Are you looking for a pair of supportive, comfortable, and durable dress she’s for your chid? Do you have a fashionista at home who loves sparkly dressy shoes? The more glitter the better, right?
As soon as little girls start getting older, they become more expressive every time you take them to the shoe store, and they will start asking for the shoes they want! Not the ones mommy wants! So parents: enjoy choosing your girl shoes while you can, because soon she will be choosing her own.
Finding a pair of girls dress shoes for a child is not an easy task, it might be one of the hardest pieces of footwear to fit kids’ feet into, especially if they like wearing flats.
There are certain dress shoe styles that provide more support than others. For example, Mary Jane dress shoes always provide more support than flats or high heels. I always recommend parents to choose Mary Jane dress shoes over any other type of dress shoe since the Mary Jane styles are more versatile. However, in this article I will provide you a selection of the 3 most common and popular dress shoe styles which includes Mary Jane’s, flats, and high heels.
I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now, and I know everything that relates to children’s shoes and the way they fit. This is a specialized shoe store that focuses on children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. We carry some of the most supportive children’s shoes and orthotics, and I am familiar with which shoe brands and which shoe styles are better than others.
For the last 3 years I have been helping parents find the perfect pair of dress shoes for their girls online.
I will show you a selection of the best girls dress shoes that your daughter can wear as her every day shoe shortly, but first let me show you what the different types of dress shoes are and the advantages/disadvantages that each one provides, so you can choose the most appropriate one for your daughter.
The Different Type of Dress Shoes – Choose Them Wisely!
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a dress shoe that your child can wear as every day and a dress shoe that your child should only for a special occasion? There are certain dress shoes that have enough support and structure and can be worn as every day shoes, and these are called “Mary Jane” styles.
However, not all Mary Jane shoe styles offer the same support and structure that your child needs to be able to wear them as their every day shoes. Wouldn’t you love to find a dress shoe style that your daughter can wear for most of the day? There are three main types of dress shoes for girls:
- Flats: They tend to look great for fancier occasions. The downside to flats is that your are limited to the amount of hours that your child can wear them (no more than 4 to 5 hours a day). These type of dress shoes doesn’t provide any type of support whatsoever. Another disadvantage of flats is how it’s very hard to leave much, if any, growing room. In order for a flat to stay on your kids’ feet it has to have an elastic holding on your child’s foot, or it has to be fitted heel to toe (no growing room).
- High Heels: These type of shoes are only meant to be worn for a special occasion and for not more than 4 to 5 hours a day. High heels can make your daughter more prone to developing foot issues if worn for longer periods fo time.
- Mary Jeans: This is the most versatile type of dress shoe, since it can be worn for longer periods of time. Most Mary Janes come with a rubber sole to support and protect your kids’ feet and a firm heel counter that provides ankle support.
What are Mary Jean Shoes? – Stylish and Versatile!
Mary janes feature a heel counter, and a harder, more structured rubber sole that will allow your child to run and play for longer periods of time without her feet or legs feeling tired. They tend to hold up much better than any other type of dress shoe. The Mary Jean shoe styles tend to be the most popular choice for elementary students.
Ballet flats and high heel shoes do not have any structure or support, and they are only meant to be worn for special occasions. I want to clarify that we do sell a lot of flats and high heel shoes at the shoe store that I work for, and some parents are okay with their kids’ wearing dress shoes for a short period of time and every once in a while.
I wanted to describe a shoe that offers more versatility, so your child can get the most out of it. Below you can find a picture of how a Mary Jean shoe styles looks like.I am sure you have seen these type of shoes before!
Can Mary Jean Shoes be Worn as Every day Shoes? – Let’s Find Out!
As long as the style is lightweight, flexible, provides the correct amount of support and comes with a firm heel counter, your child can definitely wear it as her every day shoe.
There is a large number of Mary Jean shoe styles that tend to be heavier and harder to bend at the front. It is important that you stay away from those styles, since they will make your child’s feet and legs more tired and they may end up hurting her feet.
