How to determine the child’s shoe size according to their age

If mom goes to the store with her child, she usually has no problems with shoe selection. But, if there is a need to take shoes without a baby or order in an online store, then it is important not to make a mistake. Our article tells how to choose shoes according to the age of the child, to calculate the completeness of the foot, choose the ideal size of summer and winter shoes.

How to determine the child's shoe size according to age

How a child’s foot grows

The child’s foot is not yet fully formed; it consists of cartilage and a fat layer that makes the foot less sensitive to pain. Therefore, the child may not feel soreness and a sense of pressure even if the shoes fit the baby. This results in a deformity of the foot. Its “ossification” occurs by age 6. Because of these characteristics, parents need to be careful in selecting footwear at a child’s age. It should be just right, and not big or small. We recommend that you measure your child’s feet every 2 months.

The rate of growth of the foot varies in children. The smaller the baby, the faster she grows.

  1. In children at 2-3 years of age, the foot increases by 3 sizes per year.

  2. At 4-6 years of age, the foot grows two sizes per year.

  3. In children 7-9 years old, the foot increases by 1 size per year.

Of course, these figures look pretty impressive. But already in adolescence the growth rate of the foot slows down. Girls’ “adult” feet are formed as early as 14-15 years of age, boys’ feet are formed by 16-18 years of age.

How to Measure a Child’s Foot Size

To measure the size of the foot you need to consider not only the length of the foot, but also its fullness. To get the most accurate results, we’ll use a ruler, pencil and paper.Determine the size of the foot by the length of the foot:

  1. Spread out the paper on the floor.

  2. Ask your child to stand on it.

  3. Circle both sides of the body of the foot, with the pencil perpendicular to the surface.

  4. Determine the distance from the edge of the heel to the highest point of the big toes.

We get the results in millimeters. In Russia, until recently, all measurements were made in centimeters and equaled the length of the foot. The interval between the sizes was ½ cm. Now we measure with a straight line, one line equals 0.66 cm. Let’s try to do the calculation. If your child’s feet are 13 cm long, add an allowance of 1 cm. Now divide 14 by 0.66. So we get a size 22.

Most often both parameters are the same on both feet, but there are cases of inconsistency in size. If one foot is shorter than the other, you should look at the larger measure when buying. For a skinny leg is better to choose shoes with laces, for a full foot fit shoes with Velcro, so there was the necessary freedom.

Tip: If you need to determine the size of the child’s feet, which have not yet walked, it is better to measure the length of the foot with a rope, then the result is transferred to the ruler.

How to determine the size of closed shoes

The following steps will help not to make a mistake with the size of boots, boots and other closed shoes:

  1. Remove the insole from the child’s shoe and put the baby’s foot on it, making sure that the heel is found.

  2. If you can’t get an insole, ask your child to put their foot on a cardboard sheet, trace it with a pen. It is important to hold a pen or pencil vertically. Otherwise the footprint may deviate more or less.

  3. We cut out the resulting trace, put it in the existing shoes. Matching socks. Evaluate the difference between the distance from your toes to the heel.

Helpful Tips

How to Size Your Child's Shoes to Match Their Age

Orthopedists give young parents simple tips for selecting shoes:

  1. It is better to give preference to shoes that have a small margin. And this factor is important not only because of economy, but also because of physiology. The weight of the body is pressed on the foot during movement, it is pushed forward slightly, swelling, and the child’s toes take up all the freedom. To make it comfortable for your baby, you should take shoes that are 1 cm larger than his actual size. It also compensates for the growth of the foot over the season. In cold weather this space is a kind of “cushion”, warming the child’s foot.

  2. The shoes must have a support band, and we give preference to the models with medium-sized inlays. If the insole protrudes too much, it deforms the foot. If it is absent, there is a risk of developing flat feet.

  3. Podiatrists do not recommend taking shoes with a margin of more than 1 cm. Otherwise there is a displacement of the supinator from its place. As a result, the foot has an improper formation.

  4. Children under 12 years old should buy boots with a firm, close-fitting sole made of one piece of leather. Shoes with a soft heel can be purchased by a child over 12 years of age.

  5. Kids under 5 years of age should not buy sandals, flip-flops without heels. Especially if they are shoes for every day. Unfastened sandals cause damage to the child’s immature feet. The ankle should be well secured.

  6. Pay close attention to the sole. It is better to choose a model with a grooved sole, which does not slip. The sole should be elastic, but it should bend well. It is better to give preference to polyurethane, rubber. Do not opt for plastic. This material does not have a springy effect when walking, slips. A good sole bends around the toes and in the middle.

