Best Toddler Shoes for Orthotic Shoe Insert - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-05-2009, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 18 month old is going to have to start wearing orthotic shoe inserts. His feet roll in when he walks. I am trying to pick out the best shoe for him to wear. The doctor recommended high top shoes. I had him try on some high top Converse shoes yesterday, but they did not leave his ankles much flexibility. He seemed to walk more stiffly than usual in them. I am wondering if it is worthwhile to shell out the money for some Robeez boots, but I would have to order them online, so he would not be able to try them on.

I am wondering if anybody else has previous experience with their toddler getting the orthotic insert, and if so, what shoes worked best?

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Old 09-05-2009, 12:57 PM
 
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wait until you have the inserts. You'll have to buy a size or two larger than normal, so anything that fits now probably won't then. Another trick is to take the liner out of the bottom of the inside of the shoes. That gives you more room for the height difference. We had luck finding white leather high top baby shoes for my son when he had inserts at payless I think.
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Old 09-05-2009, 05:21 PM
 
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It depends on the type of insert. The ones that go up mid-ankle or higher are more difficult to get into the shoe. I find that in order to get the orthotic into the shoe you need to really be able to open up the shoe. Laces seem better than velcro but each shoe is different. We currently have a Skechers runner but have also used Stride-Rite. One ortho recommended the New Balance brand for good stability. It can be hard to find a good supportive shoe since most all shoes for toddlers these days have a ton of flexibility and don't give much support at all!
Don't know about the Robeez boots - probably not much support and I don't think I would order online without being able to try them out.
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Old 09-05-2009, 10:13 PM
 
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My 23 month old has had orthotic inserts for a while now. Our physical therapist recommends Stride Rites as they have fairly flexible soles nowadays that isn't too flexible, but still have a supportive upper.

Definitely wait until you meet with the PT or orthodped before buying, though because the shoe will have very specific requirements based on the type of insert used. (My son, for example has foam inserts built into his shoes, so he needed extra wide shoes with a leather upper and laces.)

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Old 09-06-2009, 03:32 AM
 
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For my son's orthotics (they were smo's), we relied on the orthotics themselves for support- the shoe on top was basically just for tread. We used plain leather, low-top tennis shoes from wal-mart, then got some crocs that were easier to get on and off.
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Old 09-06-2009, 11:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by preemiemamarach View Post
For my son's orthotics (they were smo's), we relied on the orthotics themselves for support- the shoe on top was basically just for tread. We used plain leather, low-top tennis shoes from wal-mart, then got some crocs that were easier to get on and off.
Ours are SureSteps, basically ankle and arch support. We get shoes wider and a size up to fit the orthotics. The shoes themselves don't really do much but offer traction.
The advice we got from the orthoped was to look for something like Sketchers, as they have a fairly wide opening.
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Old 09-06-2009, 06:43 PM
 
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I agree, it depends on the top of insert. With AFO's and KFO's we had good luck with New Balance. If its something like a pollywog, then any sturdy tennis shoe should work. Unless you need a wide or extra wide. New Balance's come in extra wides and so do Stride Rites. I think Buster Browns might too.

We were advised against high tops because they don't offer enough ankle support (this was from our old PT). My daughter wears a KAFO and a hinged AFO.

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Old 09-07-2009, 01:01 PM
 
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We did wide Stride Rites. I took the orthotic in and the Stride Rite staff helped me find the best shoe. I do not think Robeez are going to work for you because you have to have room (in the foot area) for the orthotic. Often you will need to take out the shoe sole out of a regular shoe even. My son adjusted. Also, the reason they wanted ankle support might be that his ankles tend to waver or aren't strong enough to hold his foot straight. I don't know how to explain it but my son rolled in because of his ankles being weak. So in addition to the inserted orthotic they wanted ankle support.

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Old 09-07-2009, 01:43 PM
 
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where are you? My son has smo's and I first bought stride rites to fit the smo's and he did okay but then my mother in law convinced me to go to her licensed pedorthist who runs a shoe store...got him some shoes that were made to accomodate the orthotics and he walks fantastic ...if you want to talk more about it pm me .....
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Old 09-08-2009, 12:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all the replies. ds is going to be getting SureStep supports. His feet roll in when he walks. He needs arch and ankle support. I just want to make sure he has both flexibility and support. When I had him try on the Converse high top shoes and walk in them, he looked like he was walking awfully stiffly, as if his ankles didn't have any room to flex.