Let me clarify one thing: Mary jeans should not replace your child’s every day sneakers. Sneakers play a key role when your child has to go to physical education class or is performing a high impact activity.
If you are having a hard time finding a pair of good supportive every day sneakers for your child, you should take a look at another article I wrote where I describe the best sneakers for kids. Go to the link below:
The Best Girls Dress Shoes ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Please keep in mind that I only write reviews of shoe styles that I have fitted before, otherwise I wouldn’t know how well-made they are, the amount of support that they provide, and how they fit.
Here you can find a selection of the best girls dress shoes which will fit a child with medium or wide feet.This first selection is for toddlers:
All of these shoe styles fit “true to size”, which means that you need a half a size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale (Brannock device) in order to allow for growing room.
This second selection of shoes are for older kids (ages 4 and above):
All of these shoe styles also fit “true to size”, which means that you need a half a size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale (Brannock device) in order to allow for growing room.
These are the 4 most important features that your daughter will get from the shoe styles I recommend above:
- Support: The Mary Janes shoe styles that I recommend come with a substantial, supportive sole that will minimize the impact that your child’s feet take every time they come in contact with the ground.
- Heel counter: They all come with a very firm heel counter, in order to protect your child’s heels and provide ankle support.
- Good traction: This feature of the Mary Jane shoe styles will prevent your child from slipping and falling down.
- Depth: This feature will prevent the top part of your kids’ feet from rubbing against the top part of the shoe.
Is Your Girl Suppose to Wear Socks with her Mary Jane Shoes?
I strongly advice you to have your child wear socks with her Mary Jane shoes. Socks act as a barrier between feet and the shoes, preventing the buildup of bacteria inside the shoes as well irritation and infection.
The other reason why your daughter should wear socks with these types of shoes is that children tend to complain about the Velcro strap rubbing against the top of their feet. The socks will provide cushion and comfort.
Some parents prefer the “no show socks” since they say it doesn’t spoil the look of their kids’ fabulous shoes. These tend to fit over the top of the foot and mainly covers the heel, bottom of foot and the toes. It is important that the sock covers the heel part since that is a place where children tend to get most blisters.
Dress Shoes for Narrow Feet ❤️
After all these years of fitting children’s shoes, I can tell you that narrow feet are the hardest to fit. Primarily because shoe manufacturers don’t make a lot of narrow width shoes. If your child has narrow feet, you will have a hard time finding a dress shoe that fits the shape of her feet. In order to fit narrow feet, parents often end up compromising the growing room in the shoe, since it is hard to leave a lot of growing for a narrow foot.
However, if you try some of the brands or shoes I recommend, you will be able to fit your girl in a pair of dress shoes, and still allow for growing room. I have fitted girl’s with narrow feet into certain Mary Jean shoe styles that have fitted the shape of their feet perfectly. There is actually an article I wrote where I describe the best Mary Jane shoe styles for children with narrow feet.
Dress Shoes for Wide Feet ❤️
Believe it or not, it is easier to fit a child that has a wide foot instead of a narrow foot since shoe manufacturers make several wide widths dress shoes. Some parents might have a hard time believing this, but you probably have been shopping at the wrong places.
There is a difference between shoes that are available in wide widths, and shoes that “fit” or “run wider than others”. One way of telling if the shoe is too narrow for you child’s feet is to slide your finger around the instep of foot, and make sure there is enough room for your finger to slide inside.
IMPORTANT TIP: When trying dress shoes for your children, always have them try the shoes with the same type of socks that they will be wearing them with, since this will have an impact on how the shoe fits. If you didn’t bring the right type of sock to the store, ask your fitter for a try-on sock or a pair of footies. If you want to see the best wide Mary Jane shoe styles for children, you should read an article I wrote called:
I hope you found valuable information that it can translate to your girl’s feet feeling comfortable and stylish. No matter the shape of her foot, there is a perfect pair of dress shoes waiting for her. Do not compromise when it comes to her feet and use this information to make the most informed decision.
Have you found a particular Mary Jane shoe style that has worked well for her feet Please share your thoughts and experiences below so other parents can benefit from them.