Did you know that your kids’ shoes come in narrow, medium, wide, and extra wide widths? Wearing the correct shoe width is essential for your kids’ to perform at their best, no matter the activity. You will also be keeping their feet healthy and avoid all sorts of foot problems.
If your kids have wide feet and you are fitting them in a pair of medium width shoes, you are probably cramping their toes against the side or the front of the shoes, which can lead to foot issues such as blisters, calluses, and corns.
It is important to understand that getting the correct shoe width is just as important as getting the correct shoe length. Also, please STOP saying that your child can’t wear a certain type of shoe because his or her feet are too wide or too narrow! Shoe companies make shoes in different widths for a reason!
The difference between a medium width shoe and a wide width shoe is 1/8 of an inch. This can make all the difference in preventing your kids’ toes from overlapping one another or rubbing against the side of the shoes.
I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now, and we specialize in fitting children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. I know everything that relates to children’s feet and their shoes, and most foot problems occur when children wear the wrong shoe size.
For parents who have wide feet, you need to find shoes that are labeled as:
2EE for wide.
4EEEE for extra wide.
For kids it’s much simpler, since their shoes are simply labeled as:
“W” for wide.
“XW” for extra wide.
The majority of the American population is walking around wearing the wrong shoe width. If parents don’t know the difference between medium and wide widths shoes,then how can they possibly be providing their children with the the correct shoe size?
The most common mistake parents make is ordering a longer shoe size every time their kids’ shoes feel too tight around the width area. If you try a shoe for your child in the medium width, and the shoe feels too tight around the widest part of the foot, then instead of buying longer shoes, try the same shoe in a wider width.
If that particular shoe doesn’t come in wide widths, then it’s simply not the right shoe style for your child.
New Balance, Saucony, and Stride Rite are the three shoe companies with the best selection when it comes to wide widths shoes. If you want to learn about which are the best shoe brands for children, you should take a look at this article:
While it’s definitely true that there are ONLY certain shoe styles that will work if your child has wide or extra wide feet, not providing your child with certain types of shoes like dress shoes, cleats, or sandals because their feet are too wide or too narrow is a big mistake.
There is always at least one particular dress shoe, sandal, or cleat style that will fit the shape of your child’s feet perfectly, and I will HELP YOU find it.
In this post, I will explain what the difference is between medium and wide shoes, and I will show you a selection of the best fitting shoes for children that come in wide widths.
Medium VS Wide Width Shoes – Is There a Big Difference?
It is important to understand the difference between medium and wide widths shoes. Some parents believe that the difference between a medium width shoe and a wide width shoe is insignificant. Those parents are WRONG!
It actually does make a huge difference if you fit your kids’ wide feet in a pair of shoes that come in wide widths. Your child will feel so much more comfortable running around and you will keep their feet healthy by preventing foot issues.
Take a look at the picture below where I show two insoles of the same shoe length. The left insole comes from a medium width shoe (M) and the right one comes from a wide width shoe (W).
The difference seems quite clear, and that extra room in the width will make such a big difference in the way your kids’ shoes will feel!
You probably heard before that certain shoe styles run wider or narrower than others, but if your child has wide feet, there are shoes that actually come in wider widths (W).
Most parents are more likely to buy shoes that are too small for their feet rather than too long. However, they use a totally opposite approach when it comes to fitting their kids’ shoes. Parents are always worried about the amount of growing room that they need to leave for their kids’ to grow into the shoe, and sometimes this leads to purchasing longer shoes for their kids.
The main issue with fitting your kids’ feet in shoes that are too long is that you are compromising your child’s stability and create several foot problems such as blisters, calluses, and corns.
A number of parents have asked me how can they tell if the shoes their kids are wearing are too narrow for their feet, since they don’t have a local kids’ shoe store to take their kids to be properly fitted for shoes. I describe how to make sure your kids’ shoes are fitting properly below, but you should definitely read this post where I describe that in more detail:
Are the Shoes that your Child is Wearing Too Narrow? – Let’s Find Out!
Okay, let’s say you bought your child a medium width shoe and he has been complaining about his/her shoes feeling too tight.
Your immediate response is:
You just need to break them in!
Shoes always feel tight at first!
My advice to you is to take your kids’ complaints seriously and start by checking the widest part of the shoe. Let’s take a look at the picture below which shows a shoe that is too narrow for a child’s foot. Do you notice how there is a small bump in the widest part of the foot?
That means that your kids toes are being cramped inside the shoe, and the small toe is being pressed against the side of the shoe. The small toe will rub against the shoe, which can lead to the formation of blisters, calluses, or corns.
Let’s say the shoe in the picture is a kids’ shoe size 10 in a medium width. What do you think most parents would do in this situation?
They would get a longer shoe and try a shoe size 101/2 or 11! However, the child already has sufficient growing room in size 10. The longer size might take the pressure away from the small toe, but now the shoes are way too long for your kids’ feet. The right thing to do is to try the same size shoe in a wider width.
So, let’s say you try the same shoe in a wide width. So now we are trying the shoe in size 10, but in a wide width instead of a medium width. Take a look at the picture below and you will notice how the small toe is NOT being pressed against the shoe anymore, since now the toes have enough room to spread out!
Which Is The Best Place To Get Your Kids’ Shoes? – Try Them On!
I always recommend that parents take their kids’ to their local children’s shoe store, where a shoe fitter can properly measure their feet and find shoes that fit properly. However, a number of parents don’t have a shoe store in their area that they trust, and they are forced to buy their kids’ shoes online.
START by taking a look at a map I created where I describe the best children’s shoe stores by state:
If after looking at that map you still can’t seem to find a good fitting kids’ shoe store in your area, then you can take a look at a selection of the best wide width shoes for kids that I have fitted before below.
The Best Wide Widths Shoes for Kids ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
While there are several wide widths shoes available for kids’, some of them have more support and structure than others, and will also be more durable and last longer.
I only review shoe styles that I have fitted before, and some of them are also deeper and have rounder toe-boxes than others,which will make a huge difference when you fit them on your child’s feet.
Below you can find a selection of the best wide widths shoes for children that will fit a child that has narrow, medium, or wide feet (choose the width accordingly).
Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.
This first selection of shoes fit “short”, which means that you need to go a whole size longer of the size that your child measures in the standard foot measuring scale (Brannock device) in order to allow for growing room.
The shoes below will fit a child with medium, wide, or extra wide feet.
This selection of shoes fit “true to size”, which means that you need to go a half a size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.
Now that you know the difference between medium and wide widths shoes, you can provide your child with the correct pair of shoes.
Cheers, and keep your kids feet healthy!
Does your child normally get medium width shoes or wide width shoes? Have you found a particular shoe style that works best for his or her feet? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so we can all benefit from them!