I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for the last ten years, where we specialize in children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fitting as well.
Providing your child with the correct shoe size (which involves getting the correct shoe length and the correct shoe width), is essential in order to keep your children’s feet and legs healthy.
I want to clarify that as long as your child has a medium width foot, getting your child’s shoes at big retailers such as Foot Locker, Nordstrom, or Payless should not be a bigger issue. However, if your child has wide or extra wide feet, I strongly recommend that you stay away from these stores.
My FIRST CONCERN is that the staff that works at these big retailers is not properly trained on how to properly measure children’s feet, and they end up fitting them in the wrong sized shoes. The main reason why I mention this is that I have helped several families that came to the shoe store that I work for after having their children fitted at these big retail stores, and 90% of the time those children were wearing the wrong sized shoes or the wrong shoe style ( the size of the shoes was way off).
My SECOND CONCERN is that these big retailers carry shoe brands such as New Balance or Saucony (which are shoe brands that are popular among children for making wide and extra wide shoes), but they don’t carry their shoe styles in actual wide or extra wide widths (only medium widths).
I was walking around the shopping mall and after making a couple of stops at Foot Locker, Nordstrom, and Payless, I realized that NOT one of these shoe stores carry shoe styles in wide or extra wide widths.
Why is this such a BIG ISSUE?
One important thing that I learned throughout these years is that at least 70% of the time children who range from 1 to 4 years old require a wide or an extra wide shoe, and I would say that 50% of older children require a wide or an extra wide shoe.
This is why it’s so important for the shoes to be available in different widths such as wide or extra wide.
It was surprising to learn that even though these stores carried two of the most popular shoe brands for children with wide and extra wide feet (New Balance and Saucony), they didn’t carry those shoe styles in wide or extra wide widths (they only offer them in medium widths).
I think it can be confusing for parents to learn that New Balance and Saucony are two of the best shoe brands for children with wide or extra wide feet, since they provide their children with these shoe brands without knowing that they actually need to provide them in wide or extra wide widths.
It’s important to understand that New Balance and Saucony are the best shoe brands for children with wide or extra wide feet as long as the shoes come labeled as wide “W”, or extra wide “XW” widths.
If you have a child with wide or extra wide feet and you are providing your child with a New Balance or Saucony shoe style that is labeled as a medium width (“M”), you will end up creating several foot issues to your child’s feet such as blisters, calluses, and corns.
Did you know that your kids can develop foot and leg pain from wearing shoes that are too narrow, too wide, too short, or too long? That is why it’s so important for your kids’ shoes to FIT just RIGHT!
I strongly encourage parents to take their children to be properly fitted for shoes to their local children’s shoe store, where a shoe fitter can properly measure their feet and find shoes that FIT properly.
The issue is that most parents don’t have a local, independently owned children’s shoe store where they can take their children to be properly fitted for shoes, so they end up taking their children to these big retail stores that have staff that is not properly trained on how to fit shoes.
The good news is that I have been helping parents find their children’s shoes ONLINE for the last three years, and I always tell parents to remember one thing: It doesn’t matter how wide or how narrow your kids’ feet are, there is at least one shoe style out there that will FIT the shape of your child’s feet perfectly and I will HELP you find it!
If you don’t have a local kids’ shoe store in your area, don’t worry! I will provide you with a selection of the best fitting shoes for kids with wide and extra wide feet, and also explain you exactly how to make sure if those shoes are fitting properly.
The Best Shoes for Children with Wide or Extra Wide Feet
I only recommend shoe styles that I have fitted before, since that is the only way that I can tell the quality of the shoe, the amount of support it provides, and how it FITS.
One common mistake I see parents make is thinking that once they are done measuring their children’s feet, that size that they were measured at will automatically translate into their actual shoe size.
The issue is that shoes can run long, short, narrow, or wide, and you need to adjust your child’s size depending on how the shoes fit. For example, if your child measures a shoe size 10 in the measuring scale, but the shoes fit “short”, then instead of providing your child with a shoe size 10 ½ to allow for growing room you will have to provide your child with a shoe size 11 (since the shoes run short).
Here you can find a selection of the best wide and extra wide shoes for toddlers:
This first selection of shoes for toddlers fit “true to size”, which means that you need to provide your child with a half a size to a whole size longer of the size that your child measures in the Brannock device (shoe measuring scale).
Here you can find a selection of the best wide and extra wide shoes for older children:
This second selection of shoes for older children fit “true to size”, which means that you also need to provide your child with a half a size to a whole size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale.
Now you won’t feel like you are a stuffing your children’s feet in the shoes anymore, and you will see how much easier it is to put them on. When putting your kids ‘shoes on, you should never feel like you are shoving them in (since this is a sign that they shoes are either too short or too narrow).
I also decided to create an article (along with a video) where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way for parents to figure out their children’s shoe size from home. So, if you are not sure if your child is wearing the correct shoe size, take a look at this article that will explain you how to measure your kids’ feet from your house:
If you have any questions after reading that article along with the video please don’t hesistate to contact me.
Now that you know which are the best shoe styles for children with wide or extra wide feet and how to make sure that they are wearing the correct shoe size, you are ready to make the most informative decision.
I am always asking parents to let me know if they have a good fitting children’s shoe store in their area, that way other parents that might live in that same area can also take their children to be properly fitted for shoes. I receive several emails from parents that want to know about good fitting children’s shoe stores in their area. The children’s shoe store that I work for is located in Potomac, Maryland, and it’s called Shoe Train.
Since independently owned children’s shoe stores have been closing down and there are only a few left in the country, I decided to create an interactive MAP where I break down the best fitting children’s shoe store by state:
I am always emphasizing to parents to make sure that they take their children to be properly fitted for shoes to a good shoe store.
It’s infuriating for me when I see a child that was fitted in the wrong sized shoes, since they are putting the child’s foot and leg health in danger. I want to believe that these salespeople simply don’t know what they are doing, and that they don’t fit children in the wrong pair of shoes just to make a sale.