How Can I Make Sure My Kids’ Shoes Fit? – Learn The Secret Here!

Shoes That Fit

The best way to make sure your kids’ shoes fit properly is to take your children to have their feet properly measured and their shoes properly fitted at a local children’s shoe store that you trust. I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 6 years now, and I know everything that relates to kids’ shoes!

Many parents have contacted me concerned that they don’t have a trusted children’s shoe store in their area and want to know where they can get their kids’ shoes online while making sure that the shoes fit!

Most parents only care about the amount of space their kids have to grow into their shoes. Once I am done fitting the child in a pair of shoes the parents tend to immediately ask, “Is there enough room to let my son/daughter grow into the shoes?”

I respond that I left the appropriate amount of room to grow into the shoe, and if we fit the shoes with a length that increases the space further, we will compromise the child’s stability. It seems like that is all they care about because they relate shoe length with how long the child will be able to wear the shoes.

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 because the child will outgrow the width of the shoes faster than the length! That means that you would end up replacing the shoes even if there was still space in the front of the shoe!

Shoes come in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide widths. There is also a third factor that directly influences how shoes fit and that is called the instep of the foot. I believe that 8 out of 10 parents don’t know what the instep of the foot is. The instep is the top of our feet, which frequently goes unnoticed when fitting the shoes. If a child has a high instep, they will require a deeper shoe so the top of the foot doesn’t rub against the top of the shoe.

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 knows what they are doing. Start by reading this post where I describe how to buy shoes for kids. You can find that post here: 

How To Buy Shoes For Kids – Stop Hurting Your Kids’ Feet

In this post, I will describe how to make sure your kids’ shoes fit and provide you with a description of the best fitting shoes for children!

How To Fit Children Shoes

Follow These Guidelines To Make Sure Your Kids’ Shoes Fit!

Making sure your child shoes fit requires awareness of your child’s foot growth and multiple trips to your kids’ shoe store. It is always better to be safe than sorry! I have helped several parents realize that they should have going to the store much earlier. They often end up feeling so bad about cramping their kids’toes in the shoes.

Follow these guidelines below to make sure your kids’ shoes are fit properly:

  • Like I mentioned before, getting the correct shoe width is just as important as getting the correct shoe length for your child to grow into the shoe. Let me put it this way, it doesn’t matter if there is still space between the end of your child’s toes and the end of the shoe, if the little toe is pressed against the side of the shoe, you  will have to replace your kids’ shoes before they develop a blister! If this happens to your child, it means that they outgrew the width of the shoe faster than the length. If this has happened to your child, you need to get him or her wider shoes next time. I describe the best shoes for wide feet in this post:
  • Children Extra Wide Shoes – Prevent Blisters, Calluses, And Corns!
  • Pick up your kids’ shoes and carefully inspect them for signs of wear and tear. If the sole of the shoe is too worn down or the heel counter (the back of the shoes that provides ankle support) is too soft, that means that it is time for your child to get new shoes! The firmer the heel counter, the better! Keep this in mind that it doesn’t matter how supportive the heel counter of the shoe is if your child is taking their shoes off without undoing the velcro strap or the shoe laces. Yanking off shoes will wear them down faster!

Children should always outgrow their shoes before anything happens to them. The exception is that your child wear is wearing their shoes for longer than they are supposed to. I wrote a post about how long should shoes last for children, so you can get a better idea of exactly how frequently you should be replacing your kids’ shoes. The post is called:

How Fast Do Kids Feet Grow? – Learn About When You Should Replace Your Kids’ Shoes

How To Fit Kids Shoes

Several parents have contacted me asking how they would measure their kids feet from home since if they don’t have a local shoe store that they trust.  If you want to learn how to measure your kids’ feet from home, take a look at a PDF I created which will explain you exactly how to measure your kids’ feet and find their correct shoe size.

You can find that PDF below:

The Most Effective Way To Figure Out Your Kids’ Shoe Size

You should ALWAYS measure both feet because one foot is usually larger than the other in most cases. If you notice that one of the feet is larger, you should make use of the foot that is the largest. This goes along with the width of the feet as well.

You should always leave 1/4″ for adequate wiggle room for your child’s toes and for proper foot growth (remember that kids’ feet grow fast and we must leave some growing room for them). Shoes that are too short or too narrow will lead to bone, back and muscle problems later in life!

PLEASE NOTE: The most effective way to get your kids shoe width is to use the Brannock Device. I wrote a post about this tool and you can find that article here:

Shoe Size Measuring Device – STOP Buying The Wrong Shoe Size

The Story At The Shopping Mall!

