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5 Fitting Hacks for Kids’ Shoes that Will Save you Time and Money – Prepare to be Amazed!


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated and revised for accuracy on May 2022 and reflects up-to-date information on 5 fitting hacks for kids’ shoes that will save you time and money.

Making sure that your child’s shoes are fitting correctly is among the most important things that you can do to promote healthy foot development. I will show you 5 fitting hacks for kids’ shoes that will save you time and money.

I get it, fitting children’s shoes can be a headache for many families, but if the shoes are not fitted properly your child might develop foot issues and also outgrow the shoes faster than you expected it. Many families who shop online also waste time and money by having to constantly return the shoes.

Some shoe stores specialize in fitting children’s shoes and they do a great job making sure that the child walks out of the store with the correct pair of shoes in the correct shoe size. Unfortunately, most of these specialized shoe stores have been closing down, and families either have to buy their shoes online or take their children to a big retail store.

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes

I have been working for a children’s shoe store that specializes in helping children with “complicated” foot shapes and foot conditions. I have over 10 years of shoe fitting experience and I truly believe that the correct pair of shoes can be life-changing. Over the years I learned several shoe fittings hacks that will save you time and money, so I want to share them with you.


Before I show you these shoe fittings hacks I want to encourage you to visit your local shoe store if you have one. I believe it’s important to support local businesses and you will also have the peace of mind that your kids’ shoes are fitting correctly.

Hack #1: Making Sure Your Child Still Has Growing Room Inside the Shoes

This is one of the shoe-fitting hacks that parents found most helpful. How many times have you wondered whether it’s time to buy your child a new pair of shoes or whether you should wait a little longer?

What if I tell you that you can check this right now from the comfort of your home? Let me show you how!

Most children’s shoes now come with removable insoles. Some of them might be a little harder to remove but you shouldn’t have a problem taking them out. Let’s check whether your child can wear the shoes longer or not:

  • Start by removing the original insoles of your kids’ shoes.
  • Align your child’s heels with the end of the insoles as shown in the image below:
  • Have your child stand in both insoles and make sure that your child is standing straight and looking straight ahead:
  • Check whether your child’s toes are up the front of the insoles or not. Make sure that you check both feet as we all have one foot larger than the other one. Also make sure that you check your child’s longest toe, which doesn’t necessarily have to be the big toe, it can be the second or even the third toe. Below is an image of a child with no room inside the shoes. In this case, the shoes must be replaced.
  • Ideally, your child will have some space between the child’s largest toe and the end of the insoles. In this case, the child can continue wearing the shoes.

Hack #2: Making Sure Your Child Has Width Space Inside the Shoes 

Sometimes your child might have the correct amount of space in the front of the shoes but the shoes might be too narrow, meaning that your child outgrew the width faster than the length.

There is a way you can check whether your kids’ shoes are too narrow or not. With your child’s shoes on, slide your finger around the widest part of the shoes and make sure that you don’t feel a “bump” around that area. If you feel like something is pressing out then it means that your child’s small toe (pinky toe) is being pressed by the other toes against the side of the shoes. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes:


The red arrows are pointing at the specific part of the shoe that you need to check. Remember that if you feel a bump then it’s time to replace the shoes, even if your child still has room in the front part of the shoes.

Hack #3: Preventing Your Child’s Heels from Slipping Off the Shoes

Have you noticed that your child’s heels are moving up and down the shoes? Is your child complaining that his/her heels keep coming out of the shoes? The heel is one of the most common places where children develop blisters, so it’s always wise to make sure that your child’s shoes don’t move excessively around that area.

Below is an image of a child who developed a blister from wearing shoes that were too wide around the heels:


Before you go ahead and exchange the shoes or buy a smaller size I suggest that you try any of the following shoe hacks:

  • If your child is wearing shoes with shoelaces there is a specific shoe lacing technique that I learned that pushes the child’s feet back, securing the heels against the back part of the shoes. I learned this shoe lacing technique from my co-worker who has over 30 years of shoe fitting experience. If you want to learn more about how this shoe lacing technique works you can go to the article below:

How to Lace Kids’ Shoes to Prevent Heel Slippage – 3 Easy and Simple Steps!

  • If your child is wearing shoes with velcro closure then I suggest placing a tongue pad inside the shoes, which is going to push your kids’ feet back and secure them against the back part of the shoes. Tongue pads are basically adhesive-backed pads that work in all enclosed shoes. If you believe your child can benefit from wearing a pair of tongue pads inside the shoes then take a look at the article below:

Leather Shoe Tongue Pads – Stop Heel Slippage

Tongue pads are also effective when your child’s feet move too much inside the shoes.

Hack# 4- Providing Your Child with the Correct Shoe Size

Making sure that your kids’ shoes are the correct size will save you time and money. Since most children’s shoe stores have been closing down I started helping parents figure out their child’s exact foot size from home. As a standard rule of thumb, I always recommend providing children with a shoe size that is half a size larger than their foot size (1.4 inches or 0.7 centimeters).

Remember the first shoe hack I showed you in which you can remove the original insoles to check whether your child still has growing room inside the shoes? You can do the same thing here to make sure that the shoes you are buying are the correct size:


How to Retrieve Your Child’s Exact Foot Length and Shape

There are several online shoe measuring tools that help parents determine their child’s exact foot size from home. However, none of these foot measuring tools can accurately determine your child’s foot width (narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide) as well as whether your child has a high instep or not. That is the reason why I created an easy-to-follow method that allows parents to accurately determine their child’s correct foot length and width, as well as instep height. You can learn more about this method in the article below:

How to Measure Your Kids’ Foot – 2 Simple Steps to Determine Foot Length and Foot Width

If you follow the steps in that article you will get your child’s exact foot size and shape in less than 24 hours.

Hack #5:  Making Shoes that are Too Big Feel Tighter

It’s important to check if your child’s shoes are too big as too much foot movement inside the shoes can lead to discomfort and foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns.

If you happen to notice that your kids’ feet move too much inside the shoes don’t return the shoes just yet. There are 2 methods you can try to make the shoes fit and feel better:

  • Try a tongue pad. I already mentioned how tongue pads are adhesive-backed pads that can fill gaps inside the shoes. You can learn more about the best tongue pads for kids’ shoes in a different article called:

Leather Shoe Tongue Pads – Stop Heel Slippage

  • The other method you can try is fitting an extra insole inside your kids’ shoes. This will raise your kids’ feet and fill any remaining gap inside the shoes. The insole has to be placed on top of your child’s original insole. I explain how this method works in a different article called:

Replacement Insoles for Kids’ Shoes – Have Your Kids Lost or Damaged their Shoe Insoles?

Those are the 5 most important kids’ shoe fitting hacks that I have learned over the years at the shoe store that I work for.

It’s really important to keep your kids’ feet healthy to prevent potential foot problems as adults. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of parents who tell me how they are dealing with bunions and calluses now from not wearing the correct pair of shoes as children.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about your child’s feet or if you can’t seem to find a specific shoe to fit the shape of your child’s feet. You can either leave me a comment below or send me an email to:



I created this webpage to help parents understand the importance that shoes have in healthy foot development and how they can prevent foot problems in the future.Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

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