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How Do the Different Kids’ Shoe Brands Fit? – The Most Popular Brands Reviewed


Have you ever wondered why shoe sizes differ so much among shoe brands? Do you want to know how each shoe brand fits in order to be able to provide your child with the correct shoe size?

Shoe sizes are inconsistent and it’s important for parents to understand that different shoes in identical sizes and widths will fit differently.

I have been contacted by several parents who are having a hard time finding the correct shoe size for their kids, and they want to know how each shoe brand fits — long, short, narrow, wide— I always explain to parents to not assume that the size that their kids’ feet measure in the shoe measuring scale automatically translates into their actual shoe size.

For example, let’s say that your child measures a foot size 10 in the standard foot measuring tool (Brannock device). In order to provide growing room for your child’s feet then you will need to purchase a half a size longer of the size that your child measured (which will be a 10 ½), but if the shoe fits “short” then you will need a shoe size 11, or if the shoe style fits “long” then you will need a shoe size 10. Does this make sense to you?

I will be able to help you find the perfect pair of shoes for your child because I have been working at a specialized children’s shoe store for the last 10 years, and I handle approximately 200 hundred shoe fittings and try-ons per week. I have fitted hundreds of children’s shoes, and I am familiar with which shoe brands and which shoe styles are better than others. I have fitted over 50 different children’s shoe brands so far and I will be able to tell you how each one fits.

Did you know that Stride Rite is one of the shoe companies that came up with an iPad app that claims to accurately measure your kid’s foot at any place and at any time? I was actually excited when I heard about this because we all know that their salespeople can’t seem to properly figure out how to measure kids’ feet at their retail stores, which I believe that is the reason why they had to close most of them.

My point is that this device will not do any good if you don’t know how that particular shoe brand or that particular shoe style that you want to provide for your child actually fits. The size that your children’s feet  measure at the shoe measuring scale is only a starting point when trying to find the correct pair of shoes for them.

In order to help those parents who don’t have a local children’s shoe store in their area and must purchase their kids’ shoes online, I decided to create a table with the most popular children’s shoe brands that I have fitted before, showing parents how each shoe brand fits.

I always encourage parents to take their children to be properly fitted for shoes at their local fitting shoe store that they trust, and this information is mostly for parents who don’t have a good children’s shoe store in their area.

If you are not sure whether you have a good fitting children’s shoe store in your area then start by taking a look at a map that I created where I describe the best fitting children’s shoe stores by state:

The Best Kids’ Shoe Stores In The United States – Where To Go For Proper Fittings

This  table I created displays how the different children’s shoe brands fit, that way you can make sure that you are providing your child with the correct shoe size

How Do The Different Kids’ Shoe Brands Fit? – Let’s Find Out!

Shoe Brand NameHow do These Shoe Styles Fit?Do These Shoes Fit Narrow, Medium, or Wide?Can These Shoes Accommodate an Orthotic?
AdidasTrue to SizeMediumNo
BearpawTrue to SizeMediumNo
BogsTrue to SizeMedium/WideNo
ChoozeTrue to SizeMediumNo
Deer StagsTrue to SizeMediumNo
Dr. MartensTrue to SizeMedium/WideYes
GeoxTrue to SizeMedium/WideYes
KeenTrue to SizeMedium/WideNo
Kenneth Cole ReactionTrue to SizeMediumNo
Livie & LucaTrue to SizeMedium/WideNo
MerrellTrue to SizeMedum/WideYes
New BalanceTrue to SizeMedium/Wide/Extra WideYes
NinaTrue to SizeMedium/WideNo
PedipedTrue to SizeMedium/Wide/Extra WideYes
PLAETrue to SizeMedium/WideYes
PrimigiTrue to SizeMedium/wideNo
ReebokTrue to SizeMediumNo
School IssueTrue to SizeMedium/WideYes
See Kai RunTrue to SizeMedium/WideNo
SkechersTrue to SizeMedium/WideNo
Skechers Twinkle ToesLongMedium/WideNo
Stride RiteTrue to SizeMedium/Wide/Extra WideYes
TevaTrue to SizeNarrow/MediumNo
TimberlandTrue to SizeMedium/WideYes
TsukihoshiLongMedium/Wide/Extra WideYes
UGGTrue to SizeNarrow/Medium/WideNo
Under ArmourShortNarrow/MediumNo
Western ChiefLongMedium/WideNo
ZephzTrue to SizeMeidum/Wide/Extra WideYes

Let me just explain you how this table works. Under the column “How do these shoe styles fit” you can find 3 different categories so let’s find out what they mean:

  • If the shoe brand fits “true to size”, that means that you need to provide your child with a half a size longer of the size that he or she measured in the shoe measuring scale. This translates to 0.3 inches or 0.7 centimeters of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.
  • If the shoe brand fits “short”, that means that you need to provide your child with a whole size longer of the size that he or she measured at the shoe measuring scale. This translates to 0.6 inches or 1 centimeter of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes.
  • If the shoe brand fits “long”, that means that you need to provide your child with the same size that he or she measured at the shoe measuring scale.

Under the column “Do these shoes fit narrow, medium, or wide” you can find four different categories:

  • If the shoe brand fits “Medium”, that means that the shoes will fit children with medium width feet better.
  • If the shoe brand fits “Narrow”. that means that the shoes will fit children with narrow width feet better.
  • If the shoe brand fits “Wide”, that means that the shoes will fit children with wide feet better.
  • If the shoe brand fits “Extra Wide”, that means that the brand will fit children with extra wide feet better.

If you see two or three different widths mentioned in one brand that means that brand is capable of accommodating children with different widths as the brand offers shoes in different widths.

The last column “Can These Shoes Accommodate An Orthotic” simply tells you if the shoe brand provides shoe styles that work well with orthotics. Kid’s shoes that work well with orthotics are supportive, deep, and durable.

Now that you know how each children’s shoe brand fits, you are ready to keep your child’s feet and legs healthy by providing your child with the correct shoe size.

You should also take a look at two articles I created where I describe the best shoe brands for babies, toddlers and older children — as certain shoe brands provide shoe styles with better support, better quality, and more durability than others —

The Best Baby Shoe Brands – The Top 3 Shoe Brands to Help your Baby Walk!

The Best Shoe Brands for Toddlers – The 3 Most Durable and Affordable Brands

The Best Shoe Brands For Kids – The 5 Most Durable and Affordable Brands

Are you wondering why shoe sizes are so inconsistent? You don’t need to know this as it gets a little more technical, but some parents might want to know why certain shoe brands differ so much in the way the shoes fit.

Let’s reveal that secret right now:

✅ Materials can affect size: Two shoes of identical style and size, but one with a leather upper and the other one with urethane upper, will often fit differently.

✅ Construction/Shoe Manufactures affect size: The process by which a shoe is made can sometimes influence size.

✅ Lasts affect size: Lasts are designed on countless different shapes, each with its own volume or inner space allowance, which in turn affects the dimensions and the fit.

✅ Heel height affects size: Shoes on high versus low heels will fit differently on the same size.

✅ Style affects size: For example, a pair of New Balance shoes in a given size and width will fit differently than a pair of Saucony shoes of the same size and width.

Like I said before, you probably didn’t need to know all that, but I wanted to break it down for you, so you have a better idea of why shoe sizes are so inconsistent. At least now you know that it’s not to make your life harder when trying to find shoes for your child!

Is there a particular children’s shoe brand that I didn’t mention? Have you found a particular shoe brands that has worked well for your child? Please share your findings below so other parents can benefit from your experiences.


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

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