Buying shoes online for your kid has never been easier but best of all is the convenience of doing it in the comfort of your own home. However, shoes are not one-size-fits-all item and many parents fall victim to buying the wrong sized shoes for their kids. If you are one of them then you need to master the skill of how to measure your kid’s feet for shoes.
By following the very simple steps described below you will have a good chance of finding the right shoe for your kid.
Table Of Content
- Facts About Kid’s Growing Feet
- Effects Of Wearing Wrong Size Shoe
- How Do Ill-Fitting Shoes Hurt Your Kid’s Feet?
- Tips For Measuring Your Kids Feet
- 3 Methods Of Measuring Your Kid’s Feet
- Finding The Correct Shoe Size
- How Do Some Parents Get It Wrong?
- Ruler Versus Foot Measuring Devices
- My Verdict
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Facts About Kid’s Growing Feet
Kid’s feet grow very fast and their shoe sizes must always be checked before getting new shoes.
Here are some facts:
- Kids who are between 1 – 3 years old can grow their feet 1.5mm per month or a total of 18mm per year. That is ¾ of an inch.
- Kids who are between 3 – 6 years old can grow their feet 1mm per month, or 12mm per year. That is ½ of an inch.
- Kids who are between 6 – 10 years old can grow their feet at least 1mm per month, which is a little less than 12mm per year. You will notice the growth gets a bit slower at this stage.
- Older kids between 12 – 17 years old started to vary as the boy’s feet will grow an additional 10% while the girls only 2%
- Boys and girls under the age of 10 use the same size
Having read through this, you can forgive yourself for buying the wrong shoe size for your kid. The data above is enough to cause you a huge challenge to keep up!
Here is a bonus fact:
According to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, 88% of women wore shoes that are too small for them and 70% of men wear shoes that do not fit their feet.
Read on and you can help yourself as well.
Effects Of Wearing Wrong Size Shoe
- Your kid will develop blisters especially on the heel and the toe but it can be anywhere. This is a sign that the shoe is too small or too big.
- Your kid will not be willing to participate in any activities such as playing soccer or running because his or her feet are hurting.
- Your kid’s toe will be crammed in the toe area that will make walking very uncomfortable. If you press on the toe area you will notice there is no room left and you can feel the toe is squeezed.
- If the shoe is too big you will see that his or her heels will come off easily when he or she walks,
- Big shoes also cause your child to trip and fall as the toe will kick the floor while walking. This will cause your kid to drag his or her feet rather than walking normally.
- Generally, you will notice your kid will walk awkwardly.
- If your kid started complaining of sore feet then you should investigate immediately.
How Do Ill-Fitting Shoes Hurt Your Kid’s Feet?
Shoes that are either too small or too big can hurt your kid’s feet in the short and long term. The following are some examples:
- Blisters are the most common short-term injury
- Corns and calluses will develop on the toes in the long term
- Ingrown nails will become infected and cause pain, redness, and fluid draining from the area.
Tips For Measuring Your Kids Feet
- Measure feet when the day is over when feet are at their largest size of the day.
- Measure while wearing the socks child will be wearing the shoes with.
- After measuring both feet use the length of the bigger one to find the shoe size. Allow some space in front of your kid’s toe, the rule of thumb is the width of your finger.
- Make sure to measure while the child is standing up.
3 Methods Of Measuring Your Kid’s Feet
Method 1: Straight Line Method
To follow this method, you will need a piece of paper, a ruler, and a pen
Follow these simple steps:
- Draw a straight line down a paper
- Place the paper along a wall. Place the child’s foot with his or her heel against the wall and aligned it to the line on the paper.
- Mark the spot which the big toe stops at. Feet may vary in size so make sure to measure both.
- Take the distance from the end of the paper at which the child’s heel was placed and to the spot where the big toe was marked.
- Use the measurement to find your child’s shoe size in the graph provided below.
- Make sure to record the measurement in centimeters and inches
Note: For small children hold the paper to their foot and mark both the big toe and heel and measure between the two marks. Write the length in centimeters or inches.
Method 2: Tracing Method
You will need the following materials paper, marker, ribbon, and ruler
Follow these simple steps:
- Trace both feet on paper – you may need a helper for the younger kid
- Measure the length of feet: Using the ruler, measure each foot from outside of the heel to the biggest toe
- For each foot write the measurement in centimeters and or inches
- Measure width of feet: Using the ribbon, wrap around the widest part of each foot. Mark where the ribbons meet with a marker.
- Lay the ribbon straight on the floor and use the ruler to measure the length of the ribbon from the tip to where you marked on the ribbon.
