Adaptive Shoes for Children With Autism

Adaptive Shoes for Children With Autism

autistic child putting on adaptive shoes

Have you noticed that your child with autism is having a hard time keeping their shoes on?

In this article we are going to give you some tips to help keep your child’s shoes on their feet. Additionally, we are going to list some of the best adaptive shoes for children with autism.

But first, let’s understand why children with ASD have a hard time with their shoes. 

Why Autistic Children Have a Hard Time with Their Shoes

No two children are alike. With children with autism this is even more evident. However, there are some common factors as to why your child is having a hard time with their shoes.  

Foot pain

If your child’s foot is in pain, it is very likely that your child will not want to wear a shoe. Foot pain can be the result of an injury or physical condition, like flat feet. You should consult your child’s doctor or therapist to come up with a plan to treat the foot pain.

Sensory issues

Sensory processing disorder is a common symptom that children with ASD suffer from. This causes children with autism to experience hypersensitivity to various elements in their environment, including shoes, clothing, and noise.

Fine motor skill issues

Many autistic children have difficulties learning to tie their shoes due to poor fine motor skills. This can trigger meltdowns as they struggle with this basic life skill and further increases their reluctance to wear shoes. 

Now that you know some of the common reasons why autistic children struggle with their shoes, let’s examine what you can do to help them keep their shoes on. 

How Do You Get a Child With Autism to Keep Their Shoes On? 

Persuading your child with autism to keep their shoes on can be a daunting task. Here are a few tips that can help you turn wearing shoes into a positive experience for your child. 

Use shoes that fit well and are comfortable: If the shoes are too loose or too tight, it can be difficult for your child to keep them on. Make sure the shoes fit properly and are comfortable for your child to wear.

Use shoe laces or Velcro closures: Laces or Velcro closures can help keep the shoes securely on your child’s feet. This can be especially helpful for children who are prone to taking their shoes off.

Use socks or footed tights: Socks or footed tights can help keep the shoes in place and may be more comfortable for your child to wear.

Use reinforcement: You can try using positive reinforcement to encourage your child to keep their shoes on. For example, you could offer a small reward or praise every time your child successfully keeps their shoes on.

Talk to an ABA therapist: If your child is having difficulty keeping their shoes on despite trying different strategies, it may be helpful to speak with an ABA therapist or other professional who has experience working with children with autism. They may be able to offer additional suggestions or techniques to try.

While all these tips are helpful, it is important that you first have a comfortable shoe that is designed for children with autism. These are known as adaptive shoes.   

What are Adaptive Shoes?

Adaptive shoes are shoes that have been designed to meet the specific needs of children with autism or other developmental disabilities. These shoes may have certain features that make them easier for your child to put on and take off, and may also be designed to provide additional support or stability. Some examples include:

Shoes with Velcro closures: Velcro closures can be easier for children with autism to use than laces, as they do not require the child to tie a knot.

Shoes with wide or deep toe boxes: Children with autism may have sensory issues that make it difficult for them to wear shoes with narrow toe boxes. Shoes with wide or deep toe boxes can provide more room for the toes and may be more comfortable for your child to wear.

Shoes with padded insoles: Padded insoles can help provide additional cushioning and support for the feet, which may be beneficial for children with autism who have sensory issues or who are prone to foot pain.

Shoes with non-slip soles: Children with autism may have difficulty with balance and coordination, so shoes with non-slip soles can help provide additional traction and stability.

Shoes with removable insoles: Removable insoles can be helpful for children with autism who need to wear orthotic inserts or other types of foot supports.

It’s important to note that what works for one child with autism may not work for another, so it may take some trial and error to find the right shoes for your child. 

If you are not sure where to start check out our list of the best adaptive shoes below.

The Best Adaptive Shoes for Children with Autism

BILLY Footwear Kids Baby Girl’s Classic

This classic from BILLY footwear has innovative Flip-Top technology, which gives kids a fun and easy way to put on and take off their shoes. It is crafted from a durable canvas upper with breathable textile lining and a removable insole.  

