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


Have you noticed your child walking on his or her toes lately? Has your child been falling more often? Several complications might arise when children are over two years old and continue toe walking. I have found that certain shoes can help prevent children from getting on their toes and promote the habit of walking the correct way: heel to toe. Let me show you a list of the best shoes for tip toe walking children.

“I took my toe walker child to my family doctor and I was told not to worry about it since the condition might go away on its own, but I am worried!”

I always recommend parents to be proactive and don’t take the “wait and see” approach when it comes to treating their child’s toe walking condition, as waiting for the condition to magically disappear and go away on its own can only lead to the condition getting worse.

Is Toe Walking in Babies and Toddlers Common?

Toe walking in babies is common, and if you have a baby who is just beginning to walk then you shouldn’t be concerned, as this is a common condition in babies who are learning how to walk. However, if your child continues to toe walk beyond the toddler years (by 3 years of age), then you must take action as this can lead to stiff muscles, tight calf muscles in particular, and toe walking can compromise your child’s stability, making your child more prone to falling.

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes – Over a Decade of Shoe Fitting Experience

I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now. Our store specializes in shoes for children with “complicated” foot shapes as well as foot and leg problems. From my experience fitting thousands of kids, I have become familiar with the best shoes for tip toe walking children.


Several medical professionals such as physical and occupational therapists refer children to the shoe store that I work for to be fitted for supportive shoes, and depending on the degree of their foot condition, orthotics as well.

You might be asking yourself: What exactly is toe walking?

Toe walking is a walking pattern in which a child walks on his or her toes and there is no contact between the heels and the ground.


Find Out Why Your Child Keeps Toe Walking

When doctors can’t identify the reason why a child’s toe walks they call it “idiopathic,” which means that the exact cause is not known and the child continues toe walk because he or she has a preference to do so. I disagree with this statement as I have always found there is a specific reason why the child’s toe walks.

The most common reasons why children toe walk are:

  • Flat Feet: Children with flat feet have poor balance and coordination. To combat this, children might raise on their toes to put their feet in a more stable position. Toe walking enhances the arch which creates a more stable foot (base) and temporarily improves the child’s balance and stability. This however is not normal and promotes improper muscle balance development and needs to be addressed.
  • Short Achilles tendon: A short Achilles tendon can prevent your child’s heels from touching the ground.
  • Sensory perceptions: Check the surface your child is walking on. Maybe the child doesn’t like the feeling of the cold tile or furry carpet and this exaggerates the symptoms.
  • Vision impairments.

In my experience, most children walk on their toes due to having flat feet. I would say that 80% of the toe walking children I have helped were flat-footed.

What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Effective to Prevent Toe Walking?

There are 5 important features that the shoes I recommend provide to help treat and prevent toe walking:

1️⃣ The shoes I recommend are rigid at the front (less flexible), which helps prevent children from getting on their toes. The image below shows the difference between a shoe that is too flexible versus a shoe that is hard to flex at the front. Your kids’ shoes should always bend at the ball of the foot but no further:


2️⃣ The shoes I recommend provide substantial outsoles to help provide a stable base of support and keep the feet aligned:


3️⃣ The shoes must provide a firm heel counter to help control the alignment of the heel and lower leg:


4️⃣ The shoes come with shoelaces instead of velcro closure, as shoelaces provide better support and stability:


5️⃣ The shoes need to provide extra depth in case you also need to fit an orthotic inside the shoes:


I always recommend parents to start by trying a pair of shoes to improve the way their children walk, and if that doesn’t work then a pair of orthotics is usually the next step to take. However, most parents decide to try the shoes with the orthotics right away.

Below you can find a selection of the best shoes for tip toe walking children that can fit different foot shapes as they are available in medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW). Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

The Best Shoes for Tip Toe Walking Children ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Unsure About What Shoe Size You Should Order?

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

*A half a size bigger translates to 3/16 of an inch or 0.4 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.

*A whole size bigger translates to 3/8 of an inch or 0.8 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.

Don’t attempt to leave too much growing room in your kids’ shoes as this will actually make it easier for them to go on their toes.

Are There Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

Do not hesitate to contact me directly at my e-mail if your child has narrow feet or if you are looking for a different type of shoe. My e-mail address is:


How to Order the Correct Shoe Size Online 

Before you buy your kids’ shoes online you need to be sure of your child’s exact foot size. Shoes that are too large can be a contributing cause of your child’s toe walking, as the extra space in the front of the shoes makes it easier for your child to get on his/her toes.

