Find the Best Shoe Style for Your Child’s Unique Feet

Do you often have a hard time finding shoes that fit your child’s feet? Do you feel like you end up returning many of the shoes you buy and are uncertain if those you keep are appropriate? I created a search filter that will help you find the best shoe style for your child’s unique feet.

What Makes the Search Filter I Created Ideal for Finding Children’s Shoes?

The search filter I created allows parents to filter shoe options by their child’s unique footprint. The search filter involves a simple process in which consumers select the child’s age, child’s gender, type of shoes they need, the child’s shoe width, as well as other important features children may require related to instep height and orthotics.

The shoes I recommend in this search filter have been carefully selected based on my experience of having fitted children’s shoes for the last 10 years. Below each shoe I recommend you can find a description of how the shoe fits (short, long).

Below you can find the smarter, safest, and easiest way to find your children’s shoes online.

The Best Search Tool to Find Your Kids’ Shoes Online

The Best Recommendation on the Market as of Friday 14th of June 2024

➡️ Read This Before Ordering Your Children’s Shoes Online

Before ordering your children’s shoes online I suggest that you make sure you know your child’s exact foot length and shape (narrow, medium, wide, extra wide, high instep).

What Makes my Search Tool Effective for Ordering Kids’ Shoes?

Reason #1: You will be able to find shoes for children with “complicated foot shapes” such as narrow or extra wide feet. Parents can also filter by shoes that are capable of accommodating children with high insteps. The instep is the top part of your child’s feet, which frequently goes unnoticed when fitting shoes. If children have a high instep, they will require a deeper shoe, so the top of the foot doesn’t rub against the top of the shoe. Below is an example of where the instep of the foot is located:

If you check for example the Amazon or Zappos website, you will notice that consumers cannot filter by children’s instep height, which is a key factor in identifying the correct shoe size. You can’t possibly provide children with the correct shoe size if you don’t know whether they have a high instep or not.

Reason #2: Once you retrieve a search you will notice that below each shoe recommendation I explain exactly how much growing room should be left based on how the shoe fits.

Did you know that it doesn’t matter how much space you leave length-wise in your kids’ shoes if you fail to provide the correct shoe width? Children will outgrow the width of the shoes faster than the length. Therefore, many parents needlessly replace their children’s shoes, even when there is still adequate space in the front of the shoe, due to purchasing shoes with incorrect width.

All of these factors play huge roles in the way shoes fit, which is why it is always best to have your kids’ shoes fitted by a person who has experience with children with a wide range of needs.

You can search by filtering all of these important criteria in one tool, which will yield an appropriate, custom selection based on your child’s specific needs!

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User Comments - 76 comments

  1. Hello,

    Thank you so much for your website! It truly is a wealth of knowledge. I am looking for a good pair of sneakers or running shoes for my very flat and slightly narrow-footed 8 year old son. His true size is just about a 3.5 at the moment. I know you had recommended the Asics GT 1000 9 sneakers for narrow feet. I cannot find any available for a size 4 or 4.5. Would the newer Asics GT 1000 10 be an acceptable substitute? Also, would they be a good option for overpronators?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hello Leah,

      Yes, the Asics GT 1000 10 and 11 are also great options as they provide supportive outsoles and firm heel counters. I have put together a list of shoes available in your son’s shoe size that will fit his narrow feet and help treat his overpronation:

      Option 1

      Option 2

      Make sure that your son’s shoes are properly tied at all times and apply this shoe lacing technique so he can get the full support and stability that the shoes have to offer: How to tie shoes

  2. I am from Chicago, IL, my daughter has flat feet, difficulties running and jumping. I bought different kind of shoes and are not helping her. She has Orthotics but she still complain of tiredness on her feet. I would like to get your advise for sneakers, dressing shoes and winter boots.
    I did emailed you before, but I do not know if you received my email.


    1. Hello Anna,

      I suggest fitting your daughter in a pair of shoes that provide extra depth to accommodate her high instep (top part of the foot), rounder toe-boxes to accommodate her wide feet, and substantial outsoles to support her flat feet. We also need the shoes to provide firm heel counters to help strengthen and straighten her heels.

      In which country do you live? This will help me determine what shoes will be available in your area.

      Feel free to continue this conversation via email [email protected]

  4. Juan was so helpful! Not only did he answer my email thoroughly, he was quick to reply and very knowledgeable. I couldn’t get a shoe on my kid – everything was too tight or falling off, but Juan gave me multiple options to choose from! I’m thankful for his help a) to make it easier to get outside and b) so my child is more comfortable and has proper footwear.

