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How to Tie Shoes to Prevent Toe Walking – Let’s Help Your Child Walk Heel to Toe


Do you have a child who has been toe walking lately? Did you take your child to your medical professional and were told that your child will eventually outgrow this condition? Waiting for your child’s toe walking condition to correct on its own can only lead to the condition getting worse.

I work for a children’s shoe store that specializes in helping children with “complicated” foot shapes and conditions such as toe walking. I have helped hundreds of toe walking children start walking heel to toe by fitting them into the correct type of shoes. My coworker who has over 30 years of shoe fitting experience taught me the most effective way of how to tie shoes to prevent toe walking.


Most parents are confused as to what to do when they notice their child walking on their toes. I suggest being proactive and not taking the “wait and see approach” as that can only lead to the condition getting harder to manage.

If left untreated, toe walking can lead to your child developing poor coordination, muscle tightening and stiffness, and pain in the Achilles tendon.

Can My Child Simply Outgrow Toe Walking?

Some children do outgrow it. Others do not. There’s simply no guarantee of what will happen.

I can tell you that toe walking is common in children who are learning how to walk. However, if your child is two years old or older and continues to toe walk, then I strongly suggest taking action to prevent further complications.

By taking action I mean making sure that your child is wearing the correct type of shoes. In some cases, the child might have to be fitted for orthotics as well, but it all starts with wearing the correct type of shoes.

Something so simple such as making sure that your child wears the correct shoes can make all of the difference on whether your child continues toe walking or not.

How to Tie Shoes to Prevent Toe Walking

Shoes that come with shoelaces are always better than shoes that come with velcro straps when it comes to preventing a child from walking on his or her toes. Laces are usually more effective in “hugging” the child’s feet, helping improve balance and coordination.

There is a specific shoe lacing technique that is the most effective for toe-walking children. My coworker who has over 30 years of shoe fitting experience taught me this technique, and I want to share it with you as it can make all the difference in helping “ground” your child.

1️⃣ Begin by lacing your child’s shoes normally with a crisscross but leave the top two eyelets of the shoes unlaced:


2️⃣ Go through the top eyelet first:


3️⃣ Go through the eyelet that you left unlaced:


Why Is This Shoe Lacing Technique Effective for Toe Walking Children?

This shoe lacing technique pushes your child’s feet back, securing your child’s feet against the back part of the shoes, which serves as a reminder for your child to get off his or her toes.

In addition, there is a large number of children who need to wear orthotics inside their shoes to prevent toe walking. This shoe lacing technique works great for children who wear orthotics as well as it prevents heel slippage and helps keep the orthotic in place.

Getting the Correct Shoelaces for Your Child’s Shoes

The shoelaces below are durable and available in different lengths so make sure that you get them long enough for this shoe lacing technique to work.

Why Do Children Toe Walk?

These are the 3 most common reasons why children toe walk:

  • Flat feet
  • Sensory issues
  • Instability

With that said, not all toe walkers are the same. Some shoes that work well for some toe-walking children might not work as well for others.

Make Sure That Your Kids’ Shoes Are Not Too Long!

I always emphasize to parents the importance of limiting the amount of growing room inside the shoes for toe walking children. When there is extra room in the front part of the shoes it makes it easier for children to get on their toes.

If you need help figuring out your child’s exact foot length and foot shape take a look at the article below:

How to Measure Your Kids’ Foot – 2 Simple Steps to Determine Foot Length and Foot Width

My Effective Approach to Toe Walking

At the shoe store that I work for, I handle approximately 100 shoe fittings per week, and over the years I became familiar with the best shoes for toe walking children.

If you are unsure whether your child is wearing the correct type of shoes I suggest that you start by taking a look at a different article I wrote called:

Shoes for Tip Toe Walking Children – Prevent Your Kids from Walking on Their Toes!

The shoes described in that article provide 3 key features that help prevent toe walking:

  • A rigid front part of the shoe.
  • A substantial outsole with a firm heel counter.
  • Shoelaces instead of velcro closure.

Not all toe walkers are the same, and some shoes that work really well for some children might not work as well for others. If after reading that article you are unsure about which shoes are best for your child’s toe walking condition or you want me to take a closer look at your child’s feet contact me at the email below:


Final Thoughts on Children Who Toe Walk

Some children who toe walk don’t complain about any foot or leg pain, but their parents are still concerned about the impact their walking pattern may have on their future function as teenagers and adults.

Children who toe walk can strongly benefit from physical therapy to help treat the underlying cause and teach the child how to properly walk heel to toe. Whichever approach you take, I strongly suggest that you don’t take the “wait and see approach” as the longer you wait, the worse your child’s condition might get.


I created this webpage to help parents understand the importance that shoes have in healthy foot development and how they can prevent foot problems in the future.Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

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2 Comments on How to Tie Shoes to Prevent Toe Walking – Let’s Help Your Child Walk Heel to Toe

  1. First, I am very grateful for so much information that you have made available to parents of toe-walking children 🙏 In a country where getting proper medical help requires jumping through hoops even after insurance and paying so much – you come across as an angel for your active help.

    We asked several doctors in the US about my son’s toe-walking and they all said it will go away. Then when he was 11, we went to India and showed his walking to a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and neurologist both of whom said that it is idiopathic and he does not have a flat foot. We went to a local physiotherapist they recommended while we were in India and she was shocked that my son’s condition was ignored by US doctors for so many years. She said they treat kids with toe-walking in India from 9 months of age right when they start to walk because it’s easiest to fix and prevents problems in the tendon muscles and other hip joints and muscles. In my son’s case, his muscles around his hip and feet have become tight and less flexible because he has compensated for the toe-walking in other connected joints. They said he may never fully regain flexibility and mobility back in those muscles fully but physiotherapy and reversing his toe-walking will give him strength and improvement recovery.

    Sorry for the long story, however we will try out the shoes that you are recommending with the shoelace tying technique.

    • Hello Ananya,

      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and emphasizing the importance of being proactive and not taking the “wait and see approach” when it comes to treating and preventing toe walking.

      Keep us posted about how the shoes work out for your son.

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