10 Tips for Picking Shoe Sizes for Growing Kids

Today’s guest post is written by Live in Nanny which is a wonderful resource for families who are needing someone loving to take care of their children.

Kids’ feet seem to grow overnight, so it’s important to be able to find the right shoe size at any given time. There are ways to keep up with growing feet and kids that seem to wear their shoes out faster than you can afford to buy a new pair. Here are a few tips for picking out the right size for your growing kids.

  1. Ask a specialist – When kids are young their feet are growing at a remarkable rate. This is also the time you want to make sure they are in the best shoes for their feet. Taking the kids to a children’s shoe store and getting them measured by one of the experts there should ensure that your child is going to get the right size shoes.
  2. Measure often – Since kids’ feet grow so fast, it is a good idea to make sure they get measured a few times a year, especially when they are young. Too often kids end up with scrunched up toes because they don’t generally tell their parents when their shoes are getting too small. Kids will outgrow their shoes without parents noticing, so Mom and Dad need to be diligent and check the fit of their kids’ shoes every so often.
  3. Use a Brannock Device – The implement shoe salespeople use to size feet is called the Brannock Device, named after its inventor Charles Brannock. This device has been the standard for measuring feet since 1925. It measures both the width and the length of the foot. Make sure both feet get measured because sometimes little ones need special sized shoes, if both feet are not identical.
  4. Try on both shoes – Once you decide on the size, have your child try on both shoes. Sometimes parents will have the child try on one shoe thinking they both will fit, only to find out later that one shoe is too big or too small. Always buy with the larger foot in mind.
  5. Check for growing room – Some parents will press on the tip of the shoe to make sure there is a thumbs width between the toe and the end of the shoe. This simple guide allows a little space for feet to grow.
  6. Consider getting shoes a little larger – Getting shoes a size or half size larger will allow for growth between purchases. If you choose to do this, make sure your child can walk in the larger shoes without tripping and that don’t slide off their feet. Shoes that are overly large will be uncomfortable to walk in.
  7. Rain and winter boots should be larger – When buying winter boots or rain boots, it’s better to get at least a size larger to accommodate thick socks as well as growth. Keep in mind that stores don’t restock boots during the season, so once they’re gone, they are gone until next year. Some parents will get these boots even two sizes larger if they are expecting a growth spurt with their child. Just make sure your child is not tripping when walking in the larger size.
  8. Use a paper footprint – For some kids, trying on shoes is an ordeal and it becomes extremely difficult for parents. In these instances using a paper footprint may be a viable alternative to trying to get your kid to sit still and try on shoes. Have the kid stand on a piece of cardstock or thin cardboard and trace around their foot. Cut out the footprint and take it with you to the shoe store. Use the cutout to size the shoes and remember to leave a little room for growing.
  9. Measure feet later in the afternoon or evening – It’s a pretty well known fact that feet are larger toward the end of the day and this is the time you want to size up those feet. Doing otherwise could mean that your child will end up with uncomfortable shoes in the long run.
  10. Choose a size that fits well – “Breaking in” shoes is not really a good idea, and certainly not for children. Make sure the shoes you buy fit well and are immediately comfortable. Any stretching the shoe will do will accommodate growing feet.

Picking the correct shoe size for kids doesn’t need to be a daunting task, but it is important. Proper foot growth is critical for children so be sure to check their shoes regularly for an accurate fit. It is better to invest more in shoes that will be worn every day than those that will only be worn for special occasions.

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