Once your toddler gets up and running, they’ll need a pair of shoes to protect their tiny toes while they explore. Although little ones don’t typically sit still for long, you will need to have their feet measured carefully to make sure that the shoes you buy fit comfortably and correctly. Here’s how to size your toddler for shoes.
Choosing Your Moment
The shoe-fitting process involves working with a salesperson to size the width and length of your toddler’s feet and then trying on shoes until you find the right pair. Because you will need some amount of cooperation from your toddler to measure their feet correctly at the shoe store, choose a time when your little one is well-rested, recently fed and demonstrating an overall pleasant mood. If you get to the store and you find your toddler uncooperative, be willing to suspend the excursion for another time to make sure that you buy shoes that will fit correctly.
Getting the Right Size
Your toddler will need to stand and place each foot into a foot-measuring device. The salesperson will adjust each foot to make sure it sits snugly against the heel cup in the back of the device. The salesperson will then press gently on your toddler’s big toe to read the corresponding shoe size. The device also has width lines imprinted on it that measure the width of little feet. If you are shopping from home, try our printable shoe size chart for kids. You can download and print it out on a sheet of paper with the instructions on how to measure your toddler’s foot.
Finding the Best Size and Shape
The toe box of your toddler’s shoes should be roomy on all sides of the foot to ensure a comfortable fit. Make sure the widest point of the shoes matches the widest point of your little one’s feet. Your toddler’s heel width also needs to match the width of the shoe’s heel for comfort. Children’s shoes should have a straight shape and not one that curves inward, says the website Orthoseek, an informational resource created by the late pediatric orthopedic surgeon Andrew Chong. Shoes that curve inward could force your child’s feet into an in-toe position. Your little one should be able to wiggle his or her toes easily, and you should see the width of one finger between the end of their toes and the end of the shoes, says the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. This amount of extra wiggle room should give your toddler about three-to-six months of wear in the shoes before they outgrow them.
Trying Them On
After finding a pair of shoes with the correct shape in the right size, place them on your toddler’s feet. Encourage your child to wear them around the store for about five minutes. After this time, take off the shoes and look at your little one’s feet carefully, especially at the little toes, big toes, heels and the widest part of the feet. Redness indicates pressure, which shows an incorrect fit. If you see redness, keep looking for shoes in a style, shape and size that don’t cause this pressure to ensure that you buy your child shoes that feel comfortable.