How To Make Sure Kids Shoes Fit Properly
Posted July 25, 2019 •
Read Time: 2 minutes
There are many websites out there that give you tools for measuring a child’s feet – and they are legitimately good. You can print out size charts, grab your ruler, and trace your kid’s foot, hoping that the brand you selected is manufactured in a way that is consistent with the sizing standards. But…most are not. Every brand uses their own molds and so a size 2 in one brand will fit very differently than a size 2 from another brand.
Don’t get me wrong – measuring your child’s foot is absolutely a necessary first step to help orient you to a starting point. Once you have that target size on the foot you need to confirm that the fit is proper. Want to know the best/most achievable steps to find the right fit once the shoe is on the foot? Here’s how:
1. Have the child try on BOTH shoes (everyone has differently-sized feet).
2. Check the 3 key areas while your child stands in the shoes with equal weight on each foot:
a. Thumb-test the shoe.
i. Place your thumb sideways at the top of the toes and gauge the amount of space between the toes and the end of the shoe. Using your thumb is good way for you to have firsthand knowledge of the length fit. The optimal fit would allow for the width of the CHILD’S thumb between the toes and the end of the shoe. If the fit is borderline, I recommend that you move to the half size larger – kids feet grow very fast!
b. Check the upper.
i. Squeeze/pull on the material along the top of the foot. If the material feels loose, the shoe is too big. Generally this means that the shoe is too wide; however, some people just don’t have “tall” feet. If so, you will want to consider a different cut.
c. Double-check the heel.
i. Stick your finger into the heel alongside his or her Achilles tendon. Kids have a tendency to slide their feet forward inside the shoe when trying them on. Make sure that their heel is all the way back.
3. Have the child take a quick jog, back and forth, asking if the heel is slipping. Most kids want the shoes so much that they will say anything they think will guarantee the purchase – so it’s up to the adult to do a quick repeat of the 3-area test after the child has moved around. The foot should have settled into the shoe at this point, giving you confidence in the results of your test.