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Sandals for Toe Walking – Let’s Prevent Your Kids From Walking On Their Toes!

shoes-for-kids-who-toe-walk

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated and revised for accuracy on March 2022 and reflects an up-to-date selection of the best sandals for toe walking.

I have been contacted by several parents and physical/occupational therapists with one common question: What are the best sandals to wear in the summer for children who walk with their tip-toes? The correct types of sandals can make a world of difference in treating and preventing your child’s tip-toe walking condition.

Can Children Outgrow Toe Walking?

There is a common misconception that children will outgrow toe walking. I have seen several cases where they actually did, but also several other cases where they didn’t. Either way, there is one thing that most doctors agree with: Early and prompt intervention is key when dealing with toe walking.

Children between the ages of 1 and 5 are in the process of development and treatment will be a lot more effective compared to children who are 5 years old or older, as in that case the tendons and ankles might already be too stiff.

Every parent should be aware that prolonged toe-walking can create serious issues if not dealt with from an early stage.

I always recommend parents to be proactive and don’t take the “wait and see approach when it comes to treating their children’s foot conditions. Leaving your children’s foot conditions untreated can only lead to the condition getting worse.

Can Sandals Help Prevent Toe Walking?

If you have a child that has been diagnosed with toe-walking and you looking for a pair of sandals that will help treat your child’s toe walking condition you are in good hands. I have found certain sandals that have proven to be the most effective ones when it comes to treating tip-toe walking.

The sandals that I recommend are made by the shoe company Keen and Teva. I want to clarify that not all sandals from these two shoe brands will be effective for toe walking children, just some specific styles.

Certain children may walk on their toes most of the time for no apparent reason. The reason why children toe-walk remains unknown, but you need to take early action because this condition might lead to muscle shortening in the calf muscles. Some children simply walk on their toes because they like the sensation that they get when they do it. Whichever the reason may be, you need to take this condition seriously, and the early you take action, the better. I have heard several different stories from different families about how their children ended up needing casting because of their toe walking condition.

keen-sandals-for-kids

If your child is below the age of 2 years and toe-walks, there is nothing for you to worry about. If your child is beyond the age of 3 and you still notice that your child toe walks, you will need to provide your child with the correct pair of shoes, since early intervention is key when treating this condition.

Before you seek out intervention from a professional, I recommend fitting your child in the correct pair of shoes, since this might decrease the frequency of toe walking.

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes

I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now. This experience has afforded me many insights into children’s shoes and the way they fit. Our store specializes in shoes for children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well.

about-me

From my experience fitting thousands of kids, I have become familiar with the best shoe brands for children that toe-walk and the best styles among those brands.

When it comes to summer shoes, the selection of sandals that can help treat and prevent children from toe walking is very limited.

What Makes the Sandals I Recommend Effective for Toe Walking Kids?

There are 3 key features that the sandals I recommend provide to help treat and prevent children from toe walking:

✅ The first feature is for the sandal to not be as flexible, which means that the sandals should provide a certain degree of flexibility but not too flexible since that means that the sandal won’t provide any type of support. Let’s visualize what I referring to.

The sandals that you provide to your tip-toe walker child should always bend at the ball of the foot but not any further. Do you notice how the sandal in the right image provides the correct amount of flexibility while the sandal in the left image flexes as a spiral? Sandals that are too flexible make it easier for children to get on their toes.

lightweight-sandals-for-kids

✅ The second feature is that the sandals provide a substantial outsole. This feature helps support the child’s feet and prevents them from getting on their toes as much. The image below shows the difference in support between two pairs of sandals:

supportive-sandals-for-kids

✅ The third feature involves providing your child with a pair of sandals that can be adjusted. Certain sandals come with a toggle shoelace in addition to a velcro strap and this will hold your child’s foot in place and prevent your child from getting on his/her toes as much. It’s important that your children pull the sandals straps tightly, since this will provide them with better support and stability.

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Now that you know what makes the sandals I recommend the most appropriate ones for toe walking children, you are ready to see a selection of the best sandals for toe walking. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

I only review shoes that I have fitted before since that is the only way for me to tell how well-made they are, the amount of support that they provide, and how they fit.

