How to Size Kids Boots and Shoes – A Comprehensive Guide

Measuring the boot and shoe size of a youth is one thing but trying to measure the boot and shoe size of a kid is a whole different story. Kids are full of energy, and they are always running around the house. So if you are trying to measure, you would have a hard time getting an accurate measure.

Even if you get the measurement, do you know how to size kids’ boots and shoes that will offer the right fitting? Well, as a parent, it can be daunting to figure out everything while managing office work and home chores. You won’t have to worry as we have come up with a guide that will help you to measure kids’ feet and determine how to size kids’ boots and shoes.

To start with the guide, we want you first to take a look at;

How To Measure Kids’ Feet

Measuring kids’ feet is not a straightforward task, and the easiest way to find the right measurement is by utilizing paper along with a ruler. You can also foot sizing charts, but they won’t give you accurate measurements. So let’s check out how you can measure it;
How to Size Kids Boots and Shoes
Before we begin the process, you need to arrange some necessary items;

  • A large piece of paper.
  • A thin tape.
  • Tape for measuring.
  • Pencil or a marker.
  • A thin sock for your kid.

Now, let’s start with the process, and you can make your kid wear their favourite sock because then they will cooperate in providing measurement;

Step 1- The first thing you need to do is put the paper on the floor and attach it to the floor by applying tape in all corners. Make sure the paper is appropriately stretched so that you can trace the foot.

Step 2- Once you have attached the paper to the floor, have your kid stand on the paper, and one of their feet should be in the middle of the paper. However, if you have an infant kid, then you should hold them over the paper in a standing position and ask someone else to put the foot properly.

Step 3- Now, using a pencil or marker, you need to mark the point on the paper where the big toe ends. Make sure your kid or infant keeps their feet at an exact position. Now again, using the pencil or marker, mark the point where their heel ends.

Step 4- Take the measuring tape and calculate the space between the points on the heel and toe. It would be good to keep the paper properly stretched while measuring the gap. You should also write the measurement as you will need to find the right size.

Step 5- While measuring the vertical length, it would be best to measure the width of your child’s foot because it will ensure a proper fitting. To find the width, you need to trace the whole outer area with a pencil or marker so it would be easy for you to find the width.

Using Printable Guide

Apart from the measuring tape, you can also use the printable guide often offered by shoe brands. Either you will get the printable guide at the manufacturer’s own website or at the shoe store. Not only are they functional, but also let’s get the accurate measurement for the fitting.
How to Size Kids Boots and Shoes
So here are basic things you will need to start the process;

  • Printable guide.
  • Scissors and tape.
  • Pencil.
  • A small visiting card or credit card.
  • Shoelace.

Now, here is how you can measure kids’ feet;

Step 1- After getting the printed guide, using the scissor, you need to cut along the dotted line, and you should cut it in such a way that you can utilize it as a ruler. Now use the tape to attach it to the floor, and while attaching, you should try to put the curved line on the wall. When you paste the curved ruler to the wall, it will be a perfect supporting position for the heel.

Step 2- Now, ask your kid to stand on the printable guide while their heel is against the wall coinciding with the curved line. Then use a pencil or marker to mark the point of the big toe, and accordingly, you need to write the length. While marking, you should use the right column for measuring.

Step 3- While your kid is standing, slide the width ruler under their feet to measure the widths needed. Once you have positioned it, hold the ruler upto the broadest part and mark the point where the widest part meets the indicator. Then take note of the point accordingly using the pencil or marker.

Step 4- However, the width ruler doesn’t give appropriate measurement; you can use a shoelace to measure the width. Like the width ruler, wrap the lace around the widest part of your kids’ feet and mark the endpoint on the lace. Using that marked point, you need to measure the distance from the endpoint. Then you will be able to get the actual size you need for your kid.

Now you know how you can measure your kid’s foot size, it is time to take a look at some quick tips that will come in handy during measurement.

