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Shoes to Stop Toe Walking – No Surgery, No Casting, and No Leg Braces Needed!

shoes-to-stop-toe-walking

I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for the last 10 years. We focus in helping children with “complicated” foot shapes as well as foot and leg problems, such as flat feet, rolled ankles, low muscle tone, etc. Over the years I became familiar with the best shoes to stop toe walking. I have helped hundreds of children who were walking on their toes find the correct pair of shoes which allowed them to walk heel to toe, and I believe I can help your child too.

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I get contacted by parents who are worried since they took their toe walking child to their medical professional and were told that the child will eventually outgrow this condition. I 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. Waiting for the condition to resolve on its own will only lead to the condition getting worse or your child developing foot and leg pain.

It is true that some children do 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 have 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.

When Should Parents Worry About Toe Walking? 

If your child is still toe-walking after age 2 then it becomes a problem because your child’s calf muscles might begin to shorten, reducing the ankle movement. This may cause long term damage to the foot and ankle due to the abnormal forces acting on them.

It is important that you don’t leave your child’s toe walking condition untreated as it can lead to your child developing stiffness, tightening, and pain in their Achilles tendon. Children who toe walk might experience frequent falls or stumbles with ambulation, another reason why parents shouldn’t leave this condition untreated.

toe-walking-children

Find Out What is Causing Your Child to Toe Walk

I have noticed how several doctors believe that toe walking is “idiopathic,” which means that the exact cause is not known and the child continues to toe walk because he or she has a preference to do so. I disagree with this statement as I have always found that there is a specific reason why a child continues to toe walk.

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 the toes to put the foot 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: Some children really enjoy the pressure on their toes and so they walk on their toes to meet that sensory need. Other children may not like the feeling of different surfaces on their bare feet, which causes them to rise on their toes to avoid having the full surface of their feet contracting floor. I suggest that you 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.
orthotics-for-toe-walking-children

How Do You Correct Toe Walking? – Try my Effective Approach!

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. Certain shoes that are rigid at the front, provide substantial outsoles and firm heel counters that will help align the feet by supporting the arch, discouraging children from toe walking. The shoes should also come with shoelaces instead of velcro closure.

The correct type of shoes will help promote a normal walking gait by preventing your child from getting on the toes too often.

The shoes I recommend are not orthopedic, they are simply a pair of regular sneakers that provide specific features that help prevent a child from getting on his/her toes.

Shoes for Toe Walking – The Proper Shoe Can Make a World of Difference!

There is only a small selection of shoes that can help children with toe walking, but the good news is that I will help you find them. These are the 5 key features that your kids’ shoes must provide to help prevent your child from walking on his/her toes:

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:

kids'-shoes-with-the-correct-amount-of-flexibility

✅ The shoes must provide a firm heel counter to help align the heel and lower leg:

kids'-shoes-with-heel-support

✅ Look for shoes that provide substantial outsoles instead of a softer and flexible one. Take a look at the image below for clarification:

supportive-kids'-shoes

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

deep-kids'-shoes-for-orthotics

✅ Look for shoes that come with shoelaces instead of velcro closure. Shoelaces provide children with better stability and are more effective in case you need to fit an orthotic inside of the shoes:

shoelaces-vs-velcro

I have put together a list of the best shoes that provide these 5 features.

Best Shoes to Stop Toe Walking ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The shoes below can fit children with medium (M), wide (W), or extra wide feet (XW). Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

Toddler Sizes

Medium - Wide - Extra WideMedium – Wide – Extra WideCheck PriceMedium - Wide - Extra WideMedium – Wide – Extra WideCheck PriceNarrow - Medium - Wide - Extra WideNarrow – Medium – Wide – Extra WideCheck PriceNarrow - Medium - Wide - Extra WideNarrow – Medium – Wide – Extra WideCheck Price

Little/Big Kid Sizes

Medium - Wide -Extra WideMedium – Wide -Extra WideCheck PriceMedium - WideMedium – WideCheck PriceMedium - Wide -Extra WideMedium – Wide -Extra WideCheck PriceMedium - WideMedium – WideCheck PriceMedium - WideMedium – WideCheck PriceMedium - WideMedium – WideCheck PriceMedium - Wide -Extra WideMedium – Wide -Extra WideCheck Price

To allow for growing room, I highly recommend that parents order these shoes half a size larger than their child’s current foot size. This translates to 3/16 of an inch or 0.5 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.

