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How to Measure Foot Width – Does Your Child Has Narrow, Medium, Wide, or Extra Wide Feet?


Editor’s Note: This post has been updated and revised for accuracy on April 2022 and reflects up-to-date information on how to measure foot width.

I have been amazed by the large number of parents who don’t know their child’s exact foot width. Most of these parents have older children who have been wearing shoes for a long time, and it’s quite shocking to me that they have been providing their children with shoes without knowing their actual foot width.

Let me put it plain and simple: You can’t possibly be getting your child the correct shoe size if you don’t know your child’s exact foot width.

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes

Figuring out your child’s foot length can be rather simple, but figuring out your child’s foot width is another story. I know this because I have been fitting children’s shoes for the last 10 years, working for a specialized children’s shoe store that focuses on helping children with “complicated” foot shapes as well as foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well.


Children’s feet come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, and range from narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide. Some children also have high insteps. The instep is the top part of the foot, and when it’s high it can take a lot of extra space inside the shoes. Take a look at the image below to identify where the instep of the foot is located:


When children have high insteps, there is a lot of extra foot volume that needs to be fitted inside the shoes:


There is no online measuring tool that can tell you whether your child has a narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide foot with high insteps. The only way to tell your child’s exact foot width is to have a professional shoe fitter take a look at your child’s feet and recommend shoes accordingly.

Start by taking a look at a resource that I created where I describe the best fitting children’s shoe stores by state:

The Best Kids’ Shoe Stores In The United States – Where To Go For Proper Fittings

If after looking at that resource you still can’t seem to find a store in your area, then let me show you the most effective way of how you can figure out your child’s foot width from home.

How to Determine Foot Width in Kids – 2 Simple Steps!

I have fitted thousands of children from their first pair of shoes to their teenage years. I can tell whether a child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet by simply looking at their feet and the same applies to their instep height.

There is no standard foot measuring device that will determine your child’s exact foot width or measure your child’s instep height. Several shoe companies such as Stride Rite came up with their own foot width measuring method. but it is inaccurate and several families reported that they ended up with the wrong shoe size.

For me to tell you what your child’s exact foot width is, I need you to send me 2 different pictures of your child’s feet. These are 2 samples of how the pictures should look like:

First Image

This first picture is going to give me a general overview of your child’s foot shape. This image is going to help me determine whether your child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet.


Second Image

This second picture is going to help me visualize if your child has a high instep or not.


The email where you need to send me the pictures is fittingchildrensshoes@gmail.com and you will have a response in less than 24 hours.

How to Retrieve Your Child’s Exact Foot Length

If you need to retrieve your child’s exact foot length to figure out what shoe size to order online or if you need help determining whether your child has a foot condition, I suggest that you follow the instructions on the article below:

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

How to Tell If the Shoe Fits – Follow These 3 Easy Steps!

✅ First Step: Remove the original insole of your child’s new shoes. Have your child stand up straight on the insoles and check if there is enough growing room in the front of the insoles. There should be approximately 3/8 of an inch between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes. Please note that your child’s longest toe doesn’t necessarily have to be the big toe, it can be the second or even the third toe.

Take a look at the images below for clarification:

If you notice that your child’s toes are at the end of the original sole of the shoe, then you should get a shoe size that is half a size or a whole size longer. Take a look at the image below for clarification:

✅ Second Step: Check whether the width of the shoe is fitting correctly. With your child’s shoes on, check the widest part of the foot, and make sure that the small toe is not being pressed against the side of the shoes. If the shoes are too narrow for your kids’ feet, you will notice a bump right around this area of the shoe. Take a look at the image below for clarification:

✅ Third Step: Make sure that there is no extra space around the heels of the shoes. You can check this by sliding your finger around the heel, and if you feel like you can fit one or two fingers around the heel area then it means that the shoes are too wide for your child’s feet. You don’t want your child’s shoes moving up and down since this can lead to blisters, calluses, or corns. Take a look at the image below for clarification:


If you check all three steps and everything looks good, then you can have peace of mind that your child is wearing the correct shoe size.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you are unsure of your child’s foot shape: fittingchildrensshoes@gmail.com 


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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