Heel pain in children´s feet

Effect of orthotics for children with heel pain

We have spent the last 10 years studying what can cause heel pain in children and teens.

We know that children are rarely affected by plantar fasciitis, heel spur or heel pad bruises. The most common cause of pain in children´s feet is Severs disease – also known as calcaneal apophysitis.

What is Severs disease?

Severs disease is swelling and irritation of the child´s growth plate in the heel. Children and teens with Severs disease are normally aged 8-14 years.  The condition is growth related and therefore not a result of an impact injury – rather due to overuse and repetitive stress to the heel bone.

Severs disease is often extremely painful and can cause a lot of disruption to the child’s physical and mental wellbeing. Most people have never heard about Severs disease, so when a child complains about heel pain it’s only natural that the parents are concerned. Initially the most asked questions are:

*Why does my child have pain in the heel?
Most likely due to an irritation of growth plate in the heel bone called Severs disease

*Should we be concerned about pediatric heel pain?  
No, severs disease is growth related and there is no long-term damage

*Will the heel pain go away – without an intervention?
Yes, but Severs disease can come and go until the age of 14

*Can you play sports with Severs disease?
9 out of 10 children can return to their sport(s) when using Solemaids insoles.

Danish studies: widespread and overlooked

A large study, conducted in Denmark (from 2008-2011), among school children between the age of 6-12 concluded that the most frequent ‘injury’ was heel pain. This indicates that heel pain is widespread and possibly significantly overlooked.


Further to that the Danish physiotherapist, Per Øllgaard, conducted a descriptive observational study in 2017. During this year he saw more than 500 children and teens with heel pain.

Among the findings was the worrying fact that; 79 % of the children with heel pain reported that they had to reduce their participation in sport or drop out entirely.  

Furthermore, he listed that the children who had tried traditional treatments such as rest, gel pads, heel cups, exercises, sports tape, and other types of orthotics – did not have any effect.

How to treat Severs disease

Two cohort studies (2020) show us that children were helped by the Solemaids insole, a unique shoe insert for children´s pain. After using the insoles for three months the study indicates a positive effect of the orthotic intervention: 95 % reported that the heel pain intensity had become “much better” or “somewhat” better.


After six months 55 % of the children were pain free, 74 % had significantly reduced their pain level and 82 % felt their pein was much better compared to baseline.

These two studies were both without control groups and can therefore not be used to validate cause and effect of the Solemaids insole alone.

 For further information please have a look at: Clinical-evidence-for-the-effect-of-orthotics-for-treating-Severs-disease