The Best Place to Find Kids' Shoes
for all Foot Shapes and Foot Problems

The Best Place to Buy Kids’ Shoes – Avoid Stride Rite, Nordstrom, Payless…


Have you ever taken your kids to be fitted for shoes at big retailers such as Nordstrom, Stride Rite, or Payless and ended up with the wrong shoe size? Most families who take their children to be fitted for shoes at those stores end up with their children wearing the wrong shoe size.

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

I have been working for an independent specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now, where we specialize in helping children with “complex” foot shapes as well as foot and leg problems, and provide regular shoe fittings as well. We often help children that come to our store wearing the wrong shoe sizes after being fitted in those big retail stores.


I am trying to raise awareness among parents since most children that are fitted for shoes at these big retailers end up wearing the wrong shoe size. The salespeople who work there are not properly trained to fit shoes. Most of the shoe brands that they carry are not even available in different widths such as medium (M), wide (W), or extra wide (XW).

Be Careful About Fitting Your Child in the Wrong Shoe Size

Wearing the wrong shoe size or the wrong shoe style can lead to several foot issues such as blisters, calluses, or corns, as well as foot and leg pain.

Keeping your kids’ feet and legs healthy is really important, and by investing in the correct type of shoes you will end up saving a lot of time and money in the future. The next time you need to buy shoes for your kids, do it in a place that you trust!

I can’t tell you the number of children that come to the store wearing the wrong pair of shoes or the wrong shoe size. It is hard for me to believe that someone would fit a child —who often can’t speak up when they are in discomfort— in a pair of shoes that don’t fit, just to make a sale.

The level of irresponsibility from these shoe stores is so unbelievable that I felt obligated to reach out to parents and let them know that they need to stop taking their kids to be fitted for shoes at these retail stores!

The Best Place to Buy Kids’ Shoes

I always recommend that parents take their kids to be fitted for shoes at their local children’s shoe store. However, several parents have contacted me asking me where they can get their kids’ shoes online since they don’t have a shoe store in their area that they trust.

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

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

How to Retrieve Your Child’s Exact Foot Length and Shape

If you still can’t seem to find a shoe store in your area then proceed to take a look at an article I wrote where I describe 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.


 Avoid Shopping for Shoes at Big Retailers – Here’s Why!

Most children who were fitting for shoes at big retailers came to the store wearing shoes that were either too big, too small, too narrow, or too wide. Not surprisingly, they were never the right size!

Let me tell you about a particular situation that was extremely upsetting to me:

I was assisting a mother and her 18-month-old child who was wearing arch support —a piece of rubber that is fitted inside the shoe— that they purchased from Stride Rite. The mother explained to me that the physical therapist recommended extra arch support to be fitted inside the shoes so that the child could walk better, but after fitting the arch support in the shoes, the child simply refused to walk.

Once I proceeded to take the kids’ shoes off to measure her feet and evaluate her feet, I found out that the arch support that they put inside the shoes was way too big. The mother was so upset when she saw the size of the arch support. An arch support is supposed to fit below the arch of the foot, not below the entire foot.

This is just one of many examples. We experienced several issues from children who came wearing shoes from Stride Rite —it’s not a surprise to me that most of their shoe stores have closed down.

Children’s feet are constantly developing, and we fit them in the correct pair of shoes to keep their feet, legs, and back healthy. As I mentioned to you before, making sure that your child is wearing the correct shoe size will save you a lot of money in the future since you will keep his feet, legs, and back healthy.


Has your Child Developed Any of The Foot Issues Mentioned Below?

Not wearing the correct shoe size can lead to foot, leg, and back problems such as:

  • Foot Pain.
  • Lower back pain.
  • Knee pain.
  • Ankle pain.
  • Calluses.
  • Blisters.
  • Corns.
  • Ingrown Toenails.

If your kids have developed any of these foot issues, start by checking the shoes that they are wearing.

Something so simple as providing your child with the correct type of shoes will prevent all of these foot and leg issues and makes sure that your child’s feet develop properly.

I believe that the customers who come to the children’s shoe store where I work appreciate seeing the familiar faces of the staff. Receiving help from someone they already trust gives them peace of mind. You will end up saving a lot of money in the long run if you are taking care of your kids’ feet properly from a young age.

If you don’t have a local kids’ shoe store and you must purchase your kids’ shoes online, I put together a selection of the best-fitting children’s shoes that I have fitted before.

The Best Kids’ Shoes ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

All of these shoes are available in medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW) widths and they provide great support and durability. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

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.

These are the best-fitting shoes for kids that I have fitted before in terms of support, quality, durability.

I have helped hundreds of children who have had foot, knee, leg, and lower back pain by fitting them into the right pair of shoes. After wearing the correct shoes for a period of 3 to 5 months, their pain was significantly reduced and in some cases, it fully disappeared.

Don’t forget to provide your child with the correct pair of socks. Did you know that getting the correct sock size is just as important as getting the correct shoe size?

A sock that is too small will cramp your kids’ toes and won’t allow their toes to move freely. However, socks that are too big will bunch up and feel uncomfortable.