Quicks Tips To Follow While Measuring Kids’ Foot

You can follow these quick tips while taking the measurement;

  • Avoid measuring only one foot during measurement as one foot is generally larger than the other one. So always take measurements of both feet and consider the size of the large feet while determining the foot size for a shoe or boot.
  • While measuring the feet size of your kid, especially of an infant, you should take measurements two to three times. Having two to three measurements will help you to have precision.
  • To achieve precision in measurement, your kid or infant should have a firm footing where toes get spread. Having a precision measurement of the shoe will help you to prevent going for a smaller size.
  • Always measure the feet during the afternoon or night because feet tend to be larger on the day.
  • The sizing segmentation varies from brand to brand; always tall your kid’s foot size with the brand’s size chart; otherwise, you may end up with the wrong size.
  • When you are taking your kid’s foot measurement, always consider leaving some extra space for growing. In general, kids’ feet grow faster, so it would be great to add ½ inch additional space to make them wear the shoe or boot comfortably. You won’t love to change their shoes frequently.
  • Many experts suggest that kids’ feet should be measured almost every three months because then you can get an accurate measurement. However, you should more frequently if your kid complains about discomfort while wearing the boot.

Also read-Ultimate international shoe size conversion guide for 2022

How do shoe sizes work for kids?

Unlike shoe sizes of men and women, kids’ shoe size works in a different manner where there is no differentiation in gender. Both boys and girls have the same shoe size and almost similar width, so there is no difference in shape in their respective sizes.
How to Size Kids Boots and Shoes
Generally, these shoes are made using a standard width that almost fits every fit without much hassle. However, a kid’s shoe size has been divided into two categories based on their age group, which is a small kid and a big kid.

In the small kid category, you will have Newborn, infant and toddler, whereas the big kid involves children and youth. So let’s check out a brief table about the size differences before going into the details.

Age US SizeFoot Length
Newborn 0 - 2 month 0C - 1.5C 3 ½ - 3 ⅞
Infant 2 -12 month 2C - 4C 4 - 4 ¾
Toddler 1 - 3 years 4.5C - 9.5C 4 ⅞ - 6 ½
Children 4 - 6 years 10C - 13.5C 6 ⅝ - 7 ½
Youth 7 - 12 years 1Y - 6Y 7 ⅝ - 9 ⅞

How to Size Kids Boots and Shoes

Once you have got the precise measurement of your kids’ feet, you will now have to find the right size boots or shoes they will wear. Even though most brands manufacturing kids’ boots and shoes offer accurate sizing, there are some brands that have their respective size charts.

So it is always a wise move to refer to the size guide offered by the brand before you determine which boot or shoe will be ideal for your kid.

There are many instances where you won’t brand size guide to find actual shoe size, so in that instance, you can utilize the following chart for reference. In the US, all the shoe sizes are represented in inches, so we have devised the chart accordingly;

You will come across, some letters while choosing kids’ boot and they are;

  • N = Narrow
  • M = Medium
  • R = Regular
  • W = Wide
  • Y = Youth
  • XW/WW/EE = Extra Wide

Related topic-Adidas vs Nike Sizing | How Do They Compare in Size?

Infant ( Age- Infant to 1 year)

Infant’s heel to toe measurement Infant’s shoe size

Infant ( Age- Infant to 1 year) Infant’s shoe size
3 ⅛ inches SIze 0
3 1/2inches SIze 1
3 ¾ inches SIze 2
4 ⅛ inches SIze 3
4 ½ inches SIze 4
4 ¾ inches SIze 5
5 inches SIze 5 ½
5 ⅛ inches SIze 6
5 ¼ inches SIze 6 ½

Toddler ( Age- 2 to 4 years)

Toddler’s heel to toe measurement Infant’s shoe size
5 ⅛ inches Size 7
5 ⅝ inches Size 7 ½
5 ¾ inches SIze 8
6 inches SIze 8 ½
6 ⅛ inches SIze 9
6 ¼ inches SIze 9 ½
6 ½ inches SIze 10
6 ⅝ inches SIze 10 ½
6 ¾ inches SIze 11
7 inches Size 11 ½
7 ⅛ inches Size 12

Little Kid ( Age- 4 to 8 years)

