How To Find The Right Shoe Size For Your Kid

Having to find a reliable shoe that your kid will enjoy is already hard enough, so we’re here to make the process a bit easier.  

Decoding Kid’s Sizing

When you’re choosing the perfect pair of kicks for your little ones, there are so many components that must be considered and if you’re anything like us, sizing is the last thing we think about. At the end of the day, you end up finding the perfect shoe, thinking you got the correct size and color for them, and what a surprise, they don’t fit! With your child most likely being in the adventure stage, you need to make sure their shoes are supporting them in every step they take. 

So, whether you’re here just because you’re browsing or because you’re frustrated, we’re here to help. If you’re feeling uneasy about ordering your little ones a pair of shoes online, don’t worry, we’re here to make the process easier for you. So take a deep breath and exhale loudly before continuing… 

Feel better? Us too. 

You’d think that since kids are always growing, their shoe sizes would be easy to order - that they would just grow from one size to another, (sigh, am I right?) Think again! We will go out there and say it straight out, kid’s shoe sizing is stupid. We work with shoes every day and they still confuse us sometimes as parents. We’re thinking the same thing you’re thinking, why can’t there be a universal scale for kid’s sizes? Well because that would be toooooo easy. Worry not! We’re here to try and simplify the process for those new parents and those that can’t grasp the sizing (no judgment, we’re right there with you.)

Here’s the basic information, there are typically three children’s size groups: 

  • Babies and toddlers
  • Little Kids = Children’s = Kid’s
  • Big Kids = Junior = Youth = Kid’s

Yeah, we know what you’re saying, I thought you were going to simplify it for us. Trust

me, we’re trying. While it’s almost universally agreed that Youth and Junior are the same, this is one of those I before E, except after C kind of rules. Being that this probably confused you even more than before, the next few sentences hopefully will help clear the frustration from the confusion in the air. 

How do I measure my kid’s feet?

We made this printable sizing chart for your kids to stand on. Trace their feet and they can connect the dots and color in the result to keep them busy for a few minutes so you can check Instagram in peace. 

If that sounds like too much work, you can have them stand on a ruler and then add half an inch for room for them to grow. We are looking for a close enough number here. 

Pro tip: measure both feet! 

How do I make sure the shoes fit?

  Ok, you got the shoes delivered with your groceries, the future is great. Now, how do you make sure they fit your child without them being destroyed and thus unreturnable? There are so many questions that you have to ask like how to tell if the shoes are too big, how much toe room should you have in sneakers, but here we’re going to discuss fitting kids and toddlers shoes. While there are many ways to do this, here’s a compilation of our best experience as parents. 

  1. Position yourself in the kitchen and put the shoes on your child. 
  2. Give the child something to eat, like a cheese stick, apple, or carrot.
  3. Have them stand and raise their toes. You want about a half-inch of room in the front. This will allow them to grow into the shoes over a few months. 
  4. Give them a squeeze around the midfoot, do they feel snug or is there a lot of room when you squeeze?
  • If there’s a lot of room, they are probably too big. 
  1. Have the child walk around the kitchen in them and watch their heel. It should stay in the same position relative to the heel of the shoe. If it moves away and back to the heel of the shoe it’s likely too big. 
  2. If the shoe fits, now you can relax! You take that five minute Instagram break, girl!

kids shoes

The great debate: socks vs no socks

We know you want to put socks on your little one’s feet because then *hopefully,* stinky feet won’t result in yet another pair of shoes needing to be retired. We have a solution for you! EVA shoes are a great option so moms can get out the door faster and kids can slip on themselves. They’re easy to clean and odor-resistant so leave those socks in the drawer! 

Oh, they prefer socks? That’s cool too. Tube socks are cool again, that’s weird right?

In all honesty, there is no right way when it comes to the great sock debate. Odds are they are going to do whatever they want anyway. 

What features should I pay for?

While to each his own, but as parents ourselves, here are some of the most components for us. 

  • Adjustability – we are proud to incorporate this aspect into our designs, whether it be any kind of elastic or a Velcro strap. Having kids is expensive, well buying shoes for kids is expensive, so we want to help! With these aspects, the shoe can grow with your child’s foot and you won’t have to worry about buying ANOTHER pair of shoes this season. 
  • Slip-on-ability – Your kids like to be independent, whether it be putting on their own shoes or deciding that they are completely able to take care of themselves (good times). So take the stress off of yourself and let them put on their shoes, take that extra minute to yourself, there’s only a fifty-fifty chance that the shoes will be on the correct foot.
  • Washability – This was a huge one when we were researching the best shoes for toddlers, with an emphasis on the shoes being durable as well. Our kiddos somehow get into every mess possible, so being able to clean the shoes up afterward is important, especially if you’re trying to avoid getting your carpets cleaned so often. 
  • Last but not least, Cushioning - Grab that shoe and give it a squeeze. Did it have some softness to it? Would you want to wear it? If you answered yes to both, they are good to go! Supportive shoes for toddlers are important, especially if you’re looking at toddler rubber shoes. If you see your child walking on the balls of their feet, not heel-to-toe, the shoes are likely too soft. If you don’t know, now you know.
kids water-friendly shoe

You get what you pay for

A common question that we hear is why aren’t kid’s shoes half the price of adult shoes? They use half of the material, right?!

Yes and no. The process of making shoes requires skilled labor and requires high-quality material. While it does take less material, that’s usually a small portion of the total cost of the shoes, so skip those off-brand $6 sneakers in the discount bin, especially if you’re looking for tough kid’s shoes.

We really hope that we answered some of your questions, but we’re always here to help if you have anymore. Feel free to reach out to us over email or one of our social media platforms. Because at the end of the day, we believe comfort starts from the ground up. Our innovative productions will have you, your family, and your every day in mind so that comfort, style, and value will feel easy. 

Until next time,

Joybees Footwear.

1 comment

  • Dave Alce

    Finding shoes for kids is not easy. The information on this blog is really nice for me to choose shoe for my kids. Thanks for sharing :)

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