In the SureStep video I watched, every kid had low top shoes, and you could see the SureSteps sticking out. Maybe that was just so that you could tell that the kids in the video had on the SureSteps.

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Old 09-08-2009, 01:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by WyattsMom2008 View Post
...When I had him try on the Converse high top shoes ...
I'm impressed you managed to get the Cons on! We had a pair of high tops and I couldn't get those suckers on either of my kids' feet (and I tried hard, those things were cute!).

Maybe my kids just have fat feet. :

I would definitely ask again about the shoe recommendation- I can't imagine getting our suresteps inside a leather hightop shoe.
We used the leather hightops before we got orthotics, though, for the extra ankle support. As it turns out, it wasn't enough, and now the support comes from the Sure Steps.

When my son got his, he was walking about 50-60% of the time. Within a week or so of the SureSteps, he was walking 100% of the time. I can't say enough good things about them. We saw a huge difference, and I hope that your experience is as good!
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Old 09-08-2009, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I asked ds's developmental therapist for advice this morning, and she echoed what some others have mentioned. She said the support comes from the SureSteps, not the shoes. Her own daughter wore SureSteps for years. Her only recommendation was to get a wide shoe.

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Old 09-09-2009, 11:28 AM
 
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My daughter has low SMOs. We have Stride Rites. We had to buy them one size up, and wide to allow a good fit.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:16 AM
 
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My daughter has sure steps and we have tried many shoes and the ones she seems most comfortable with are a pair of nikes we got at shopko for around 20 bucks. They lace so you can tighten them or loosen them. we also tried granimals from walmart in a wide width and them seemed to be ok to.

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Old 02-26-2012, 08:26 PM
 
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My son doesn't have Sure Steps but a lower profile orthotic in his shoes.  Our Orthotist recommended the Garanimals brand shoes because they have a wide toe box.  Overall they have been ok, but even though they have a wide toe box we have a little trouble with the height, they can seem squishy on the top of his foot.  So I would definitely try them before committing.  The nice part about them is they are $10 so I bought a pair in his normal size and a size up so we could bring them to his fitting.  We have been able to use his regular shoe size just by taking out the shoe's insole.  Good luck!

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Old 03-31-2012, 07:38 PM
 
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I have tried many different shoes for my son's SMOs.  I then found a leather shoe with velcro.  They are Sula Leather by Keen Kids.  They have a removeable insole that you will need to take out to allow enough room for the SMOs.  They are light and flexable and I am so glad I found them!

 

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Old 11-07-2012, 09:36 AM
 
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The shoe you buy is not dependent on the insert alone. anyone who recommends crocs as footwear that is suitable for someone who wears orthotics is not going to be doing you any favours.

 

In Store between 65% and 70% of our customers come from referrals from medical specialists with orthotics. We are one of very few specialists who have the confidence enough to say we can make sure your child is comfortable and receiving every benefit from their orthotics after having their footwear fitted by one of our specialists. Here is some advice that you may find useful. some may contradict what others are telling you about practicality and what is easy to get on and off. but what is the point of an orthoitc if the shoe is easy to get off....

 

FOR ORTHOTICS TO WORK

 

1. the foot needs to be held onto the orthotic with some kind of fastening

2. there needs to be adequate space for the foot and the orthotic to fit into the footwear. this is not guess work (1 or 2 sizes bigger is not accurate enough when talking about children's footwear) you should have the children's feet measured as always, then be advised by the expert shoe fitter as to what kind of shoe is appropriate.

3. foot position is vital. this is not something you will be able to determine on your own as it requires specialist training. again you require the assistance of a trained shoe fitter. they will understand about foot proportions, and foot position and how to create room or take away room where necessary.

4. the shoe must be strong. if it is not strong you make your child's problem twice as bad because as the orthotic tries to do one thing the shoe allows the foot to do another and you make the problem worse.

 

The best advice anyone can give you is go and find someone who knows what they are doing. if this means going into all the kids shoe shops in your area then that is what you must do. the money you pay for consultations with physios and pediatricians not to mention the orthotics themselves will all be a waste if you do not allow them to do their job by putting them in inappropriate footwear.

 

Jonathan

Foot and Footwear Analyst and Shoe Fitter

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