Child Foot Pain And Treatments

Child Foot Pain can be caused by a variety of injuries and conditions. Children’s Feet are very delicate and need special care whilst they grow, in order to prevent more serious problems later in life. Factors like badly-fitting shoes can cause your child foot pain, but they can also lead to more serious conditions as your child grows.

Childrens Foot Conditions Causes and Treatments

Chris Parish, our Orthopaedic Podiatrist, has over 23 years experience diagnosing and treating child foot pain and child foot injuries. To discuss your child’s foot pain or foot condition in further detail, or to make an appointment to see Chris about your child’s foot pain, please contact us, by phone, email or using our simple online form


  1. Do My Child’s Shoes Fit Properly?
  2. Baby’s Feet
  3. Overlapping Toes
  4. Starting To Walk
  5. Flat Feet
  6. Growing Up
  7. Sports And Your Child’s Feet
  8. Advice For Parents

You can find further information about child foot pain in the pages linked below, depending on wherabouts on the foot your child’s pain or injury is.

  1. Child Forefoot Pain – Conditions and Treatments
  2. Child Big Toe Pain – Conditions and Treatments
  3. Child Ankle Pain – Conditions and Treatments
  4. Child Heel Pain – Conditions and Treatments
  5. Child Bunions (Hallux Valgus)

Child Foot Conditions And Treatments

Do Your Child’s Shoes Fit Properly?

You worry about your children’s teeth, eyes, and other parts of the body. You teach washing, brushing, and grooming, but what do you do about your child’s feet, those still-developing feet that have to carry the entire weight of the body through a lifetime 5,000 steps per day?
Many adult foot, leg, hip and back problems start in childhood and are present at birth. The way your child walks is vitally important as is the fit of their shoes.

Ill-fitting shoes, especially the “toe-box” of the shoe, will put extra stress on the metatarsal bones in the foot and are a common cause of forefoot pain in children.
Neglecting foot health invites problems in other parts of the body, such as the legs and back. There can also be undesirable personality effects. The youngster with troublesome feet walks awkwardly and usually has poor general posture. As a result, the growing child may become shy, introverted, and avoid athletics and social functions. If you are worried in any way, contact us for advice.

Baby’s Feet

The human foot is one of the most complicated parts of the body it has 26 bones, and an array of ligaments, muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. Because the feet of young children are soft and pliable, abnormal pressure can easily cause deformities.
A child’s feet grow very fast in the first year, attaining almost half their adult foot size. This is why foot specialists consider the first year to be the most important in the development of the feet.
Here are some suggestions to help you assure that this development proceeds normally:

* Look carefully at your baby’s feet. If you notice something that does not look right to you, get it checked straight away. Deformities will not be outgrown by themselves.
* Cover baby’s feet loosely. Cut out the toes of baby gro’s and loosen tight covers on the bed.
* Bare feet are able kick and wriggle, to get ready for walking.

Overlapping Toes

You can find more inbformation on this subject in our child forefoot pain and child big toe pain pages

Starting To Walk

2 Do Nots:

  1. Do not force your child to walk too soon. They will naturally stand and walk when physically and emotionally ready.
  2. Do not compare your child to others of the same age as walking can begin anywhere from 10 to 18 months.

When your child first begins to walk, shoes are not necessary indoors, as long as there are no problems with their feet. This allows for normal growth and development of the muscles and bones. The soft cartilage which your child has can easily be bent out of shape in shoes that don’t fit and your child will not necessarily be able to tell you – shoes don’t have to hurt to do damage. And as a baby’s foot is so flexible, it can easily be squeezed into a badly fitting shoe, storing up trouble for the future.

Therefore it is very important that you have your child’s foot is measured at a reputable high street shoe shop every 2-4 months.

Flat Feet in Children

What are Flat Feet?

There are two types of flat feet:

  1. A condition in which the foot are ‘fixed’ and the foot remains flat even if the child is not standing. In this foot type, the joints are hardly, if at all, able to move.
  2. A condition where the feet have a relatively normal arch when the child is not standing up. However, when they do stand, the feet flatten (or ‘hyper-pronate’). The arch returns when on tip-toe.

We are going to focus on the second one:

Flat feet (over-pronating feet) may affect one or both feet. When babies are born their feet are flat and this is normal. The arch normally begins to form by the age of two to three.

When the feet flatten, the leg rotates too. These forces then carry on up though the knees and thighs, into the hips and back. However, this does not always cause pain or injury.

Symptoms of Flat Feet in Children

Some children with flat feet feel get symptoms like an ache in the arch, pain around the ankle or down the outside edge of the foot. Occasionally children have feet so flat that their symptoms stop them wanting to run - or even walk. Flat feet in children often mean they will wear shoes out very quickly.

Your child may feel foot or ankle pain. As they get older, your child may get pain in the heel or knee when walking and running. If your child complains of such pain you should them checked by an Orthopaedic Podiatrist.

The Orthopaedic Podiatrist will look at your child’s feet to make sure that the pain isn’t caused by a problem coming from the hip or elsewhere. They will tell you what the problem is just by looking at your child’s feet and legs.

Treatment of Flat Feet

Most flat feet cause no trouble and do not need treatment. Sometimes Custom-Made Orthotic Insoles can help. If they are worn from an early enough age, they might actually help the adult position of the foot.

If the child is 10 or older, the flexible flat feet can be considered permanent and your child will need Custom-Made Orthotic Insoles permanently to prevent future problems in the feet and spine. This is especially important when one foot is flatter than the other, because forces imposed during walking and running travel up the legs and into the hips and back.

Growing Up

As your child’s feet continue to grow, it may be necessary to change shoes and socks every few months to allow the feet to grow. Although foot problems result mainly from injury, deformity, illness, or hereditary factors, improper footwear can aggravate pre-existing conditions. Shoes should never be handed down.

The feet of young children can often be unstable due to muscle problems, which make walking difficult or uncomfortable. Examination by an Orthopaedic Podiatrist may detect an underlying problem, which may require urgent treatment.

Sports and Your Child’s Feet

Millions of British children take part in sporting activities of all kinds. Many of them do these activities outside school and sometimes proper advice or equipment is advice is not always available. You should be concerned about your child’s participation in sports that require a considerable amount of running and twisting.

Advice For Parents

Problems noticed at birth will not disappear by themselves. You should not wait until the child begins walking to take care of a problem you’ve noticed earlier.

Remember your child will not always be able to tell you if there is something wrong. The bones of growing feet are so flexible that they can be damaged without your child knowing.

Walking is the best of all foot exercises. Walking patterns should be carefully observed. Does your child toe in or out, have knock knees, or often trip? These problems can be corrected if they are detected early enough. Going barefoot is normally best for children indoors.

Always have your children’s feet measured every time you buy shoes.

Chris Parish, our Orthopaedic Podiatrist, has over 23 years experience diagnosing and treating child foot pain and child foot injuries. To discuss your child’s foot pain or foot condition in further detail, or to make an appointment to see Chris about your child’s foot pain, please contact us, by phone, email or using our simple online form

Child Orthopaedic Pain and Injuries - Causes and Treatments


To book an appointment, please call your nearest FootPhysics centre:

Methley Park Hospital, Leeds
01977 518 518

Elland Hospital, Elland
01422 324 000

Recent Posts


Receive Our Newsletter
* indicates required