How to Choose Shoes for Kids – Learn How to Keep Your Kids’ Feet Healthy!

All parents want their children to be healthy and to grow and develop without having to experience health problems that require frequent visits to the doctor. Luckily, most foot and ankle problems in children can be treated so as the child continues to grow, the feet function properly and without pain. The most important factor in choosing shoes for your child is that the shoes fit the shape of your kids’ feet properly and never force your kids’ feet to fit in the shoes. Let me show you how to choose shoes for kids based on my many years of shoe fitting experience.

Once children start walking and need a pair of shoes, you must provide them with the correct type of shoes and this involves getting the correct shoe style in the correct shoe length and the correct shoe width.

One common mistake that I see parents make is how they choose their kids’ shoes more motivated by fashion than by what their kids’ feet really need. This can lead to several foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns, as well as foot and leg pain.

What is crucial when picking your kids’ shoes is to find shoes that support, cushion, and protect the feet. Some shoes do the exact opposite of what shoes should do, which can cause serious problems to your kids’ feet rather than supporting and cushioning their feet.

Do You Have a Good-Fitting Children’s Shoe Store in Your Area?

Keep in mind that I always recommend parents take their children to be properly fitted for shoes at their local children’s shoe store that they trust, where a shoe fitter can properly measure their feet and find shoes accordingly. The issue is that most local children’s shoe stores have been closing down and we are left with big retailers that don’t have people who know how to fit shoes.

I created a resource that describes the remaining best-fitting children’s shoe stores by state.

If you are one of these parents without a children’s shoe store in your area, you have nothing to worry about as I will describe exactly how to make sure your kids’ shoes fit and I will also provide you with a selection of the best everyday shoes for children.

Choosing the correct type of shoes for your child will promote healthy foot development by providing needed stability and support.

When babies take their first steps, they begin their practice of a complex task that involves balance and coordination, muscles and joints, legs and feet. Foot health is extremely valuable to overall body health, that’s the reason why it’s so important to provide your children with the correct pair of shoes from an early stage to keep their feet and legs healthy.

I always try to emphasize one thing to parents: Shoes are so much more than simply coverings of the feet.

Shoes should also always feel comfortable, right from day one. So, if your child is already capable of expressing himself or herself and is complaining that the shoes don’t feel right, don’t fall for the trap that shoes need a “break-in period”. Shoes will indeed get softer as you wear them, but they also should feel comfortable before your child leaves the shoe store.

How to Retrieve Your Child’s Exact Foot Length and Shape

If your child complains that the shoe is pinching or rubbing his or her feet the wrong way, don’t buy the shoes! Did you know that shoe size and fit vary widely between styles and manufacturers? Always keep looking until you find a shoe that properly fits the shape of your child’s feet.

What does a proper fit actually mean?

This means that you should always fit your kids’ shoes to accommodate their longest and widest foot, making sure that there is a half-thumbnail width between the longest toe and the end of the shoe.

To accomplish this, you must measure your kids’ feet with your child standing up. I created a different article that helps parents determine their child’s exact foot size and whether the child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet. I also will be able to tell you whether your child has a high instep or not.

This is the reason why I created a selection of the most supportive, yet lightweight and flexible kids’ shoes that are also available in different widths such as narrow, medium, wide and extra wide widths.

The Best Everyday Children’s Shoes

The shoes below can fit children with medium (M), wide (W), or extra wide (XW) feet as long as you choose the width accordingly. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

A child’s shoe size can change as often as 3 months, so always check the fit of your kids’ shoes frequently.

Remember that these shoe styles are available in different widths such as medium, wide, and extra wide, so no matter how wide your kids’ feet are, these shoes will accommodate the shape of their feet.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Shoe Fitting – Keep Your Kids’ Feet Healthy!

Second-hand shoes are commonly used in children, but I always explain to parents that this is not a good idea unless the shoes are infrequently worn and are in good shape.

I always strongly advise parents to not provide their children with high-heeled shoes, because these shoes encourage foot deformities to develop and can lead to ankle, calf, and lower back pain.

Also, keep in mind that flip flops and certain sandals can create several problems for your kids’ feet. They lack arch support – this can lead to pain in various joints and tendons, they don’t protect from fallen objects, and they expose the top of the foot to the sun, which increases the chances of developing skin cancer.

Let’s take a look at some do’s and don’ts that will help you understand how to keep your kids’ feet healthy:


  • Wash your kids’ feet, including between the toes, daily with water and mild soap.
  • Thoroughly dry your kids’ feet and between the toes after washing them.
  • Moisturize your kids’ feet (but not between the toes) after washing them.
  • Always trim your kids’ toenails straight across rather than by rounding them.
  • Inspect your kids’ feet regularly to make sure there are no cuts, blisters, dry skin, or other skin marks.
  • Make sure your child is wearing shoes that fit properly and that are designed for that specific activity they might be doing. Pay special attention if you provide your child with open-toe shoes, sandals, and flip flops since they can easily injure their feet especially on escalators and elevators.
  • Alternate your kids’ shoes from day to day to allow the shoes to dry out.


  • Allow your child to walk barefoot outside the house because of the risk of wounding the feet and getting an infection.
  • Wear shoes that are too short, too narrow, too big, or too wide because they will cause problems such as blisters, calluses, and corns.
  • Allow your child to share shoes with other children because this can lead to skin and toenail fungal infections. You also shouldn’t provide your child with hand me down shoes since shoes start losing their support and cushioning as they wear down. Keep in mind that shoes wear down according to a child’s individual structure and function. For example, if a child tends to pronate he or she will wear the shoe down on the inside, and if that shoe gets passed down to a supinator it can have a devastating effect.
  • Soak the feet in the water since this will dry your kids’ skin and increase the risk of an open wound becoming infected.
  • Ignore your kids’ foot or leg pain because this is an indication of the body that something is wrong.

Always take your child to your physical or occupational therapist if your child is experiencing any of the following or if you notice:

  • Persistent pain or swelling of the foot.
  • Discoloration of the skin or toenails.
  • Pain in the foot or ankle that gets worse with activity.
  • A flattening of your kids’ foot arch.

Now that you know how to choose shoes for your child and what are the best everyday shoes for children, you are ready to make the most informed decision.

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

Do not hesitate to contact me directly at my e-mail if you have any further questions or if you need a different pair of shoes for your child. My e-mail address is:

[email protected]

Do you have a children’s shoe store in your area that you trust? I get contacted by parents daily that want to know if there is a good children’s shoe store in their area, so if you share yours in the comments section below all parents can benefit from your experiences.