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Wide Dress Shoes For Kids- Finding The Best Selection

Kids Dress Up Shoes

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.

Girls Black Dress Shoes

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:

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

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.

Dress Shoes For Girls

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:

The Best Shoes For High Instep – Stop Getting The Wrong Shoe Size For Your Child!

What Features Do We Want In Our Kids’ Dress Shoes?

  1.  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. 
  2.  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.
  3. 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.
  4. Durability: Since your child might wear this shoe for a prolonged period of time, you will want the shoe to hold up properly.

Boys Wide Dress Shoes

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:

How To Measure Kids Shoe Size From Home – In Less Than 30 Seconds!

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!

This first selection is for girls:

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.

This selection is for boys:

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.

Do you happen to need a pair of wide dress shoes for yourself? I recently created an article that describes the best women’s wide width dress shoes and you can find that article here:

The Best Wide Width Dress Shoes for Women – Deep, Wide, Comfortable and Supportive!

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:

The Importance Of Wearing Socks – Grippers Or No Grippers?

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!


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 kid’s feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids’ feet and get my guide for free: The 5 Most Common Mistakes Parents Make when Buying Their Kids’ Shoes

12 Comments on Wide Dress Shoes For Kids- Finding The Best Selection

  1. Juan,

    I have an 11 year old with such a wide foot that we can’t find him dress shoes.I like the tips on what to look for when purchasing dress shoes. I did not realize that shoes come in an extra wide style. We are definitely going to try those and see if they feel comfortable on him. Any particular style you recommend?


  2. This is exactly what I have been looking for! Information on the right shoes as my husband had problems as a child and I don’t want our son to have them too. I believe the problems came from wearing the wrong shoes.
    I never really thought on the width of the feet, mostly I wanted to see how they fit and if they are not too small. Great info!

    • Lena,

      You must pay close attention to the width of the shoe. If the shoe is too narrow it can create a myriad of problems to your kids foot. A lot of parents do make that mistake, thinking that if there is room in the toe area, the shoes must fit fine. Now you know to check for the width!

  3. Hi Juan,
    I love this post about width of a child’s feet. You are right, width plays a big role in shoes. My son feet has grown really long and wide over the last year. I made the mistake of buying sneakers without the width and it fit him kind of tight and he says it was uncomfortable. As parents, we have to take the children in to the shoe store with us; to make sure we get the right shoe for their feet. Thanks for the information and spreading the word!

    • Valerie,

      I wouldn’t want to wear shoes that are too narrow. They will put a lot of pressure on the small toe, which can lead to blisters and corn. I am glad your son told you the shoes were tight, that way you can start measuring his feet and fitting him in the right pair of shoes. Remember, brands such as New Balance and Saucony come in wide widths. Good luck!

  4. Juan,

    I read the article on when to get your child their first walking shoe and I found it interesting. I have three little ones myself and what we have done is to stick as closely to bare feet as possible.

    The muscles in little feet have to develop and strengthen, and the best way to do that is through walking with bare feet as much as possible. This way the feet and muscles feel the different textures in the walking surface and they mold and stretch as necessary. If a child is put into a shoe with a “solid sole”, that means that not a whole lot of that stretching and strengthening happens for the foot muscles.

    Now one shoe you do have listed here that is great are the Robeez. These shoes have a very thin “minimalist” sole that are great for developing little feet. We have used these for all three of our little ones. As far as the Stride Rite shoes, I think those soles may be a bit thick for everyday wear, but maybe great for occasions or short periods of time.

    Thanks for the great article!


    • Thank you Mike! Stride Rite actually has what I call “transitions shoes” which are nice and soft designed for children who are learning how to walk. I think you are talking about my post First Walking Shoes – Picking The Perfect First Shoes. I am glad that you found it informative! Remember that as your children get older, you want to make a transition towards a more substantial, supportive shoe!

  5. This makes complete sense. As adults we wouldn’t try to shove our feet into narrow shoes, so why would we want this for our children. At what age do you feel it’s ok to put a girl in heels? And how much of a heel should they wear? I see a lot of young girls wearing heels, but can this damage their feet?

    • Vicki,

      I would advise parents to allow their kids to wear heels at age 10. We do sell heels to 6 and 7 years old, but it is not recommended. Shoes with heels can damage their feet and cause injuries if your child doesn’t know how to walk in them. I would recommend a 1.5inch heel. Do not let your child wear them on a daily basis!

  6. It seems to me you have covered your subject completely and quite concisely. Most people don’t even realize that a wide shoe is an option let alone may be necessary for proper fit. You covered not only shoes but socks and orthotics too and did each quite well. Where can I find wide shoes at lower prices?

    • Cathy,

      I have met a lot of people who came to the store not knowing that shoes are available in wide and extra wide widths! I created a review with the best shoes for wide feet and at the lowest prices available: Best Shoes For Wide Feet.

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