Toe Walking


My 5 year old daughter has started toe walking. This is something that I did as a child and one of my brothers did as well. My parents discouraged it and even took me to an ortho doctor that told me I would shorten my achilles tendon and require braces on my legs if I did not stop. He felt that my toe walking was a result of my weakness in my ankles which has caused me to pronate inwards when I am on my feet. I did eventually stop, but have struggled with weak ankles, hips, knees, etc. I started wearing barefoot shoes and have resolved many of my problems but not all.
SO now my daughter is starting up the toe walking, and my instinct is not to correct her after seeing how much toe walking is used in the whole woman work. But I would like some guidance on this and would love to hear from Christine on just how the toe walking affects the anatomy overall. My children are barefoot 90% of the time if that matters.


Hi Proverbs31Mama,

I am certainly in no position to give a definitive answer to your very good question. The topic is profoundly interesting and exceedingly important however.

Lanny and I are working day and night to produce a new program on the knees, because through a knee injury of my own I have learned a tremendous amount about what is called “osteoarthritis” of the knee.

Knee pain takes people to the orthopedist more than any other musculoskeletal condition.

Medical professionals tell us that “toe-walking” is pathologic and will result in shortened calf muscles and short and dysfunctional Achilles tendons.

A slew of other people are now telling us that forefoot-first walking has resolved many musculoskeletal disorders.

In recovering from my knee injury, forefoot-first walking was the only way I could manage the pain of recovery.

Is the modern human Achilles tendon too long? What is the reason for the epidemic number of knee replacements in the United States (expected to reach 3 million/year by 2030)?

How did people walk 3,000 years ago?

I had an occasion recently to sit down and watch many people of all ages walking past. It was so interesting to watch *all* the older children, teenagers, and adults throwing their feet out in front of them as they walked heel-strike-first, while the tiny children ran gracefully by up on their toes.

I would love to know what my body would be like if I had kept the forefoot-first walking of early childhood. However, I could never tell a parent to run that experiment on their kid. I just don’t know enough yet.

Adding tremendously to the complexity of the subject is that our entire culture is set up for heel-strike-first walking. I have found the hustle and bustle of traffic and having to move fast to cross streets difficult when walking forefoot-first. I think this is because my feet and legs are not wired up for moving fast in this position (Achilles tendons too long?), so I automatically resort to heel-strike-first when rushed.

Then I try to imagine a world where everyone is walking more slowly and gracefully forefoot-first. Heavenly! From my perspective, heel-strike-first looks sloppy and ungainly.

How curious that the age-old saying, “She’s on her toes” connotes being sharp, ready, or alert!

Stay tuned!


Thank you for your response! I am struggling to learn this posture because it is not yet natural. I know that I carry tension in my lower belly and floor as a response to stress. SO I was making good progress and then life got crazy again and I am having to relearn while my prolapse yells at me. Toe walking around my house seems to help me counter-act the bad habits I have and ease my prolapse. I am learning just how much weakness I have in my hips right now!

Try putting on your favorite music and holding the baton above your head, shoulders down and elbows straight. With hip turnout and up high on the balls of your feet, walk forward crossing one ankle in front of the other. Then back, making sure no aspect of the posture changes.

I am learning it is a real commitment to keep the structure that the posture and WW toe work build. The body does present more challenges as we age, but the key is to keep strengthening against the forces of gravity. Frankly, I don’t like to exercise for exercise’s sake, so have had to build more and more enjoyable programs so I will be motivated to do them on a regular basis. Everything goes in cycles, but try not to get so out of shape that coming back is difficult or worse.

This is a very interesting thread. I had suddenly painful feet and learnt it was called plantar fasciitis
and tried to have gel soles in my shoes . I noticed that the exercises in First Aid for Prolapse programme really helped and I doubled up on the walking on tip toes bit . It was the most fun type exercise of all that were suggested to me.
My vet was explaining that my large dog does not actually walk on his whole foot but nature dictates that he walks on just the toe/paw part . She said the foot goes right up from toe to first hinge joint on his leg which I found fascinating. When he walks he has a wonderful gait with little bounce and much ease. Walking in WW posture every day with him is my therapy and if I miss this I am reminded very quickly. Thanks for this site it is fab,

Doubled up as in doing twice not as in pain!!!!

Yes, I agree, it is a most fascinating subject. It seems as if humans get to choose which quadrupedal gait to follow: very gracefully and agile like animals with dew claws (dogs, cats, deer and other cloven hooved species), or animals that walk on their entire foot (elephants).

Perhaps we're moving into a higher dimension! The Angels *must* walk this way. :-)