This means that if you don’t have a local children’s shoe store to take your child to be properly fitted for shoes, you should start by reading an article I wrote where I explain the simplest, yet most effective way to find your child’s exact shoe size from home:

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.

Testimonials – Get Inspired!


Orthotics for Tip Toe Walking Children – Prevent Toe Walking!

I have found one orthotic that has proven to be extremely efficient for children who walk on their toes. I know this because I have fitted those orthotics before and I have seen the positive impact that they have in helping children walk heel to toe.

The orthotic below provides medial and lateral flanges that help keep the foot aligned over the orthotic and a 30mm heel cup helps control the alignment of the heel and lower leg, and supports the arch.

The Best Orthotics for Toe Walking Children

This is the best prefabricated on the market for helping treat, prevent, and control toe walking. 

Take a look at the chart below to figure out what size to order based on your child’s shoe size:


This orthotic can be shipped everywhere. Within the USA shipping can take about 10-15 days depending on the location and the shipping method.  Overseas shipping is available but will be more expensive. Do not hesitate to contact me directly at my e-mail if you are having a hard time figuring out what size to order or if you have any other questions about this orthotic. My e-mail address is: fittingchildrensshoes@gmail.com

You don’t have to remove the original insoles of your kids’ shoes before placing this orthotic inside the shoes.

If you want to learn more about the features that this orthotic provides and how it can prevent your child from walking on his/her toes I suggest that you take a look at the article below:

Best Orthotics for Toe Walking – These Shoes and Orthotics Help Prevent Toe Walking!

Both the shoes and the orthotics need to be supportive. The shoes and the orthotics work together, and if you get a supportive orthotic in a pair of shoes that are not supportive, your child won’t get any of the benefits that the orthotics have to offer and vice versa.

Toe Walking Children – Why You Must Take Early Action!

As I mentioned before, toe walking can lead to several issues with your child’s feet and legs. Below is a list of why toe walking should not be left untreated:

  •  Muscle stiffness.
  •  Muscle tightening.
  • Pain in the Achilles tendon.
  • Tendon stiffness.
  • Poor coordination.

Now that you know which are the best shoes and orthotics that help prevent your children from walking on their toes, you are ready to keep their feet and legs healthy by helping them walk heel to toe.

Have you found a particular shoe style that has been effective in preventing your child from toe-walking? Please share your findings below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.


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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Shoe Sizing Chart

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

  1. My eight year old, toe walks almost constantly. I do not want her to suffer from any complications due to this. Our family doctor told us for years at each annual check up that this was not uncommon and was so thing she would outgrow, but I can see now it is not. She has seen a chiropractor several times and was fitted for orthotics but they have done little to help. What shoes would you recommend?

    • Hello Audrey,

      I am sorry to hear that. Please remember that the shoes and the orthotics work together in helping “ground” your child. I am curious to know what type of orthotic and shoes she is wearing. Remember that the shoes need to be stiff at the front instead of flexible. Those four shoes that you see under the section “The Best Shoes for Tip Toe Walking” are the most recommended ones. There is also one more recommendation:

      Shoe for Toe Walking

      All of these shoe styles are deep and supportive, in order to accommodate an orthotic.

      Don’t forget to send me what orthotics and shoes she is currently wearing.

      • Thank you for your response. I am so busy I apologize it took so many weeks to respond. Her orthotics, although they are not that old, are pretty worn and I do t see any markings on them to let me know where they are from. I could find out from the chiropractor LD office where they were ordered. I will say they are not very firm in the front. We purchased her some nice New Balance sneakers at the beginning of the school year because I was told they were good and firm so I’m hesitant to spend another $50-60 if they will not do the trick. I appreciate any advice. Please also feel free to email me as I can respond much faster:

    • Hi

      My 9 year old has just had serial casting – it really helps – you need to see an orthopaedic consultant ideally. Her calf’s are still tight and she may need surgery to lengthen her tendons. My advice is keep annoying your doctors until they refer you.

      • My son is 12 and is currently having serial casting. He was tip toe walking very high and also growing very fast. I was told he would grow out of it and this is simply not true and he developed very short and strong achilles. The casting is working well but I am concerned how he will learn to walk on his heels. The NHS hospital have said they will give us sensory exercises but I am looking for advice on shoes, orthotics and how he will learn to walk. Many thanks

        • Hi Grace,

          Thank you for sharing your experiences. I am always trying to emphasize to parents to be proactive and don’t take the “wait and see approach” when it comes to treating their children’s foot conditions, since this can lead to the condition getting worse.

