Have you noticed your child walking and running differently lately? If your child’s feet are turning inwards instead of straight when walking or running, then it’s highly likely that your child has a foot condition called in-toeing.
In-toeing simply means that your child’s feet turn inwards instead of pointing straight. However, parents always have a hard time when they notice that their children are struggling with their gait. I have helped hundreds of children with this condition and it can be corrected by wearing the correct type of shoes and in certain cases, orthotics as well.
Most children who experience in-toeing don’t experience foot and leg pain, but they do tend to stumble and lose balance more often. I strongly recommend that you don’t leave this condition untreated since it can lead to several complications in the future.
When children are growing, the normal development of the pelvis and the spine will suffer if there is a foot imbalance. In most cases in-toeing might correct itself as the child keeps growing. However, in some children it doesn’t get better on its own and treatment is necessary in order to help treat and correct the condition. When children walk with their feet turned inwards, it’s important to protect the foot from damage due to compensation, since this can lead to short and long-term problems that involve:
- An unbalanced gait.
- Reduced athletic ability.
- Foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes, and flat feet.
- General foot and leg pain.
Even if your child is not complaining about foot or leg pain, 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. I get contacted by families from all over the world who are told by their pediatricians that their child will eventually outgrow the condition, but these families are still concerned since their child walking gait is clearly abnormal.
My experience in helping children with in-toeing is a result from working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now, and this experience has afforded me a great deal experience when it comes to treating and preventing children’s foot and leg problems. I am familiar with which are the best shoes for children who have in-toeing from having fitted and tested them before.
What is Causing Your Child’s In-Toeing? – Let’s Find Out!
In-toeing is believed to be hereditary, and as a parent there is nothing that you could have done to prevent it.
The most common cause of in-toeing is due to the thigh bone being turned in at the hip, which tends to throws the child’s body out of alignment.
Some physical or occupational therapists might recommend casts, orthopedic shoes, and even surgery in order to correct in-toeing. These 3 approaches can be very effective, but providing you child with the correct type of shoes and in some cases orthotics is a less invasive and more affordable alternative that will help treat and prevent your child’s in-toeing.
Treating Your Child’s In-Toeing – What a Difference a Shoe Makes!
The correct type of supportive shoes will definitely help your child walk and run straighter, as well as improve your child’s overall posture. I always recommend parents to start by trying a pair of supportive shoes first and monitor whether the child’s walking gait and posture improves or not. If it doesn’t, the next step would be trying an orthotic.
I have helped improve the walking gait and posture of hundreds of children who were in-toeing by providing them with a pair of everyday supportive sneakers. I want to clarify that the shoes that I recommend are not orthopedic shoes, they are regular everyday sneakers that simply provide better structure and support.
Something so simple such as providing your child with the correct type of shoes can help correct your child walking gait and allow your child to walk and run straighter. Let me prove this to you.
Let’s take a look at an image of a barefoot child who is experiencing in-toeing issues. Do you notice how the child’s feet are collapsing and turning inwards? The feet are shifting the child’s whole body out of alignment.
Now, let’s see what happens when we fit that same child in a pair of the supportive shoes that I recommend. Do you notice how the child’s feet look a lot straighter? These shoes will allow the child to walk and run straighter, which will improve the child’s overall posture as well.
I also recorded one video of the same child walking barefoot and a different video of the child wearing the shoes that I recommend. Let’s see if you can notice a difference.
In the before video, the child is walking barefoot and you should be able to notice how the child is in-toeing, since the feet are collapsing and turning inwards with each step that the child takes.
In the after video, the child is walking with supportive shoes and you should be able to notice how much straighter the feet are when they come in contact with the ground.
You might be wondering, why is this specific shoe style so effective in treating and preventing in-toeing? The main reason is that the shoes come with a substantial and supportive outsole with arch support that will help prevent the child’s feet from collapsing and turning inwards, allowing your child to walk and run straighter.
The other reason why this particular shoes style is so effective in treating and preventing in-toeing is that it provides a firm heel counter. The heel counter is the back part of the shoes that provides ankle and heel support, and the firmer it is, the better. Some children experiencing in-toeing from having rolled ankles. Always make sure that the heel counter of your child’s shoes feels firm and not soft.
In addition to providing these 2 features, the shoes must also fit the shape of your child’s feet perfectly. Children can have narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet, and depending on your child’s foot shape the selection of shoes that your child can wear might be very large or very small.
The good news is that the shoes styles that I recommend are available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide. This is also helpful in the event that you need to fit an orthotic inside your kids’ shoes.
In order to figure out your child’s exact foot size and provide your child with the correct shoe size, I always recommend parents to take their children to be properly fitted for shoe at their local children’s shoe store. If you are unsure whether you have a good fitting children’s shoe store in your area, start by taking a look at a map I created that describes the best kids’ shoes stores by state. Go to the link below:
If after looking at that map you still can’t seem to find a store in your area, then take a look at another article along with a video I created that will help you identify how to figure out your child’s foot size from home:
Now that you know how to figure out your child’s exact foot size, you are ready to take a look at a selection of the best kids’ shoes for in-toeing.
The Best Kids’ Shoes for In-Toeing ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
There is a very small selection of shoes that will help improve your child’s walking gait, but the good news is that I know exactly which styles these are from having fitted them before. I only recommend shoe styles that I have fitted before, since that is the only way for me to tell how supportive and well-made the shoes are, and most importantly, how the shoes fit.
Below you can find a selection of the best shoes for in-toeing:
Shoes can fit short, long, or true to size, and depending on how they fit you need to adjust the size that you get for your child. This selection of shoes all fit “true to size”, which means that you need to go a half a size longer of the size that your child measures in the standard shoe measuring scale (Brannock device) in order to allow for growing room.
One method that used to be very effective in treating and preventing in-toeing was the reverse-the-shoe wearing technique. In this method parents will fit the child’s right shoe on the left foot, and the left shoe, on the right foot. While this method used to be effective in helping children walk and run straighter, it caused children to develop hallux valgusand other foot problems in later years.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions that you might have about your child’s feet or walking gait. If you are in doubt of whether your child might have in-toeing or not, feel free to send me pictures/videos of your child’s feet and I will be able to evaluate your child’s feet: firstname.lastname@example.org