How effective these shoes are going to be in preventing your child from walking on his/her toes depends on each child’s individual foot anatomy, as what works effectively for one child might not work as well for another.

Be Aware of Shoes that Are Too Large – Here’s Why!

Shoes that are too large make it easy for children to get 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.

If you are going to order your kids’ shoes online, you need to be 100% sure of your child’s foot size. I created another article that helps parents figure out their children’s exact foot size. Go to the link below:

How to Measure Your Kids Foot – 2 Simple Steps to Determine Foot Length and Foot Width

If after trying the shoes I recommend for 6 months your child continues to walk on his/her toes, then I recommend fitting an orthotic inside of the shoes.

Keep in mind that most children who walk on their toes end up wearing an orthotic inside of the shoes, as certain orthotics are extremely effective in preventing children from walking on their toes.

Can Orthotics Help Prevent Kids from Toe Walking?

I have found one specific orthotic that has proven to be extremely effective for children who toe walk, and many families have reported back after trying these orthotics that they make a tremendous difference.

This is the best prefabricated on the market for helping treat, prevent, and control toe walking. The orthotic provides medial and lateral flanges to help keep the foot aligned over the orthotic, and a 30mm heel cup to help control the alignment of the heel and lower leg, and supports the arch.

To place an order for littleSTEPS® Orthotics, you must submit a Referral Code during the ordering process. Enter the referral code JVFCS100121 in the Discount Window and you will get 10% off your order.

Toddler - Little - Big KidsToddler – Little – Big KidsCheck Price

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

size-orthotics

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 to 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

If you want to learn more about the features that this orthotic provides I suggest that you take a look at the article below:

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

Shoes for Kids with Toe Walking – My Final Thoughts!

I understand that making a call as a parent about your child isn’t black or white or easy for that matter. It can be difficult to make decisions on your own or go with your gut when you have a pediatrician telling you that your child’s foot condition will resolve on its own.

Don’t let your doctor tell you that the only approach to correct your child’s toe walking is surgery or to put 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 always start with the least invasive approach first.

If you want me to provide your child with a foot evaluation please reach out to me at the following email address: fittingchildrensshoes@gmail.com and answer the questions below:

  • 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?

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.

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 Shoes to Stop Toe Walking – No Surgery, No Casting, and No Leg Braces Needed!

  1. Wow, I was just talking to my daughter recently and she was asking about the toe walking that my grandson is doing. I had no idea that you could buy special shoes to help correct it. In fact, I was not aware that it could be an actual problem. I thought that children naturally experimented with walking as they did with other things and that he would just outgrow it.

    Now that I know, I’ll be forwarding this information on to her to look into further. And I’ll share with other new parents so they can decide for themselves, if the need arises.

    Thank you for the great details you provided and the shoe suggestions.

    • Hi Diane,

      In most cases the child outgrows the toe walking condition but in some others they simply do not. That is the reason why I recommend parents to be proactive and don’t wait for the condition to magically disappear.

      It is important that you don’t leave your child’s toe walking condition untreated as it can lead to your child developing stiffness, tightening, and pain in their Achilles tendon.

      By taking early action you can prevent the child from developing foot, leg, and lower back problems later in life.

  2. I tried the bootie style by Stride Rite and my son started walking heel to toe. I couldn’t believe the difference in the way he was walking.Our pediatrician told us that he will stop eventually stop walking on his toes but it was not happening and we were worried. Thank you Juan this article should be shared as many parents might not know how to help their toe walking children.

    • Hi Joy,

      Sometimes something so simple such as providing children with the correct type of shoes can make a tremendous difference in improving their walking gait. I am glad the shoes worked out for your son’s feet!

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