When learning and practicing to walk it is common for children to develop gait abnormalities. When the feet turn inwards it call it in-toeing or pigeon toes. When the feet turn outwards it is called out- toeing.

Whilst in the initial stages of walking development these patterns may not cause any problems as they can self-correct. If you notice any of the following come and have your child assessed by a SOLE THERAPY podiatrist:

  • No improvements in-toeing or out-toeing by age 3
  • Complaints of pain
  • Limping
  • One foot turns out more than the other
  • Developmental delays
  • Gait abnormalities that get worse instead of better
  • Child is clumsy or falls over a lot

In- Toeing

In- toeing results from the internal rotation of one or a combination of three areas:

  • The foot AKA metatarsus adductus
  • The leg AKA tibial torsion
  • The hip AKA femoral anterversion 

Having your podiatrist assess your child is important for treatment and expected time of improvement. In-toeing will not initially cause pain, but if left untreated it can cause related muscle and joint pain as the child grows. Children can also develop postural deformities such as scoliosis of the spine and also creates issues with balance.

Out- Toeing

Out- toeing results from the external rotation of the hip, the shin or flat feet. This walking pattern is often compared to a duck waddling and can lead to associated pains in the hips, knees and ankles.

Whilst this walking pattern is less common than in-toeing it does cause more pain as the child moves into adulthood.

With any child walking abnormalities, determining the cause is most important. At SOLE THERAPY our comprehensive biomechanical assessment will find the cause, allowing for personalized and targeted treatment:

  • Customized functional orthotics to improve gait patterns quickly and effectively
  • Fun and successful at home exercises to get muscles moving better
  • Advice on the footwear practice and fitting

Treatment of gait abnormalities in children can take time- make the first step in the right direction by calling SOLE THERAPY on 02 9583 1138 or book online today.


"Love your body from the sole up"

Nicole Reilly