Little kid’s heel to toe measurement Little kid’s shoe size
7 ¼ inches SIze 12 ½
7 ½ inches SIze 13
7 ⅝ inches SIze 13 ½
7 ¾ inches SIze 1
8 inches SIze 1 ½
8 ⅛ inches SIze 2
8 ¼ inches SIze 2 ½
8 ½ inches SIze 3

Big Kid ( Age- 8 to 12 years)

Big kids’ heel to toe measurement Big kids’ shoe size
8 ⅝ inches SIze 3 ½
8 ¾ inches SIze 4
9inches SIze 4 ½
9 ⅛ inches SIze 5
9 ¼ inches SIze 5 ½
9 ½ inches SIze 6
9 ⅝ inches SIze 6 ½
9 ¾ inches SIze 7

When Shoe Size Is In Between Sizes

It won’t be possible that every kids’ feet measurement will perfectly align with the standard shoe size in the market. Moreover, not all feet grow in the same manner, and there are many occasions where a kid’s two feet won’t match in terms of growth.
So when your child’s foot size falls in between two standard shoe sizes in the market, then it is a wise move to go for the bigger size. Having a larger size will not only allow your fingers to move freely but also won’t make you feel uncomfortable even if your kid uses the shoe or boot for long.
However, if you make your kid wear a shorter size, then it would not only lead to discomfort but also issues like ingrown toenails and deformities. Nowadays, there are some brands coming up with sizes with more fractions in standard shoe sizes so that every kid has a proper fitting when they buy their favourite boot or shoe.

Tips For Trying Kids’ Shoe or Boot

When you go through the process of measuring kids’ boots, you will also come across the time when you will have to make your kids try new boots or shoes. However, trying for kids’ boots is not a walk in the park. So we have come up with some important tips that will assist you in the process and help you to find a comfortable pair for your kid;

  • When your kid is trying on a new boot, ask them to wear both boots as both feet tend to be different for most kids. However, the difference in sizes is not that substantial, but still, your kid may feel discomfort.
  • If your kid slides their feet easily into the boot, then the size is too big, and you should look for a shoe that offers a snug fit. Having a snug fit will ensure proper footing and also prevent their feet from sliding in the interior.
  • When your kid wears the shoe, ask them to move around so that you can observe their movement. If they walk normally, then they have a comfortable fit. However, if you see them walking cautiously, then the boot is too tight.
  • You should also ask them how they feel about the shoe and whether they are feeling any discomfort near the ball of their foot or in front of the arch. For a better assessment, you can press the toe area of the boot and make sure the toe maintains at least a thumb’s space from the front end of the boot.
  • Ask your kid to tie the laces and wear socks when they try the boot because then only they will understand the actual fitting.

Basic Kids’ Shoe Shopping Principles You Need To Consider

Here are some basic principles you should consider following when you are purchasing a shoe or boot for your kid.

  • When you are about to buy a shoe for your kid, always make sure you get them a pair that is at least ½ inch bigger than their actual foot size. Regardless of the age, every child’s feet grow gradually, so you provide room for their feet to grow. Many adult foot issues have their origin from tender age due to poor fitting.
  • If you have a big kid, you could also use women’s and men’s US shoe sizing charts to get the right shoe or boot. In general, a youth size of 5.5 is similar to a men’s shoe size of 6 and a women’s shoe size of 7.
  • When you are about to buy a new shoe, always make sure your child’s shoe is two sizes bigger than their actual size because they might trip while walking.
  • While buying a shoe for your kid, you should remember that the notion system starts over from the age of 6, and it is applicable when the shoe follows the US or UK sizing system. So when your child is six years old, then they will need a youth size 1 while they will need a children’s size 13 if they are 5 years old.
  • Remember, children’s shoe brands that follow the European sizing system don’t differentiate. The European sizing system follows the same notion for infants, children and adults.
  • Since kids’ feet size tends to grow frequently so, before you decide to purchase a shoe or boot, you should avoid using old measurements. Use the current measurement because then only you can stay assured that the shoe won’t be short for their feet.

