Energy expenditure indices (EEI) based on oxygen uptake and heart rate were used to compare the economy of walking at various speeds by normal and cerebral-palsied children. At low walking speeds, EEI values were high, indicating poor economy. At higher speeds the EEI values decreased until a range of maximum economy was reached. For normal children who were capable of walking beyond this range at higher speeds, the EEI increased again. This pattern was noted for both oxygen-uptake and heart-rate indices. Mean EEI values based on oxygen uptake and heart rate for normal children were significantly lower and occurred at faster walking speeds than values for children with cerebral palsy. EEI based on either oxygen uptake or heart rate can be used clinically to provide objective information to help evaluate the influence on gait function of surgical intervention, ambulatory aids or orthotics.