Most parents believe that once they get their children’s feet measured, that measured size automatically translates to the correct shoe size. This is the most common mistake parents make when buying shoes for their kids!
The length of the foot is not the only thing we must consider when measuring our kids’ feet. Many additional considerations must be noted in order to guarantee the feel, fit, wear, and comfort of the shoe! For instance, the width must be taken into consideration if you want to provide your child with the correct pair of shoes.
WARNING: the size that your children measure is only a starting point when looking for shoes for them!
Are children’s shoes more important than they are for adults? Yes, I believe they are! Children are still growing, developing, and working on their coordination. The right type of shoes will protect their feet, legs, and back by minimizing the impact caused by repeated running, jumping, and skidding.
It seems like this generation of parents doesn’t put the same emphasis on the importance of well fitted shoes as the former ones. Why is it so important to get the right shoe size for your child? Because the shoes that you choose for your child CAN and WILL affect their overall foot, leg, and back health!
I have been working at a specialized children’s shoe store for over 6 years, and I handle approximately two hundred shoe fittings and try-ons per week. I have fitted children who have various foot issues such as flat feet, hammer toes, foot and leg pain! I always recommend that parents have their children’s feet measured at their local children’s shoe store, since these stores hire shoe fitters that know how to fit your kids’ shoes properly.
Please avoid taking your child to places such as Nordstrom, Stride Rite, or Payless… I have helped parents that come with their children from these stores, and they always come wearing the wrong shoe size! I explain in more detail why you must avoid those stores in this post:
I will explain how to buy shoes for kids if you don’t have a local children’s shoe store in your area that you trust!
Getting The Correct Shoe Size For Your Kid! – 5 Simple Steps
If you don’t have a children’s shoe store in your area, here is a set of guidelines you can follow to make sure you are getting your child the correct shoe size:
1- Make sure you have a proper device at home to measure your kids’ feet. In this post I describe the best shoe measurement devices:
2- Always make sure that you measure your kids’ feet when they are fully standing. On weight-bearing, the foot stretches in both length and width, so this is the only way to get the TRUE shoe size.
3- Always make sure to measure both feet (most of us have a half a size difference between our feet). The longer of the two feet is the correct length to be fitted.
4- Measure to the longest toe, which is not always the “big” toe, but could be the second, or even the third toe.
5- Measure the wider foot.
Did you know that the volume of the foot also plays an important role when finding the correct type of shoes? The volume is the total amount of foot that is to fit inside the shoe. For example, some kids’ feet are thin and bony, while others are stocky and muscular. All these different type of feet might measure the same length and width, but will FIT and FEEL different in the same shoe because of the difference in volume they put inside the shoe!
Sounds complicated doesn’t it? Don’t worry! I will show you the best fitting shoes for children, since I have fitted them all!
While size is obviously important, do not overemphasize its importance by the assuming that if the shoe is the right size, it will automatically deliver the proper fit. Did you know that in men’s, women’s, and kid’s shoes, there are nearly 300 hundred size-width combinations?
Getting The Correct Shoe Size For Your Child – Get It Right!
You might think I am exaggerating, but there are 5 steps you must follow in order to make sure your child’s gets the correct shoe size!
1- Length Fit: Allow approximately 3/8th of an inch of space from the end of the longest toe.
2- Tip of the Little Toe: Make sure the little toe is not pressed inward, as this causes corns or blisters.
3- Ball or Width Fit: This can be snug, but should NEVER be tight. A tight fit can cause several foot issues, such as blisters, corns, and calluses, among others. In addition, the foot NORMALLY swells about 5% over a day’s wear, so “expansion allowance” must be considered.
4- Instep Fit: Always check for any tight fit around this area. This can happen specially with fat/fleshy or stocky/muscular feet. It can exert pressure on the instep and affect circulation. Most parents don’t even know what the instep of the foot is. I have created a post where I explain this in more detail:
5- Heel Fit: Make sure the heel of the foot fits snugly without any heel slip. This allows the child to walk and run comfortably with every step he or she takes.
If these 5 points check-out properly, your child will have a good fit! I assure you that this is really hard to do, that is why it is important for you to take your child to your local kids’ shoe store to have their feet properly measured.
If you don’t have a local kid’s shoe store in your area, feel free to message me for any doubts or concerns you might have about your kids’ feet!
Shoes With Shoe Laces Or Velcro Closure For My Child?
The first thing to consider before buying your kids’ shoes is whether your child needs a shoe with shoe laces or with a velcro fastener. Obviously, velcro sneakers gives your child the independence of taking the shoes on and off theirselves, and you won’t have to worry about the shoe laces coming undone all the time! However, shoe laces do provide more support and stability, so if your child has any stability issues or needs extra support, you should definitely consider getting him a pair of shoes with shoe laces.
Choosing a shoe that is made of breathable, lightweight material is critical for your child feet to properly breathe.
I have fitted thousands of children shoes, and I know which shoes fit better than others. If you don’t have a local shoe store in your area, below you can find the best shoes for kids’!
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.
These shoes have a firm heel counter, good support, and the strong structure to be worn for everyday activities. They also have a very deep-end, which guarantees that it will fit a child with a high instep!
It is important to note that these shoes are also available in medium, wide, and extra wide widths!
Shoe shopping for your child can be a very frustrating experience depending on where you take your child to get fitted for shoes. If the person helping you doesn’t know what he is doing, your child might end up wearing the wrong pair of shoes!
NEVER assume that the shoe fits if your child doesn’t complain about them! Most children will not speak up even though the shoes feel too big or too tight! It is your responsibility as a parent to make sure your child is wearing the correct shoe size.
Children feet change with age, so always keep a close eye to your kids’ feet. DO NOT assume that just because your child has been wearing a wide or an extra wide width shoe, he or she will always need a wider shoe! Some children’s feet tend to narrow down as they grow, while others will stay wide.
It is extremely important to periodically take your child to the shoe store to have his or her feet checked, to make sure they didn’t have a growth spurt. Did you know that getting the correct sock size is just as important as getting the correct shoe size? Remember to change your kids’ socks size every time your child needs a different shoe size!
Read this post that explains how to make sure you get the correct sock size and the best socks for kids:
The Best Shoes For Kids’ – The Secret Revealed!!!
I explain the importance of properly fitted shoes and how to make sure your child is wearing the correct shoe size! I also describe the best type of everyday shoes for children!
Never use hand-me-down shoes! I actually wrote a post about hand-me-down shoes, and if you are handing down shoes you should read it before you continue doing it:
Please take care of your kids’ feet by providing them with the correct shoe size! Allow them to play and run comfortably in their shoes!
Do you have a local children’s shoe store in your area? Where do you purchase your kids’ shoes? Have you ever purchased kids’ shoes online? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so we can all benefit it from them!