How to Find the Right Kids' Shoe Size

kids wearing kids shoes

There’s no better feeling than finally finding a pair of shoes that fits your child perfectly. Not only are there many factors to consider like fit and style, but it can be confusing trying to interpret the varying sizes of kids’ shoes. We’ve gathered a guide explaining what to look for and how to know which size is right for your child so you can save time (and frustration) by finding the best-fitting shoes every time.

Understanding Kids' Shoe Sizes by Age Group

toddlers in shoes

To start, it’s important to know that kids’ shoe sizes are divided into categories based on factors like foot length and approximate age. 

Baby shoes range in size from 0–4. Children ages 2–12 months typically fall in the ‘baby’ or “infant” age range. Shoes for infants are designed for feet between 3.5 and 4.75 inches. Baby shoes are easy to slip on and are typically softer and more flexible to allow their little feet to move and grow.

Toddler shoes range in size from 4.5–10. Toddler shoes are designed for children typically between the ages of 1–3 years old whose feet are between 4.88 and 6.5 inches in length. Shoes for toddlers are more versatile and functional than infant shoes to support their feet through the developmental walking and running stages.

Kids’ shoes range in size from 11–13 and continue from 1–7. Typically worn between the ages of 4–12, boys’ and girls’ shoes accommodate older children whose feet are still too small for adult shoes. If your child’s foot length is between 6.63 and 9.88 inches, kids’ shoes are ideal. Boys’ and girls’ sizing is still interchangeable in this age group.

Kids' Shoes Size Chart

Age GroupUS SizesFoot Length
Baby0 - 43.5 - 4.75 in.
Toddler4.5 - 104.88 - 6.5 in.
Kids11 -  13, 1 - 76.63 - 9.88 in.

Kids' Shoe Sizing Guide

If you’re planning on buying shoes online or don’t have time to stop into a store, our at-home kids’ shoe sizing guide is a great alternative! Simply print off the size chart and follow the instructions to properly size your child’s feet.

Finding the Right Fit

girl trying on shoes

Getting an infant, toddler, or young child through the shoe buying process can be quite a challenge. Luckily, the experts at SCHEELS can help you navigate the distractions and pain points so you can find the perfect pair of shoes for your child. Following the steps below can help you get through the process in the most efficient way possible.

  1. Predetermine the shoe style. When shopping online or heading into the store with your child, it’s helpful to know the style you’re looking for. Whether it’s kids’ boots, sneakers, sandals, or shoes, if you go directly to the appropriate section, you’ll eliminate the overwhelming choices and colors that may distract your child or cause a tantrum.
  2. Get their feet measured. Having your child’s feet measured is one of the most important steps to ensure you get the right-sized shoe the first time. Trying to measure a squirming kid’s feet on your own can be difficult. That’s why our SCHEELS shoe experts are trained to help measure your child’s feet and determine the appropriate size for each style or brand of kids’ shoes. If you’d like to complete this step at home, you can use our printable Kids’ Shoe Sizing Guide above!
  3. Try on. The final step is to have your child try on the shoes. This is important because shoes of the same size will fit differently depending on their style and brand. For example, a pair of Nike kids’ running shoes may fit differently than a pair of Under Armour kids’ running shoes. The same differences may be seen between different styles within the same size, such as boots, sandals, and sneakers. Once your child has the shoes on, you can test the fit by pressing at the toe. There should be room at the toe about the width of your thumb. This allows room for them to comfortably move, and it also provides a little extra room for fast-growing feet. Too much room can make your child unstable and can potentially be dangerous.

Additional Kids' Shoe Sizing Tips

  • Measure later in the day. After moving around throughout the day, your child’s feet will begin to swell by the afternoon and evening. It’s important to measure your child’s feet and have them try on shoes during this time, instead of right away in the morning, to find the most accurate sizing. 
  • Measure both feet. It’s common for one foot to be bigger than the other. Measure both of your child’s feet and size according to the bigger foot to avoid an uncomfortable fit.
  • Have them move in the shoes. Have your child do more than stand or walk around when they try on a pair of shoes. Encourage them to jog in place or do some jumping jacks to get their feet moving. Is the higher impact causing them to wince in pain or making their heel slip from the shoe? These are signs a size adjustment is needed.
  • Talk to an Expert. Look for a second opinion to make sure your child is getting the best fit. Our shoe experts at your local SCHEELS are trained on how to help customers like you find the perfect shoes, and they are happy to help with any questions or concerns you have.