          The type of shoes that you want to provide to your child need to be supportive but not as flexible on the front. There is a particular style that has proven to be really effective in preventing children from getting on their toes:

          Shoe for Tip Toe Walking Boy

          Shoe for Tip Toe Walking Boy

          I need to now what shoe size your son wears and what foot shape your child has. This style will only work if your child has medium, wide, or extra wide feet (choose the shoe width accordingly).

          Once you send me your child’s shoe size I can recommend an orthotic as well.

    • I took my nephew to the doctor , he has severe toe walking. His case requires surgery to correct the achilles tendon that super tight .

  2. My little one just turned 1 year old two weeks ago. He has been standing on his toes (ballerina style) from the time he started pulling up at age 8 months. He is currently in physical therapy and we do stretching exercises and massages at home as well. It has been determined that there is muscle stiffness and some shortening in one leg in particular but he tip toes on both feet. He is not standing alone yet or attempting to step. We’ve been keeping sturdy sole sneakers on him a lot during the day but they seem to get in his way more than help him at this stage which results in him wanting to continue crawling more than standing. We have a consultation with the pediatric ortho specialist to determine how to proceed or to consider ankle-foot orthosis.

    Would you recommend the same shoes for his age and his issues? Would high top laced sneakers help as some kind of brace in the interim?

    • Hello Monique,

      Before you provide your boy with a pair of orthotics, there is a particular shoe style that you should try that has proven to be really effective for children who tip toe walk.

      Here you can find the style I recommend:

      Shoe Style for Tip Toe Walking

      In order to prevent children to go on their toes, the shoe needs to be stiff at the front rather than flexible. Please make sure your are tying the shoelaces properly.

      I hope this helps!

  3. Hello, my son is 6 years old and he still walks and even run on his toes. I have tried exercises but to no avail. I need some assistance. Thank you.

    • Hello Carine,

      You need to look for shoes that don’t flex easily in the front, and if his walking gait doesn’t improve, then you will have to try an orthotic inside the shoes.

      Here are the shoe styles that I recommend for a child that walks on his toes. Make sure you choose the shoe width accordingly since these shoe styles are available in medium, wide, and extra wide widths.

      Shoe for Tip Toe Walker: Option 1

      Shoe for Tip Toe Walker: Option 2

      Both of these shoe styles are also available in Velcro closure but I recommend shoelaces instead of Velcro since it will provide more support and stability to your child’s feet and help “ground” him. Please make sure that you tie his shoelaces properly.

      If you need to try an orthotic also, I recommend that you research for Cascade Orthotics and the Pattibobs styles in particular.

      I hope this helps!

  4. Hello! I could not find my son’s size on the 990v4 and KJ990v4 New Balance. Will a 990v5 work?
    We just took him to a physical therapist yesterday and he is going to start therapy once a week for a month for his toe walking. We also have exercises and stretching we need to do with him at home.
    I am looking for shoes that will help him.
    Thank you!

    • Hello Mccor,

      Yes, this style will also work: New Balance 990V5

      Please make sure that you tie your son’s shoelaces properly and keep an eye on them so they don’t become untie.

      This shoe style will definitely help ground your child, but if after wearing the shoe for 2 months you don’t see an improvement, please get back at me and I will recommend an orthotic.

    • Hello Sama,

      It’s hard to predict how many days it will take for your baby to improve his/her walking gait, but you should see an improvement in the way your baby walks during the first month of wearing the shoes. If you don’t see any improvement your baby might need a pair of orthotics to help him/her “ground the feet”.

    • Hi, I am based in the uk and after finding this page last September I purchased the NB 990v5 for my then 5 year old son and they have been the only shoes that stay on him more! As they are in high demand I am unable to get more in his size, is there any alternatives which you can recommend that is similar as I have no clue. Many thanks.

  5. Thanks so much for the article. My son is 12 and is still not heel to toe. He does a lot better with shoes on, but most weekends he’s not wearing shoes. I wonder if hiking boots would be a good option for him since their sole is so rigid? Also, have you heard or recommended pyramid orthotic inserts? My son wears a size 7 big boys shoe and the amazon link for the orthotic doesn’t go that large. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Terri,

      Do you think your child might be a candidate for orthotics? I recommend that you visit Cascade Dafo, they have all different types of orthotics. If you are unsure which one he needs you can send me a picture of your child’s feet at: fittingchildrensshoes@gmail.com and I will help you determine which orthotic will work better for his feet.

