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My 16-month-old has bent feet. Does she need special shoes to straighten them out?

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My daughter is now 16 months old. Her feet are a bit bent, and my sister is advising me to buy her shoes or boots that will straighten her feet. What is your comment on this? If I leave her feet alone, will they straighten out in time?


Mild problems with "bent" feet and legs in toddlerhood are very common and almost always go away without treatment as children grow. If you can straighten out your daughter's feet with only gentle pressure, the problem is likely benign. You may find that you notice they're bent only when your daughter is standing or walking. Such toeing-in and toeing-out are normal responses to a toddler's leg growth and weight gain as she learns to walk. Even the more extreme cases of toeing-in and toeing-out tend to improve -- if not resolve completely -- by school age. Studies have shown that placing toddlers in corrective shoes does little to change the natural course of the toeing-in and toeing-out. You should discuss your concerns with your daughter's medical care provider. A thorough examination of your daughter's hips, legs, and feet while standing and lying down is important to detect any serious, but less common, orthopedic conditions.  

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