Children grow quickly, and it can be challenging for parents to keep up with shoe sizing. However, wearing properly fitted shoes can keep feet healthy, protect foot development, and ensure that kids feel more confident and comfortable! Need some help determining shoe size at home? Here are our top tips on how to measure children’s feet.
How to measure your child’s foot at home:
1. Use a ruler
This is the most basic method for measuring your child’s feet at home. You’ll need a piece (or two) of paper, a pencil or marker pen, a ruler and a ribbon or piece of string.
First, ask your child to stand on the piece of paper. It’s important that they stand up straight, so you might need to enlist a family member’s help. Once your child is standing straight, use the pencil to trace the outlines of both of their feet. For bigger kids, you might need two pieces of paper.
Next, grab your ruler. Measure the outlines from the heel to the big toe. Be sure to measure both feet, as sometimes children’s feet grow at different rates.
For the best fitting shoe, you’ll also want to measure for width. If you have a tape measure, you can use it as a shortcut here. Otherwise, grab the ribbon or string and wrap it around the widest part of your child’s foot (usually at the joint where the big toe begins). Place your finger or mark where the two ends meet. Remove the ribbon and measure it against the ruler to find the width. Again, you’ll want to measure both feet here.
Once you’ve got these length and width measurements, go online and use a sizing chart to determine your child’s shoe size.
2. Print a paper chart
This method is slightly easier than the previous one, but it can only accurately measure the feet of children who can stand on their own.
First, go online and search for a printable sizing chart. These charts will usually also have width measurement strips for you to cut out, so get the scissors ready.
Once you find a chart that you like, you’ll want to ensure that your printer is set to print at 100% scale–any bigger or smaller and the measurements will not be accurate. Once you’ve printed the chart, just follow the accompanying instructions to find your child’s shoe size. Easy!
3. Buy a foot gauge
If you want to replicate the in-store buying experience at home, you might consider buying a foot gauge. These handy devices are available online from many major shoe companies and other retailers.
It’s worth noting that foot gauges come in different sizes–including toddler-sized and child-sized–so make sure you select the one that is most suitable for your child.
4. Check shoes for proper fit
So you’ve measured your child’s foot and ordered some brand new shoes–now it’s time to make sure they really fit! Have your child put them on, and once they’re laced or fastened, turn your thumb sideways and press it down on the front to locate their toes. You’ll want to feel about a sideways thumb’s width between the tip of the big toe and the end of the shoe.
Next, you’ll need to check the heel. Give the shoe a gentle tug, as though you’re trying to remove it. The shoe should fit snugly, so if it comes off when you pull, it’s probably too big.
Finally, you can check the shoe’s width by running your thumb and index fingers down the sides to ensure that your child’s foot is aligned with the shoe. The shoe is too tight if you can feel the edges of their feet bursting over the sides, or if either of the small toes is rubbing up against the shoe’s edge.
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