A Guide to Properly Fitting Your Kids' Shoes

3 minute read

At Awesome Shoes, we understand that finding the right footwear for your little ones is not just about style but also about their healthy development. Properly fitting shoes play a crucial role in ensuring the comfort, mobility, and well-being of your child's feet. We're here to help you navigate the process with confidence and ensure your child steps into the world with happy and healthy feet.

The Importance of Proper Shoe Fit

Every parent knows that their child's feet are unique and constantly growing. Ensuring that their shoes fit correctly is more than just a matter of comfort; it's about providing the support they need as they explore the world around them. Poorly fitting shoes can lead to a range of problems, from blisters and discomfort to more serious issues affecting their posture and gait. Here's how to get it right:

1. Consider the Timing

It's best to measure and fit your child's shoes towards the end of the day. As kids move and play, their feet naturally expand. This means that fitting shoes when their feet are at their largest ensures the shoes won't be too tight during their active hours. Also, have them wear the type of socks they would normally wear with the shoes for an accurate fit.

2. Check for Length

Start by checking the length of your child's foot. While seated, tap their heels on the floor to ensure the foot is positioned at the back of the shoe. There should be about a thumbs width of space between the longest toe and the end of the shoe. When they stand, there should be a finger's width of space between the end of their longest toe and the shoe's tip. This accounts for growing room without sacrificing proper fit.

3. Check for Width and Depth

Run your fingers along the sides of the shoe to ensure there's no pressure or bulging. The widest part of the foot should align with the widest part of the shoe. To check depth, feel the top of the shoe while your child is standing. There should be enough space for your little finger between the top of their foot and the shoe's upper. Remember, feet change during the day and with activity, so allow for extra room without compromising security.

4. Assess Heel Grip and Ankle Support

Gently tug the shoe at the heel to ensure it doesn't easily slip off while seated. Once standing, check for ankle support by feeling around the ankle bone. A padded collar should feel soft and supportive, not restrictive. A secure heel grip and comfortable ankle support are essential for proper walking and stability.

5. Test Walking Comfort

Now, it's time for a walk test. Watch your child walk naturally, just as they would barefoot. Make sure they're not adopting any unnatural habits or walking styles. The shoe should move with their foot, without slipping off the heel. If they can, ask them to stand on their tiptoes to ensure the shoe stays in place.

Signs of Incorrect Fit

Remember, if your child walks differently with shoes compared to barefoot, the shoes might not be the right fit. If a shoe is too tight, you may notice your child's toes curling or discomfort while walking. On the other hand, if the shoes are too big, their feet might scrunch up to keep them on, which can lead to discomfort and walking difficulties.

Fitting Checklist

  1. Timing Matters:
    • Measure and fit at day's end.
    • Feet expand with play; fit at largest.
    • Use usual socks for accurate sizing.
  2. Check Length:
    • Tap heels seated for back placement.
    • Thumb-width space at longest toe when sitting.
    • Fingers-width space at longest toe when standing.
  3. Assess Width and Depth:
    • No pressure or bulging on sides.
    • Align widest foot part with shoe.
    • Little finger space on top while standing.
  4. Heel Grip and Ankle Support:
    • Gently tug heel for snug fit.
    • Soft, supportive ankle collar.
    • Stable heel grip, comfy ankle support.
  5. Test Walking Comfort:
    • Observe natural walk, no odd styles.
    • Shoe moves with foot, no slipping.
    • Tiptoe test for secure fit.
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