Intoeing Gait – Not Pigeon Toed!

What is Intoeing?

In-toeing or ‘pigeon toes’ is very common in young children and is when a person’s feet turn inward (instead of pointing straight ahead or outward).

In-toeing may not cause any problems however, in severe cases in-toeing can cause clumsiness and falls where intervention should occur.

What Causes Intoeing?

There are three main causes of in-toeing in healthy children:

  • Metatarsus adductus is a curve in the foot itself, causing the foot to point inward. This curve can develop before the baby is born due to the position of the feet in the uterus.
  • Internal tibial torsion is a twist in the tibia (the leg bone between the knee and the ankle). Some inward twist of the tibia is normal in babies, however in some children the twist doesn’t straighten and they may still in-toe when beginning to walk.
A young boy in an orange top is standing intoed or pigeon toed.
  • Excess femoral anteversion is an inward twist in the femur (thigh bone). As with tibial torsion, some inward twist of the thigh bone is normal in babies but usually goes away in the first years of life. Excess femoral anteversion is often not apparent until the child is 2 to 4 years of age.

Treatment for Intoeing

Our Podiatrists at Dynamic Podiatry can advise on the best type of footwear for children whose feet turn inward, and may also recommend stretches following assessment of the individual child.

In some cases, intoeing may go away without any intervention depending upon the age of the child.

At times additional treatment may be required and this will depend on the cause and severity of the condition.

In some cases, orthotics (with gait plates) can also be used to treat in-toeing.

Two orthotics overlapping each other red and blue

If your child falls over regularly or complains of pain in their feet or legs, call Dynamic Podiatry. We will listen, assess, and then plan a way to help your child live a happy healthy pain-free life.

Call 3351 8878 or

The Dynamic Podiatry logo orange and navy with a foot in the "D"