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How to Measure a Toddler's Feet for Shoes

Updated March 23, 2017

When a child starts walking, it's time to get her first shoes. Ideally, toddlers just learning to walk go barefoot or in stocking feet which helps strengthen their leg muscles. But she'll need something to protect her little feet while playing outside, and sometimes you just want your toddler to look extra cute in tiny shoes. A shoe that fits well is really important for a growing child, so you should measure her feet before buying new shoes.

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  1. Put the child's socks on. The socks should be thick so she'll be able to wear the shoes with any socks, and this will give her a little extra room to grow.

  2. Have the child stand up. You cannot get accurate measurements for length and width if the child is not standing.

  3. Make sure the child doesn't curl her toes. Toddlers often curl their toes when having their feet measured because it tickles.

  4. Measure the foot along the side, from the heel to the tip of the big toe. Measure both feet and use the longer of the two measurements when buying shoes.

  5. Take measurements in both inches and centimetres, if possible. Inches will have to be converted into US shoe sizes, and European brands of shoes are measured in centimetres.

  6. Try the shoes on the child before buying them, if possible. Shoe sizes vary from brand to brand, so a toddler may wear a 4 in one brand and a 4½ in another. Stay with one or two brands once you know how their sizes run to make future online ordering easier.

  7. Leave the child room to grow. Children's shoes can be pretty expensive, and toddlers grow really fast. Stick your pinky finger inside the shoe along the child's instep. The shoe should be snug but not too loose around your finger.

  8. Tip

    Check your child's feet regularly for redness, blisters, or pressure marks. This will help you know when it's time to buy new shoes for a child who can't tell you her shoes are too tight.

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Things You'll Need

  • Thick toddler's socks
  • Tape measure or ruler, preferably with inches and centimetres

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