When children are first starting to learn to walk, they may tiptoe. This may then become a habit. The child displays a pattern of walking where their heels do not make contact with the ground, and they remain on the toes for each step.  Running gait usually appears normal and if instructed to walk on the heels, the child is usually able to do this.

Tip toe walking should be outgrown by the age of 3. If it is not, it is recommended to have an assessment with a podiatrist to rule out more serious causes of the toe walking and potentially treat physical and developmental conditions.


Sometimes children with no health, medical or developmental condition will also walk on their toes. These children seem to walk on their toes for no known reason, or out of habit. This type of toe walking is called idiopathic toe walking. Most children with idiopathic toe walking are able to stand flat footed, and are often able to walk flat footed if you ask them to.

Other certain underlying health, medical or developmental conditions can cause a child to walk on their toes.  These conditions include cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and autism spectrum disorder.


  • Stretching and/or strengthening programs
  • Footwear advice
  • In-shoe padding or orthotics 
  • Any neuromuscular conditions are referred to a specialist

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