The most common mistake parents make is when buying shoes for their children is thinking that once they get their children’s feet measured, that size automatically translates into their correct shoe size. The size that your children measure in the foot measuring scale is only a starting point when trying to find their correct shoe size.
I have noticed how most parents only care about how much growing room there is in the front of the shoes, but the length of the foot is not the only thing you need to consider when measuring your kids’ feet. Many additional considerations must be noted in order to guarantee the feel, fit, wear, and comfort of the shoe. For instance, did you know that the instep of your child’s feet plays a key role in how the shoes feel?
Do you know what the instep of the foot is? The instep is the top part of the foot, and when it’s high, it makes it more challenging to find shoes that fit. Take a look at the image below to identify where the instep of the foot is located:
If your child happens to have a high instep, you will need to find deeper and wider shoes.
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 for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now, and I know everything that relates to children’s shoes and the way they fit. This is a specialized shoe store that focuses on children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. We carry some of the most supportive children’s shoes and orthotics, and I am familiar with which shoe brands and which shoe styles are better than others.
Please avoid taking your child to be fitted for shoes at places such as Nordstrom, Stride Rite (most sorts have closed down), 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 buying your kids’ shoes from these stores in another article I wrote. Go to the link below:
Providing your children with the correct shoe size is extremely important if you want to keep their feet and legs healthy. The wrong shoe size will lead to all sort of foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns, as well as foot and leg pain.
Shoes cannot be too short, too long, too narrow, or too wide, they must fit just right.
I will show you the most effective way on how to buy shoes for kids if you don’t have a local children’s shoe store in your area.
Getting The Correct Shoe Size For Your Child in 5 Simple Steps ❤️
If you don’t have a children’s shoe store in your area, there is a set of guidelines that you can follow to make sure you provide 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 foot measurement devices for kids:
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 exact foot 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 a selection of the best fitting shoes for children, which will be supportive, lightweight, flexible, provide extra depth to fit the volume of your child’s foot, and they will be available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide.
How to Get 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 3/8 of an inch of space from the end of the longest toe. There is a trick you can use to check this. Remove the original soles of the shoes and have your child stand up on them to be able to visualize this better.
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.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: I recently created an article along with a video that explains how to make sure your kids’ shoes are fitting correctly:
Now that you know how to figure out your child’s foot size from home, you are ready to take a selection of the best fitting children’s shoes.
Remember when I said that figuring out your child’s foot size was the first step in what final shoe size your child will get?
Please note that if your child measures a foot size 10 and that particular shoe style that you are trying on fits “short”, then you will need to choose the shoe size 11 in order to allow enough wiggle room (a whole size longer instead of a half a size longer). On the other hand, if the sandals fit “long” then you will need to pick the same shoe size instead of going a half a size longer (since the shoes already fit long).
I will let you know exactly how each shoe style I recommend fits so you can adjust the size that you get for your cild accordingly.
The Best Kids’ Shoes ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Keep in mind that I only review shoe styles that I have fitted before, since that is the only way for me to tell how well-made the shoes, the amount of support that they provide, and how they fit.
I have fitted thousands of children shoes, and I know which shoe styles fit and hold up better than others from having tested the shoes myself. If you don’t have a local shoe store in your area, below you can find a selection of the best shoes for kids.
The shoes I describe below are supportive, lightweight, flexible, breathable, and durable. Most importantly, they are deep and available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide widths.
The shoes below will fit a child that has narrow, medium, or wide feet (choose the width accordingly). Please refresh your browser if you can’t see the recommendations.
Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.
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.
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 the shoes. Most children will not speak up even when the shoes feel too tight or too big. 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. Don’t assume that just because your children have been always wearing a wider shoe their feet will always stay wide.Some children’s feet tend to narrow down as they grow, while others will stay wide.
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!
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.
Do you have a local children’s shoe store in your area? Where do you purchase your kids’ shoes? Have you ever purchased your kids’ shoes online before? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so other parents can benefit from them.