Last updated on August 29th, 2023 at 07:21 pm

Little Feet, Perfect Fit: Accurately Measure Children's Feet
measure children's feet

Little Feet, Perfect Fit: Accurately Measure Children’s Feet

Choosing the right shoes for your child can sometimes feel like navigating a maze. With so many options, how can you ensure a proper shoe fit for children? The significance of correctly fitted shoes for children extends beyond mere comfort. 

This guide aims to educate you on accurately measuring children’s feet and the importance of doing so.

To measure children’s feet for proper shoe fit, you need to measure the length from heel to longest toe and width at the widest part, considering growth space. Regular measurements are necessary due to rapid growth. Incorrect shoe size can lead to developmental issues and discomfort, termed growing pains.

Regarding children’s footwear, we often emphasize style over fit and comfort. However, it’s critical to understand that ill-fitting shoes can cause many problems. When shoes are too small, they can cause blisters, corns, and ingrown toenails. 

On the other hand, shoes that are too large can cause a child to trip and fall. Both scenarios can lead to long-term foot health and development issues.

In the long run, improper shoe fit can lead to more severe conditions, such as hammertoes and bunions, which may require medical intervention. 

Therefore, learning how to measure children’s feet accurately for shoes is not just about immediate comfort—it’s about promoting healthy foot growth and preventing future foot problems.

Understanding Children’s Foot Growth and Development

As parents, we notice our children growing taller, their clothes becoming too small, but what about their feet? Understanding the stages of foot development in children and the factors that affect foot growth can provide valuable insight for maintaining your child’s foot health.

A similar read: How To Determine Your Foot Arch Type? {Flat, Neutral, High}

1. How Often Do Children’s Feet Grow?

Children’s feet continuously grow and change like other parts of their bodies. Most children will have their feet grow approximately two sizes per year until they reach four. After that, you can expect a growth of one size per year until development completes during adolescence.

However, these are just average estimates. Each child’s feet can grow at a different pace. It’s essential to watch signs of outgrown shoes like complaining about foot discomfort, shoes appearing tight, or wear and tear at the toes or heels.

2. Impact of Improper Shoe Fit on Development

Children wearing shoes that don’t fit correctly can hinder their natural foot growth. Too tight shoes might constrain their toes, affecting their gait and posture, potentially causing pain and discomfort. Additionally, when shoes are too loose, children may involuntarily curl their toes for grip, leading to muscle strain and balance issues.

Understanding children’s shoe sizes and ensuring a proper fit is crucial in allowing a child’s growing feet to develop naturally and healthily.

A Comprehensive Guide to Measuring Children’s Feet


Now that we understand why getting the right shoe fit for children is so important, let’s delve into how to measure children’s feet at home accurately. You can determine the correct shoe size for your child in no time by following the steps outlined below.

1. Tools Needed for Measurement

Before we begin, let’s gather the necessary tools to measure your child’s feet. You’ll need:

  1. A flat surface provides a level ground for the child to stand on during measurement.
  2. A blank piece of paper: To trace the child’s foot on.
  3. A pencil or pen: For tracing.
  4. A ruler or measuring tape: To measure the tracing.

These tools will make the foot-measuring process easier and more accurate.

2. Step-by-Step Process to Measure Feet

Here are the detailed steps to measure your child’s foot size at home:

  1. Ask your child to stand on the blank paper on a flat surface.
  2. Take the pencil and trace it around your child’s foot. Hold the pencil upright and as close to the foot as possible for the most accurate trace.
  3. Once you have the trace, use the ruler to measure the length from the toe’s highest point to the heel’s back. This gives you the foot length.
  4. Next, measure the width from the broadest part of the foot, which is usually across the ball of the foot. This gives you the foot width.
  5. Record these measurements.

3. Tips for an Accurate Measurement

While measuring, here are a few tips to ensure you get the most accurate measurement:

  1. Ensure your child is standing and bearing weight: This is important because feet can expand underweight, impacting the size.
  2. Measure both feet: Often, one foot can be larger than the other. Always use the measurements of the larger foot.
  3. Measure at the end of the day: Feet tend to swell as the day progresses, so measuring at the end can give you the maximum size.