Shopping Tips of Shoes for Infants

Buying shoes for an infant is a tricky affair as these shoes will be the first footwear they will use to walk. You need to be careful while buying shoes for them;

  • Always choose shoes that are not only lightweight but also breathable. When your baby is walking for the first time, you need to give them a shoe that is made from soft faux leather or skin-friendly cloth.
  • Make sure the shoe is based on soft soles. Along with breathable fabric or upper, you should also go for shoes that have a soft sole because then only they will offer good support to your kid walking for the first time. Try to flex the shoe, and if they don’t flex well, you should avoid it.
  • Check the fit before buying. When you are buying a shoe for your infant, you should always check the fit, and the shoe should offer a snug fit. Place your pinky finger behind the heel of your baby when they are standing, and if it isn’t that tight, then the fit is suitable for the kid. You can also press the toe area, and if you feel that there is a sufficient gap, then you should go for the shoe.
  • Always buy infants’ shoes in the afternoon. In general, a baby’s feet tend to grow after the day, so it would be a wise move to buy them in the afternoon.

Shopping Tips of Shoes for Toddlers

If you have slightly grown-up kids, buying shoes might seem easier as they will be able to test the shoes by themselves. But many more considerations come into play which in reality makes purchasing shoes for toddlers slightly confusing. So here are some tips that will help you in the process;

  • It would be best to not provide much emphasis on the latest trends on shoes because your kid is still learning to walk correctly. We are not saying you should avoid buying shoes following the latest trends, but you need to give a shoe that not only looks good but also provides the necessary support for firm footing.
  • Always give options to your toddlers when you are about to choose shoes for them. Many toddlers prefer to choose what they want to wear on their feet. So you can choose some good and appropriate options for them and ask your kid to pick anyone from the lot.
  • Opting for Velcro straps in the shoes would be a convenient idea. Rather than lace, it would be a good idea to opt for shoes with Velcro straps because your toddler will be able to wear the shoe without needing assistance. Moreover, going for hook and loop closure also makes your toddler self-dependent and saves time.
  • When getting shoes for toddlers, always bring socks for them. Your kid would probably go for winter or summer socks according to the weather when they wear a shoe. So it is better to make them wear an appropriate sock before they try on the shoe as it will ensure the right fitting.
  • Try to avoid giving them slip-on shoes at an early age. Slip-on shoes are great, but sometimes they get difficult to wear and do not always provide the support needed. On many occasions, slip-on shoes tend to lack side support which makes them difficult to use for some.

Shopping Tips of Shoes for Big Kids

Shopping for shoes for your big kids doesn’t require much consideration, and if you follow certain factors, you will be able to find the best shoes. We have put forward some tips that we think will come in handy for you;

  • Put your thumb in between the heel and back of the shoe when your kid is wearing the shoe while standing up. When you put your thumb through the shoe opening, it should offer a snug-fitting rather than tight-fitting or else it would lead to blisters and discomfort. Once you check the back area, you should also use the thumb to squeeze the toe area and check how far the big toe is from the front end of the shoe. Try to maintain a thumb width between the front end and big toe, as it will save your toe from any issue.
  • Always maintain a breathable gap on the side. Although it is not always possible to maintain a good gap on both sides of the shoe, having a breathable gap will allow you to move freely and avoid any discomfort. You will also be able to avoid any future foot issues or deformities.
  • Ask your kid to walk freely with both shoes. When your kid starts moving while wearing the shoe, they will be able to tell you whether the shoe is too tight or too loose. While they walk, you should also observe how they walk and whether they are feeling comfortable or not.
  • You should ask your kid specifically about comfort, support and looks. Always make sure they have proper support because it will help them to maintain the optimum shape and also avoid developing deformity.
  • Never opt for a shoe that is too big for your kids’ feet. Many parents tend to go for larger sizes when they are about to buy shoes for their kid as they serve as future proof and also come at the same price as others.

However, if you make your kid wear big shoes, not only will they be robbed of the necessary support, but also there is a chance that it will come off easily. Kids during this age are highly active, so you need to offer that fits appropriately.

Final Verdict

We hope our detailed guide has given you all the details you need to know about how to size kids’ boots and shoes without much hassle. Using the right size is very important as a shoe that is too large or too small can ruin the support and lead to the long-term effect.

We have given the size chart for all ages, so we hope you won’t have a problem finding the most appropriate shoe for your kid.