I have been fitting children’s shoes for so long now that even I can look at the children’s shoes while I’m walking down the street and identify if they were correctly fitted or not!  Last weekend, I was walking around the mall shopping on the weekend when a family that frequents the shoe store regularly saw me and asked me to check little Jonas’s shoes to make sure they were fitting him okay… I know it sounds quite odd… But I honestly didn’t mind and was happy to see that family!

The shoes fit him perfectly and I told them that I would see them in a month at the shoe store for another shoe check. While it was quite odd having to check Jonas ‘s shoes in the middle of a shopping mall, I understood that the parents only wanted to make sure his toes weren’t being cramped by the shoes!

Another funny instance happened when one dad asked me if I thought his kids shoes were ready to be replaced… Take a look at the pair of shoes that the child was wearing and you will understand why the story is so funny…

The Worst Shoes For Kids

What Are The Best Fitting Shoes For Kids? The Secret Revealed

Shoes that are fitted properly will PREVENT foot problems and injuries. DO NOT EVER UNDERESTIMATE THE IMPORTANCE OF PROPERLY FITTED SHOES! They will end up saving you a lot of money on the long run. Making sure your children shoes fit is important in the prevention of  calluses, blisters, corns, ingrown toenails… etc. Several foot problems and foot injuries can be prevented just by wearing the right type of shoes!

Now that you know how to make sure your kids’ shoes are fitting properly, it’s time to look at the best fitting children’s shoes. I will describe the shoes that have everyday support and are available in medium, wide, and extra wide widths!

Below you can find a selection of the best fitting shoes for children!

Now that you know how shoes are supposed to fit, you should have the peace of mind that the shoes that your child is wearing are the correct size! Remember that children impose an enormous amount of stress not only on their feet, but their legs also. Some children live more active lifestyles than adults do!

Don’t forget about the importance of wearing the correct pair of socks. They play a key role in keeping your kids’ feet healthy and make a huge difference in the way shoes feel on your child’s feet! I explain the importance of wearing the correct sock size in more detail here:

The Importance Of Wearing Socks – Grippers Or No Grippers?

Do you have a children’s shoe store in your area that you trust? Or do you have to shop online for your children’s shoes? Please share your thoughts and experiences so we can all benefit it from them.


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 kid’s feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

24 Comments on How Can I Make Sure My Kids’ Shoes Fit? – Learn The Secret Here!

  1. Hi Juan Pablo
    What a great website and advice. As a mother of a 3-year-old boy, I often wonder if my son’s shoes are fitted properly, as he doesn’t say if he is comfortable or not. I don’t have a children shoe store in my area so I always go with the shoes you recommend. I just wanted to say thanks!

  2. Hi, Juan.

    This is awesome information. We used to buy our kids’ shoes at Nordstrom’s and my kids’ always ended up with the wrong shoe size. Then we started buying shoes online but we were never 100% sure if the shoes fitted properly. I also did not know what ‘instep of the foot’ is, also the terms ‘heel counter’ and ‘ankle support’.

    You are spot on, parents do undervalue the importance of proper shoe fitting! I am one (was one before reading this).

    You just provided me with very valuable insight on how I should fit my children’s shoes the next time. This will be read by my wife as well.



  3. Do you know where I can find extra wide soccer cleats? Or if they even exist? My child has really extra wide feet and no shoes seem to fit him! He also loves to play soccer but he always complains about his feet feeling tight. I know I am off topic here but let me know please.

  4. Hi Juan

    I have a 2 year old son and his feet grow quite fast, we are constantly buying new shoes.During the day when he plays outside he wares rubbery type shoes that have movement space and stretch by the wide part of the foot, he seems to be very comfortable in those.

    If he wears other shoes that are uncomfortable he usually ends up kicking or taking them off. Now I know how to check if his shoes fit or not, and that is a great asset for me since I always have to order my kids shoes online. At least now I know if his shoes fit or not. Thank you sir!



    • Kamil,

      I’m glad you found the post informative! Keep an eye on his shoes specially if you tend to order them online. Anytime you have a specific question please let me know and I will answer you as soon as possible.



  5. Thank you for another useful post. In one of your previous posts I learnt about instep and now I learn that kid will outgrow the width faster than the length. And you are so right again. I didn’t think about this before as I was one of those parents thinking about the room for the feet to grow lengthwise but your information does make sense. My son has very wide feet so this is very important point for me.

  6. Hi Juan,

    I was on your site conducting some research for senior project at RIT.
    I am currently a senior in the industrial design program at RIT. And I was wondering what your thoughts would be on a shoe that could change sizes? The shoe could be for the slightly older kids who wouldn’t fidget with their shoes too much and maybe they could expand the shoe up one size or up a half size. Any thoughts would be awesome, thanks. This would be to relieve parents of the constant struggle of having to buy sneakers so often.


