It’s one of the rights of passage as a youngster playing sports for the first time. “Kids as young as 5 or 6 years old through adolescence putting on their cleats or spikes shoes for sports like little league baseball, softball, and soccer. “In general, this is not unhealthy, but problems with the heels and ball of the foot are common in growing kids. The most common problem we see with kids is a condition sometimes called Sever’s apophysitis,” says sports podiatrist Robert Weil, DPM.
“We tell parents to omit cleats or spikes if their kids have any history of heel pain. Instead, switch to multiple nub shoes or cross-training sneakers and consider soft heel cups or cushions. Persistent or ongoing problems are often related to foot type (flat or high arch), and in many cases, a podiatrist can help,” says Dr. Weil.