BILLY Footwear Sport Inclusion One

The BILLY Footwear sport has a sleek styling and adaptive zip around closure with a padded collar and comfortable insole for all-day comfort. The insole is removable as well. The FlipTop Technology with zip around closure that makes them easy to put on and wear all day.

BILLY Footwear Kids Classic Lace High Sneakers

Crafted from a lightweight man-made upper, this sneaker features a lace-up detailing at the vamp, durable toe guard, breathable textile lining and a flexible rubber outsole. Its durable jersey upper in a high-top silhouette accounts for durable wear & increased tear resistance while breathable textile lining and elastic gore side strip for a secure fit.

Casbeam Boys and Girls Casual Sports Walking Shoes 

Made with breathable knit upper and lightweight rubber soles with compact outer fabric. The simple colors match any style. Very fashionable and lightweight your kids just need to slip them on and go.

Stride Rite Athletic Sneaker

This kid’s machine washable athletic sneakers with breathable lightweight design is one of a kind. The supreme comfort Ortholite memory foam footbeds and a padded heel collar make this a very comfortable sneaker.

Mishansha Hiking Shoes

High quality artificial leather and oxford upper material makes these hiking shoes more breathable and flexible. With breathable mesh lining the sneakers keep your feet dry and comfortable. Great for wearing during spring, fall and winter.

Mishansha Athletic Hiking Shoes 

These running shoes feature high-quality Oxford fabric and mesh for air circulation and will keep your child’s feet dry. The all-inclusive wear-resistant rubber toe protection is designed to protect the safety of children’s feet outdoors.

Reebok Unisex-Child Equal Fit Adaptive Running Shoe

This shoe is easy to put on and off with the strap. They’re comfortable and are perfect for children with ASD. They are made of rubber and are water resistant.

Adidas Unisex-Child Lite Racer Adapt 4.0 Running Shoe

These toddlers’ lace less running shoes have a breathable feel. The slip-on design allows them to be taken off quickly. It has a cloud foam midsole for step-in comfort and superior cushioning.

DREAM PAIRS Boys Girls Breathable Sneakers Running Shoes

These kids athletic sneakers come with a lightweight, soft and comfortable design. The slip-on shoes come with a hook-and-loop to take off easily.

Firelli Boys Loafers Hook and Loop Dress Shoes

These synthetic leather shoes are skin-friendly, durable and easy to clean. The hook and loop closure offers an adjustable fit and allows for easy on and off. The padded collar and soft insole provide extra comfort.

UBFEN Kids Sneakers

Made of mesh fabric that will keep your kids feet dry when walking and running. It has a Toe Cap Anti-Collision Design, Rubber Sole, and an Adjustable Hook And Loop.

DNOEKW Kids Shoes

These toddler shoes feature soft and durable soles, which are like walking on clouds. A knitted mesh upper offers ultra lightweight and breathable inside, which keeps your kids feet dry and comfortable. The non-slip MD sole greatly enhances the grip, which ensures the safety your kids.

BILLY Footwear Street Wrap

The Street special O sneaker features innovative FlipTop technology, giving kids a fun and easy way to put on and take off their shoes with wrap-around zipper closure. Its durable canvas upper in a high-top silhouette accounts for durable wear & increased tear resistance while breathable canvas lining and Lace-up vamp offers a custom fit.

Merrell Unisex-Child Trail Chaser

Convenient hook & loop closure for a snug fit and easy on/off durable suede and breathable mesh upper cushy EVA footbed for all day comfort. The M Select GRIP allows for flexible, non-marking traction.

See Kai Run Adaptive Shoe  

Mesh upper is lightweight and flexible with a soft, sensory-friendly, recycled mesh lining. The dual, adjustable extra-long straps fit around orthotics but can also be cut to fit. The Herringbone lug pattern provides great traction for play.

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