  5. Hi Juan, Your information is beyond helpful. Thank you. I have looked for the recommended sandals you have for a toddle boy size 12 extra wide , and everything is sold out/ unavailable. Any recommendations? Thank you,

  6. Juan,

    I am anxiously awaiting your new tool! I have such a hard time finding school (black/ brown uniform shoes, size 2) for my 10 year old son with extra wide feet. Every year i ordered about 4-5 sets of shoes hoping something will fit. I feel terrible that we are making him to cram his feet into shoes that don’t fit well, simply because we cant find anything that fits properly. I will check back when your tool becomes available, but until then , any suggestions? We’ve used your site for sandal and cleat recommendations. Thank You

    1. Hello Tanya,

      I am excited too, it will be an improvement from the previous one. Yes, I have two particular styles in mind. I am not sure if you have tried them before but please find below my recommendations:

      Extra Wide Shoe for Back to School: Option 1

      Extra Wide Shoe for Back to School: Option 2

      I hope this helps!

  7. Hello! I am relieved to find someone to help. My son’s feet seem to be impossible to fit. His instep is 2 inches foot 3 inches wide by 6 and a half or 6&3/4 length (size 9) his instep and his drastic need for orthodics have made his feet impossible to fit. (Been to 3 shoe stores for help) He is only 2. His feet are always hot and soaked with sweat so we were hoping to get a good summer shoe sandal. Unfortunately his foot wont even go in any we have found. Please help!

    1. Hello Barb,

      It’s really hard to find shoes for children with high insteps. When it comes to summer sandals, there are the only 2 styles I recommend:

      Sandal for High Instep: Option 1

      Sandal for High Instep: Option 2

      I am assuming that you are looking for a pair of close-toe sandal instead of an open-toe one. If you are willing to try an open-toe sandal let me know.

      I hope this helps!

      1. Thank you! I will try the first one. Unfortunately with orthodics he needs closed back and toe to keep them in place. I appreciate your help!

        1. Hello Barb,

          If you are looking for a water play sandal then try the Keen style Newport which is wider than the Seacamp.

          Keen Newport for Boy: Option 1

          I do not recommend fitting an orthotic inside a pair of sandals, just limit the time that your child wears the sandals (no more than 5 hours a day), and then switch him back to his regular sneakers with the orthotics.

    2. Our most recent was Seacamp II and stride rite M2P PHIBIAN neither one could we get his feet inside. Size 9 for both

  8. I am really interested in finding some summer shoes for my granddaughter who has flat feet and weak ankles. She needs a size 5W

  9. Hello! My son is 15 months with wide feet and what seems like a high instep. (I have a very high instep)

    Every shoe I put on him either fits his width but is way too long or almost fits his length and I can’t even get his foot inside because it is too narrow.

    We were set on getting him Natives because they are easy on and waterproof. But they really don’t seem to be cutting it. A C6 basically fits in length but he cries when we try to put them on. And a C7 goes on just fine but are way too long and they fall off.

    He is just starting to walk and obviously walks so much better without shoes because nothing really fits him.

    I would love to find a brand that we can stick with and that I know he is comfortable and can walk well in.

    1. Hello Nicolette,

      I understand your frustration. There are certain shoe styles I know will accommodate the shape of your son’s high instep. The key is to find a shoe that is deep, comes with a round toe-box, and that is also available in extra wide widths. Please find below my recommendations:

      Shoe for Child with Extra Wide Feet and High Instep: Option 1

      Shoe for Child with Extra Wide Feet and High Instep: Option 2

      If what you are looking for is a summer shoe please let me know and I will help you find one.

      I hope this helps.

  10. Hello Juan,
    My 4.5 year old daughter has sweaty feet and generally we prefer Geox but for hiking( trail walking) I am not sure if I should get waterproof( will it be breathable enough).She would be using it once a week as they go into the forest for walks from school and also when we go out on vacations or just walking. The widthof her feet is between narrow n medium.

    1. Hello Amina,

      She needs a waterproof boot in order to keep her feet dry.Imagine if she steps into a puddle during the hike and her feet get wet, then she would have to walk with wet feet all day, which can lead to several foot issues.

      There are certain shoe companies that continue to add breathability to membranes of the shoe that still manage to keep water out. Please find below my recommendations:

      Breathable/Waterproof Hiking Boot for Girls: Option 1

      Breathable/Waterproof Hiking Boot for Girls: Option 2

      Notice how both of these shoes have breathable holes along the shoe, which will allow your daughter’s feet to breathe while keeping water out.

      I hope this helps.

