New Boots for Toe Walking Sierra

There is so very much I could say about Sierra and her toe walking. Without basically typing a novel, though, I don’t think I can explain things well.

I’ll do a summary of what’s been going on just in case anyone is curious.

-Sierra has walked on her toes since she very first started walking.

-I didn’t think much of it, and neither did her doctors, until last year.

-Last year we (her doctor and me) decided it’d be a good idea to do some testing and see some specialists to make sure it wasn’t something like autism or cerebral palsy. Even though we highly doubted it was either of those based on everything else about Sierra.

-We had quite the adventure visiting the orthopaedist and then a neurologist and finally an occupational therapist and all three said there is absolutely nothing wrong with her.

-Her toe walking is definitely idiopathic (habitual) toe walking.

-It was decided that we could take her to physical therapy for exercises to stretch her tendons but we could also just wait it out and see if she outgrew it.

-We opted for waiting it out because our insurance doesn’t cover physical therapy and at $200 a pop every week we’d be broke in no time.

-We did start/have done stretching with her at home.

-A few months ago I noticed Sierra’s toe walking was getting worse. She was up way higher on her toes and she was getting more clumsy because of it. She can no longer stand in place on flat feet without stumbling around or getting back up on her toes right away. When she does stand flat she opens her legs wide and her toes pointed way out.

-SOOOOO I started googling and researching everything I could on toe walking and treatments and all of that and have decided to go ahead and see the physical therapist. With things getting worse I just don’t know that Sierra’s going to outgrow her toe walking. Some kids do and others don’t.

With that said, we’re going to wait until January because of the way our insurance is set up. And because I don’t want to be going to physical therapy appointments every week with a newborn. lol

In the meantime, we got Sierra some sturdy boots that so far have kept her walking fairly flat while she wears them! She can get up on her toes but it’s not as easy so at least half the time she’s walking flat. That’ll help stretch her out just a bit before all the physical therapy and potential braces of next year.
If you’re really curious you can read more about idiopathic toe walking at these sites:
Mayo Clinic
Associated Content
Dr. Foot

12 thoughts on “New Boots for Toe Walking Sierra

  • hi arianna. leslie's friend deb here. i have a step-son that toe walked when he was younger. he DID have problems from being born 6 weeks early. but whether sierra's problem is the symptom of an underlying medical condition or not, it is important to do exercises for her to stretch out the tendons. I took my stepson to physical therapy while pregnant with my third. no picnic for sure. as well as table exercises and exercise machines, he had hydrotherapy to help soothe the legs after working out. i also did therapy with him at home which mostly involved using large rubber band type dealies to pull the toes toward the body with the legs straight. this helped to stretch out the achilles tendon, etc… toe walking is most often caused by an underlying neurological disorder. while it CAN be habitual, it doesn't usually last this long. either way, therapeutic intervention is vital. good luck. keep us up-to-date okay?

  • Ugggh, that's a bummer that you have to do therapy. But at least it IS something you can fix 🙂 I also have four children and both of my girls are toe-walkers (although not severe like your precious Sierra). I never even noticed it but everyone and their brother felt the need to point it out to me. And then, to give me THE LOOK. So annoying 🙂 The boots are clever–and they have 6 months to do their thing! ~Andrea

  • Hi Ariana,

    I could be wrong, but I believe that CarrieB on Two Peas has a daughter that was a toe walker, and eventually had to have surgery. You could send her a message to get more info…thought that might help you.

    -Monica (Monica D)

  • I grew up with a girl that walked on her toes. When we were re-united over 12 yrs later, she no longer walked on her toes, she just grew out of it. She still kinda walked with a spring in her step if you know what I mean.

    The boots sound like a great idea to me!! Hope it helps.

  • A friend of mine has a daughter with a very similar story and she had to have surgery this year. I believe she is about 6 years old. Hope you find a solution for your sweet daughter.

  • I have never heard of toe walking before meeting you and little Sierra! (Well “online meeting” anyway!) That is so interesting! I hope she is able to outgrow it without any complications! I know it probably isn't good for her, but she looks so cute up on her little toes in all those pictures! I loved seeing all those old pictures of her! So sweet! They grow so fast! Seems like the boots would be a good way to help hold her feet down! Maggie would wear boots 24/7 if I let her! lol 😉

  • So, I have never heard of toe walking being associated with autism! You just taught me something. So weird, b/c my son was dx w/autism over 3 years ago and he also has a neuro condition that causes large motor delays. I can't believe I'd never heard that one before. From seeing your blog the last few years, I totally agree, I could not imagine Sierra being dx w/autism since I live with it and know how it goes everyday.

    We have done PT (and OT, and speech!) for years, if you ever have any ?'s I'd be glad to help if I can. Also, consider contacting your county's Board of Developmental Disabilites. I obviously don't know how it works in your area, but here, they can help cover costs for thearpies that the insurance doesn't cover.

  • Hi Ariana,

    I just found your blog through google. My daughter seems very much like yours. She has toe walked from the moment she learned to walk. We have done the PT route, the braces, the chiropractic stuff, and now our pediatrician is sending us to the neurologist. I am hoping that our appt. doesn't go like yours though–haha! Curious to see what becomes of it as we have heard over and over that our daughter is considered idiopathic walking as well. Look forward to sitting and reading the rest of your posts on Sierra's journey!

  • I have a son that is 8 years old with the same thing. We have done PT, The AFO's, Chiropractic and Accupuncture. We continue to stretch daily and the accupuncture has helped him more than anything. We just finished having him evaluated by an OT and there are indications for vestibular sensory dysfunction would could have caused his toe walking in the first place. He has no symptoms other than walking high up on his toes 95% of the time. He can walk heel to toe if asked. But says it feels uncomfortable. Don't wait to seek all options, the habit just gets harder to break and now that he's older he's much more aware of how this seperates him from his peers. He's not as coordinated as the other boys and refuses to join in sports. I hope the OT combined with these anti toe walking boots I'm trying to order from Reed Medical group in the UK will finally do the trick. If not, serial casting is our next option. Good Luck. Check into Vestibular proccessing dysfunction (its called many names) and the Reed Medical boots.

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