What happens when children wear shoes that are too big?

Updated February 21, 2017

A child wearing shoes that don't fit is at a disadvantage. He will be more prone to injury and may suffer from a prolonged condition as a result. Kids might face teasing from their peers for their disproportionate appearance, and an ill-fitting shoe will wear out faster and can negatively affect the way a child walks and stands. Wearing extra socks to compensate will produce loads of sweaty socks and increase your laundry costs. During the developmental stages of childhood, shoes that fit properly are extremely important.


The worst possible outcome of your child wearing shoes that are too large would be for him to be njured. Some injuries happen over a long period of time because of the child's feet sliding inside the ill-fitting shoes. Blisters, lost toenails, hammertoes, bunions and calluses can form because of the constant irritation, leading to constant foot pain. More severe injuries like slips and falls can also happen when children wear shoes that are too big. These shoes do not give children a secure footing and can lead to mishaps on stairs and slick surfaces. See the link in Resources to find out more about these medical conditions.


Children can be teased by classmates for wearing shoes that are too large. Large shoes will make a child's proportions appear obviously off balance to the other kids; it's an easy comedic connection for kids to make since it is well known that clowns wear large shoes. Shoes that are too large may also lead children to assume that the wearer's family is poor and cannot afford properly fitting shoes. This could leave a child open for teasing about being broke and poorly dressed.


Wearing multiple pairs of socks to help your child fit into a too-large shoe will generate more dirty laundry. Many children will double or even triple up on socks to be able to wear shoes that are much too big. All this insulation on the child's feet can cause them to sweat more than ever, soaking the socks. Sweaty socks may need to be changed more than once a day for an active child, and these dirty socks can add up quickly and create more loads of dirty laundry.

Uneven Wear

A pair of shoes that is too large for a child will wear out quickly and unevenly, bending sharply past the end of the child's toes, like a genie's slipper. This deformity could cause cracking in the sole or tears in the leather or fabric. Shoes that don't fit could cause a child to drag her feet and wear out a sole quickly in one area. These incidents of wear will both damage the look of the shoes and shorten their useful life.

Gate and Posture

Shoes that aren't comfortably fitting may cause a child to change his posture and stride. Walking differently might help to keep the shoes on or prevent her feet from hurting. A child's feet are still growing and in a developmental stage, and oversized shoes can cause changes in gate over time, which could have an eventual negative effect on a child's posture. Posture problems can lead to scoliosis, along with future back pain.

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About the Author

Jeffrey Brian Airman is a writer, musician and food blogger. A 15-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Airman has used his experience to cover food, restaurants, cooking and do-it-yourself projects. Airman also studied nursing at San Diego State University.