Most parents don’t understand how import it is to provide their kids with the correct pair of shoes. It’s not just about getting the correct shoe style, but getting the correct shoe size as well! I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 7 years now. While we remain one of the busiest and most popular kids shoe store in the country, we have noticed a recent shift where parents are purchasing their kids’ shoes online.
This has led to the closure of several family owned kids’ shoe stores. Parents who buy their kids shoes online must ask themselves this important question:
How can they make sure that they are ordering the correct shoe size for their kids?
Please keep in mind that just because your child measures a certain shoe size, it doesn’t mean your child will wear that particular shoe size for all shoe brands! One thing I have learned after fitting kids shoes all these years is that the size the child measures is just a starting point when trying to find shoes that fit.
Shoe styles run longer, shorter, wider, or narrower than others, even at the same size, which is why I believe it’s so difficult to purchase your kids’ shoes online correctly. The good thing is that online retailers offer free returns and free shipping, that way you won’t waste your valuable money. However, you will end up WASTING a lot of your VALUABLE time if you don’t know the specific shoe styles you need to look for.
We know that the size that your child measures doesn’t automatically translate to his or her shoe size. We must also take the shape of your kids feet into account when we size shoes. For example, did you know what the instep of the foot is? If you don’t know the answer to that question then there is no way that you have been providing your child with the correct shoe size!
The instep of the foot is the top part of the foot, and some children have a very high instep. When children have a high instep they require a different type of shoe, since in most cases, the shoe needs to be deeper for your child’s foot to fit comfortably inside the shoe.
I explain what the instep of the foot is in more detail, as well as the best shoes for children who have a high instep in this post:
I have no intention to confuse or worry you about whether the shoes you are providing for your kids fit properly, I am here to clarify confusion and make you aware of the importance of well-fitting shoes. By the end of this post you will know exactly how to make sure your kids shoes fit!
In this post I explain how to buy your kids shoes online, so you will NEVER end up ordering several pairs just to returning them all! I can guarantee that if you bear with me until the end of the post, you will be able to find shoes for your kids online in a much more effective way!
Where Is The Best Place To Buy Your Kids Shoes?
I always recommend that parents take their kids to a local children’s shoe store that they TRUST. Notice that the word TRUST is capitalized! Places like Nordstrom, Payless, and Stride Rite (I believe they have closed most, if not all of Stride Rite stores now) hire sales associates who don’t know how to properly measure and find the right shoes for your kids!
I can tell you this from my experience having helped countless families at the shoe store that I work who CAME with children wearing the wrong shoe size from these big retail stores!
The main problem is that most parents don’t have a local children’s shoe store in their area anymore, and they have to end up buying their children’s shoe online. This is fine, as long you understand it can be very time consuming if you don’t know what to look for!
Buying your kids shoes online doesn’t mean scrolling down through the pictures and choosing the one that looks the most stylish or the one that is available in your kids’ shoe size. If you are looking to buy your kids’ shoe online, you must know the particular shoe brands that come in different widths and those that are made of better quality and provide more support.
Let’s find out what you need to know before you purchase your kids shoes online!
Buying Your Kids’ Shoes Online – What You Must Know!
Firstly you must know whether your kids’ feet are narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide! And no, wide and extra wide feet are NOT the same! There is a reason why shoes come in extra wide widths! While the shoe size is just a starting point, you must know your kids shoe size to be able to order the correct shoe size online.
Like I mentioned before, the size that your child measures doesn’t automatically translate to his or her actual shoe size. The good news is that I have been fitting children shoes for so long that I know exactly how the different shoe brands and shoe styles fit!
I also know which shoe styles run wider or narrower, and this really comes in handy when you are trying to find the perfect pair of shoes for your child!
The first thing to do before buying your kids’ shoes online is to know their shoe size, and to do that you need to have a measuring tool to measure your kids’ feet. I wrote a post where I describe the best and easiest way to measure your kids’ feet, and you can find that post here:
Please don’t go to your local kids’ shoe store if you don’t have the intention of purchasing your kids’ shoes there. While I have never been paid commission, I found it obnoxious that people would waste someone’s time like that! What people don’t realize is that if they continue to receive help at a store without making a purchase, they won’t find that particular shoe store in their area much longer!
So if you want to buy your kids shoes online, go ahead and do it, but make your purchase after doing your own research! Well, you are not completely on your own since I am here to guide you through the process!
Once you know your kids shoe size (don’t forget about width too!), then you are ready for the next step, which is finding the correct shoe style for your child!
High Quality Yet Affordable Everyday Shoes For Your Child!
You will soon learn that more expensive shoes don’t automatically mean higher quality shoes! However, please don’t provide your child with shoes from Walmart or Target!
