Have you noticed your child walking on his or her toes lately? Has your child been falling down more often?
Toe walking in babies is common, and if your child is just beginning to walk then you shouldn’t be concerned, since 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 since 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 thousands of kids, I have become familiar with the best shoe brands for children with flat feet feet and the best styles among those brands.
I decided to create an article showcasing the best shoes for tip toe walking children since 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!”
My advice to parents is to take action as soon as possible, since all they have to do is provide their tip toe walking children with the correct type of shoes, and in certain cases, a pair of orthotics.
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:
Do you notice how the child is stepping on the toes first when taking a step?
I have helped several children that were toe walking find the correct type of shoes and orthotics in order to help them “ground them”. Not every child that toe walks needs an orthotic, but the correct pair of shoes (they usually tend to be less flexible at the top) will definitely prevent your child from coming up on his or her toes.
I always explain to parents that 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.
For example, children who walk on their toes 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.
All of these issues can be prevented and treated if you provide your child with the correct type of shoes. There are certain shoe styles that I have fitted before that will prevent your child from getting on his or her toes and will help develop a habit of walking the correct way: heel to toe.
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 first show you what features the shoes must provide and how to make sure that you are providing your child with the correct shoe size.
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. Here 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.
All of these issues can be prevented by providing your child with the correct type of shoes which I will describe below. However, you should know that it doesn’t matter how many features a particular shoe style provides for your child, if the shoe is not the correct size, your child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoe has to offer.
This means that if you don’t have a local children’s shoe store that you can take your child to be properly fitted for shoes, 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:
Shoes for Toe Walking – The 2 Most Important Features!
There are 2 important features that your kids’ shoes must provide in order to help treat and prevent toe walking:
✅ The most important feature that the shoes must provide is for them to be hard to bend at the front, this might be sort of confusing since most shoe stores recommend shoes that are lightweight and flexible. We still want the shoes to be lightweight, but they need to be hard to bend since this will help prevent your child from getting on his or her toes.
Here you can find a picture of a pair of shoes that provide flexibility but are hard to flex:
The picture below shows a shoe style that is too flexible and will not help prevent your child from getting on his/her toes:
✅ The shoes should come with shoelaces instead of Velcro closure, since shoelaces will provide more support and more stability, and it will make it harder for your child to go on his or her toes.
Now that you know how to figure out your child’s exact foot size from home and what features your kids’ shoes must provide, you are ready to take a look at a selection of the best shoes for tip toe walking children.
The Best Shoes For Tip Toe Walking Children ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I only review shoe styles that I have fitted before, since that is the only way for me to tell how well-made and supportive they are, and how they fit.
Here you can find a selection of the best shoes for tip toe walking children. Please refresh your browser if you can’t see the recommendations.
This selection of shoes fit ” true to size”, which means that you need to get your children a half a size longer of the size that they measure in the Brannock device (standard foot measuring tool) in order to allow for growing room.
Please don’t attempt to leave too much growing room in your kids’ shoes since this will actually make it easier for them to go on their toes.
All of these shoe styles are available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide, which guarantees that they will fit any type of feet, no matter how narrow or how wide they are.
If after providing your children with a pair of these shoes styles they are still walking on their toes, an orthotic might be required inside the shoes to prevent them from getting on their toes.
Orthotics for Tip Toe Walking Children – Prevent Toe Walking!
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. But an orthotic is also extremely efficient in aligning your child’s feet and legs (helping the child walk and run straighter), reducing foot and leg pain, and helping a child to STOP walking on his or her toes.
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.
I recommend this orthotic in particular because it is made of extremely comfortable materials (since some children have a hard time adjusting to orthotics made of hard materials), provides arch and ankle support, and it will help align your kids’ feet and legs by preventing your child’s feet from collapsing when walking or running (as longs it’s fitted in the correct pair of shoes).
There are certain over the counter orthotics that can range from $70 to $180 dollars. This orthotic is extremely efficient and supportive and it costs $25 dollars.
Here you can find the best orthotic for children who are walking on their toes:
Please don’t forget to remove the inner sole before placing the orthotic inside your kids’ shoes.
You will be able to fit this orthotic in any of the shoes styles that I described previously, since they all provide extra depth, meaning that the orthotic will sit deeply inside the shoes and it won’t give your children the impression that their feet are coming out of 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.
Now that you know which are the best shoes and orthotics that will 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.