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Best shoes for kids with flat feet

Boy wearing Start-Rite Isaac

All babies are born with flat feet, with a fleshy fat pad instead of the inner arch. That’s why when we’re first learning to walk as toddlers, we ‘stomp’ when we take steps – our body and feet haven’t developed enough to enable us to walk properly. At this point our shoes need to be designed with that in mind – to protect podgy, soft stompy feet!

Our feet arches are important as they help us to maintain balance, absorb shock, adapt to different surfaces and enable us to have a ‘spring’ in our step. By toddlerhood, the arches begin to become more evident, providing support and stability for walking and running. As children grow, the fat pads underneath the feet start to disappear and the arches of the feet start to form. reaching their full potential by the age of six.

Fitted footwear is crucial during the early period of development as it supports the arches' growth and alignment. A child’s shoes must provide proper arch support to protect developing feet from flat surfaces and ensure the very best care is maintained at every stage.

Flat feet are often caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences, so they’re not usually anything to worry about - but if you are concerned, then your doctor should be able to help with any questions you have., often due to. Flat feet can sometimes lead to aches and pain in the foot and leg muscles, so if you spot this in your little one, it’s doubly worth consulting a doctor or healthcare professional to learn more about the condition.

Best children’s shoes for flat feet

Professional shoe fitters know how to match the right shape of shoe to the foot. A child who has a very flat foot will need a shoe with cushioning and support for confidence and comfort and a slightly higher heel raise than normal to reduce the pressure on flat feet. However, a child wearing the same shoes with an increased heel height who does not have flat feet can encounter problems. This is partly why it’s always advisable to talk to a fitting expert.

Below, we’ve compiled some more guidance on the best children’s shoes for flat feet.


All athletic footwear must support the feet, be breathable, lightweight to allow for natural movement and have padded ankles for added comfort and support. All this means that quality trainers are a great choice to support and stabilise a flat foot. Start-Rite’s Meteor school trainer is a versatile choice in black or white, to suit school days and active lunchtime breaks.

School shoes

Our school range is broad, with a style to suit any individual requirements, from the best shoes for wide feet to great choices for narrow feet, as well as options for flat feet or high arches. Every foot is unique!

Our expert selection of school shoes to support flat feet include Isaac (also available in vegan leather) and Samba (also available in navy). Both styles have a slightly raised heel, an elongated comfortable leather upper and a padded ankle. These styles are a great option for secondary age children with flat feet. For primary age children with flat feet, we suggest considering Wish or Tarantula – with their fun, appealing designs, they’re always a popular choice.


Boots are also a great option for flat feet as the nature of the style means they offer all round protection, while many boots naturally come with a slightly raised heel. Look for boots with soft leather uppers that mould the shape of the foot, and lightweight and flexible soles for natural movement. Our popular range of Chelsea boots is an ideal choice.

At Start-Rite we always advise seeking professional advice from a qualified shoe fitter if you are concerned that your child needs a little more support with their footwear. A fitter will match the foot requirements and the shape to the best possible design to support healthy development.

If you have any concerns about your child’s condition, symptoms or what can be done to resolve flat feet, always seek medical advice from your doctor or healthcare professional.