Believe me when I tell you there is a reason those shoes are so cheap! I have heard of parents finding shoes there for less than 15 dollars and while we are all always trying to economize, trying to save money by providing our children with low quality shoes is false economy.
You will end up creating all sort of foot problems for your kids’ feet, which will end up costing you so much more money in the future! I have seen that some of these shoes are made out of plastic or cardboard, offering little to no breath-ability, while providing no support and no flexibility for your kids’ feet!
Your average, good quality and supportive pair of shoes for your child’s feet should cost you between 35 to 40 dollars. The price only goes higher from there, but I have regularly fitted reliable, good quality shoes within that price range. What do I mean by good quality shoes? These are shoes that will keep your kids’ feet healthy will NOT be destroyed before he or she outgrows them!
The fact is that when you buy low quality shoes, your kids’ end up destroying them much faster than expected, which results not only in a waste of your valuable money, but a waste of your valuable time as well!
So lets do some number crunching! Lets say you provide your child with a pair of good quality, supportive shoes for their feet and you invest a total of 35 to 40 dollars per pair of shoes. If your child is a toddler for example, he or she will end up outgrowing his or her shoes every 3 ½ to 4 months. This means that in order to keep your kids’ feet and legs healthy you need to invest a total amount of 120 dollars a YEAR!
That doesn’t sound that terrible, does it?
Finding Shoes For Your Child – Choose Them Wisely!
It’s not easy to identify which shoes will be better for your kids’ feet, since there are no two pair of feet alike. It’s not enough to put shoes on your kids’ feet and wait to see whether they will complain about them. Assuming that your kids’ shoes fit just because your kids’ don’t show any signs of discomfort is one of the biggest mistakes parents make!
What we look for in our kids’ are shoes that are those that are lightweight, flexible, breathable, and provide good support to help our children run around all day comfortably!
Can we find all of these features in one shoe style for a reasonable price?
I have fit shoes with all of those features all the time, satisfying parents with the quality and the price! These are the type of shoes that we need order and stock constantly since parents keep coming back for them.
Below you can find a selection of the best quality, yet affordable shoes for children!
The shoes in the first-row 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 in the second-row 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.
This selection of shoes shows the best shoes Saucony has ever made for kids. They are lightweight, flexible, breathable, supportive, and they are available in medium, wide, and extra wide widths! One of the best features is that they fit “true to size”, meaning that if you measured your kids’ feet properly and they measured a size 10, you would simply need to get these shoes in a 10 ½ in order to leave the appropriate amount of growing room!
How You Can Make Sure Your Kids’ Shoes Fit?
So you measured your kids’ feet…
You chose the correct shoe style and the size…
Now, the question is, how can you make sure your kids’ shoes fit?
The first thing to do is to check that the shoes are not too narrow for your kids’ feet. Make sure your kids small toe (also called the pinky toe) is not pressing against the side of the shoe. If your kids’ small toe is pressing against the side of the shoe it means that the shoes are too narrow for your kids’ feet!
Take a look at the picture below for clarification!
It is important to check that particular area of the shoe because providing your child with shoes that are too narrow will make your child more prone to developing blisters and corns.
If you havechecked that area of the shoe and found that there was no pressure on your kids’ small toe, you can proceed to check the front area of the shoe, where we want some growing room for our kids to grow into the shoe, but not so much that we would compromise their stability.
We want about 3/8th of an inch of space from the end of the longest toe to the end of the shoes (the longest toe might not always be the big toe, so please take this into consideration when you are measuring your kids’ feet).
Lastly, we want to make sure the heel part of the shoe fits snugly around your kids’ ankles. We don’t want any slipping movement between your kids’ feet and the shoes. If you feel like you can fit one of your fingers around the heel area of the shoe, then the shoe is too wide for your kids’ feet!
If you check all three steps and everything looks good, your child is good to go! This will guarantee that your child is wearing the correct shoe size!
NEVER underestimate the importance of well fitting shoes! It will end up saving you from headaches in the future! The same rules to provide your child with the correct shoe size apply when mom and dad are looking for shoes for themselves! Now you know how to buy shoes online for yourself, too!
I almost forgot to mention the importance of providing your child with the correct pair of socks! Believe it or not, socks play a huge role in keeping your kids’ feet healthy, since they act as a barrier between our kids’ feet and the shoes!
Don’t leave this website without learning about the best socks for kids! If you feel like it’s a struggle to put your kids’ socks on every morning, you may be interested in the secret about the best SEAMLESS and BREATHABLE socks for children! You can find that post here:
Do you normally shop for your kids shoes online? Do you find yourself wasting time having to return them all the time? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so we can all benefit from them!