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

Kids Shoe Sizes Inches

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 create this article to clear out all the doubts about which is the right time to replace your kids’ shoes!

I have been fitting children’s shoes and orthotics for the last ten years now, and I know everything that relates to children’s feet and their shoes! Throughout the years I have gotten familiar with how most shoe styles fit (short, long, narrow, or wide), which shoe styles provide more support than others, and how long shoes should last.

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

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!!!

Here is a picture of a pair of shoes a child worn for a whole year. I explained the parent how these shoes should have been replaced a long time ago!

The Worst Shoes For Kids

Your kids’ shoes should n0t last a whole year, and if they do, then it means that either the shoes where fitted too long to begin with or you have been cramping your kids’ toes in the shoes. On the other hand, your child shouldn’t be outgrowing his or her shoes every two months or less. In this case you are  either fitting the shoes too small to begin with (not leaving the correct amount of growing room for your child),  or you are providing your child with poorly made shoes that are getting destroyed.

One thing is clear: Children should always outgrow their shoes before they are ready to be replaced. 

Below you can find the answer to the question of how fast do kids’ feet growKeep in mind that the rate of growth depends on the age of the child, so I break it down by age.

  • 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 that you should visit your local shoe store 2 to 3 times a year. Your child’s feet will grow ½ size to a whole size every 4 to 5 months.
  • Children between the ages of 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 a 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 a 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!

Grow Bigger Feet

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’ size didn’t change, 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!

I want for parents to understand that 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.

The sole of the shoe will start to wear down and won’t provide the same cushion and support than it first did when the shoes were new. The sole of the shoe is the part that minimizes the impact that your kids’ feet take every time they come in contact with the ground. If the shoes don’t come with a supportive sole, then this can lead to your child experiencing foot and leg pain.

Wore Down Shoes

When shoes are worn for a year, the heel counter of the shoes will also start getting softer. Do you know what the heel counter of the shoe is? The heel counter is the back part of the shoe that provides ankle and heel support.

This is an example of a shoe with a firm heel counter:

Shoe With Firm Heel Counter

Here you can see an example of a shoe that has been worn and has a soft heel counter:

Shoes With A Soft Heel Counter

If your child is wearing a shoe with a soft heel counter, then you are making him/her more prone to experiencing ankle and heel pain. A shoe with a soft heel counter can also lead to ankle sprains.

I always emphasize to parents to not fit their kids’ shoes too long in order for them to wear them longer. This will only end up hurting their feet, and compromise their stability, making them more prone to falls and injuries. There is a certain and limited amount of growing room that you can leave for your child to grow into the shoes.

If you want to know exactly how much growing room you can leave for your kids’ feet to grow, you should take a look at an article along with a video I created where I describe this into more detail:

How To Measure Kids Shoe Size From Home – In Less Than 30 Seconds!

When Will your 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 you Keep Up with your 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!

The Worst Shoes For Kids

If you replace your kids’ shoes once a year, don’t be surprised if the shoes start looking like that!

When Should you Replace your Kids’ Shoes? – Learn the Facts

There are two times when you should replace your kids’ shoes: 

  • When they have outgrown the shoes.
  • 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!

The Most Affordable and Supportive Kids’ Shoes – The Secret Revealed!

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 standard foot measuring scale (Brannock device), 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 that they are wearing the correct shoe size. It is important to take your kids’ to your 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 child. Sock act as a barrier between your kids’ feet and the shoes, and prevent the formation and build up of bacteria inside the shoes.

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:

The Importance Of Wearing Socks – Grippers Or No Grippers?

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

Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids’ feet and get my guide for free: The 5 Most Common Mistakes Parents Make when Buying Their Kids’ Shoes

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

  1. Your website has a wealth of useful information, and as a parent of a 3-year-old, I’ve learned a lot from reading your posts. I actually have been replacing shoes much more sooner than what you state in your post, so I think your information here might be wrong. I find myself replacing my three year old shoes every 2 to 3 months,

    • Ayako,

      You might be replacing your kids’ shoes every 2 to 3 months because you are not fitting the shoes properly. I believe you might be fitting the shoes too tight. Are you taking him to a children’s shoe store to have his feet properly measured?

  2. I just changed my child to a new pair of shoes this morning. Yesterday his grandmother saw his toes were red and asked me to check his shoes. I gave him this pair less than 2 months ago. And behold! They are already too tight for him.

    Shoes are one of those things you can’t really buy wayyy in advance. I don’t have a particular shoe shop I frequent, so this is a problem every time I need new shoes for him. He’s turning 3 soon. I don’t keep track of how often he changes shoes.