Understanding Shoe Sizes

Now that we have our foot measurements, how do we convert them into a shoe size? Here’s where the child’s foot size chart comes into play.

You might also be interested in: 15 Tips For Buying Shoes Online.

1. How to Use a Shoe Size Chart

A shoe size chart is a tool that helps convert foot measurements into the corresponding shoe size. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Refer to the shoe size chart once you have the foot length and width measurements.
  2. Locate the foot length measurement on the chart to find the corresponding shoe size.
  3. Similarly, use the width measurement to determine the shoe width. Shoe width is typically indicated by letters (like N for narrow, M for medium, or W for wide).
  4. Remember, charts may vary by brand and region, so always refer to the specific brand’s size chart when possible.

2. Conversion Between Different Shoe Size Systems

You might notice that shoe sizes vary between different countries. For example, a child’s shoe size 2 in the US is equivalent to a size 33 in Europe and a size 1 in the UK. 

Therefore, understanding shoe size conversion can be handy when buying shoes internationally or from brands that use a different shoe size system.

Most shoe retailers and brands provide a shoe size conversion chart on their websites. Always refer to these charts when in doubt, or contact the brand’s customer service for clarification. 

This can help ensure that you choose the correct shoe size for your child, no matter where the shoes come from.

Handling Growing Pains and Development Issues


Even with the perfect shoe fit, children might sometimes experience discomfort or issues related to foot growth and development. Discuss these in more detail and explore how appropriate footwear can alleviate these issues.

1. What are Growing Pains?

Growing pains are common in children, usually experienced in the legs and feet. These pains are typically described as an aching or throbbing feeling in the muscles, often occurring in the late afternoon or evening and possibly even waking the child from sleep.

While the cause of growing pains isn’t entirely understood, they are believed to be linked to periods of rapid growth. It’s important to note that growing pains are usually harmless and don’t indicate a serious problem. 

However, if your child’s pain is persistent, severe, localized, or accompanied by other symptoms such as swelling, fever, or difficulty walking, it’s essential to seek medical advice.

2. Footwear and Orthotic Solutions

One way to alleviate discomfort and promote healthy foot development is through the right footwear. Shoes should provide support, especially if your child has flat feet or walks in a particular way (for example, in-toeing or out-toeing). 

In some cases, orthotic insoles might be recommended to provide extra support or correct alignment issues.

Remember, while shoes and orthotics can help, they aren’t a cure-all. If your child is experiencing persistent foot discomfort or walking difficulties, it’s crucial to consult a pediatrician or a podiatrist.


Choosing the right shoes for your child is more than just a fashion statement—it’s crucial for their foot health and overall comfort. This guide has walked you through measuring children’s feet accurately, understanding and using shoe size charts, and ensuring a proper shoe fit. 

It has also given you some tips for shoe shopping, handling growing pains, and other foot development issues.

Remember, while getting the right shoe fit is important, never ignore persistent foot discomfort in your child. When in doubt, always seek medical advice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How Often Should I Measure My Child’s Feet?

Children’s feet grow fast. It’s recommended to measure your child’s foot size every two to three months up to the age of three and then every six months after that until they’ve stopped growing.

2. My Child’s Shoes Still Seem to Fit, but They Complain About Discomfort. What Should I Do?

Even if the shoe seems to fit, it might not be comfortable for your child. It could be too narrow or need to offer more support. Consider getting your child’s feet re-measured and re-checking the shoe fit. If discomfort persists, consult a healthcare professional.

3. What Should I Do if My Child’s Feet Are Two Different Sizes?

This is quite common. Always choose shoes based on the larger foot to ensure comfort and prevent potential foot health issues.

4. Is It Okay to Hand Down Shoes From an Older Sibling to a Younger One?

Hand-me-downs can be cost-effective, but they might not properly support your child’s feet. Used shoes have likely conformed to the older child’s foot shape and gait, which may not match your younger child’s. 

It’s generally best for each child to have new, properly-fitted shoes.

5. What’s the Most Important Thing to Consider When Buying Children’s Shoes?

The most important factor is fit. A shoe that doesn’t fit properly can cause discomfort and affect a child’s foot development. Always measure your child’s feet before buying shoes, and check the fit once the boots are on.

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