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. Based on my many years of shoe fitting experience, I will show you a list of the best shoes for tip toe walking children.
Many families who visit the shoe store seem to bring up the same concern: “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!”
Treating Toe Walking with the Correct Types of Shoes
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.
The shoe store where I work focuses on helping children with foot and leg conditions. 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.
Pro Tip: If you’re pressed for time here is a list of rigid shoes to help prevent children from getting on their toes.
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.
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.
Can Children Simply Outgrow Toe Walking?
It is true that some children simply outgrow this condition, but why take the chance and hope for the condition to resolve on its own? Trust me that most parents wished they had acted sooner when it comes to preventing toe walking.
It’s important to note that pediatricians are not foot experts and sometimes they might not be aware that some conditions can be treated and prevented by wearing the correct type of shoes.
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 2 important features that the shoes I recommend provide to help treat and prevent toe walking:
1️⃣ Avoid shoes that are too flexible: Shoes that provide too much flexibility make it easy for your child to get on his/her toes. Make sure that the shoes your child wears are flexible but not too flexible. Your kids’ shoes should always bend at the ball of the foot but no further. Take a look at the image below for clarification:
2️⃣ Find Shoes with a Stable Base of Support: Some children raise on their toes to help improve their poor balance and coordination. Shoes that provide a stable base of support can help put your child’s feet in a more stable position and improve your child’s balance and stability.
Are High Top Shoes More Effective to Help Prevent Toe Walking?
Not necessarily. I have fitted certain regular sneakers that made a tremendous difference in helping the child walk heel to toe, but I noticed that a lot of medical professionals prefer high-top shoes over regular sneakers.
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: 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. This allows us to create free content and resources for many families around the world.
The Best Shoes for Tip Toe Walking Children
Be Aware of Shoes that Are Too Large – Here’s Why!
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. It’s important that you provide your child with the correct amount of growing room, but too much growing room makes it easier for children to toe walk.
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:
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.
Would You Rather Receive Specific Shoe Recommendations for Your Child?
If you want me to provide your child with a foot evaluation please reach out to me at the following email address: email@example.com and answer the questions below:
- Have you been told by your medical professional whether your child’s toe walking is due to a neurological or neuromuscular condition?
- Does your child have flat feet?
- Does your child toe walk more when wearing shoes or when walking barefoot?
- Do you notice more or less toe walking when your child walks on different surfaces such as the beach, grass, hardwood floor, or carpet?
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.
You don’t have to remove the original insoles of your kids’ shoes before placing this orthotic inside the shoes.
Learn more about the features that this orthotic provides and how it can prevent your child from walking on his/her toes.
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
Don’t let your doctor tell you that the only approach to correct your child’s toe walking is surgery or putting casts on both of your child’s feet. Sometimes doctors recommend casts for as long as 8 weeks. Casting, surgery, and leg braces should only be used as a last resort, and I suggest to start with the least invasive approach first.
Best Kids’ Shoes to Stop Toe Walking – Watch Video!
I forgot to mention that physical therapy is another effective approach that can be used to train and motivate families to perform daily stretching of the calf muscle.
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.