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Sandals for Kids with Curly Toes – Round Toe-Boxes with Extra Depth


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated and revised for accuracy on February 2022 and reflects an up-to-date selection of the best sandals for kids with curly toes.

Have you noticed that your child’s toes curl under? Did your medical professional diagnose your child with curly toes? Even though this condition commonly resolves on its own as the foot grows, it should be monitored closely as early intervention is critical in treating this condition.

What Role Do Shoes Play in Helping Kids with Curly Toes?

Providing children with the wrong shoe style or shoe size can exacerbate the problem even more as they might crowd your child’s toes, causing the tendons of the toes to contract and tighten. Extended time in this position might cause a shift in the shape of your child’s foot, curling your child’s toes.

How Do Curly Toes Look Like?

Curly toes are contractures in the toes where the toe is pulling back and hammering into the ground or folding up underneath another toe. It can happen in all of the toes or one or two isolated toes.


Are Curly Toes a Problem?

Curly toes are quite common and are usually present at birth, and are also referred to as overlapping and underlapping toes. This condition tends to affect the third, fourth, and fifth toes.

Curly toes become a problem when you start noticing any of the following conditions:

  • Flattening or thickening of your child’s toenails
  • Pain or discomfort when performing daily activities
  • Sores, corns, or blisters from pressure

It’s important to keep a close eye on your child’s feet as persistent, problematic toes beyond the age of 5 years may require surgery.

Why Does Your Child Have Curly Toes?

The most common causes of curly toes are:

  • Hereditary predisposition: If one or both parents have curly toes, their children are more likely to have it as well.
  • Abnormally tight flexor tendons pull the toes down and in towards the big toe.
  • Wearing shoes that are too short or too narrow.

When it comes to treating curly toes, I don’t recommend any type of intervention, but I do strongly recommend making sure that your child is wearing the correct pair of shoes in the correct size.

What Shoes Work Best for Kids with Curly Toes?

Curly toes is one of the more common foot problems in childhood, and providing children with the correct types of shoes is critical to help treat this condition and don’t make it worse.

During the summertime, parents are confused as to what shoes their children should wear. I have put together a list of the best sandals for kids with curly toes, and I will show you this list shortly.

What Makes the Sandals that I Recommend Ideal for Kids with Curly Toes?

The sandals that I recommend provide two key features that makes them ideal for kids with curly toes:

✅ Rounded Toe-Boxes: The sandals that I recommend provide rounder toe-boxes to help prevent your child’s toes from rubbing against one another or the side of the sandals. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes:


✅ Extra Depth: Sandals with extra depth allow your child’s feet to fit deeply inside of the sandals and prevent the top part of the toes from rubbing against the top part of the sandals. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes:


Are Open Toed Sandals Better than Closed Toed Sandals?

The advantage of providing your child with a pair of open toed sandals is that you will be able to adjust how much pressure you put on your child’s toes. Open toed sandals come with an adjustable strap at the front for easy adjustability.

My Experience Helping Children with Curly Toes

I am not a medical professional, but I have a lot of experience when it comes to fitting children’s shoes. I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now. Our store specializes in shoes for children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. 


Several physical and occupational therapists refer families to the shoe store to be fitted for supportive shoes and orthotics. Over the years I became familiar with the best sandals for kids with curly toes.

Making sure that children wear the appropriate footwear can help stabilize and support them as they grow.

The Importance of Wearing Sandals in the Correct Size

Start by taking a look at a resource I created where I showcase the best children’s shoe stores by state. Go to the link below:

The Best Kids’ Shoe Stores In The United States – Where To Go For Proper Fittings

If after looking at that resource you still can’t seem to find a store in your area, then take a look at an article that I created that will help you figure out exactly what shoe size you need to order online:

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

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.

Now that you know what features the sandals that I recommend provide and how to figure out your child’s exact foot size from home, you are ready to take a look at a selection of the best sandals for kids with curly toes. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

Best Sandals for Kids with Curly Toes

These are the deepest sandals with the roundest toe-boxes that I have fitted before, and they are also available in different widths such as medium (M) and wide (W).

Many of the sandals featured below come in several color options, so if your child likes a specific model, please make sure to click through and see if they have the desired color.

Toddler Sizes

Little/Big Kid Sizes

What Shoe Size Should You Order?

Keep in mind that most sandals are not available in half sizes, they are available in whole sizes only. I suggest always rounding up so your child can wear the sandals for the whole summer season.

In each of the descriptions of the shoes I indicate whether you need to order a half a size or a whole size bigger than your child’s foot size to provide the correct amount of growing room.

Are These Sandals Easy to Get On and Off?

These sandals open up widely, which makes it easy for parents to put them on and off. I mention this because a lot of parents struggle to get their child’s shoes on and off when they curl their toes.

When putting your child’s sandals on, I suggest that you gently press your child’s toes flat to the sole and then keep applying gentle pressure while sliding your child’s feet towards the front of the sandals.

Are Any Other Sandal Choices Available?

Do not hesitate to contact me if you are having trouble finding a particular shoe style to help treat your child’s curly toes. My e-mail address is:


What are the Best Sneakers for Kids with Curly Toes?

If you are looking for a pair of everyday sneakers to help treat your child’s curly toes I suggest that you take a look at the article below:

Shoes for Children with Curly Toes – Extra Depth and Rounder Toe-Boxes!

The Final Fitting

If your child complains about pain in the toes, it is important to take your child to be examined by a foot specialist to see what type of treatment might work best.  Usually, the toes will get stiffer with time, which may require a more extensive surgical procedure if not corrected early. 

The earlier the intervention, the better the outcome. When children are young, the deformity is flexible, and the older they get, the deformity gets rigid, making the correction less successful.

Simple non-surgical measures such as shoes with extra space across the toes may be helpful.


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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