The Best Sandals for Toe Walking ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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.

These are the most effective sandal styles that have proven to help treat toe walking.

What Sandal Size Should You Order?

It’s important to note that most sandals are not available in half sizes, they are available in whole sizes only. Let me provide you with a couple of scenarios that will help you figure out what sandal size you need for your child.

  • If your child measures a foot size 5, you will order the size 6 and your child will get the correct amount of growing room.
  • If your child measures a foot size 5 ½, you will order the size 6 and your child will get the correct amount of growing room.

Makes sense?

It’s important to not provide a lot of growing room for children who toe walk, since when there is a lot of extra room in the front of the shoes that might make your child more prone to getting on his/her toes.

Are These Sandals Orthopedic?

No, these are not orthopedic sandals. These are regular sandals that provide certain features (substantial outsoles, rigid at the front, secure closure) that makes them ideal to help treat and prevent toe walking. If you already tried a pair of these sandals and they didn’t make a difference helping prevent your child’s toe walking, I suggest that you take a look at the article below. In that article I describe the best orthopedic sandals for children:

Orthopedic Sandals for Kids

How to Retrieve Your Child’s Exact Foot Length and Shape?

In order to get the correct sandal size, you need to be absolutely sure of your child’s foot size. Start by reading an article I wrote where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home. Go to the link below:

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 length 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.

Are There Any Other Sandals Choices Available?

Remember that the sandals I recommend fit children with medium or wide feet only. If your child happens to have narrow feet please contact me directly and I will be able to recommend a different sandal style:

fittingchildrensshoes@gmail.com

I have fitted these sandals in several toe walking children and was able to notice an improvement right away in the way the child was walking.

Children who toe walk for several years might develop muscular tightness and range of motion limitations. If your child’s heel cords get really tight, then your child might require bracing.

Always keep a close eye on your child’s walking gait. It’s important that your child’s feet don’t turn inwards or outwards, since this can throw your child’s whole body out of alignment.

What Are the Best Sneakers to Help Treat and Prevent Toe Walking?

Wearing the correct type of shoes can improve your child’s overall posture, allowing your child to walk and run straighter. I created a different resource that describes the best everyday sneakers for toe walking children:

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

There have been cases where the child’s toe walking is not able to be corrected by wearing the correct types of shoes.  If your child wears these shoes for 3 months and the toe walking condition doesn’t improve, you will have to consider providing your child with a pair of orthotics.

kids'-shoes-that-improve-posture

I am always explaining to parents how there are no sandals that are capable of accommodating an orthotic, but you can definitely fit them in your child’s sneakers. Please don’t try to fit a pair of orthotics inside your kids’ sandals as they simply won’t do any good.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you feel like your child might be a candidate for orthotics: fittingchildrensshoes@gmail.com

Have you found a pair of sandals that have been effective in treating and preventing your child’s toe walking habits during the summer? Please share your thoughts below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.

STOP BUYING THE WRONG PAIR OF SHOES FOR YOUR CHILDREN.LETS START TAKING CARE OF THEIR FEET!

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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4 Comments on Sandals for Toe Walking – Let’s Prevent Your Kids From Walking On Their Toes!

  1. Hello. Do you suggest these preventive and/or corrective shoes be worn at all times or is there a limit even for just hanging out inside the home?

    • Hello Mae,

      That depends on the degree of your child’s foot condition and how often the child toe walks, so this question will be better answered by your medical professional. I do suggest that the shoes are worn as often as possible, but this doesn’t mean that the child can’t get a break from the shoes when walking around the house.

      • Thank you for your prompt reply. My baby is 19months and I noticed a little toe walking at 13months. I didn’t try to quantify it then, but i do notice it more now – maybe 30% of the time(?). I appreciate your help.

        • Hello Mae,

          It’s normal for babies to walk on their toes, but you can certainly take your child to your medical professional for an evaluation on the toe walking, To answer your question, I suggest providing your baby with a pair of everyday sneakers and have him/her wear them as often as possible, but still allow your baby to go barefoot at home for 4 to 5 hours day.

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