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Shoes for Different Size Feet – The Best Shoes for Kids with Different Size Feet


Did you know that most children are simply born with two different-sized feet? Few people have two feet that are exactly the same size, and the difference between their feet is normally not apparent: only half a size (3/8 of an inch). However, certain children who have a whole size and a half difference or more between their feet, and in this case, they might require wearing two different shoe sizes. I am going to show you a list of the best shoes for different size feet based on my many years of shoe fitting experience.

Do You Need to Order Two Different Sized Shoes?

The fact is, when children have more than a whole size and a half difference between their feet, you must provide them with two different pairs of shoe sizes, otherwise, there will be too much extra space on the shorter foot. This will allow for too much foot movement in the shorter foot, which might lead to foot issues such as blisters, calluses, or corns. Most stores will give you the second pair at cost, which means 50% off the original price.

Ordering two different sized shoes for your children can be a frustrating and time-consuming experience if you don’t know what shoe styles to look for. There is a particular feature that the shoes must provide that will make your child’s foot difference so noticeable. The shoes must provide extra depth since they will allow your child’s feet to fit deeply inside the shoes and make your child feel more comfortable.

If your kids’ feet have a half a size difference between them —for example: if their left foot is a size 7 and their right one is a size 7.5— you don’t need to provide them with different sized shoes. Just make sure that you fit the shoes to the larger foot.

If one of your kids’ feet is a full size longer than the other, it still is not a big enough difference for you to buy different sized shoes. The issue comes when your child has a whole size and a half which translates to a half-inch or 1.25 centimeters in length difference since that’s when you will have to order different sized shoes.

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 that focuses on helping children with “complex” foot shapes as well as foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. We carry some of the most supportive children’s shoes and orthotics, and I am familiar with which shoe brands and which shoe styles are better than others.


My advice to parents is not to stress out about their kids’ foot size difference. It’s not a big deal. I have helped several children with this condition, and if you are in the hands of someone who knows what type of shoes to look for, you will have no problems fitting your child in the correct pair of shoes.

What types of foot issues require different shoe sizes?

1️⃣ Club foot

2️⃣ AFO orthotics: Sometimes, children don’t have a large size discrepancy between their feet, but they might be wearing ankle-foot orthosis or another type of orthotic that takes a lot of room. In these cases, we must also provide those children with two different shoe sizes.

I will show you a selection of the best kids’ shoes for different size feet shortly.


Buying Shoes for Kids Who Have a Large Size Discrepancy Between Their Feet

Let’s take a look at what steps you need to take once you find out that your children have a considerable size difference between their feet.

1️⃣ The first step is to figure out which foot size is longer than the other. I always recommend taking your children to be fitted at your kids’ local shoe store to be properly fitted for shoes. The issue is that most stores have been closing down and parents need to end up buying their kids’ shoes online. There is nothing wrong with this, but you must know your child’s exact foot size to know what size to order.

I created an article that describes the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home:

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.

2️⃣ The second step is to look for shoes that provide extra depth and are supportive, lightweight, flexible, and breathable. Here is when I come into play since I will help you find them!

I only write reviews of shoe styles that I have fitted before, otherwise, I wouldn’t know how well-made they are, the amount of support that they provide, and how they fit. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

The Best Shoes for Different Size Feet ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Certain shoes will fit the shape of your kid’s feet better. Below you can find a selection of the best shoes for children who have a clubfoot, wear orthotics, or have a whole size and a half discrepancy between their feet.

These shoes are available in medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW) feet.

Needing two different sized shoes for your child doesn’t mean that you have to pay for 2 different pairs of shoes. Most stores will give you the second pair at cost, which means 50% off the original price (this is what most shoe stores will do). You can learn about what shoe companies allow this policy in the resource below:

Companies Allowing Purchase of Mismatched Shoe Sizes for Kids

Unsure About What Shoe Size You Should Order?

In each of the descriptions of the shoes, I indicate whether you need to order a half size or a whole size bigger than your child’s current foot size to provide the correct amount of growing room.

Some people who have been living with foot size discrepancies can tell you how challenging this condition can be and how hard it will be to find shoes that fit.

Sneakers, dress shoes, and boots are the easiest to fit, and nobody will notice the difference between your kids’ feet in these types of shoes. The real issue comes when you have to provide your child with a pair of sandals. The key is to compromise the amount of growing space for the longer foot, that way the difference will not be so noticeable.

Are Any Other Shoe Choices Available?