  7. Shoes for children should have a small heel. Toddlers under age 5 should have a heel of about ½ cm. Under the age of 10, the size of the heel increases to 1 ½ cm. After the age of 12 years, this figure can reach 3 cm.

  8. The forefoot should be wider than the heel.

  9. Shoelaces are good for fixing the foot. But, they often come undone, and the child may get hurt during the walk. If you choose sandals, give preference to the velcro fastener, boots are better to take both with laces and a lock.

  10. It is not necessary to take shoes exactly the right size, fitting snugly. The foot should have room, but no more than 10 mm. If your child’s feet are really a size 20, you’re better off with size 21. In hot times the foot may sweat, and the bootie will rub a little, in winter the reserve allows not to freeze, you can wear an extra sock.

  11. Shoes with a pointed toe are not suitable for children. It is not comfortable for toes in such models. It is better to give preference to an oval toe.

  12. It is better to go shoe shopping in the afternoon. Blood flow to the feet increases in the evening, which lengthens the foot slightly.

Common mistakes when choosing shoes

In choosing children’s shoes it is recommended to avoid the most common mistakes:

  1. Do not measure the foot with a centimeter or ruler, you need to transfer it on paper.

  2. Do not take measurements from a sleeping or sitting child. The results will not be correct. The correct measure can be obtained only when the baby is standing on a flat surface.

  3. Often parents put their finger between the back of the shoe and the heel to check whether the baby is wearing the right shoe or not. It is impossible to check the stock in this way. The child will bend the toes under the pressure experienced. The measurement will not be accurate.

How to know if baby has grown out of shoes

If your baby is small and doesn’t talk yet, it can be hard to tell if he or she has grown out of his or her shoes. Your baby can’t yet tell you about the tightness of walking. We give simple tips that will help mom to understand whether the baby grew out of the shoes:

  1. Inspect a child’s foot after a walk. The presence of red spots on the toes, heel indicates that the foot has grown.

  2. Put your baby’s shoes on, press on the place where the big toe is located with your hands. If the boot fits just right, the toe won’t press against the edge, and there will be a little space left.

  3. Stretchy surface, presence of blisters on the backs are evidence of tightness.

  4. Have your shoes inspected regularly.

Correspondence of the age of the child with his shoe size

To make it easier for moms to choose the right shoe for their baby, here’s a correspondence between the child’s age and foot size.

Child’s Age

Foot size

Six months


9 months


12 months


1.5 years


2 years


3 years


4 years


5 years old


6 years old


7 years


8 years old


10 years


Now it’s possible to buy shoes not only from domestic manufacturers. It is important to consider that each country has its own size grid. In Russia the shoe sizes are completely identical to the European ones.

Choosing shoes according to the fullness of the foot

To select shoes, it is important to pay attention to such an index,As the fullness of the foot, which is denoted by the following indices:

  1. N-number corresponds to a narrow heel.

  2. The M index corresponds to the average fullness of the foot.

  3. X corresponds to a wide foot.

  4. XW corresponds to a very wide foot.

It is important to purchase shoes, taking into account the above indices. If the product is not marked with letters, then it is believed that the shoes are designed for a foot of average fullness.

Children’s shoe requirements

How to Determine the Size of a Child's Shoes According to Their Age

Vitebsk State Technological University has done the work and identified a number of requirements that children’s shoes should meet.

  1. Bikin and fake fur may not be used as a lining for winter and demi-season footwear.

  2. Shoes should be made of natural leather. This allows the foot to “breathe”.

  3. Closed toddler or nursery shoes may use woolen fur.

  4. In the age category under 6 years old a non-fixed heel is unacceptable. A firm heel or straps can be used as a fixation. And the width of the straps may be different. The main thing is that it provides stability to the child’s ankle.

If the child is at risk of allergic reactions, then in choosing shoes is recommended to give preference to such a quality, as hypoallergenic. For such children it is better to take leather, latex, suede, felt shoes. We advise to pay attention to the smell index when choosing shoes. If you notice an unpleasant odor, you should not take them.

How to try on shoes correctly

The final verdict in favor of the shoe can be made only after trying it on. Therefore, if possible, it is better to take your child with you to try on the shoes, let him walk in them for a couple of minutes. Ask your baby how comfortable he is in them. Pay attention to the following points:

  1. Does your baby shuffle?.

  2. Does his gait change?.

  3. Is there free space between the back of the shoe and the heel?.

If the child is over 5 years old, you can ask him about his feelings. Of course, at a younger age he will not be able to fully appreciate their. Here the task of parents to independently assess the appropriateness of shoes and foot size.

For children, it is especially important to choose the right shoe size, as they can not always tell about the discomfort. Children’s boots should not be taken “outgrown”. To make your child comfortable in the shoes, we advise you to measure your feet regularly.

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