How to Tell If Your Child Has Narrow, Medium, Wide or Extra Wide Feet – It Takes 2 Simple Steps!

Have you been trying to figure out whether your child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet? Are you always unsure whether your child is wearing the correct type of shoes in the correct shoe size? Children must wear the correct type of shoes in the correct shoe size to prevent future foot, leg, and lower back pain. I am going to show you how to tell if your child has narrow, medium, wide or extra wide feet based on my many years of shoe fitting experience.

I am always emphasizing to parents that it doesn’t matter how supportive, flexible, lightweight, and durable their kids’ shoes are, if they don’t provide their kids with the correct shoe size —correct shoe length and the correct shoe width— the child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer. What’s even worse, you might end up creating several foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns.

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

I have been fitting children’s shoes and orthotics for the last 10 years and counting. The store that I work for specializes in helping children with “complicated” foot shapes as well as foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. We need to carry top-quality shoes that are available in different widths, as that’s the only way we can guarantee to fit every single child.


I can tell what foot shape a child has just by looking at their feet, and I always recommend parents to take their children to be properly fitted for shoes at their local kids’ shoe store. Let’s start by making sure that there is not a good fitting children’s shoe store in your area. I want you to first take a look at a resource I created where I describe the best kids’ shoe stores by state:

The Best Kids’ Shoe Stores – Where To Go for Proper Fittings

If you didn’t find a store in your area, I will show you how you can figure out what foot shape your child has.

There is a foot measuring tool that can measure your kids’ feet and retrieve your child’s foot length and foot width. However, this tool costs 65 dollars and most parents can’t afford to make that investment.

If you want to buy this device to have it at home, Amazon offers the best price.  This is how the device looks like, and you can find it for the best price on Amazon. If you want to save some money, keep on reading so I can show you how to figure out your child’s exact foot shape for free.

There is another issue with this foot measuring device, it won’t tell you if your child has a high instep. The instep is the top part of the foot, and when it’s high, it requires deeper shoes:


How to Tell If Your Child Has Narrow, Medium, Wide or Extra Wide Feet

For me to figure out your child’s exact foot shape, you need to take two images of your child’s feet. If you email me these pictures, I will help determine your child’s foot width and instep height.

1️⃣ Measuring Your Child’s Exact Foot Length:

  • Make sure that your child is standing straight, and then place a measuring tape or ruler below your child’s heels. You must measure your child’s feet while standing, as on weight-bearing the foot becomes longer. 
  • Measure both feet up to the tip of your child’s longest toe (make sure that your child is not curling his/her toes). You must measure both feet since there is always one foot that is bigger than the other. Keep in mind that your child’s longest toe doesn’t necessarily have to be the big toe — it may be the second or even the third toe.
  • Make a note of that measurement in centimeters or inches or email me the image showing the measurements (such as you see below) to avoid confusion with the measurements.
Measurement Box

2️⃣ Pictures of Your Child’s Foot Width:

The pictures below will help me determine whether your child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet.  Also, the pictures will help me see whether your child has a high instep and additional information such as whether your child has flat feet or not. Below you can find examples of how the pictures should look like:

Angle Box
Angle Box
Angle Box

Please note that I won’t need the measurements of your child’s foot width, the images will be sufficient to help me determine whether your child has narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide feet.

Recap – What to Include in Your Email

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

Feel free to include in your email any additional information I should know about your child’s feet:

You will then receive a response within 24 hours with your child’s exact foot length, shape, and specific shoe recommendations as needed.

How Much Does This Service Cost?

If you wish to support the work of Fitting Children’s Shoes, you can Donate Here Your support helps ensure that families around the world can find the correct shoes for their children, regardless of their foot shape or condition.

One of the most common mistakes that I see parents make is that when their children complain about the shoes feeling tight around the width area they just get them a larger size until the child stops complaining about them. The same applies when a child has narrow feet, parents start trying shorter shoes until there are no more gaps around the heel area of the shoe.

Both of these strategies will lead to foot issues and compromise your child’s stability. Shoes that are too long will make your child more prone to falling and lead to blisters, calluses, and corns from your child’s feet moving too much and rubbing constantly against the shoe. On the other hand, shoes that are too short will lead to the same foot issues as your child’s toes will be cramped inside the shoe and rub against each other.

Most parents end up wasting a lot of time and money buying their kids’ shoes online. It can certainly be a frustrating and time-consuming experience if you don’t know your child’s exact foot size and what shoes to order. However, if you follow my 2 steps, you can feel confident that your child will end up wearing the correct shoe size.