      I don’t recommend that your child wears a pair of hiking boots in order to try to help treat his toe walking condition. There are certain sneakers that are less flexible, and that will definitely help “ground him”. Here is one of the shoe styles that I recommend the most for children who toe-walk:

      New Balance Shoe Style for Toe Walking

      You mentioned that most weekends he is not wearing shoes. There is a specific sandal style that has proven to be the most effective one when it comes to treating children who toe walk. You can find the style I recommend here:

      Sandal for Toe Walking

      I hope this helps!

  6. Hi, I also have the same question as above. My 10 year old son still toe walks especially if he is barefoot at the pool or outside. The doctors say he will outgrow it. His shoe size is also a 7 and the amazon link only goes to a size 7. Can I send a picture of his feet to see what orthotics you recommend? I noticed you stated that above in another response. Thank you!

  7. Hi, my son is 20 months old and walks on his toes. He started walking 3 months back and is very high on toes. He did cruising on his toes only. We have seen pediatric orthopedics and were recommend Ikiki Squeaky shoes. These shoes don’t really help as he still continues to walk on his toes. If he has to stand or pick something up then he would go on his heels. We have been doing physical therapy sessions but it doesn’t seem to help and so far no noticeable improvement.

    Could you please recommend me some shoes or orthotics that would help?


    • Hello,

      I hope you and your son are well.

      You need to look for shoes that are not as flexible in the front and they need to come with a substantial outsole and a firm heel counter. I suggest that you start by trying a pair of supportive shoes and if your son continues to tip toe walk after wearing the shoes for a month we will proceed by fitting an orthotic inside of the shoes.

      Before I send you specific shoe recommendations I would like to know whether your son has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet.

  8. My son is 10 years old, he started Toe walking when he 8 years old. It’s gradually getting worse.
    We saw a physiotherapist last year, which she recommended a special shoe to used. I think this is not helping him much.
    Please can you advise me on what to do next.

  9. Hi Juan Pablo

    I have an almost 7 year old who persistently toe walks. She was cast for a few weeks at 5 years old which helped but she soon reverted to tip toes. She saw a lovely physiotherapist for 3 years who really helped with her balance and coordination but now she’s at school full time she doesn’t want to return.
    The other challenge is that she has to wear school uniform and school schools which must be black and leather. She’s managed to “break in” her Clark’s Mary Janes so that she can effectively toe walk and in sneakers she’s on her toes constantly. Sandal wise (we live in Australia so they are necessary, she’s worn Birkenstock’s as people claimed she wouldn’t be able to toe walk. We’re just heading into summer again and 6 weeks off school do you have any recommendations for her?
    Thank you in advance

  10. Hi
    my little girl is 2 years and 7 months and walks on her tiptoes It might be a sensory issue ,just wondering if u could recommend a boot or shoe to try and stop her from doing it ?

  11. Hello parents I have read some of your comments and I see that your doctors are saying its not a big deal. Well please don’t believe that. They do not grow out of toe walking. My daughter is 9 and is a toe walker. When we finally got to a doctor that referred us to a physical therapist the therapist said to me that she wished doctors would stop telling parents that its not a big deal. My daughter went through serial casting then physical therapy and was fitted for night and daytime braces. She was 7 at the time. The serial casting did work but we were not doing enough physical therapy then insurance only gives a certain amount of visits. Well my daughter is all the way back up on her toes now. Her feet were at negative 10. You help children avoid being toe walkers with certain shoes, but what kind of shoes are best if they are already long time toe walkers like my daughter. Her toes are really spread out from walking on her toes so now we need wide shoes which are almost impossible to find. I’m going crazy we can hardly find shoes for her. Please help.

    • Hello Kai,

      I agree with your statement, most parents I speak with wish they have been more proactive sooner.

      Keep in mind that children between the ages of 1 and 5 are undergoing rapid neuromuscular development and toe walking during these years can often be easily managed with proper foot orthotics and correct footwear. Unresolved toe walking after age 5 or older, although still manageable, can become a bit more difficult to control. Your daughter is 9 years old so we might have to try a pair of shoe and orthotics as well.

      I suggest that you follow the instructions on this article: How to Measure Your Kids’ Foot – 2 Simple Steps to Determine Foot Length and Foot Width and once I know your daughter’s exact foot shape I will be able to recommend shoes, and probably orthotics as well.

  12. My son is 10 years old and has very wide feet and tiptoes I want to find him some shoes and or Sandals to help his confidence as he will be going into the 5th grade in the fall, Please help!!!

  13. Hi ,

    My son is 5 and will not stop toe walking (he can walk heel / toe) but reverts always to toe walking .

