Fitting Children's Shoes

Parents need to understand that not all children can wear all type of shoes, since they are limited to their particular foot shape —narrow, medium, wide, extra wide— and instep height also plays a key role. The sneakers described in this article are all capable of accommodating the shape of a child with extra wide feet. You can also check in the shoe description whether the shoe is capable of accommodating high insteps.

Take a look at the description that describes how each particular shoe style fits (short, long) to increase the chances that you order the correct shoe size. All of the sneakers styles described below are supportive, lightweight, flexible, and breathable.

 Disclosure: Some links in this post may be affiliate links and we may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) when you click our links and make purchases. This allows us to create free content and resources for many families around the world. 

If you are unsure of what your child’s foot length or shape take a look at an article I created where I describe how to figure out your child’s foot size from home.

Is your child dealing with a particular foot condition such as low muscle tone, flat feet, or rolled ankles? Contact me directly and I will recommend a specific shoe style:

If you need any other type of shoes such as dress shoes, summer sandals, winter boots, or sport shoes, you can find them all in a tool I created which lets you filter by the type of shoes you need. This tool is extremely effective since it will show you shoes in different widths such as narrow, medium, wide, and extra wide. I also tell you exactly how each shoe style fits (short, long, narrow, or wide) and will let you filter by the instep of your child’s foot. You can even find shoes that will accommodate an orthotic.

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User Comments - 12 comments

    1. Hello Pam,

      Not all Keen sandals are capable of fitting children with wide or extra wide feet. However, there is a specific Keen sandal style called the Newport which provides rounded toe-boxes and extra depth, and can fit children with wide feet.

  1. Juan,

    I as others that have posted am pretty frustrated with finding my son shoes that fit properly. He is 18 years old and is special needs. Walks on his hippie toes often. He has skeletal dysplasia and is expected to be about 4’9″ when fully grown. He has very wide feet and length is about 2Y to 2.5Y and I have ordered him several different shoes in wide sizes and none them fit so hoping you can assist. I will go to your website once I get the pics taken….thank you

    1. Hello Kurt,

      Do you know if your son has wide or extra wide feet? Do you know if he also has a high instep? If you are unsure of your son’s exact foot shape I suggest that you follow the instructions here: How to Measure Your Kids’ Foot – 2 Simple Steps to Determine Foot Length and Foot Width

      If you need specific shoe recommendations I also need to know from which country you are contacting me, to check what specific shoes are available in your area.

  2. Hi there.

    Our 14-year-old son has dwarfism so his feet are very short and the shoe stores measure his shoe size as a 2.5. He also needs extra wide AND extra depth, and we just cannot find a source for shoes that will fit him. We’ve tried New Balance, Stride Rite, and everything else we can find. We’ve even looked into custom molded shoes, but they’re hundreds of dollars. He’s been wearing “slides” for over two years now and we just can’t keep him shoeless for the rest of his life. Do you know of any sources for shoes that are extra wide, extra deep, but short in length?

    Thank you!

    1. Hello Douglas,

      There are specific shoe styles among each shoe brand that are a lot deeper and wider than others. For example, among New Balance there are specific styles that in the same length and width that fit a lot differently than others.

      What specific New Balance shoe styles have you tried? Are you located in the United States? I need to know in which country you are located to check what specific shoes are available in your area.

      1. Yes, we are in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I couldn’t say which New Balance styles we’ve tried, as they all look pretty much alike to me. We’ve gone to the New Balance outlet store more than once and found nothing there that would fit him. We’ve also tried Stride Rite, Skechers, and Kids Foot Locker, with no success. Any help or advice you can provide would really be appreciated.

        Thanks again.

        1. Hello Douglas,

          Keep in mind that most outlet stores don’t offer shoes in extra wide widths (XW). The same happens in Footlocker.

          Below you can find a a selection of the widest and deepest New Balance shoes that I have fitted before:

          Option 1 (Choose X-Wide)

          Below you can find an alternative from Stride Rite:

          Option 2

          Make sure that you order the shoes in the correct size. If you are unsure about which shoe size you need to order I suggest that you follow the instructions here: How to Measure Your Kids’ Foot – 2 Simple Steps to Determine Foot Length and Foot Width

  3. Hi My son is almost 4 years and has very wide feet and high insert, we live in Denmark (Europa) and i can only find one pair of
    shoes he can fit and it`s arauto rap
    I cant find new balance x Wide in Europa, are the widest you know and do you?
    whether one can buy them in europe?

    1. Hello Morten,

      Unfortunately, I am not able to check what specific shoes are available in Denmark, but in addition to New Balance you should look for Saucony and Stride Rite shoes as they are also available in extra wide widths.

  4. Hi my grandson has club foot in both feet . He has very wide feet . We cannot buy him shoes boots etc anywhere . He is 3 years old . Size infant 7-5 . Do you make shoes wider than a h fitting

    1. Hi Michelle,

      I am not sure what an “h fitting means”. Children’s shoes come labeled as narrow (N), medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW). We need to look for extra wide shoes for your grandson that also provide extra depth and rounded toe-boxes. I can definitely send you some specific shoe recommendations but it will be helpful to get your child’s foot measurements and an image of his feet to get a better idea of what shoes I need.

      Take a look at the article below:

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

      You can also reply back to my email: