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How to Determine if Your Child has Outgrown their Shoes? – 2 Simple Steps!


Are you trying to figure out whether your child still has growing room on their shoes? Shoes that are too short or too narrow can create a myriad of issues to your child’s feet that range from blisters and corns to general foot pain. After having fitted children’s shoes for many years, I came up with a system in which parents can find out whether their children still have growing room inside their shoes from their homes.

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes – Over a Decade of Shoe Fitting Experience!

I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now. This experience has afforded me many insights into children’s shoes and the way they fit. Our store specializes in fitting shoes for children with “complicated” foot shapes as well as foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well.


From my experience fitting thousands of kids, I have become familiar with the correct amount of growing room that a child should have in their shoes and when it’s the right time to replace the shoes.

I know how hard it is for parents to keep up with their child’s growing feet. However, it’s important that you check your kids’ feet periodically to avoid future foot, leg, and lower back problems.

How to Determine If Your Child Has Outgrown Their Shoes? 

➡️ Sneakers 

1️⃣ Remove the original insoles of the shoes.

This method can only work if your child’s shoes come with a removable insole, which nowadays 90% of them do. Simply remove both insoles of the shoes and place them on the floor. I always recommend removing the child’s socks for better visualization purposes.

➡️ Have your child stand on both of the insoles and make sure that your child is standing up straight and looking straight ahead.


➡️ Make sure that your child’s heels align with the end of the insoles.

➡️ Check both feet since we all have one foot that is slightly bigger than the other one.

If you notice that there is some space between your kids’ toes and the end of the insoles, then your child can continue wearing the shoes. Take a look at the image below for clarification purposes:

If you notice that your child’s toes are matching up with the end of the insoles, then you should strongly consider getting your child a new pair of shoes. Take a look at the image below for clarification purposes:

The first step helps us determine whether the child’s toes are not rubbing against the front part of the shoe, but we also need to make sure that your child hasn’t outgrown the width area of the shoe.

2️⃣ Put your child’s shoes on and check the widest area of the shoe.

With your child’s shoes on, have your child stand up straight and make sure that your child is looking straight ahead. Slide your finger around the widest area of the shoe as shown in the image below:

Do you notice a small bump across that area? If you do, then it means that the shoes are too narrow for your child’s feet. That bump is your child’s small toe (pinky toe) that is being pushed against the side of the shoes by the other toes.

If you allow your child to walk and run in shoes that are too narrow, you will make your child more prone to developing foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns.

I have found this to be the most effective way to check if your child has outgrown their shoes or not, considering that you don’t have access to a specialized children’s shoe store in your area.

This method will work for most shoes that come with removable insoles, but if you want to check if there is still growing room in a pair of Mary Jane shoes, there is an extra step that you need to follow.

How to Determine If Your Child Has Outgrown Their Shoes? 

➡️ Mary Jane Shoes

1️⃣ Follow the same step as you would check your child’s sneakers (see above).

2️⃣ Follow the same step as you would check your child’s sneakers (see above).

3️⃣ Slide your finger around the widest part of the Mary Jane as shown in the image below.

Mary Jane Shoes

Is there enough room to slide your finger comfortably around that area or there is no space for your finger to fit? If you can’t fit your finger around that area, then it means that the Mary Jane is too narrow.

If after following these two steps you are still unsure whether your child has growing room in their shoes or not, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will help you figure it out: fittingchildrensshoes@gmail.com

Having your kids’ shoes properly fitted are critical to the healthy development of your child’s feet.

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

Keep in mind that I always recommend parents to have their children fitted for shoes at their local specialized children’s shoe store. The issue is that most children’s shoe stores have been closing down, and parents don’t know where to take their children to have their shoes properly checked. Please take a look at a resource that I created where I showcase the best fitting children’s shoe stores by state. Go to the link below:

The Best Kids’ Shoe Stores in the United States – Where To Go for Proper Fittings

If you want to figure out how to measure and figure out your child’s exact foot size from home, there is another article that I created that will describe exactly how to do this. Go to the link below:

How to Measure Your Kids’ Foot – 2 Simple Steps to Determine Foot Length and Foot Width

In that article I help 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.

Have you found another way to check if your child still has growing room in the shoes? Please share your method 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 kids feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

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