Working with many children who exhibit Idiopathic Toe Walking, I have found an extremely successful treatment adjunct to be the use of “Heel to Toe Helper Socks” aka grippy socks! I am not speaking of the standard low profile treads typically found on our children’s socks. We require something which we can custom design for each individual child, offering more tactile input through the child’s foot as well as extra motivation to fully weight bear through the whole foot promoting heel to toe gait pattern.
Heel to Toe Helper Sock Tutorial
What you need:
Child sized socks (without any embellishment on soles)
Empty paper towel or toilet paper roll
1. Begin with clean socks, slide onto empty paper towel/toilet paper roll to allow for easier application of fabric paint.
2. Apply small raised dots along entire sole or strictly on heels.
3. Each child responds differently, so you can experiment with both varieties to see which option promotes more natural heel-toe gait pattern.
4. Allow time for paint to dry still on empty towel roll (ideally 12 hours).
5. Let child test drive on hard wood or tile surface. Note picture above, the child keeps his full foot surface in contact with floor as he walks along the hard wood!
6. Make adjustments as needed, may need to apply thicker dots for more tactile input, or concentrate dots along entire heel surface (to encourage more weight bearing through heel vs toes).
For more helpful tips read our post Toe Walking: Background and Treatment Strategies!
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