Children's shoes, like adult shoes, come in different sizes depending upon whether you buy them in Australia and the UK or in the United States or other parts of the world. If you know how to measure feet correctly, you can easily find the correct shoe size in any country using standardised conversion charts. For the most accurate results, use centimetres to take the measurement rather than inches, then convert the measurement back to inches by multiplying the number by 2.54.
Set a piece of paper on a hard-surfaced floor and have your child stand with one foot on the paper. The child should be wearing a close-fitting pair of socks, but no shoes.
Draw a line all the way around her foot, keeping the pencil upright and as straight as possible so it does not draw to the inside or outside of the actual shape of the foot.
Repeat Steps 1 and 2 with the child's other foot on the second sheet of paper.
Measure with the metric ruler the paper outline from the heel to the toe where the distance is greatest and jot that measurement down on the paper as "length." Repeat for the other foot outline.
Measure across the paper outline of the foot at the widest point (at the joints just behind the toes) and record that measurement as "width." Repeat for the other foot outline.
Add 0.64 to 1.27 centimetres to the length measurement for each foot to allow wiggle room for growing toes. If her feet are different sizes (this is normal) choose the longest measurement of the two to use as the length when figuring shoe size.
Add .64 centimetres to each foot's width measurement for comfort. Use the larger number if buying boots or shoes to be worn with heavy socks. Again, choose the largest foot as the measurement to go with---this time for figuring shoe width.
Convert the centimetre measurements back to inches (remember, just multiply by 2.54 to get inches) or compare the metric result to the inches scale in a chart such as the one from Bata, listed in the Resources that accompany this article.
Find your child's U.S. shoe size, then use a conversion chart to find the Australian equivalent. Easy Unit Converter's international shoe size converter is easy to use. (Note that UK and Australian sizes are equivalent, so on the children's shoe chart, use UK sizes.)