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 foot size that their kids measure in the shoe measuring scale will automatically translate into their actual kids’ shoe size.
For example, let’s say that your child measures a shoe 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 style fits “short” then you will need a size 11, or if the shoe style fits “long” then you will need to stick with the size 10.
Does this make sense to you?
I believe 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 two 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 their shoe stores.
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. Parents need to understand that once they get their child’s foot size, that is only the first step when trying to find the correct pair of shoes for their child.
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 all the children’s shoe brands that I have fitted before, showing parents how each shoe brand fits.
This table I created displays how the different children’s shoe brands fit, that way you can make sure you are providing your child with the correct shoe size. By the way, please keep in mind that 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.
|Shoe Brand Name||How do These Shoe Styles Fit?||Do These Shoes Fit Narrow, Medium, or Wide?||Can These Shoes Accommodate an Orthotic?|
|Adidas||True to Size||Medium||No|
|Bearpaw||True to Size||Medium||No|
|Bogs||True to Size||Medium/Wide||No|
|Chooze||True to Size||Medium||No|
|Deer Stags||True to Size||Medium||No|
|Dr. Martens||True to Size||Medium/Wide||Yes|
|Geox||True to Size||Medium/Wide||Yes|
|Keen||True to Size||Medium/Wide||No|
|Kenneth Cole Reaction||True to Size||Medium||No|
|Livie & Luca||True to Size||Medium/Wide||No|
|Merrell||True to Size||Medum/Wide||Yes|
|New Balance||True to Size||Medium/Wide/Extra Wide||Yes|
|Nina||True to Size||Medium/Wide||No|
|Pediped||True to Size||Medium/Wide/Extra Wide||Yes|
|PLAE||True to Size||Medium/Wide||Yes|
|Primigi||True to Size||Medium/wide||No|
|Reebok||True to Size||Medium||No|
|School Issue||True to Size||Medium/Wide||Yes|
|See Kai Run||True to Size||Medium/Wide||No|
|Skechers||True to Size||Medium/Wide||No|
|Skechers Twinkle Toes||Long||Medium/Wide||No|
|Stride Rite||True to Size||Medium/Wide/Extra Wide||Yes|
|Teva||True to Size||Narrow/Medium||No|
|Timberland||True to Size||Medium/Wide||Yes|
|UGG||True to Size||Narrow/Medium/Wide||No|
|Zephz||True to Size||Meidum/Wide/Extra Wide||Yes|
Let me just explain you how this table works. Under the column “How do these shoe styles fit” you can find three 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.
- 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.
- 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 since 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 will work well with an orthotic. 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 their feet and legs healthy by providing them with the correct shoe size.
You should also take a look at two articles I created where I describe the best shoe brands for toddlers and older children (since certain shoe brands provide shoe styles with more support, better quality, and more durability than others):
Are you wondering why shoe sizes are so inconsistent? You don’t need to know this since it gets a little more technical, but some parents might want to know why certain shoe brands differ so much in the way their 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? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so other parents can benefit from them.