Kids playing outside in the grass field

Do My Kid Need Insoles? – Arch Support for Kids

When we talk about insoles or other orthotics, we usually think about an older person with foot problems or an athlete with injuries. However, this is not always the case. Support for kids, such as insoles, can be very helpful when a kid has flat feet and foot pain, treat various foot conditions, and prevent injuries.

Custom orthotics can provide a sturdy and supportive foundation for developing kids’ feet. Investing in shoes with arch support or proper kid’s shoe insoles is highly recommended in order to protect their feet. 

Thus, let’s learn what insoles are, when your kid needs one, and what are the signs of flat feet, among many other things!


When Does My Kid Develop Foot Arches?

Having flat feet in childhood is not so common. Most youngsters do not have arches until they are two years old or older. The majority of kids begin to grow arches between the ages of two and six, although some children do not begin until they are eight years old.


This means that each kid is developing at its own pace. But, if you are ever in doubt, you can visit your chosen pediatrician and get a professional opinion.

Taking care of your kid’s feet will help them prevent long-term difficulties. So, if your kid hasn’t started developing arches by age six, it is recommended to visit a podiatric physician.


Does my Kid Have Flat Feet?

If you’re wondering whether your kid has flat feet or not, here are some signs that can help you:


Pronation – Kids walking on the inside of their feet rather than on their soles might indicate a flat foot. You can easily see that if you look at your kid from behind. 

Foot and back pain – Although most flat feet do not cause pain or discomfort, pain can emerge during weight-bearing activities such as walking or running. This especially happens in the sole of the foot, ankle, or even a non-specific foot pain. It also refers to back pain. If any kind of pain occurs to your kid pain, it might be a good idea to visit a doctor.

The first thing to keep in mind is that all kids are born with feet that look fat. This is due to the foot’s anatomy, which has more cartilage than bone. Kids have fat pad where the arch would eventually grow. If your kid is under the age of three and looks like it has flat feet, you do not need to be concerned.

As your kid grows older and becomes more skilled at walking, their arch should begin to develop and become more visible. However, even pre-pubescent kids may have flat feet that are not problematic and may not require therapy. You can consider visiting a doctor when:

  • The foot is not flexible enough; it appears too stiff
  • There is no visible arch when the kid stands on tiptoe, or the foot hangs loosely
  • The kid is constantly complaining of foot and leg pain, or tired leg muscles
  • When there is a family history of flat feet


What are Orthotics for Kids?

At first sight, orthotics may look like any other pair of insoles or also known as shoe inserts. While the majority of insoles are available over the counter and are standardized by shoe size, orthotics are customized for each patient. A podiatrist with experience can help kids create orthotics best suited to their feet. 


Custom orthotics, also called shoe inserts or arch supports, are designed to support problem spots in kids’ feet. As a result, they can lift the kid’s arch, relieve heel pain, or compensate for a deformity at the toe joint.

In general, these arch support inserts for kids can be used for a wide range of foot problems like flat feet, collapsed arches, over-pronation, and poor foot-leg alignment.  

For orthopedic insoles for kids, there is no standard material for crafting the best orthotics. When choosing a material, a podiatrist will decide what will accomplish the desired goal.


What Problems Can Orthotics Prevent?

If custom orthotics are designed and fitted correctly, they can relieve the pain of common foot problems. Here are just a few examples:

  • Flat feet
  • Bunions
  • Foot and back pain
  • Bursitis
  • Bone spurs
  • Very high arches 
  • Collapsed arches

Treatment with orthotics is beneficial for most foot-specific disorders, regardless of the patient’s age.  Kids are perfectly positioned to benefit from orthotic therapy early on because their feet are still developing. Besides this, orthotics can correct different types of deformities before they become permanent.

If foot-related issues are not addressed promptly, they can have an impact on more than just the feet. Flat feet, high arches, and other issues can create potential problems with the back, hips, and knees. These problems can have a significant influence on one’s quality of life since they limit flexibility and can even worsen with time.


Do My Kid Need Insoles?

Usually, kids do not need custom orthotics until about six. Orthotics might be necessary if your kid still didn’t develop a normal arch at that point or if the toe-in persists. 

