Getting the correct shoe width is just as important as getting the correct length when it comes to finding the right pair of shoes for your child. Did you know that most children are wearing the wrong shoe size?
This is due to parents not knowing how to select shoes or taking them to have their feet measured at big retailers such as Nordstrom, Stride Rite, or Payless, where the employees that work there have no clue on how to properly measure and fit children’ shoes.
If your children are not wearing the right shoe width you may be placing them at risk for developing serious foot deformities such as bunions, corns, or blisters, among many others. Wearing the right pair of wide dress shoes will provide relief to pinched feet and avoid many serious foot conditions for wide-footed children.
While dress shoes for kids are the type of shoes that are worn for a short period of time and every once in a while, they still need to be comfortable! Have you noticed that if your feet hurt you tend to shift your body weight differently and walk in a different way to counteract the pain? Your kid is now putting pressure on other parts of his body where he or she shouldn’t be. This will lead to other joints and muscles like the knees, hips, back, shoulders and neck to suffer in the long run.
Throughout this post you will find the best choices of wide dress shoes for kids, why they are important, and how to make sure you choose the correct shoe size.
Facts About Kids’ With Wide Or Extra Wide Feet – Learn Them All!
- Wide feet in children are common.
- Most parents are not aware that shoe width is the most important part of fitting a shoe.
- Parents are always asking to purchase longer shoes so the child can grow into them over a longer period of time. This is a common mistake since if the shoe is not wide enough, then the child will outgrown the width of the shoe faster than the length, making the length irrelevant.
- Wearing shoes that are not wide enough will put your child at risk for developing serious foot deformities such as blisters, corns, and bunions, among others.
- Do not ever give in and settle for shoes hoping that they will stretch out on your child’s feet.
Sometimes parents will ask me whether a shoe that is too wide could hurt the child’s feet. The answer is YES. A shoe that is too wide will have the same impact as wearing a shoe that it is too short, too long, or too narrow. If the shoe is too wide the child’s feet will be sliding and moving constantly inside the shoe, and that motion will create blisters and calluses.
Can’t Find Wide Dress Shoes For Your Child? Keep On Reading
The reason why wide dress shoes for kids are hard to find is because shoe companies are simply not making them anymore. At the children’s shoe store that I work for, we stock every single style that comes in a wide width. The main reason is that we are fitting store, and we make sure we have every single shoe width and shoe size to accommodate all kids’ feet.
Do you know the main reason why shoe companies have STOPPED making wide widths shoes for kids’?
Lack Of Demand!
First of all, most parents might not even be aware that their kids’ feet need a wider shoe. And secondly, there are only a few independent shoe stores that specialize in shoe fitting. If you go to a shopping mall, and you stop by some of the chain stores such as Stride Rite or Nordstrom, you will notice how the staff will ask you what shoe size your child needs instead of measuring their feet. Even when they measure their feet, they get it all wrong! I think you are better off guessing the size that taking your kids’ to these places.
I don’t mean to be mean to the staff that works there, because it is not their fault if they are not trained properly. But I have helped children that come from these places wearing shoe sizes that are way off from what they should be wearing.
Only a few places will measure your child’s feet, and in the few cases where they do, the employees are not trained or qualified to fit children’s shoes. I have seen places like Stride Rite where they have adorable, well-made shoes, but the staff do not know what they are doing. Hopefully shoe companies will start investing in training their employees soon.
This is why I always emphasize avoiding big retailers when you take your kid to get his or feet measured. I wrote a post where I explain why your kids’ feet are in danger when you take them to these places. The post is called:
Stop Complaining About Your Shoes! They Fit Fine!
Let’s look at the following scenario where you purchase a pair of dress shoes for your child and your kids’ response is…
“My big toe hurts”
Your solution is to purchase a longer size.
“My pinkie toe hurts”
Your solution is to purchase a longer size.
“The side of my feet hurts”
Your solution is to purchase a longer size.
Obviously you are making the same mistake by purchasing bigger shoes when you probably should be looking for wider shoes. STOP buying longer shoes to compensate for the width! If your child is complaining about his feet hurting and it feels like there is a good amount of growing in the front of the shoe, then it’s the width, parents, not the length!
Did you know that the type of instep your child has will also affect whether he or she needs a wider shoe? Do you know what the instep of the foot is? The instep is the top part of the foot, and some children tend to have really high insteps which require a wider or deeper type of shoe.
I wrote a post where I explain what a high instep is and describe the best shoes for a child that has a high instep. The post is called:
What Features Do We Want In Our Kids’ Dress Shoes?
- This is the type of footwear that your child won’t wear very often. With that said, we always want dress shoes to be a little bit bigger since your child might be wearing these shoes for special occasions every once in a while, or to church on Sunday’s.
- Even though your child will wear these shoes for a short period of time and infrequently, we still want the shoe to be somewhat flexible and lightweight.
- Avoid loafers! They definitely look sharp, but you can’t leave any growing room for your child. This is due to the loafers lacking a velcro strap or shoe laces to hold your child’s feet.
- Durability: Since your child might wear this shoe for a prolonged period of time, you will want the shoe to hold up properly.
Where Can I Find Durable And Wide Dress Shoes For My Child?
I have been working for a kids’ shoe store for more than 5 years now, and our store sees hundreds of children every week. We fit children that have wide and extra wide feet on a daily basis. I know which shoes fit the best, and which ones are the most durable ones.
Some of the brands that make wide shoes for children are Stride Rite, Jumping Jacks, and Footmates. You might have found brands that have fitted your child’s feet because they run on the wider side, but I am specifically mentioning brands that actually come in medium, wide, and extra wide widths.
I want you to remember the importance of taking care of your children feet NOW in order to prevent major foot problems in the years to come. I have spoken to several parents that come into the store that complain about their feet hurting and how they wish they could have worn the correct pair of shoes when they were younger. I wrote a post where I explain how to make sure your child is wearing the correct shoe size. The post is called:
I ALWAYS recommend parents take their kids’ to have their feet measured at their local children’s shoe store. A shoe fitter will be able to measure and fit your kid in the perfect pair of shoes. However, if you don’t have a kids’ shoe store in your area that you trust, or that carries wide and extra wide dress shoes, below you will find the best selection of wide dress shoes for kids’:
Below you can find the best selection of kids dress shoes that come in wide widths!
All of these shoe styles fit “true to size”, which means that you need a half a size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.
Will The Type Of Sock Affect The Way The Shoe Fits?
ABSOLUTELY! Parents, I can’t stress enough the importance of well fitted socks. Most parents buy socks by looking at where it says the “age” guidelines or the “sock size” guidelines, which will lead to your child wearing the wrong sock size. You MUST always look at where it says “shoe size“and buy the socks accordingly. Seamless socks are the kind that I recommend for wide feet. They will allow the toes to move freely and they will prevent toes from overlapping onto each other.
I wrote a post where I explain the importance of socks, and how to make sure you get the correct sock size for your child! The post is called:
Are you having a hard time finding wide dress shoes for your child? Do they have a wide or extra wide foot? Have you found a particular shoe brand or shoe style that fits the best? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so we can all benefit from them!