Have you noticed your child walking with his/her feet turned outwards? This condition is referred as out-toeing and it’s also commonly know as duck-footed.
Out-toeing is believed to be hereditary, but for certain children this condition develops from a compensation of an injury, lack of muscle strength, or poor posture.
Having out-toeing simply means that your child walks with his/her feet turned out, causing the arch to collapse slightly. The further the feet turn out; the flatter your child’s feet become. The arch of the foot is designed to provide us with shock absorption when we are walking, running, and jumping.
Whenever children are walking, running, jumping, or engaging in high impact activities, the arches of their feet try to minimize the impact that their feet and legs take when they come in contact with the ground. The issue with having out-toeing is that it flattens the feet, and this imposes an enormous amount of extra stress in the feet and legs and also affects your child’s posture.
I have noticed how most pediatricians advise parents to not be alarmed or stress out too much over this condition. However, 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 and preventing their children’s foot conditions.
My experience in helping children with out-toeing is a result of working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now, in which we specialize in children with foot and leg problems. I am familiar with which are the best shoes for children who have out-toeing from having fitted and tested them before.
I get contacted by families from all over the world who are told by their pediatricians that the child will eventually outgrow this condition, but these families are still concerned since their child walking gait is clearly abnormal.
It can be hard for parents to watch their children struggle with their walking gait, but if you take the necessary steps you will be able to correct your child’s ut-toeing and improve your child’s overall posture.
When children experience out-toeing, they put a lot of additional stress in their feet and legs, and if you leave this condition untreated your child might develop future problems that range from knee and back pain, to ankle injuries and plantar fasciitis.
Walking with the feet turned outwards 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.
The most effective and less invasive way that I have found to treat and prevent out-toeing is by wearing the correct pair of shoes, and depending on the degree of your child’s out-toeing, orthotics as well. I always recommend to start by trying a pair of supportive shoes, and if the condition doesn’t improve, then the next step is to try a pair of orthotics.
Treating Your Child’s Out-Toeing – What a Difference the Shoe Makes!
Let me show you what a tremendous difference the correct pair of shoes can make in treating and preventing your child’s out-toeing condition. Let’s first take a look at a picture of a barefoot child that is experiencing out-toeing.
Do you notice how the child’s feet are turning outwards? Sometimes I like to provide parents with the analogy that having out-toeing or duck feet is the same as having a car with a flat tire. When you have a flat tire it affects the rest of your car, you may feel uneven and more bumps in the road. Your kids’ feet are like the tires on your car. When the feet are out of alignment, it will affect all the joints above them, including the knees, hips, and lower back.
Now let’s take a look at another picture of the same child wearing a pair of supportive shoes. Do you notice how the child’s feet look a lot straighter? The shoes are straightening the child’s feet and preventing them from turning outwards.
In this particular case the child just needed to wear a pair of supportive shoes. However, there will be certain cases where the correct pair of shoes won’t be enough in treating and preventing this condition. In those cases, you might have to provide your child with a pair of orthotics as well.
Out-toeing is not as common as in-toeing, but I have seen and helped several children with out-toeing walk and run straighter.
I have noticed how the most effective shoes that help treat this condition provide a lot of support in the sole and in the heel counter as well. There is one particular shoe style that I have found to be the most effective one when it comes to treating this condition. The shoe provides a substantial and supportive sole which will help prevent your child’s feet from rolling outwards:
That shoe style also provides a firm heel counter, which is the back part of the shoe that provides ankle and heel support:
Now that you know what features your kids’ shoes must provide, you are ready to take a look at a selection of the best shoes for kids with duck feet.
The Best Shoes for Kids with Duck Feet ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I have tested different shoe styles for children with out-toeing, and there is one particular style made by New Balance that I have found to be the most effective one in treating this condition. This style will work if your child has medium, wide, or extra wide feet. If your child happens to have narrow feet please contact me directly and I will send you specific shoe recommendations: email@example.com
Here you can find a selection of the best shoes for kids with duck feet:
This selection of shoes 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.
Do you know your child’s exact foot size? In order to figure out your chid’s correct shoe size you will need to know your child’s exact foot 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, take 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 that will help you identify how to figure out your child’s foot size from home:
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions about your child’s feet or walking gait. If you are in doubt of whether your child might have out-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