Children’s Walking Patterns

Children’s Walking Patterns

Toe Walking

Walking on the toes is fairly common in young children, especially when they first begin to walk. It will usually resolve within 4-8 months as the child develops a more stable walking pattern.

If the condition persists, a podiatrist or other health professional should be consulted. Treatment may involve some simple stretching exercises along with heel lifts and/or orthotic intervention may resolve the condition. Sometimes plaster casts may be used to help stretch the calf muscles. In rare circumstances surgical intervention may be required.

In-Toed or Pigeon-Toed Gait

This is a common disorder in young children, usually stemming from hip, knee or foot position, or commonly a combination of all three. In most cases, the child will grow out of it without any intervention.

Sometimes, however, a specially designed orthotic device can be beneficial to assist the natural development in most cases this works extremely well in a short time. Your podiatrist can also help by discussing relevant stretching or certain sitting and sleeping positions which should be avoided or encouraged.

Out-Toed Gait

Children who walk with their feet turned out excessively should consult a podiatrist. While this can be simply a structural positioning, that is the way the child’s legs have formed, it is commonly associated with a flat or excessively pronated foot type, which will benefit from orthotic intervention.


Tripping is common in children first learning to walk but should resolve as their gait pattern is established. It is more common in children with an in-toed gait pattern, in which case consultation with a podiatrist to reduce the in-toe may reduce the tripping. Again, a particular orthotic device may well resolve the problem. Persistent tripping should be investigated by a podiatrist or other health professionals.

For more information, call us on 03 9735 1273

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