What is toe walking?
Toe walking is a phase children sometimes go through when learning how to walk. Instead of walking heel to toe -- transferring weight across the foot as they move from step to step -- kids can occasionally get into the habit of placing the toe of their foot down first, like they’re tiptoeing.
This is just fine early on, and in fact is a part of learning to walk. However, if this walking pattern continues it can cause long term issues like poor balance, tight calves, or even problems standing with their heels flat on the ground.
Don’t worry too much about your child’s early walking patterns. It’s only if the habit persists in children older than 18 months that toe walking can become a problem. While toe walking is normally just a phase, it can also be an indicator of developmental disorders like a shortened Achilles tendon, cerebral palsy, or muscular dystrophy.
How squeaky shoes help
Because the squeaker is placed in the heel of the shoe the sound encourages children to step "heel first", bringing their weight down on the heel of the foot and then transferring it to the toe as they step forward.
This produces the delightful squeak that kids love so much about our shoes and motivates them to correctly put weight on their heels first. It’s a great way to break that toe walking habit.
"As a pediatric Occupational Therapist, I recommend these shoes to so many families, especially for kids who toe walk or have orthotics. The squeaks provide a fun reinforcement to enforce a heel to toe pattern, and they have more than enough space to accommodate braces.
These shoes are great for kids who aren’t toe walkers or do not wear any braces too; my son wears them and they are his favorite pair of shoes to wear. The squeaks are so fun, and we get compliments on them all the time. Plus as a parent, I can make sure he’s always within distance by listening for the squeaks!"