  3. This is awesome info! My wife always complained about how fast our children were growing and was always trying to leave extra room for them. But after I read your post, they weren’t growing so fast, they were growing at the rate they were supposed to!

    Where can I find shoes for a child that plays soccer? Like wide soccer boots? Do they make them wide?

  4. Children’s feet do grow fast, and knowing the methods to measure the feet over time will become helpful for the future. My parents are always complaining about my brother’s feet getting bigger every two months. Obviously they are doing something wrong. Is there a post you have on how to measure children’s feet properly? Maybe I can shoe it to my parents.

    Thanks a lot dude

    All the best


  5. Hi Juan. Your site is very informative.

    Your info about how quick their feet grows, I totally agree with what you are saying.

    I haven’t been monitoring how long it takes for us to change the shoes of our children but I believe it is actually approximately a year. We either purchase because it is too small or because it has or is wearing out.

    When we purchase the shoes, our children test them thoroughly and if comfortable we buy them. Not all shoes sizes are the same for every child for e.g. my youngest is 6 but looks 4. she wears shoes for 4/5 year olds because she is petit for her age. But all in all our shoes can last up to a year. There is a very small area of space left in the shoes for growth. At the same time it is not too big nor uncomfortable, loose, or tight. We make sure of that. So far we have had no issues with shoes and no incidents.

    I more or less agree with all you have said. Thank you for the post. I have always wanted to know when the growth stops. I didn’t realize it can take up to 18 years!!!

    • Arif,

      If your kids’ shoes are lasting you a whole year, something is not right. I believe you might be fitting them too long, since kids’ shoes don’t last for a whole year. They outgrow them way before that! Are you taking your kids’ to your local children’s shoe store to have someone measure their feet?

      • Mine lasted 4th through 7th and they looked nearly new when I finally outgrew at the start of 8th grade cross-country. I plan to buy my next pair of shoes 1.5 sizes large and expect them to last at least two years, and longer for casual use.

  6. I take my children to a good shoe store that properly measures feet and tells me the size they need to wear. I have taken my 5 year old to the shoe store every 3 months and she has not changed shoe size for a whole year. Today was the first time I had a hard time putting a pair of shoes on and I checked it and it just started getting to small. When she was younger I was getting different shoes every 2-3 months and yes even then she was getting properly measured. I also work for a podiatrist for the past 3 years so I also know and have seen that some kids feet and grow faster or slower than other kids just like their height. So your information is incorrect.

    • Hello Brandy,

      You are correct, children’s feet do grow at different rates. The purpose of my article is to serve as a guideline for parents to have an idea how long they should be checking their kids’ shoes. However, you should not be replacing your daughter’s shoes once a year even if she hasn’t outgrow them. The shoes start wearing down and even if they don’t have holes on them they don’t provide the same support and they tend to stretch out around the heel area (this leads to the heel counter of the shoe getting softer).

      There could be two reasons why you didn’t have to replace your daughter’s shoes for a whole year. The first might be that the shoes were fitted in the long side in the first place, and the second one that she was due for a growth spur. I am glad you are in good hands and have a children’s shoe store in your area that you trust. Thank you for sharing.

  7. I do get the point you are trying to make but I feel it’s a bit general. My daughter did have the same foot size for over a year and her shoes did last that length of time because she has a few pairs of shoes at any given time so they don’t wear down as quickly. She generally has leather School shoes/ soft indoor school shoes / sports trainers/ sandals / boots / party shoes / slippers all on the go at any given time.

    Also her feet have gone up 4 sizes in the past 12 months – from a U.K. 11 to a UK 1 (she’s 8 years old) and I have her properly measured at a reputable shoe shop so I know it’s not me buying the wrong size to start with. I’m hoping the rapid growth of her feet are a sign she’s due a big growth spurt as she is very short for her age. Her feet are huge for her short height, but she’s always be a kid that’s ‘all feet’. Even as a toddler she had the biggest feet in the group whilst being the shortest.

    • Hello Linda,

      You are correct, the estimates on foot growth I provide are just for a general guidance. The fact is that all children grow at a different pace, but I think it’s important for parents to have a general idea on when they should be checking their children’s shoes.

      Your daughter wore the same shoe size for a year but that’s doesn’t normally happen among children. Maybe the shoes were fitted too long to begin with? Or she was due for a growth spurt… there could be many variables.

      Good thing that you have a local children’s shoe store in the area that you trust so they can keep up with her growing feet!

      Thank you for sharing!

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