- For each foot write the measurement in centimeters and or inches
- Go to the vendor size chart to select the correct size.
Method 3: Using A Foot Measuring Device
Investing in a measuring device can save you a lot of trouble such as getting inaccurate data or having to take your kid to the shoe store as well.
These devices vary from simple to more complex features that will help determine the right shoe size.
Generally, they are flat devices where you can place your kid’s fit on it and find out immediately what is your kid’s shoe size.
The benefits of using these devices are:
- You can get the shoe size of your kid’s feet immediately – forget the size charts
- You will have a lower chance of getting the wrong size shoes – unless the vendor totally messes up
- You can track your kid’s growth as the size increases
- You can give it your kid as a keepsake when he or she grows up
All you need to do is get the shoe size from the measuring device and go straight to ordering your kid’s shoes online.
Finding The Correct Shoe Size
If you are using methods 1 and 2 then you need to look up the vendor’s size chart or you can check the vendor’s size calculators on their website.
I have below links to size calculators and charts from 3 major shoe brands. They are Adidas, Nike, and Puma
How To Use Adidas Kid’s Size Chart
- Go to Adidas shoe size guide here
- You will find Adidas also uses the same measurement guide as described in methods 1 above.
- Adidas use inches instead of centimeters. So write down your kid’s foot length in inches.
- When you scroll down the page you will see 3 charts or tables for:
- Babies and Toddlers (0 – 3 Years)
- Children (4 – 7 Years)
- Youth and Teens (8 – 16 Years)
The chart also converts US sizes to UK and EU.
Let’s say my 6-year-old kid’s foot is measured at 6.9 inches
I would go to the Children’s chart because my kid’s age is in the 4 – 7 Years range.
When I checked on the chart I see that my US kid’s size is 11.5K, 29 EU size, and 11K UK size.
How To Use Nike Shoe Size Calculator
- Go to Nike shoe size guide here
- You will find they also have the measurement guide as described in methods 2 above.
- Nike used a calculator that is super easy to use
- Scroll down until you come to the GET A SIZE RECOMMENDATION as shown in the screenshot below:
5. Click on the CM if your measurement is in Centimeter and click IN if it is Inches
6. Under the HEEL-TO-TOE-LENGHT click on the dropdown arrow
7. Scroll down and select the size range of your kid’s feet by clicking on it.
8. Click on the CONTINUE button
9. Nike will give you the recommended shoe size instantly
10. In this case, your kid’s shoe size is 13.5C
11. You may proceed to buy your kid’s Nike shoe.
How To Use Puma’s Kids Size Chart
- Go to Puma’s kid’s size chart here
- You have to scroll down quite a bit to reach the kid’s chart – which is super annoying
- The Puma shoe size chart for kids has 3 categories for toddlers, little kids, and junior.
- Once you get there, you will find that they have a similar chart to Adidas but they include German, French, Italian, and Spanish shoe conversion instead of the whole EU.
5. Once you find your kid’s correct size you may proceed to purchase online.
How Do Some Parents Get It Wrong?
It is very easy to blame the parents and not the shoe manufacturers for wrong sizes but one thing is clear, centimeters and inches do not lie.
Every shoe manufacturers seem to have their own standard sizing and that is why it is important to look up their sizing chart on their web site.
Also, look out for knock-off shoes that are sold by crooks online as they are not approved products and they do not conform to the genuine brand shoe size chart.
Ruler Versus Foot Measuring Devices
Both methods have their pros and cons which I am going to point out below:
Ruler Measurement Method
- It offers flexibility to refer to any shoe size chart which I believe is not the same among the shoe manufacturer.
- Cheaper method. All you need are a pen, paper, and a ruler.
- A bit time consuming as you have to measure your kid’s feet and then refer to the sizing chart for conversion.
- Human error. The chances of you getting mixed up with the centimeters and inches are possible.
Foot Measuring Device
- It will save you a lot of time when buying online and even offline because all you need to do is get the size and make the purchase.
- Good investment. Some devices are durable and high quality which lasts a long time.
- You need to spend some money to get these devices. Some are expensive.
- The shoe sizing standard from manufacturers is not usually the same. You may still end up getting the wrong size.
None of these methods proved to be better than the other therefore they should be used to complement each other.
The most accurate method of getting the right shoe size is the traditional method of taking your kid to the shoe store and try each shoe.
However, this is no longer practical for most parents due to busy schedules and we now have online shops that make our lives very easy.
Either way, our main goal is to get shoes for our kid that fit well and does not cause any harm to them.
Have You Had A Bad Experience In Buying The Wrong Shoe Size? Let Me Know In The Comments Below.