  11. Hi Juan, thanks for this information. Your tool found no match for my son’s feet: we need waterproof (or close to waterproof) shoes for wide, high instep, flat feet. He wears an orthotic for the flat feet. He is a size 7.5-8 boys/men. He is 12. We have a couple of shoe stores in town, but none carry a shoe that fits him.

    1. Hello Sarah,

      Sorry about that. The reason why your search didn’t retrieve any shoe options is because your son is already in men sizes. I have fitted older boys in men sizes so I am familiar with which shoe styles will work for his feet.

      Waterproof/Supportive Shoe for Boys in Men Sizes: Option 1

      Waterproof/Supportive Shoe for Boys in Men Sizes: Option 2

      Waterproof/Supportive Shoe for Boys in Men Sizes: Option 3

      Please choose the shoe width accordingly.

      I hope this helps!

  12. My grandson is almost 5 yrs old; currently wearing a size 10 XW New Balance lace sneaker KJ990v4. I now need a size 11 XW Little Kids winter shoeboot with a high instep. Last year bought Timberland Wide but it was not quite wide enough. New Balance has the only shoe with the deep toebox but only comes in a sneaker; they don’t make an XW boot for a high instep for little kids. Thank you

    1. Hello Sylvia,

      You are correct, there is no such thing as a winter/hiking boot that actually comes in extra wide widths, but I have fitted certain winter/hiking boots for children with extra wide feet.

      Have you tried the shoe brand See Kai Run before? Some of their styles fit really wide.

      If you are still looking for a boot for your grandson with extra wide feet and a high instep, these are the boot styles that I have fitted before for children with extra wide feet:

      See Kai Run: Option 1

      See Kai Run: Option 2

      See Kai Run: Option 3

      I hope this helps!

    1. Hello Christy,

      When I state that a particular shoe style runs “short” or “long”, I am describing that particular shoe style specifically, and it doesn’t mean that the whole brand runs “long” or “short”.

      Most PLAE shoes that I have fitted run long and wide. With Stride Rite, most of its shoes run “true to size”, but again it really depends on each shoe style.

      I hope this helps!

  13. Thanks for info! Based on your measuring pdf, my son is 10.5. I believe he’s medium width. I’m having a hard time getting that one. He’s come out as medium being measured in stores.
    Hard on your results for best shoes for him, some say runs short. How short? Half size? Thank you!

    1. Hello Christy,

      When I state that a shoe “runs or fits short” that means that instead of going a half a size longer (of the size that your child measures at the shoe measuring scale) to allow for growing room, you actually need to go a whole size longer in order to allow for growing room.

      Are you looking for an everyday pair of shoes? Does your child prefer Velcro or shoelaces?

      I can send you some recommendations if you can’t seem to find what you are looking for.

        1. Hello Christy,

          Here are my recommendations for your boy:

          Option 1

          Option 2

          The shoes made by Saucony run “short”, which means that you need to go a whole size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.The shoes made by New Balance run ” true to size”, which means that you need to go a half a size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.

          I hope this helps!

  14. Hello Juan Pablo,

    I am looking for a fall/winter shoe for my 6 year old son who has very narrow feet. We live in New England, where it gets cold, and I’m thinking of an insulated hiking boot. Why would you suggest?

    Thank you so much for your informative blog — I really appreciate it!

    1. Hello Miranda,

      When you are looking for a certain shoe style, please always tell me shoe size instead of the age of the child ( I provided some recommendations but they might not come in his size).

      Here are my recommendations based on what you told me (these two styles are both waterproof, insulated, and they will fit a child with narrow feet):

      Option 1

      Option 2

      I hope this helps!

      1. Hello Juan Pablo,

        Thank you so much for those recommendations — I’m sorry that I didn’t include the necessary information! The Naturinos are the boots that I get for my daughter, and we love them; unfortunately, they don’t come in a large enough size for my son , who wears a 1 or 1.5 Y (Euro 33). What sort of waterproof, insulated hiker would you recommend for a size 1.5 Y?

        Thank you so much for your time.

  15. Hi Juan Pablo,
    Hope you’re doing great. My 4 year old daughter has overpronation and wears custom orthodics. I’m already (it’s currently summer) looking for a good supportive winter boot or shoe for her to wear every day for 10 hours with her orthodics on. We live in Southern California, so it doesn’t snow, and rains very little, but I want a winter style boot or shoe for her. She doesn’t like shoes that are too warm. Just to give you an idea she says the keen sandals make her feet sweaty. She only wears the bamboo socks you recommended. She is a size 10 right now, so it would be a 10.5 that I would need to get. Also, she is a girlie girl who loves pink, shiny, sparkly, pretty shoes. Please help me.

