Pigeon Toe Treatment – The Proven Method to Stop Pigeon Toe in Kids

Has your child been walking or running differently lately? Are your kid’s feet and legs turning inwards when they are walking? Parents are usually pretty good at noticing when something is not right about their kids. Let’s start by clarifying what it means to be pigeon-toed: Kids’ who walk with their feet turned in instead of pointing straight ahead are described as being “pigeon-toed” or having “in-toeing.” The most effective pigeon toe treatment involves wearing the correct pair of shoes to help improve your child’s foot posture and walking gait.

This condition is more common than you can imagine and can be easily treated and corrected by wearing good supportive shoes and in certain cases orthotics as well (depending on the degree of your child’s condition).

If your child has been diagnosed as being pigeon toed, then you must take action immediately, since when children walk with their toes pointing inwards it can lead them to put pressure on parts of their body where they are not supposed to —which usually leads to foot and leg pain.

The correct type of shoes can have a tremendous impact on improving the way your child walks and runs. Don’t take my word for it, let me prove it to you!

Pigeon Toe Treatment – What a Difference a Shoe Can Make!

Below is a picture of a child that is pigeon-toed and standing barefoot. Do you notice how the feet are pointing inwards instead of pointing straight ahead?

Now let’s take a look at a picture of the same child wearing a pair of supportive shoes that I recommend. Do you notice how the child’s feet are a lot straighter?

How Do You Fix Pigeon Toe in Children?

I work for a children’s shoe store and I know for a fact that certain shoes can help improve your child’s walking gait and overall posture.

After fitting a child with pigeon toes in the right pair of shoes with good arch support and a firm heel counter, I always have them walk around the store to check if their walking gait is improving or not. Generally, the positive impact that the shoes have on the way the child walks is quite shocking and immediate. In most cases, we see the child walk a lot straighter right away!

A pair of supportive shoes can make a tremendous difference in improving your children’s overall posture and allow them to walk and run straighter.

What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Effective for Kids with Pigeon Toes?

1️⃣ Substantial Outsoles: The shoes I recommend provide a substantial outsole that helps prevent the child’s feet from pointing inwards. Let me show you the difference in support between one of the shoes I recommend and a different style:

supportive-shoes-for-children-with-flat-feet

2️⃣ Firm Heel Counters: This feature also helps prevent your child’s feet from pointing inwards. Below you can see the difference in ankle support between one of the shoes I recommend and a different style:

children's-shoes-with-heel-support

3️⃣ Straight Lasts: This feature helps improve foot posture. You need to stay away from shoes that have an excessively curved last as they lack heel stability. Most Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour shoes come with a curved or semi-curved last. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes:

children's-shoes-with-straight-lasts

What is Causing Your Child to Pigeon Toe? – Learn the Facts!

In-toeing is believed to be genetic. There are 3 conditions that often cause in-toeing:

  • Curved foot (metatarsus adductus)
  • Twisted shin (tibia torsion)
  • Twisted thighbone (femoral anteversion)

How Can Parents Tell if Their Kids are Pigeon Toed?

Several parents have asked me how they can identify if their child has pigeon toes as some cases are more visible than others. I always advise them to pay attention to the way their child walks, but another good way to tell is by looking at the shoes that the child is wearing since they will show signs of unusual wear.

For example, let’s compare a shoe that a child with pigeon toe has been wearing versus a new shoe. Do you notice how the shoe on the left is caving into the right? That means that when the child is walking the feet are curving inwards instead of pointing straight ahead.

supportive-shoe-for-child-with-overpronation

Before I show you a selection of the best shoes for pigeon toe treatment, I want to make sure that you know your child’s exact foot size. You won’t be able to order the correct shoe size online if you don’t know your child’s foot size to begin with.

Are You 100% Sure of Your Child’s Foot Size?

I always recommend parents take their children to their local fitting children’s shoe store that they trust, the issue is that most fitting stores have been closing down and parents end up buying their kids’ shoes online. There is nothing wrong with this, but you must know your child’s exact foot size to know what size to order.

I created a resource that showcases the best-fitting children’s shoe stores by state.

If after looking at that resource you still can’t seem to identify a shoe store in your area, then proceed to take a look at an article I created that describes the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home.

In that article I help parents determine their child’s exact foot size and whether the child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet. I also will be able to tell you whether your child has a high instep or not.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best shoes for kids with pigeon toe. Keep in mind that these are not orthopedic shoes, just regular everyday sneakers that simply provide better support than others.

The Best Shoes for Pigeon Toe Treatment

Below you can find a list of the best shoes for pigeon-toed children. The shoes below can fit children with medium (M), wide (W) or extra wide (XW) feet. Disclosure: Some links in this post may be affiliate links and we may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) when you click our links and make purchases. 

I always recommend shoelaces over velcro closure for children who need to wear orthotics inside their shoes. Shoelaces provide better support and stability, and help keep the orthotic in place better than shoes with velcro closure. Shoelaces also lock and support your kids’ heels.

I recommend shoes that come with shoelaces instead of velcro closure as shoelaces provide better support and stability than velcro shoes.

Below are some of the benefits that these shoes provide:

  • They help children walk with their feet close together and legs straight.
  • They help prevent your children from running with their legs swinging out.
  • They help prevent your children from tripping and falling often.

I am not a doctor, but I have fitted shoes and orthotics for hundreds of children with pigeon toe issues at the children’s shoe store that I work for. I have learned what works and what doesn’t by testing different shoes and orthotics.

Families Testimonials – Get Inspired!

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Does Pigeon Toe Go Away?

Addressing pigeon toe from an early stage is crucial in keeping your kids’ feet and legs healthy. Nevertheless, if a child’s in-toeing remains by the age of 9 or 10 years old, surgery may be required to correct it.

This is the reason why keeping an eye on the way your child walks is extremely important, that way you can take action at an early stage and provide your child with the correct pair of supportive shoes.

If you try a pair of supportive shoes for 3 to 5 months and your child is still in-toeing, then your child might be a candidate for orthotics.

Orthotics for Pigeon Toe – When the Shoes are Not the Solution!

Orthotics can help improve your kids’ posture and reduce or completely eliminate the excess stress on their knees and hip joints.

In-Toeing – How Worried Should You Be?

Some studies show that infants who are pigeon-toed in the early years might outgrow the condition without any necessary treatment. However, if your child’s in-toeing persists after six months, or if it is hard and difficult to straighten out the feet and legs, you should get a professional evaluation immediately.

This usually leads to a recommendation of good supportive shoes and maybe an orthotic to help straighten your kids’ feet and legs.

2 Exercises That Will Help Treat this Condition

Your child’s pediatrician may have prescribed treatments such as physiotherapy. Below are some examples of exercises that can help pigeon-toed children:

First Exercise

  • Have your toddler or young child sit up straight in a child-sized firm chair —children with pigeon toes tend to sit with their legs crossed naturally.
  • Start by helping your child sit in a chair with his or her legs uncrossed and the feet should be flat on the floor.
  • Make a trace of his or her feet in the correct slightly-outward position on a piece of paper.
  • Make a game of this exercise by having your child sit in the chair with her feet in the outlines of the tracings on the paper.

Repeat this exercise as frequently as possible.

Second Exercise

  • Clear an area that is approximately 6 square feet in your living room or garden to avoid injuries.
  • Make your kid walk backward after showing him or her a demonstration.
  • Have him follow you walking backward.
  • Continue the exercise for up to 10 to 20 minutes or as long as your child is willing to do it.

This exercise helps to strengthen the hip joints to keep your kids’ feet straight while walking.

I always emphasize to parents to never ignore their children’s foot and leg pain. When children are experiencing foot or leg pain, I recommend treating the condition with a pair of good supportive shoes. However, if the pain persists after wearing the right pair of shoes, then we might consider providing the child with a pair of orthotics as well.

Something so simple such as providing your child with the correct pair of shoes can be the solution to your kids’ foot problems.

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

Do not hesitate to contact me if you ever have trouble finding a particular shoe style for your child with pigeon toe: fittingchildrensshoes@gmail.com 

Is your child pigeon-toed? Has your child been experiencing foot or leg pain? What steps have you taken to stop the pain and improve the way they walk? Please share your experiences below so other families can benefit from them.