The type of shoe your child wears is important in helping to support proper alignment and protect their feet as they grow and develop. It is also important incase of an emergency where the child needs to be taken outside of school quickly. See below for a list of options recommended by our Physical Therapy Department.  

The American Podiatric Medical Association recommends looking at three aspects of the shoe when searching for the right shoe:  

  • Stiff heel cup. You should be able to squeeze the sides of the heel cup without them collapsing.  
  • Shoe flexibility. When you bend the shoe up, it should crease where your child’s toes bend.  
  • Rigidity in middle of shoes. When twisting shoe side-to-side, it should not easily twist.  

Below are examples of shoes with stiff heel cups, flexible soles, and overall rigidity:  

1. Carter’s

2. Carter’s

3. Stride Rite

4. Cat & Jack

5. New Balance

Shoes with Orthotics

When looking for shoes for orthotics, keep in mind to look for shoes that come in wide sizes, as well as easier ways to secure the shoes, such as Velcro straps and zippers. Below are a few examples of shoes that are can be adjusted to orthotics.

1. BILLY Footwear

2. New Balance

Shoes for Sensory Needs

Some children have sensory needs and prefer to be barefoot. You can first try to find the right socks. You can try seamless socks (Kozieclothes, SmartKnitKIDS, Jefferies Socks) or compression socks so only smooth fabric is touching the skin. If your child still does not tolerate wearing shoes, we recommend a water shoe or a sock shoe with a leather or rubber sole. Shoes should be closed toe and with a closed heel to prevent loss of balance while navigating environment. Below are some examples:

1. Green Sprout Baby

2. Grookz

3. O’Neill Kids Reef Shoes

4. Alex and Nova

If you have additional questions about specific shoes for your child, do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s Physical Therapist!

Blue Bird Day fosters socialization, sensory regulation, and pre-academic learning in children ages 2-7 years in therapeutic rotations that simulate  preschool and kindergarten settings. Our compassionate therapists practice a relationship-based and family-centered approach, provide parent training, and collaborate on goals and individualized intensive treatment plans for your child.

We believe in a collaborative and multi-disciplinary team approach to therapy. A team of occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, dietitians, developmental therapists, behavioral therapists, physical therapists, and therapeutic assistants are created for each child to ensure child and family are fully supported and the best possible results are achieved.  

Options for individualized, group and virtual therapy sessions are available as well. 

Want to learn more or you have a specific question? Feel free to connect with us here! 

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