Do not hesitate to contact me directly at my e-mail if you have any further questions or if you need a different pair of shoes for your child. My e-mail address is: fittingchildrensshoes@gmail.com

Is it true that some children’s feet size can change over time? Yes, and this can happen for a couple of different reasons:

  • Foot injuries.
  • Foot deformities.
  • Repetitive use of the same foot in a particular sport.

I provided you with the best type of shoes for kids who have a big size discrepancy between their feet and if you don’t have a local shoe store in your area, now you know where to find them.

The Best Socks for Different Size Feet – Seamless and Comfortable!

Wearing the right type of socks is essential for your kids’ feet to feel comfortable. The right pair of socks will help prevent your child’s toes from rubbing or overlapping each other, especially on your kids’ smaller foot.

Socks play a key role in healthy foot development, as big of a rule as the shoes themselves. If your child has a big difference between his/her feet and often faces issues in finding comfortable socks to wear, then consider purchasing a pair of socks that are seamless and made from soft materials.

Parents always have a hard time finding socks for their kids, since some children feel every bump and lump and refuse to wear socks with their shoes. The extra room that a seamless sock provides prevents your kids’ toes from overlapping or rubbing against each other.

Whether you need these socks to be colorful or come in dull colors, they are readily available for your child. These socks are very soft and made of high-quality materials to guarantee your kids’ comfort. Below you can find the best selection of socks for children who have different sized feet:

Now that you know which are the best shoes and socks for children with different sized feet, you are ready to make the most informed decision.

Does your child have a big size difference between his feet? Are you having a hard time finding their shoes? Share your experiences below so we can all benefit from them!


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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12 Comments on Shoes for Different Size Feet – The Best Shoes for Kids with Different Size Feet

  1. It is so true about feet being different sizes. I just thought as a child that it was normal to have one foot feel tighter in my shoes than the other. The irony is that I have also found the best shoes for this are ones that are a bit wider in nature. I almost exclusively wear New Balance and Asics shoes due to the way they fit both feet well. The issue for me is the toe box and Nike’s toe box generally is too narrow for both of my feel to feel comfortable. Also I would experience knee pain while wearing Nikes. Odd. I don’t feel any knee or ankle pain with New Balance. Great shoes.

    Best wishes,

  2. I learned a lot from this article. The people who live near you are really lucky to have a specialty shoe shop with professional fitters! I’m glad that you have resources and suggestions on your site to help those that don’t have access.

    My feet are the same size but I have a bunion on one (not only old people have them!) so choosing the right shoe is important. Do you know which are the best shoes for a child that has an extra wide foot? My son has the widest feet and I just cant seem to find shoes that fit.

  3. Interesting information. I don’t remember if my child had both feet measured when purchasing shoes. I guess that is something to stress to the “fitter” if they don’t. Could foot measuring be something that could be incorporated at pediatric check ups? So many people these days buy their lil ones shoes at discount store and of course they don’t measure…Just a thought. Not sure if you researched that. Little ones can’t tell us one or the other foot hurts

    • You bring up a good point but pediatricians actually have no clue about how shoes are suppose to fit. They will be able to tell you if your child is flat footed or might need certain shoes with orthotics, but definitely they have zero training on fitting shoes.

      I always advise to take your kids’ to your local children’s shoe store to have their feet properly measured! if you don’t have a local kids’ shoe store that you trust, my website has every single answer to any question you might have about your kids feet.

  4. such a coincidence i’ve came across this website because i was just saying to family the other day i really need to get my sons feet measured and every time we have previously been to get his feet measured one foot is always bigger than the other and also wider. its very hard to find suitable shoes to fit my son.

  5. I recently came across the foot size differences while buying shoes with my friend for our sons. Her son does have one foot slightly longer than the other, and I thought that was odd. I never really thought about this before. I think your advice for buying two pairs of shoes would be the best. Although my friend uses extra cushioning stuff to put in the shoe that doesn’t quite fit her son’s foot. Wouldn’t that be uncomfortable, though?

    • Lena,

      Having a half a size difference between the feet is totally normal.The issue comes when the child has more than a half a size difference between his feet. That can create several foot problems since the smaller foot is being fitted in a shoe that is too long.

      It depends on what “extra cushioning stuff” she is putting inside the shoe. For example,tongue pads can be a great solution for a shoe that is slighter bigger. Show your friend this article I wrote: Leather Shoe Tongue Pads – Stop Heel Slippage

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