important feature of shoes once your little one starts walking. It is usually advisable for them to be barefoot at home so they can learn the feel of the ground and build foot strength. But when they are outside they need to be wearing supportive, non-slip shoes with enough traction to keep them safe on difficult terrain.

Look for rubber outsoles with enough of a grip to keep even the wobbliest toddler upright in the outdoors. 

Flexibility

Flexibility is a feature specifically important for children with flat feet. They need to be wearing flexible shoes that complement the natural movements of feet and help toddlers build strength. Shoes that are too restrictive are going to exacerbate their pain and impact their foot and hip development. 

Weight and Breathability

For whatever reason, kids’ feet sweat a great deal and they need to be wearing shoes that account for that. Look for shoes with leather, canvas, or mesh outer fabric that promote airflow and breathability.

You want to find shoes that are lightweight so your child can easily pick their feet up and down and adjust their walk to their comfort needs. A shoe that is too heavy will make walking all the more difficult.


What are the best kids’ shoes for flat feet?

Nobody wants to see their babies suffer. When your little one is experiencing pain from flat feet, it can be hard to know what to do. We recommend you speak to your pediatrician to find a comprehensive treatment plan. But in the meantime, finding some good supportive shoes can make a world of difference in the blink of an eye.

Our pick for Best Overall shoe for toddlers with flat feet is the New Balance 880 v2. We found that it offers the best “balance” of support, quality, and price from a brand that is known and trusted for making comfortable shoes. If money is less of a concern and your toddler has significant pain, check out the Memo Polo for a more intensive correction.

IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS
New Balance Kids’ 888v2 Hook and Loop Running Shoe
  • Features: Injection molded EVA midsole, thermoplastic urethane heel clip, ABZORB heel, split suede upper, hook and loop closure system, rubber outsole
  • Benefits: Durable, dry, comfortable shoe that will significantly reduce heel shock and pain from flat feet
CHECK LATEST PRICE
KEEN Kids’ Seacamp II CNX-C
  • Features: Hook and loop strap closure, PFC-free, grippy rubber outsole, hydrophobic mesh lining, multi-directional lug pattern, secure fit lace capture system
  • Benefits: Secure fit, high traction, washable and water-hardy, supportive and flexible
CHECK LATEST PRICE
Tsukihoshi CHILD01 Euro Sneaker
  • Features: Machine washable, rubber sole, antibacterial insole, heel counter stabilizer, curved hook and loop fastener, arch support cup insole
  • Benefits: Easy to wear, lightweight and breathable, well-distributed impact cushioning, comfortable and effective in any setting, promotes healthy foot development
CHECK LATEST PRICE

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Austin Mills

Austin Mills in an outdoor enthusiast. He's been featured on some of the top outdoor & fitness blogs sharing his expertise in order to help others. In his free time, he likes spending time with his dogs enjoying the outdoors.

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