While I can’t get into too much detail about which are the best socks for children in this article, I wrote a post where I describe the best kids’ socks and you can find it here:

The Importance of Wearing Socks – Grippers or No Grippers?

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:


Do you buy your kids’ shoes online? Which online retailer do you usually use? Please share your thoughts and 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.

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

21 Comments on The Best Place to Buy Kids’ Shoes – Avoid Stride Rite, Nordstrom, Payless…

  1. You have some really great information here for parents! It is so important for kids to have shoes that fit properly. I knew they could get blisters and foot pain but I didn’t realize all the other problems ill fitting shoes could cause. Children’s feet are still growing and they do need shoes that are properly fitted. Too many kids are given second hand shoes passed down from older siblings and this too can be very bad for their feet.

    I told my daughter to stop taking her kids’ to shoe stores in the mall because they always end up having blisters from their shoes! I agree that parents must stop taking their kids’to be fitted for shoes there!

    • Hello Margaret,

      The issue is that most local family owned kids’ shoe store are disappearing. It is hard to compete against big retailers and the Internet. We are lucky to be one of the most popular children’s shoe store in the country that specializes with children that have foot issues.

      Please feel free to message me anytime you have specific questions about your grandkids shoes!

  2. Hello Juan,

    I just viewed your article on children’s shoes and realized the importance that shoes have in keeping our kids’ feet healthy. I always used to buy the least expensive ones.

    How are the shoes on your website for long wear for active boys? My kids are destroying their shoes before they outgrown them and it’s starting to get really frustrating. Do you have a selection of good lasting shoes? Where can I get them online? I don’t have any kids’shoe stores I trust in my area… HELP

  3. Hello Juan Pablo

    Thanks for your tips on the best places to buy kids shoes.Buying kids shoes can be a real hassle, what with crowded shops, kids saying yes it`s a good fit with every pair they try, always wanting the ones you feel are not good.

    Many kids do not know their size, or just excited about new shiny shoes and settle for the wrong size which leads to foot and toes paid, but having then fitted properly can take care of this.

    Parents just have to know where/which shops will do proper fitting so as to get it right. Which is the best online store to get shoes for kids? Quality and affordable ones!

  4. Hey Juan

    I don’t have a local shoe store so we are going about 100km to our capital city. But up to now – I must admit I didn’t pay such an attention to the fitting of shoe. We usually went to some big sports shoe shop and the only thing that the sales person asked our kid – do you feel the shoes fit you? But as understood from your website – shoe fitting is much more than this.

    Besides that, I recently watched some boradcast on children shoes and there was mentioned that kids don’t feel if the shoe is too small when they try it on. So this is definitely not the right method of fitting the shoes. Do you know where I can find extra wide shoes for my child? I can’t seem to find them at our local stores or online.

    • Arta,

      It’s awesome how you travel that far to make sure your kid’ shoes fit! However, if you are travelling that far to take your kids’ to be fitted at sports shoe shops where they don’t really know how to measure or fit kids’ shoes, you are wasting your time! Feel free to drop me a message anytime you are not 100% sure your kids’ shoes fit.

      Here you can find the best shoes for a child that has an extra wide foot: Children Extra Wide Shoes – Prevent Blisters, Calluses, And Corns!

  5. Hi Juan,
    I am so glad that I read this informative article on the importance of proper fit for childrens’ shoes! I was unaware of the many problems that could arise from incorrect sizing. I love that your solution to shop local. It is so important to promote local and small businesses. Now I know that by doing so I am also giving my son the best care. I also really appreciate that you took the time to share the best pricing options. This article has been very informative. I feel more confident in purchasing my son’s next pair of shoes now. Thank you!

    • Katie,

      I am glad that you found the post informative! I always recommend parents to take their kids’ to their local children’s shoe store to have their feet properly measured and their shoes properly fitted. Don’t hesitate to contact me any time you have a specific question!

  6. This website it great! I have 2 toddlers and my eldest has wide feet so it has been difficult to shop for him online. You have provided some great resources and now that summer is coming I will be reading up on flip-flops. Do you have any recommendations regarding children flip-flops for wide feet?

  7. Hello Juan,
    Thank you for this article. It is very informative. Many of these issues is my concern as well.

    I have taken my daughter to Stride Rite (when they were open) to have her fitted. The staff gave me ambiguous information that left me more confused.

    Now I have learned from you that what we really need is to seek out a local children’s shoe store. I don’t know of any in my area. Where are you located?


    • Hello Naomi,

      The children’s shoe store that I work for is located in Potomac, Maryland. It’s sad to see so many fitting shoe stores going out of business. I hope you can find a place that you can trust taking your kids to have their feet measured.

  8. Hi there. I am in the DFW area in Texas. Does anyone know of a store in this area? I am not finding any non-chain stores. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

  9. Mi nombre es Enrique Valderrama mi hija Maite Valderrama necesita unos zapatos de talla especial para mi nieto Aitor de 6 años de edad nosotros vivimos en Dover NewJersey pero podemos ir a cualquier sitio que nos recomiende +1 ( 973) 951-7234 WhatsApp gracias por su publicación ayuda muchísimo y da una esperanza para El Niño un millón de gracias señor Valenzuela

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