Trying on shoes

Try new shoes on in the afternoon or early evening, when feet are at their biggest. Your child needs to be wearing the socks that will be worn with the shoes.

Fit the larger foot – you may need an insole for the smaller foot if there is a half-size or more of difference between the feet (such a difference is normal).

Toe room

Feel for an index finger width of room at the toe end of the shoe, to allow for growth.

This may look like a lot of room in the toe but if the shoe is fastened securely on your child’s foot there will be no walking out of the shoe or tripping.

You should be able to get your little finger (up to the first knuckle) in the shoe, behind the heel.


This is the width on the top of shoe, across the ball of the foot.

Feel across the top of the ball of the foot, to check that the shoe is not too loose or tight.

Stick your little finger inside the shoe along your child’s instep; the shoe should be snug and not too loose around your finger.


Watch your child walk from the back. Make sure your child isn’t tripping (too much room in the toe) nor
walking out of the shoe (heel too loose). Seeing a gap at the back of the shoe, around the ankle, is all right,
the shoe holds below there, around the heel.

Leave room to grow in your child’s shoe. Children’s shoes can be expensive, and toddlers grow really
fast. For the under threes, feet grow quickly and shoe size should be re-evaluated at least every two to three months. Shoe sizes vary from make to make so if you get your child’s feet measured at a shop then use that as only a guide to the shoe size in a different shop.

Consult a podiatrist for advice

The podiatry administration office can be contacted on 01274 221165.

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