The Correct Footwear for School-Aged Children

In-toeing is when one or both feet point towards the other. This condition is usually seen in young children and is most often attributed to the following three causes:

  • ​Metatarsus adductus
  • Internal tibial torsion
  • Increased femoral anteversion

While in-toeing is relatively common during early childhood, most kids will outgrow the behaviour with time. However, it can be necessary for a children’s podiatrist to intervene in the following circumstances: 

  • Your child limps as they walk
  • One foot is more affected than the other
  • Your child is experiencing pain in their hip or leg
  • The in-toeing persists or gets worse with time
  • The in-toeing causes your child to trip and affects their ability to join school activities

Once your child has been walking for a few years, the type of footwear they need will change as their feet carry on developing. School-aged children should wear shoes that are slightly more firm and structured but not totally stiff, as they will still need flexibility while their feet continue to grow.

​We recommend looking for shoes with the following:

Sever’s disease is most often found in children experiencing growth spurts, typically around the ages of 8-12 years. Caused by added stress to the heel bone’s growth plate, Sever’s disease is mostly observed in highly active children, and symptoms tend to worsen during or after exercise. It can affect one or both feet and may include any of the following symptoms: 

  • Heel pain and/or tenderness
  • Swelling around the heel bone
  • Limping

Choosing the correct shoes for your child depends on their age, as they will require different levels of support depending on the stage of growth that their feet are in. Your kid’s podiatrist should be able to help you find the right shoes for your child. At Family & Sports Podiatry, we can help you find the right footwear for both toddlers and school-aged children.

At What Age Is Toe Walking Considered a Problem?

What Is In-Toeing and When Is Treatment Necessary?

CAUTION: Toddlers' shoes should be as flexible as possible.

Your Local Children’s Podiatris



A firm middle: The shoes should be rigid in the middle and should not give or fold when you attempt to twist and bend them.



Toe flexibility: The shoes should bend with your child’s toes. They should not be too stiff, but they should also not bend too much in the toe box area.



Stiff heel cups: You should be able to press on both sides of the heel counter without it collapsing. 

How Can I Select the Right Shoes for My Child?

Foot issues can be present at birth and don’t always disappear by themselves. If you have noticed any potential concerns, we recommend bringing your child to our clinic before they start walking. Taking action when your child is an infant can prevent further complications, increase their responsiveness to their care, and improve their chances of only requiring more conservative treatment options.

  • Persistent toe-walking
  • Growing pains and Sever’s disease
  • In-toeing
  • Sports-related foot injuries
  • Metatarsus adductus

How Old Does My Child Have to Be to See a Podiatrist?

From infants to adolescents, children of all ages can encounter issues with their feet, especially as their activity levels increase and their bodies change and grow. When you visit our clinic, your child’s podiatrist will strive to help them manage these issues and avoid complications in the future. We have extensive experience working with a number of issues and common conditions in children, including:

Typical Foot Problems for Kids

If you’re looking for an experienced children’s podiatrist to help your child start life on the right foot, our team can help. At Family & Sports Podiatry, children make up 65% of our patients, and our dedicated experts have been providing a range of examinations, diagnoses, and treatments to kids since 2002.

While toe walking is relatively common in children who are still learning to walk, most outgrow this behaviour after they turn 2. If your child continues toe walking after this age, it may be a good idea to contact us and book an appointment. 

Your kid’s podiatrist will conduct a physical examination and may also perform a gait analysis to determine the cause of their toe walking and how to correct the behaviour.

The Correct Footwear for Toddlers

Summer Hill: (02) 9715 3466 | Parramatta: (02) 9762 1041

What Is Sever’s Disease and How Is It Managed? 

If you are buying shoes for a toddler, we recommend choosing ones that are as flexible and breathable as possible. Doing so will provide them with protection as they begin to walk while also allowing their feet to flex, move, and perspire as though they are still barefoot. This flexibility will give them the freedom and support they need to develop their arches, improve their gait, and strengthen their feet. 

  • Foot and ankle pain
  • Flat footedness
  • Improper footwear
  • Warts/verrucas
  • Ingrown toenails