Toe Walking


Toe walking is not uncommon. Kids who are taking their first steps may walk on their toes or the balls of their feet. Usually, it’s not due to an underlying medical reason. When toe walking is part of normal development, it’s called “habitual” or “idiopathic” toe walking, and most children outgrow it.


Medical Causes

In rarer cases, kids who persistently walk on their toes may do so because of an underlying medical condition, such as:

  • A spinal cord abnormality
  • Neurological conditions
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Autism



Our pediatric physiatrists (physicians who specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation) can help determine the reason for your child’s condition and the best course of treatment for toe walking. This can include testing, and our recommendations may also include:

  • Alternative footwear
  • Bracing with ankle foot orthoses (AFO)
  • Night splints
  • Serial casting
  • Physical therapy
  • Injectable medications


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