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

toe-walking-children

Have you noticed your child walking on his or her toes lately? Has your child been falling down more often? Even though toe walking shouldn’t be a cause for concern, once the child has reached the age of three and keeps toe walking, several complications might arise.

I decided to create an article showcasing the best shoes for tip toe walking children as several parents have been presented with the same scenario.

“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 it’s 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 children’s foot conditions, as this can lead to your child’s foot condition getting worse.

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 down–

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. From my experience fitting hundreds of kids, I have become familiar with the best shoes for tip toe walking children.

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

Toe walking is a walking pattern in which a child walks on their toes and there is no contact between the heels and the ground. Take a look at the picture below to see how toe walking looks like:

shoes-for-kids-who-toe-walk

Do you notice how the child is stepping on the toes first when taking a step? The issue with leaving toe walking untreated is that your child  can develop muscle stiffness, muscle tightening, and pain in their Achilles tendon. These issues can be treated with physical therapy and stretching exercises, and in some rare cases surgery may be required if toe walking results in tendon stiffness.

I have found certain shoes that help prevent children from getting on their toes and promote the habit of walking the correct way: heel to toe.

What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Effective for Kids Who Toe Walk?

There are 3 important features that the  kids’ shoes I recommend provide in order to help treat and prevent toe walking:

✅ The shoes I recommend are less flexible at the front – 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 (image on the right).

✅ The shoes I recommend come with a substantial outsole instead of a softer and flexible one. The image below shows the difference between a shoe with a substantial outsole versus a shoe with an outsole that is too flimsy and unsupportive:

✅ The shoes come with shoelaces instead of velcro closure, as shoelaces provide better support and stability, and it will make it harder for children to get on their toes.

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.

Before I provide you with a selection of the best shoes for tip toe walking children, I want to make sure that know 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.

In order for you to order the correct shoe size online, you need to be 100% sure of your child’s foot size.

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

Now that you know how to figure out your child’s exact foot size from home and what features the kids’ shoes I recommend provide, you are ready to take a look at a selection of the best shoes for tip toe walking children.

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

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

Below you can find a selection of the best shoes for tip toe walking children that 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 style below has proven to be one of the most effective ones for toddlers and it is also available in wide and extra wide widths:

ToddlersToddlersToddlersToddlersToddlersToddlersToddlersToddlersToddlersLittle KidsLittle KidsLittle KidsLittle KidsLittle KidsLittle KidsLittle KidsLittle KidsLittle KidsBig KidsBig KidsBig KidsBig KidsBig KidsBig Kids

In order to allow for growing room, I highly recommend that parents order these shoes a half a size larger than the size their children’s feet measure. This translates to 0.3 inches or 0.7 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes. Please 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.

If after providing your children with a pair of these shoes they are still walking on their toes, an orthotic might be required inside the shoes to prevent them from getting on their toes.

Orthotics have proven to be extremely efficient for children who walk on their toes. I know this because I have fitted them myself and I have seen the positive impact that they have in helping children walk heel to toe.

Just so you know, an orthotic is a shoe insert that is specifically designed to provide cushioning, support, stability, and relieve pressure in certain areas of the foot. The correct type of orthotics are also extremely efficient in aligning your child’s feet and legshelping the child walk and run straighter – reducing foot and leg pain, and helping a child to stop walking on his or her toes.

Orthotics for Tip Toe Walking Children – Prevent Toe Walking!

I was lucky to be able to fit several different types of orthotics throughout the years – in order to see which ones are more effective than others – and I have found that there is a particular orthotic that is the most effective one in helping children walk heel to toe.

The orthotic that I recommend is made of extremely comfortable materials – as some children have a hard time adjusting to orthotics made of hard materials.

There are certain over the counter orthotics that can range from $70 to $180 dollars. On the other hand, this orthotic is extremely efficient and supportive and it costs $25 dollars. Below you can find the best orthotic for children who are walking on their toes:

This first orthotic will fit children between the ages of 2 to 9, who wears a toddler shoe size 5, all the way up to a big kid shoe size 3.

Toddler SizesToddler SizesToddler Sizes

If you have an older child who wears a shoe size 3 1/2 or above, the orthotic below will accommodate the shape of your child’s feet.

Size XS fits kids between a shoe size 3 1/2 and 6Size XS fits kids between a shoe size 3 1/2 and 6Size XS fits kids between a shoe size 3 1/2 and 6

Don’t forget to remove the original insoles of your kids’ shoes before placing the orthotic inside the shoes.

It’s important for both the shoes and the orthotics 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 to 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.

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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32 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:
        aeanderson2010@gmail.com

    • 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

          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.

  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”.

  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?

    Thanks

    • 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.

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