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, esspecially if they like wearing flats!
I have been working at a kids’ shoe store for almost 6 years now, and we carry all different type of shoes for kids’. We are one of the best children’s shoe stores in the country, and we specialize with children who have foot problems. I know which type of dress shoes are better made and will fit your child’s foot best, and I know which styles come in narrow, wide, and extra wide widths.
So, if you have been struggling to find the right type of dress shoes for your daughter that fit, I will describe the best dress shoes for girls below and why it is important to get the right size!
The Different Type Of Dress Shoes – Choose Them Wisely!
Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a dress shoe that your child wears everyday and a dress shoe that she wears only for a special occasion? There are certain dress shoes that have enough support and structure and can be worn as everyday shoes, and these are called “mary janes” shoes.
However, not all mary janes shoe styles offer the support and structure that your child needs to be able to wear them as their everyday shoes. Wouldn’t you love to find a shoe that your child 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 they limit the hours your child can wear them to no more than 4 to 5 hours a day.
- High Heels: They are ONLY meant to be worn for the special occasion and nothing else!
- Mary Jeans: They can be worn for longer periods of time, and if they have a rubber sole, your child can even play and run in them.
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 dress shoe. The mary jean styles are cute for even the most stylish of girls and they tend to be a 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 looks like.I am sure you have seen these shoes before!
Can Mary Jeans Be Worn As Everyday Shoes?
As long as the style is lightweight, flexible, and with the proper amount of support and a firm heel counter, your child can definitely wear it as her everyday shoe. If you get the right style with a rubber sole and good traction, your child should be able to wear them everyday.
Let me clarify one thing: Mary jeans should NOT replace your child’s everyday sneakers! When doing physical education or running around with his/her friends, your child MUST wear a pair of sneakers.
If you are having a hard time finding a pair of good supportive everyday sneakers for your child, I wrote a post where I describe the best sneakers for kids. The post is called:
There is a large number of mary jean shoes that are 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. I will describe below the best mary jean shoes for children.
Another advantage to this type of shoe is that they will match any outfit and can be worn any time of the year. There will be certain occasions when you will want your daughter to really look at her best. A black patent mary jean will work for any special occasion! The downside to it is that the patent is more likely to scuff up if worn on a regular basis.
Dress Shoes For Narrow Feet – Do They Exist?
After all these years of fitting children 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 leave her growing room at the same time! I have fitted girl’s with narrow feet into mary jean shoes that fit the shape of their feet perfectly. I wrote a post where I describe the best sneakers and dress shoes for a child that has narrow feet. The post is called:
Dress Shoes For Wide Feet – Learn The Secret Here!
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 wide. One way of telling if the shoe is too narrow for you child is to slide your finger around the instep of foot, and make sure there is enough room for your finger to slide inside. WARNING: we don’t want too much room, that will mean that the shoe is too wide.
When trying dress shoes for your child, always have them try the shoes with the type of socks that she 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 learn more about the best wide dress shoes for kids, you can read my post called:
Time To Reveal The Secret: The Best Mary Jean Shoes For Girls!
Remember that I always recommend parents to take their kids’ to their local children’s shoe store to have their feet properly measured. IF you don’t have a kids’ shoe store in your area that you trust, below you can find a selection of the best girl’s mary jean dress shoes with a rubber sole for your child to run and play with that come in narrow, medium, and wide widths!
This first selection of shoes will fit better if your girl has medium to wide feet.
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 will fit better if your girl has a narrow to medium width foot.
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.
Socks Or No Socks With Mary Jane Shoes? – Socks Are Important!
I strongly advise you have your child wear socks in mary janes. Socks will act as a barrier between her feet and the shoes, and it will prevent irritation and infection. The other reason why you should put socks with her shoes is that some kids complain of the velcro 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 blisters.
The Downside To Wearing Flats – No Growing Room!
Girls love wearing flats. The main disadvantage is that is 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).. If you are a mom you probably have worn a pair of flats and realized that your toes need to touch the front of the shoe in order to keep them on. The same applies to the dad who wear loafers.
If your daughter still wants flats, you should look for ones that have non-slip bottoms to ensure kids do not fall on slippery school hallway floors. Have you heard of Mini Melissa shoes? They are great (bubble gum scented) durable fancy shoes that come in the most stylish and glittery colors your child can ever imagine. I will leave you with a post I wrote about these shoes, so you can show them to your child and see what she says. The post is 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 informative decision!
Do you have a child with wide or narrow feet looking for dress shoes? Have you found a particular style that fits the shape of her feet best? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so we can all benefit from them!