Thus, if your child is older than 6 years and you think it might have flat feet, then consider buying insoles or proper shoes with arch support for kids. They will need good, supportive everyday footwear with quality arch support. 

By the age of 7, many kids wear adult-sized shoes, mostly boys. These shoes don’t offer much in terms of arch support or cushioning. Usually, at this age, kids can experience back a foot pain. 

Adding a pair of arch support for kids or so-called a pair of insoles to their footwear can make a huge difference. This especially refers to kids participating in sports or other sports activities. 

Insoles can help kids who: 

Complain about back pain – When a kid complains about back or foot pain, the first thing to do is visit a podiatrist. However, adding arch support for kids’ insoles can improve their biomechanics and ease their pain.

Have a podiatrist who advised them to wear insoles – If your kid’s podiatrist recommends that you get insoles, there’s sure to be a reason. The doctor may recommend insoles if the arches aren’t developing correctly or if there’s an unusual foot growth or movement. 

Kids that are doing sport or other activities – Whether your kid is playing sports, especially when it comes to basketball shoes, or spends a lot of time outside, kids’ insoles are recommended. They cushion their feet, helping prevent joint problems and back pain that can occur later in life.

Have foot problems – As your kid becomes a teen, a pair of insoles can support the healthy development of their feet. Early correct foot growth may prevent later strange walking patterns and even serious foot problems.

Seek better comfort and freshness – Sometimes the shoe itself is uncomfortable since there a many different types of shoes. You can help your youngster reach better comfort with proper arch support for kids. Besides that, foot odor might be another problem. Bacteria cause this issue in the shoe. Insoles treated with antimicrobial agents can help reduce shoe bacteria, preventing fungal growth and athlete’s foot.


When Should I Consider Custom Orthotics for My Kid?

If you suspect your kid is having problems with their feet, you should get them evaluated as soon as you can. This is simply because feet grow faster than any other part of our body. So, waiting for a week, month, or even year, can present more complex foot issues for kids. Thus, kids with foot deformities (even minor ones) need early intervention.

But how early is too early? At this point, we learned that kids do not have arches when they are still babies. To be precise, only after six arches might start to show. To achieve an optimum gait, the lower legs will progressively rotate to line the feet with the knees. With that in mind, getting customized orthotics before age 6 is not so recommended.

While development does vary among kids, those with foot issues or deformities will more likely need therapeutic intervention before age 8.

If your kid is particularly active or plays sports, it is vital to have them fitted with the appropriate orthotics as soon as possible. With the use of orthotics, gait and mobility will eventually improve. 


Which Kid’s Shoes Need Insoles?

While some shoes are more comfortable, some are not so much. However, any type of footwear can become much more supportive and comfortable with insoles for kids’ shoes. If you are afraid to miss out on the insole size for your kid’s footwear, you can simply determine that by using the Footmeter. With this tool, you can get the precise kid’s foot size in an easy, accurate, and 100% reliable way!

If you are not getting the customized orthotics, search our for these arch support insoles for kids:

Sneakers – Built-in inserts in kid’s sneakers can flatten out quickly. If the sneakers have thicker, full-length removable inserts, you can look for insoles that offer a similarly thick top cover. Remove the original insert before inserting the arch support insoles to ensure that your kid’s feet have enough room.

Sports shoes – If your kid is an athlete and has, e.g., soccer shoes, it is good to have sports footwear that helps absorb impact and reduce the risk of injury. Try to look out for a pair of thin, full-length insoles. 

Dress shoes – This type of footwear can be uncomfortable, but with a pair of short or 3/4 length insoles, they can become incredibly comfy. These shoes do not have a removable factory insert.

Using insoles in kids’ shoes is an important part of caring for their entire body, especially if there is early intervention. Consult your kid’s physician about putting insoles in their shoes to keep them comfortable, active, and pain-free.



  • Petra Moskatelo

    Petra is the main editor and writer here at Footmeter. She is passionate about helping people find the right solution. She holds a university Master's degree in pedagogy, and she knows a lot about children and learning.