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How to Order the Correct Shoe Size for Your Child’s Orthotics – Follow These 3 Simple Steps


Are you having a hard time finding a pair of shoes to accommodate your child’s orthotics? Are you unsure what shoe size to order? One of the most common mistakes that I see parents make is to buy shoes that are too long in an attempt to accommodate the orthotic. It’s important to note that if the shoes don’t fit properly, your child will not get the full support or stability that the orthotics have to offer.

My Experience Fitting Children’s Shoes and Orthotics

I have been working at a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years, where we focus on helping children with “complicated” foot shapes, foot conditions, and leg conditions. As a shoe fitter, I handle approximately 100 shoe fittings/try-ons per week and have become very familiar with which shoes work best for each child.

Through my experience, I have learned which shoes work best for children who wear 3/4 length or full-length orthotics, AFOs (ankle-foot orthoses), and SMOs (supramalleolar orthoses).


I have created this free resource because I am passionate about fitting children’s shoes as I truly believe that the correct type of shoes and orthotics can be life changing. Children’s feet are constantly developing, and what happens to their feet during their childhood will affect their physique as they grow older. 

Parents should never have to buy shoes longer than a full size and a half larger than their child’s actual foot size to accommodate an orthotic.

These Are the Orthotics I Have Fitted Before – Do they Look Familiar?

These are the children’s orthotics that I have fitted throughout the years and I am familiar with which shoes work best for each orthotic:


How to Order the Correct Shoe Size for Your Child’s Orthotics

To help parents figure out their child’s exact foot shape and length, I have created a free online resource. Knowing your child’s exact foot shape plays a key role in the final shoe size your child should wear to accommodate their orthotics.

All you will need is a measuring tape or a ruler to take your child’s feet and orthotic measurements. Keep reading below to obtain the correct shoe size to accommodate your child’s orthotics:

1️⃣ Measuring Your Child’s Orthotic Length

If your child wears a full-length orthotic or an AFO with a footplate that extends over the toes, I will need the measurements of the orthotic. You can skip this step if your child wears a 3/4 length orthotic.

  • Make sure that you measure your child’s orthotics from the back to the front. Make a note of that measurement in inches or centimeters. Email me the measurement value or an image of the measurement to avoid confusion. See example images below:
Image of a parent measuring their child’s full-length orthotic.
Image of a parent measuring their child’s AFO.

2️⃣ Measuring Your Child’s Exact Foot Length

  • Make sure your child is standing straight and then place a measuring tape or ruler at their heels.
  • Measure both of their feet from the heel to the tip of their longest toe. One foot is always slightly bigger than the other, so measuring both feet is crucial for their shoes to accommodate the larger foot. Also, your child’s longest toe doesn’t necessarily have to be their big toe—it may be their second or even third toe.
  • Make a note of both measurements in centimeters or inches. Email me these measurements or simply email me images of the measurements to avoid confusion. See the image below as an example:

3️⃣ Pictures of Your Child’s Foot Width

If you already know your child’s foot width shape you can skip this step.

To learn the width of your child’s feet (narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide) please also email me two pictures of their feet. In addition, these pictures will help me determine whether or not your child has a high instep.

Below are example images of the two pictures you should send:


It will take me less than 24 hours to respond with the correct shoe size to accommodate your child’s orthotics. Once you have the necessary information ready, please email it to me at:


If you would like specific shoe recommendations please let me know which country you live in so I can recommend shoes that are available in your area.

Recap – What to Include in Your Email!

  • Your child’s orthotic length measurements (or an image of their orthotic length measurement)
  • Your child’s foot length measurements (or an image of their foot length measurements)
  • Two images of your child’s feet (see example images above)
  • The country you live in

Does Your Child Wear AFOs? – Find Out What Shoe Size You Should Order

I created a specific resource for families of children who wear AFOs called:

How to Get the Correct Shoe Size for Your Child’s AFOs – Follow these 2 Simple Steps!


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.

Do You Buy Your Kids’ Shoes Online?

Subscribe and get my personalized shoe size chart for free to help you find what size to order online.

Shoe Sizing Chart

2 Comments on How to Order the Correct Shoe Size for Your Child’s Orthotics – Follow These 3 Simple Steps

    • Hello Shikha,

      I can recommend specific shoes for your son but first I need to know his foot shape (narrow, medium, wide, extra wide), and also the country you are contacting me to check what specific shoes are available in your area.

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