Shoe and Skate Sizes in Children

Written by alane michaelson
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Shoe and Skate Sizes in Children
Children's skates are available in traditional roller skate and in-line skate styles. (skates image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from Fotolia.com)

Purchasing shoes and skates for growing children can be difficult because they outgrow footwear a lot more quickly than adults. Following a few simple steps, parents can try to maximise the lifespan of their children's shoes and skates by measuring their children's feet correctly and ordering the appropriate sizes. Many shoe and skate stores will measure children's feet for you if you are unable to measure at home.

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Children's Shoe Sizes

Children's shoe sizes run from 0 to 13, and a child with a size 0 foot has a foot that is approximately 4 inches long. After child's size 13, the sizing chart then goes to an adult size 1. Typically, an infant has a shoe size of 0 to 4, a toddler has a shoe size of 4½ to 10, a preschooler wears a shoe size of 10½ to an adult's size 3 and grade-school students wear an adult's size 3½ and up. There is no correlation between a child's age and his or her shoe size.

Children's Skate Sizes

Children's skate sizes are the same size as their shoes, but child sizes are designated with a "J" in front, with the "J" standing for "Juvenile." For example, a toddler who wears child's size 5 would wear a size J5 in roller skates. Once a child hits adult sizes, the shoe and skate sizes are exactly the same.

Measuring Shoe Size

You can take your child to a shoe store to have his feet measured, but there are printable sizing charts available online. When measuring a child's shoe size, make him stand still with the base of his heel against the solid line at the back of the sizing chart. The child should put his weight on the shoe being measured. Be sure the child's toes are relaxed. If the child's feet are two different sizes, order skates and shoes to fit the larger foot's size.

What Size Skate to Order

If you are ordering skates online for your child, it is recommended that you be sure her shoe size measurement is current and accurate and order a skate that is one size too big for your child. This is because children often outgrow their skates before the skates wear out. It is also suggested that parents do not buy expensive skates for their children because they will likely outgrow them quickly.

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