    • Hello Noah,

      While it sounds like a great idea, I would be concerned about the shoe wearing down after children wear them for a while. Just so you have an idea, most children outgrow their shoes every 4 to 5 months. When the shoes are ready to be replaced, you can tell because they have been wore out. Let’s say you can expand the shoe to last another 4 to 5 months, the shoe will have to be extremely well made to hold up properly.

      Another thing that concerns me is if the shoe will expand in length and also in the width area.Keep in mind that several children outgrow their shoes in the width faster than the length. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  7. Hi, thank you so much for your help. So I went back to my notes and designs and came to the conclusions that I would be either creating a shoe that can change width or change size but not both. I also decided that I wanted to focus more on the the early teens, ie. middle and early highschool, ages 12-17. And I was wondering if you had any more info regarding that age range. Or even what comments parents usually have or concerns that might come up with their teens. I did however like the wodth problem. That is one I think could be solved. Do you know how fast a teen’s foot expands in width? Or if there are people who ignore this and possibly solutions you would reccomend. Also, what kind of shoes have seen last longer than others and what sort of materials have you noticed, that hold up better than others? Again any help would be great, thanks.

    • Hello Noah,

      Parents main concern about their children shoes during their teen years is durability, since their children are not growing as fast (normally change a ½ size to a whole shoe size every 6 to 8 months).
      The shoe that you are planning to make is it going to be targeted as a fitting shoe or more as a fashion shoe?
      A fitting shoe is what you will see in local, generally family owned shoe store, and fashion shoes you will see more in shopping malls and big retailers. A fitting shoe comes in half sizes and different widths such as medium , wide , and extra wide, while fashion shoes normally only feet medium feet.
      Most parents are not aware of their children having wide or extra wide feet, and normally during those teens years, children refuse to wear anything that is not “fashionable enough”. Good luck and I hope this helps!

  8. I am unsure what size my son wears. I measured his feet with the paper pencil and cloth measuring tape in inches. I got right foot: 7 3/4in length 3 1/4in width left foot: 7 1/2in length 3in width. It looks like he would be a size 1? But the guy at New Valance measured him last spring and said he was a 3. So he’s been wearing a 3 but they can’t get tight enough and seems like a lot of wiggle room (widthwise). PLEASE HELP?!!!

  9. Hi Juan,
    I need your help! My 8yo son was measured for shoes back in the Spring at a few different places. His size ranged from 2-3. At the New Balance store we were told he should wear a size 3 shoe so we bought a pair there. Well like always we left the store and a few weeks of wearing them he’s complaining they are too loose and aren’t tight enough. So I decided to use your measuring chart… however I’m still confused about what size and type I should be purchasing for him. Left foot: 7 1/2”L 3”W. Right foot 7 3/4” L 3 1/4”W. Those were his actual measurements I did not subtract anything from those numbers yet. I feel like I’m general his feet are in the narrow side. Cleats, hockey skates etc all seem to be “roomy” widthwise. Please help me figure out what athletic/running shoe (sneaker) size he is!!!!
    Thanks Dani

    • Hello Dani,

      I am sure they used the Brannock measurement device at the New Balance store and that is the most accurate form of measurement (if they did it right). Does your son usually likes his shoes feeling nice and snug?
      I am thinking the issue might not be the shoe size, but maybe the velcro closure (it might not put enough pressure in his feet, which leads to the heels moving and the foot moving too much inside the shoe), or it might be that the phone runs long and you need a smaller size. If you can provide me with the style number of the shoe you got him I can definitely tell you how it runs.

      IF we go by our chart, his shoe size will be 1 1/2 in a medium width. Please provide me with the shoe style so I can provide you better feedback!Thanks

      • Thanks for your respond, sorry about the multiple messages. We bought him the New Bakance 996. Tags says: M KJ996HBY. They are lace up shoes and he has them tied as tight as possible (laces are touching). I am looking to purchase him another pair that are more of a running sneaker than a “street” sneaker. These have fabric on the toe area so i think it creates more “wiggle” room too. He does prefer a snugger feel.
        Thank you so much

        • Hello Danielle,

          He can wear those type of shoes as his “casual shoes”, but I wouldn’t wear them as his everyday shoes since they don’t provide the correct amount of support.

          I think we need something with a narrower, well padded heel. If you want to stick with New Balance I recommend this shoe style: New Balance Shoe Style
          For this shoe style I will try a shoe size 2 or 2 1/2 for your son.

