I have an 8.5yo son who overpronates. His ankles roll inward and his arches appear to be nearly flat. I was told to get him some orthotics to put in his shoes to support his feet in the right position. However, I'm not one for just putting a band aid on an issue. Especially one as important as foot, ankle, knee and hip health, if indeed that is what I'd be doing with the orthotics.

Instead, I looked around the web a bit and found that just being barefoot, as humans were meant to be, would strengthen his feet. I'm more in favor of going barefoot and doing some natural strengthening than sticking some piece of molded rubber in his shoes.

All that being said, he can't walk around barefoot all day because he's in public school. So I'm thinking about getting him a pair of Merrell barefoot sneakers, similar to one of the barefoot shoes I have and like.

Will putting him in barefoot shoes be enough to strengthen his feet to the point where his foot position is corrected or are the orthotics something he actually needs?

Opinions and evidence are greatly appreciated.