    We are in the uk and the links you provided don’t do his size 12.5 uk

    Could you please advise on a selection of footwear I could try please

    Also on the orthotics if possible

  14. My 8 year old is on the Spectrum. He has walked on his toes since he started walking which was later than most. Neither his pedi nor his specialist have recommended us to attempt to correct the problem as getting him to stand flat footed causes him much anxiety and balance issues. I’m looking for shoes that will hold up, not deter.

  15. Hi there,
    Thank you very much for your website. I so wish that I had access to this years ago. My daughter is 15 years old. She is non verbal autistic. She is 6’5” tall and about 300#. We are unsure as to why she is this tall.
    She has a large team of doctors but the orthopedic doctors that we saw were always disappointing. They always said she would either grow out of the toe walking or four years ago said she would eventually end up in a wheel chair but to try wedge sandals. The wedge sandals weren’t a option as she would trip and break a ankle.
    We finally found a surgeon who is willing to do tendon release surgery on her soon. It will be a huge undertaking.
    She recently had a bone in her foot break from the stress that she is putting on them.
    As of now I am finding it very difficult to find shoes that I can get her feet into due to her exaggerated high arches. Plus I will need shoe for her to eventually go into when she can walk again after surgery.
    She is walking barefoot right now or very limitedly ( less then 5 minutes) in men’s KEEN Men’s Targhee II Mid Wide Hiking boot in size 10 She has never had orthotics.
    I have tried the Keen sandals I saw that you recommended but I could not get her foot in them.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. There seems to be so little direction out there.
    Thank you.

  16. Hello there,

    I have 7 years old son with autism that started walking on his tiptoe for over a year now. I have tried few different style of shoes with no success. I could really use your guidance in finding the right shoe that could hold up or reduce his tiptoe walking.

  17. I have been to Physical therapy for my daughter who is 7 years old for her toe walking. But never mention about shoes. A parent told me is because her shoes she walks more on her tippy toes. I need help what shoes I need to buy her to help her from walking on her tippy toes. she has wide feet

    • Hello Tracy. Have you been told by your medical professional whether your daughter’s toe walking is due to a neurological or neuromuscular condition? Shoes can help treat toe walking as long as it’s due to a neuromuscular condition. For example, children who are flat footed have poor balance and coordination. To combat this, children might raise on the toes to put the foot in a more stable position.

      I noticed that you sent me an email so I will be in touch through there.

  18. Hii I am looking for a solution for my daughters toe walking , she is two and half years old now, with shoes and outdoor she walks flat ,but at home she walks more on toes, not been identified with any developmental delay or autism ,her size UK 8,Can you suggest good shoes and this orthotic for her and how to order this, I am from Ireland, Is it possible to know cost as well.

    • Hello Nimitha,

      Are you able to order from the shoes I recommend on this article?

      Do you believe your daughter can benefit from wearing an orthotic? You state in your comment that when your daughter wears shoes she walks flat on her feet, so I don’t see a reason why you should order the orthotic.

  19. Hello. My daughter is 7 years old and is currently in physical therapy twice a week for toe walking. She recently went for an evaluation with an Orthotist for AFO’s (She was referred by her Pediatric Orthopedic Physician). The Orthotist suggested that we purchase her lace up boots without rubbers soles and he would somehow build the sole to accommodate & feet & correct the toe walking. He suggested the boots in lieu of making her wear AFO’s due to the high potential of being made fun of by other children. The problem is that I’ve found it nearly impossible to find a girls size 1 lace up boot without a rubber sole to purchase. Would you happen to know where we can purchase a pair?

    • Hello Miranda,

      I am not sure I understand what the medical professional wants. I have never heard of boots that don’t come with rubber outsoles. What type of outsole does the medical professional want the boots to be made of?

  20. Hello, My son is 4 year old. He is walking on toes. When i tell him to put steps properly, he walks on heels for sometime and then after some time,he again starts walking on toes. Please help me with proper shoes

    • Hello Srikant,

      In order to recommend specific shoes for your son I first need to know his foot shape (narrow, medium, wide, extra wide), and from what country you are contacting me.

      Did your medical professional tell you whether your son has flat feet?

  21. Hello
    My name is Shannon
    I’m trying to find shoes for my 19 month old boy. He been walking on tip toes and I would like to fix it. Please help.
    Thank you

    • Hello Shannon,

      To recommend specific shoes for your son I first need to know wether he has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet. I also would need to know from which country you are contacting me to check what specific shoes are available for you to order.

  22. Hi,
    My son is 7.5 years old and we are based out of Melbourne. He walks on his tip toes and has got AFO from the orthotics but we need a stiff shoes so that he can go to school and use them for day to day wearing.

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