    1. Hello Ruth,

      Here are my recommendations based on what you told me:

      Supportive Merrell Boot: Option 1

      I would recommend that you order the size 11 (the boot runs short) in a wide width for the orthotic to fit inside the boot.

      Supportive Keen Boot: Option 2

      I would also recommend that you order the size 11 (boot runs short) in a regular width.

      The Merrell style will breathe better but you can try them both and see which one your daughter likes better.

      I hope this helps!

  16. My son is 4 year old and he has one foot is wider then the other on almost 2cm defferent i have cery hard tim to find shoes for him it make me cery sad when he see some shoes he like but he can not have them please help me in any way to find solautions

  17. Oh wow, your website has greatly improved since I last visited it. I now have 2 nephews and 1 niece and I decided to have a look at your website again. 4 y/o, 3 y/o and 1 y/o, respectively.

    I must say, choosing the right shoes for my nephews using your tool changes things dramatically (for the better).

    You said the following: “You CAN’T possibly provide your child with the correct shoe size if you don’t know whether or not they have a high instep.” That’s actually what I wasn’t sure about too. Maybe it’s the language barrier but I have no idea what instep is and how high my nephews have it.

    Do you think I should just refer this website to my sister-in-law who understand all this better, instead of just trying to buy shoes for them myself?

  18. Hello! I have a 4 year old son that as of right now the only shoes that fit him comfortably are the EX New Balance tennis shoes. I am looking for some other options but keep coming up with nothing. I would like to find some kind of water sandal. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Paula,

      When you said EX did you mean XW? I think from what I understand your son has extra wide feet and you are looking for a water sandal. Below you can find the widest sandals for kids. The first option is not labeled as extra wide but they fit really wide, I have fitted children with extra wide feet in Jambu sandals.

      Sandal for Extra Wide Feet: Option 1

      Sandal for Extra Wide Feet: Option 2

      You didn’t provide me with your child’s shoe size so if these don’t come in his size let me know and I will get back at you as soon as possible. I hope this helps!

  19. Thank you! We finally found a pair of shoes that fit our daughter. Your tool has greatly helped me find the perfect shoes 🙂

  20. I agree with Shannon completely–she took the words right out of my mouth. Finally someone gets it! Thank you for this easy-to-use tool!

  21. I can see this as being immensely helpful in picking shoes online. My oldest son absolutely hated shoes when he was a toddler, maybe because they were not comfortable. There were not a lot of choices back then, over thirty years ago. I wish the online shoe stores that we use for my son’s feet now (and husband too) would have a tool like this. My son has size 17 feet and my husband 15. They are both very tall.

  22. Fantastic tool, so easy to use and it returned several shoe options for my child with extra wide feet that I didn’t even know existed. Thanks for sharing, I hope it helps other parents too.

  23. I love your new tool! It was easy to help my friend find a pair of shoes for her son! It’s not easy fitting children’s shoes and your website was a big help…thank you!

    1. My daughter just got her new orthodic and it’s highter than ankle length, and shorter than knee length. Her foot seems narrow, and the orthodic adds length to the toe area. I love the shoes they chose for her (I let them choose because they know I dress her in stylish shoes all the time), but I want another pair that can accommodate most outfits. Her shoes now are a very sporty looking pink/black velcro. I don’t see hers on your page. They are VERY cute. I am looking for something she can wear with dresses. If you can point me in a direction of summer shoe accommodating orthodics would be wonderful!

      1. Hello Briana,

        I want to make sure I am understanding correctly. Are you looking for a pair of dress sandals for your daughter to wear with her dresses? There is only one shoe brand that will allow you to fit your daughter’s orthotics in the shoes, and it’s called Memo sandals. Here is an example of how they look like:

        Sandal to Fit Braces: Option 1

        Most summer shoes don’t have the structure or the support to hold an orthotic. However, there are certain dress sandals that she can wear for a couple of hours a day without her braces that will provide more support for her feet. If this is what you are looking for, please send me your daughter’s shoe size and I will be able to send you some specific recommendations.

        I would like to know what is the shoe brand and shoe style that your daughter is currently wearing, since parents are always asking me about cute looking shoes that their kids can wear with their orthotics.

  24. Hello, I am a parent of a 11 years old girl. It’s been very hard trying to find the right shoe fit for her. She have narrow feet, size 10 women’s now. I don’t want her feet to have corns or bunions because of the wrong shoe fit. Can you please help us.