Toe Walking - Rochester, NH

Updated on January 12, 2014
M.R. asks from Rochester, NH
7 answers

Our oldest daughter is almost 3, and has walked on her toes from the start. I recently looked back on her 9-month picture to compare faces with her baby sister, and even when she started to stand she was on her toes. We don't think much of it, but so many folks notice it and ask us why she is on her toes. We have tried to remind her to stand on her "flat feet", but when we don't keep track, she's right back on her toes. She stands flat-footed when not in motion, but the toe-walking looks like a ballerina, on the tips of her toes, and she does it with shoes or bare feet. Has anyone else experienced this "phenomenon" of walking on the toes?

ps-the baby is standing on her flat feet.

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So What Happened?

We had her check-up with the Dr. about a month ago, and he said that she is doing great-physically and developmentally (he pointed towards his eyes to see if she would classify them as plural, and she specifically identified his eyebrows, since that is where his finger touched!). He checked her feet, and said that she has excellent muscles in her calves, and also that her tendons are great. They have a wonderful range to them, and are not tight at all. Thank you to all who shared their experiences with toe walking. Our prayers are with those facing medical intervention and PT/OT regarding this issue.

More Answers



answers from unknown city on

My Daughter Bria is now 10 and always walks around on her tip toes. I have always been concerned and asked her if anything hurts when walking or standing on flat ground etc. and she always says no! but she being 10 and very tall as it is I find it embarrassing and rather concerning to watch her do this all the time. We got her in Basketball at 8 and she looked ridiculous running up and down the court on her toes... I am concerned, she also has issues every once in awhile with her bowl movements (very large stools) and even excessive bathroom visits which keep her out of school at times are these connected???.. Worried Father here.. anyone think I am over reacting? Tonight she passed a very large stool that was hard and long clogged the toilet.. Doctors have tested her in the past and nothing ever comes from it..



answers from Providence on

I know exactly what you are talking about. My 6 y/o god-daughter has done it since she started walking. We all thought it ws cute and joked that she will be a dancer. On her last phys. her doctor told her parents that it has turned out to be a bad thing, the tendens in her legs have tightened up from lack of proper walking. He has given her 1 year to correct her walk on her own and if she can't do it on her own she will start Physical Therapy and maybe braces. So now when we see her do it we yell FEET and she trys to fix it but a few minutes later we catch her doing it again. She has about 5 more months to fix it hopefully she can b/c she starts first grade in the fall and I'd hate for her to be put in braces while adjusting to school. I've noticed my 17 month old doing it and we are stopping it now by correcting her and when she thinks it's fun we don't give her any attention good or bad and then she stops. Good luck!



answers from Boston on

I personally know three kids with this issue. One boy (my neighbor) saw a doctor at Children's Hospital in Boston and he put him in leg braces to break the habit. He wore them for about a year or so when he was 4 or 5. He no longer walks on his toes. My godson was a toe walker too and he grew out of it by 5 or so. My daughter's best friend is now 11 and she still walks on her toes. Her calves are very tight and she has difficulty walking flat foot. She was doing physical therapy at home with her mom and sometimes on her own but they've since stopped. She is a dancer and looks great in ballet but still those calf muscles need to be loosened up or she could have an injury. I would see your pediatrician and let him/her see your child walk and assess from there. I think every case is different.



answers from Springfield on

Hello M., I am a 40+ year old woman who also toe walked for years. I actually did turn out to be a dancer but I'm sure not every toe walker does. I have had no problems with my feet or ligaments or muscles. The way I look at it is if a Dr. doesn't see any problem than it is usually just what is comfortable for the child. I noticed that all of the other people who posted seemed to have problems. I can honestly say I have had none, and I was an excellent student in school.



answers from Boston on

If kids are toe walking a lot, it is usually a sensory issue: either it feels uncomfortable to walk on flat feet, or the toe-walking gives them a little something extra in the sensory dept that they enjoy. Either way, it is something you should have looked at. It can also be a sign of developmental disabilities (a lot of these kids have sensory issues). My daughter is a toe-walker and is also autistic. That does not mean there will be anything wrong with yours! But it's worth ruling out, just the same; she could have a mild disability that won't show up until school otherwise, and if it's found early, then she can catch up now. The earlier the better! Or she might be fine. But it would be better to know for sure. And it would be better to get her into some sort of routine to teach her to walk on her flat feet now, whether something informal at home or some OT (if she does have a sensory issue, she may have other sensory issues that you haven't even realized--it was that way with my daughter--and OT could take care of these). Good luck!



answers from Boston on

Hi M.,
It could be a medical issue; but I do know someone who walks on their toes as an adult. He has awesome calve muscles and athleticly has done extrodinary. Maybe ask your pediatrition their thoughts and go from there. Good luck!



answers from Boston on

My Step-sister started walking on her toes when she first started walking and now she is 9 and still walks on her toes. It was really cute a first but now it is a real big problem if it does not get corrected. It now hurts her to walk on "flat feet". here is what happens medically speaking: The tendon in the heel will start to shrink and she will have to have sugergy to stretch the tendon. My sister is now 9 and will have her first sugergy next month. the will stretch the tendon and she will have to wear special shoes to help her keep stretching it. If that does not work she will have to continue to have sugerys until the dr's can stretch it back. Just a little about what she has to go through.
if you need anything just let me know.


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