Help Kids Put Their Best Foot Forward – Three Easy Steps

Take these three easy steps when choosing shoes for children

brannock deviceSTEP ONE

Have a knowledgeable person measure – not just length but width as well – with a
(that clunky metal measuring thing).

Wearing too tight shoes can lead to blisters, calluses and ingrown toenails.

Wearing too large shoes can lead to tripping and falling.

Here is a general guide to how often kids need their feet measured:

Toddlers (16-24 mo.) go up 1/2 shoe size every 3 months.

Ages 2 and 3, go up 1/2 shoe size every 4 months.

Ages 3 to 8, go up 1/2 shoe size every 6 months.

Ages 9 to 12, increase in size every 6 months-1 year


Shop for shoes in the afternoon when feet are maximally expanded.


Make sure the child is wearing the type of socks he or she usually wears with that type of shoe.


Kid ShoesCheck the shoe from heel to toe
The heel should be firm and shouldn’t collapse when you squeeze it from the sides. Make sure it doesn’t slip up and down when the child walks. The sole should not bend in the arch area because the arch of the foot needs firm support. The shoe’s sole should bend where the toes bend, in the toe box.

Look for room in the toe
A thumb’s width or 1/2 inch from end of the longest toe to the end of the shoe. This will prevent that toe from hitting the front of the shoe and causing damage to the nail.

Choose the right material
The shoe material should breathe, so look for leather, canvas or mesh. The shoe should be lightweight and shaped like the foot (a rectangle, not a pointy triangle).

REMINDER: If your child wears an orthotic, take the shoe’s inner sole out and put the orthotic in the new shoe.

A Good Podiatrist

Every family needs to have a podiatrist as part of their medical team.

If you have any questions about footwear for a child please contact Dr. Flo (440) 333-7722.