One of the most common questions parents ask me at the children’s shoe store that I work at is, “How fast do kids’ feet grow?” I decided to write a post to clear out all the doubts about the right time to replace your kids’ shoes!
I have been fitting children’s shoes for six years now, and I know everything that relates to children’s feet and their shoes! I know exactly how shoes should fit, the best shoes for children, and how long shoes should last.
I am always shocked when parents come to the store telling me how their kids’ shoes lasted a whole year, or how their kids’ outgrew their shoes in two months! It doesn’t make any sense!!! Your kids’ shoes won’t last a whole year (either the shoes where too long when they were fitted in the first place). Your child shouldn’t be outgrowing his shoes every two months, either (you are fitting his shoes too small)!
One thing is clear: Children should always outgrow their shoes before anything happens to them!
Below you can find the answer to the question of how fast do kids’ feet grow! Keep in mind that the rate of growth depends on the age of the child, so I break it down by age.
Because of my experience in fitting children’s shoes as well as those of my co-workers, I can share with you some interesting facts regarding the growth of children’s feet:
- Children between the ages 1 to 3 should have their shoes replaced every 3 ½ to 4 months. This means that you should visit your local shoe store 3 times a year. Your child’s feet will grow ½ size to a whole size every 4 months.
- Children between the ages of 4 to 6 should have their shoes replaced every 4 ½ to 5 months. This means you should visit your local shoe store 2 to 3 times a year. Your child’s feet will grow ½ size to 1 whole size every 4 to 5 months.
- Children between the ages 7 to 10 should have their shoes replaced every 5 months. This means you should visit your local shoe store 2 times a year. Your child’s feet will grow ½ size to 1 whole size every 5 to 6 months.
- Children between the ages 11 to 17 should have their shoes replaced every 5 ½ to 6 months. This means you should visit your local shoe store 2 times a year.Your child’s feet will grow ½ size to 1 whole size every 6 months.
This should give you an idea on when to visit your kids’ shoe store. You must remember that children have growth spurts and they not all hit them at the same time. You should not be concerned if your children’s feet are not growing as fast as they should be. Children grow in spurts so they might catch up at anytime!
CAUTION – My Kids’ Shoes Lasted A Whole Year!
Some parents come to the store excited that they didn’t have to replace their kids’ shoes for a whole year! In some rare cases, children’s feet might stay the same size for a whole year. However, even though your kids’ feet didn’t change size, you must still replace the shoes, even if it means getting the same shoe size!
If your child has been wearing their shoes for a whole year, you are either getting shoes that are too long, or you are cramping their toes in the shoes! Children’s shoes will NOT last a whole year! Remember to replace the shoes even if your child doesn’t need a bigger size. The shoe will not provide the support your child needs after being worn for a whole year.
I always emphasize to parents not to fit their kids’ shoes too long in order for them to wear them longer. This will only end up hurting his feet, and compromise their stability, making them more prone to falls and injuries. There is a certain and limited amount of growing room we can leave for children to grow into the shoes.
If you want to know exactly how much growing room we can leave for our kids’ feet to grow, you can read a post where I describe this into detail:
When Will My Kids’ Feet Stop Growing?! – Learn The Facts!
Most girls’ feet stop growing at age 14, while boys’ feet stop growing between the ages of 18 to 20. At the ages mentioned, growth plates have closed and the growth in length of the feet has stopped. Keep in mind that even though feet stop growing at certain ages, shoe sizes can change due to several factors!
For example, the older we get, the weaker the muscles that support the bones get, which may cause our bones to move, making the foot bigger!
Arches, for example, may collapse with age which might lead to the feet getting wider!
How Can I Keep Up With My Kids’ Growing Feet? – Keep A Close Eye
Taking your child regularly to your kids’ local shoe store is the best way to keep track of your kids’ growing feet. Don’t wait until you think your child has outgrown the shoes, check regularly to be safe!
Leaving some growing room for your kids to grow into the shoe is extremely important to avoid outgrowing the shoes faster than expected.
The other day, one father came to the shoe store asking me if I thought his kids’ shoes were worn properly after a whole year. Below you can find a picture of those shoes. You can draw your own conclusions!
If you replace your kids’ shoes once a year, don’t be surprised if the shoes start looking like that!
When Should I Replace My Kids’ Shoes? – Learn The Facts
There are two times when you should replace your kids’ shoes: when they have outgrown the shoes, or when the shoes start wearing out. Even though your child might not be ready for a new shoe size, if the shoe is taking a beating from being worn for a long time, you should strongly consider purchasing new shoes for your child, even if it means getting the same shoe size!
Like I mentioned before, children should always outgrow their shoes before anything happens to them! However, it is important to get good quality shoes in order for them to provide good support, stability, and durability!
Below you can find a list of the most supportive shoes for children that also come in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide.
The shoes below will fit a child that has narrow, medium, or wide feet (choose the width accordingly).
This first selection of shoes fit “short”, which means that you need to go a whole size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.
The shoes below will fit a child with medium, wide, or extra wide feet.
This selection of shoes fit “true to size”, which means that you need to go a half a size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.
Keep Your Kids’ Feet Healthy! – Follow My Guidelines
Now that you have a better idea of when to check your kids’ feet, you should constantly check to make sure he or she is wearing the right shoe size. It is important to take your kids’ to a local children’s shoe store that you trust in order to have their feet properly measured and their shoes properly fitted.
Don’t forget to find the right type of socks for your kid! Socks are just as important as the shoes you pick when it comes to keeping your kids’ feet healthy! I wrote a post where I describe how to make sure you get the correct sock size and which are the best socks for children! The post is called:
If you don’t have a local kids’ shoe store in your area and you must purchase his or her shoes online, you can read a post I wrote where I describe which is the best place to buy kids’ shoes online. You can find that post here:
Do you agree with my guidelines of how fast kids’ feet grow? Are you replacing your kids’ shoes faster than you expected them to last? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so we can all benefit from them!