          I don’t know if you have tried the shoe brand named Asics before, but he might like how they feel since they are cut narrower than New Balance shoes. Here you can find an example:
          Asics Shoes For Kids
          In this shoe brand I will definitely try the shoe size 3.

          Please let me know if this helps!

  10. Hi, I’m having a hard time finding the proper shoe size for my son. We’re trying to order him boots for Christmas. Length wise, his foot measures 5 7/8 inches. This would put him, according to size charts, at an 8 or 8.5. Currently, he wears a size 7 and it seems to fit him with space in front of his toe. In fact we have two or three pairs of size 7 shoes which he doesn’t wear because they are too big! I pulled out a pair of size 7-8 rain boots and he’s got about an inch of space there. Is there a reason everything seems to be measuring so differently?

    • Hello Mary,

      The best way to figure out your kids’ shoe size is to use the Brannock device which is the most accurate foot measuring tool. The size chart that I provide does help but at the end is also how the shoes are cut. For example, rain boots tend to run long and they don’t come in half sizes. I believe a size 7 rain boot should give him plenty of space for him to grow into (we do want growing room specially with seasonal footwear that they might wear once in a while). I hope this helps!

  11. Im so happy I googled what is the best type of shoe for my 3 year old who has flat, fat, wide feet and thank God your article stood out to me. When looking online I was overwhelmed because I truly didnt know what shoe was best for my son and looking online it was running shoes, walkimg shoes, basketball shoes, casual shoes so on and so forth lol. I read first the beat shoes for ypur child with flat and wide feet(I believe that is what the article is called. I usually am one to keep up with sons needs in the shoe area because unfortunately childrens feet grow faster then those ignorant weeds we hate to see, anyways lately my grandmother has been on my tail about getting my son feet sized the right way at a child shoe store, unfortunately there is no stores that have dedicated and passionate workers as yourself. Now adter reading your articles I completely feel like I have neglected my sons feet, because I kinda just brushed off my grandmothers remarks on his feet getting properly fitted, because I thought I had gotten his feet properly sized but after reading ypur forums I was highly mistaken and mislead to beleive that footaction, kid foot locker etc sized him the right way. They done what I’ve been used to with the metal sizing tool and I figured it was right. There nosbway that it would be right becauae they no less then a min to get his size… Welp looks like grandmother is right again
    I even bookmarked these forums to use as a reference and to summarize up for her. I FEEL SO TERRIBLE that I ended up failing my sons feet and now it’s actually starting to take a toll on him because if hes on his feet and very actively wearing shoes he will complain his feet, legs, hurt and sometimes he saids his knees hurt,this is why my grandmother been pressuring me to do some research to find a childs shoe store to get his properly fitted (it’s so super hsrd ti keep his shoes on in the house even in the car or at friends or family’s house he rushing to pull those shoes off and most times when I ask why he took them off hebsaid because they hurt and I even started saying Malachi its in your head you just don’t like shoes. So now that he complains more about his feet hurting I chuck it up t being growing pains from growth spurts. I’m so glad I’ve read this because it is time for him to get new shoes which I rather by him so every month then to have him in pain, however I am guilty of being that parent who buys him a pair if name brand shoes (Jordans, Nike, timberlands etc) and a pair or two of cheap shoes to play in. I honeslty thought he was fitted right and he was wearing rhe right shoes size this has open my eyes so much and not only for my son bht even for myself and my son father who we all have flatter feet becasue personally for me my lower back ans knees constanly hurt ne and my son father always complains about his feet hurting (also hisn mother would make him cram his feet into hand me downs and now it makes sense to why he has alot of rough spots and callouses on his feet. I am so sorry to write this comment so super long but in all honesty your articles are life-changing and mind altering because shoes are more than a accessory or fashion statement and I cant believe how wrong I was and I am so glad to read this because now I can protect my sons feet and body before its to late and even ease both my fiance and my pain. Thank you for having the passion to not only help your customers but for sharing yohr knowledge which is not only appericated bit will now be used everytime I purchase any sboes. I have booked marked nore than 4 of your articles, Thank you and maybe one day you can own your own childrens shoe store I know i would pay for just your services!!!

    • Hello Wendy,

      I am glad you found the website informative. If your child is 3 years old you should be replacing his shoes every 3 to 4 months if they are fitted properly. I always try to explain parents about the importance of well fitted shoes, sine they play a key role in keeping our kids’ feet and legs healthy.Anytime you are unsure about how a particular shoe style fits or you can’t seem to find a specific shoe please don’t hesitate to contact me and I will help you find it.

      Thank you for stopping by!

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