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Parent Blog

It feels like children need new shoes every time you turn around! Their feet grow so fast, it’s hard to keep up! The perfect pair of shoes for your child does not cause discomfort or blisters. If your child wears ill-fitting shoes for an extended length of time, it can start to affect the development of their walking pattern. Check out these tips for finding the best shoes for your child!


Helpful Tips

  • Shop for shoes in person. Store associates can help find the perfect fit and your child can test out the shoes.
  • Your child should be able to wiggle their toes freely. Press the tip of your finger between the end of the shoe and your child’s toes; there should be about 1 inch of extra space.
  • The heel of the shoe needs stability. Your child’s heel should not slide from side to side.
  • The perfect shoes should have a good depth: not pressing down on your child’s toes, but not too loose around the ankle.
  • Replace your child’s shoes every 3-6 months. A child’s foot increases one-half to one full size within that time.
  • Closed-toe, athletic shoes are best for a child’s active lifestyle!
  • Buy shoes made from breathable materials because children’s feet perspire more than adults'.


Mistakes to Avoid

  • Don’t buy shoes that need to be “broken in.” They should be comfortable from the start if they are a perfect fit.
  • Remember, one size does not fit the same in every shoe. If your child is a size 3 in one pair, they might be a size 3.5 or even a 4 in another!
  • Don’t buy oversized shoes for your child to “grow into.”


If your child is still uncomfortable in their shoes or if you are concerned about your child’s gait, try talking to a professional such as a podiatrist, your pediatrician, or a physical therapist.

Learn more about Physical Therapy services at Pediatrics Plus!


Resources for this article include the Cleveland Clinic and American Foot & Ankle Orthopaedic Society.