Your Baby's foot bones are not yet fully formed. As cartilage matures into bone, a natural fit is crucial. While Baby crawls, cruises, and pulls herself up for those first wobbly steps, pediatricians recommend a "barefoot fit." Choose the softest, most flexible footwear when you need to protect tiny feet from injuries or inclement weather. Expect to get a few weeks or a few months from your soft Baby shoes and booties.
Toddlers go from zero to 60, exuberantly exploring their world (with plenty of hands-on help from you!). Toddler feet are developing rapidly, and need flexible support and protection. The best pediatric shoes have flexible soles, a stable heel counter and a roomy toe box for that ideal “barefoot fit.” They’re also easy to get on and off, and stay put on little feet while running, climbing, and jumping. Toddler foot growth averages 1/16”–1/8” per month. Measure frequently, and expect to outgrow shoes every 2–4 months. Your mileage may vary!
Expect to replace your Little Kid’s shoes every 3–6 months. At this age, the growth rate slows to around 1/2" per year—and on average, there's 1/8" to 1/4" between half sizes. Growth spurts are unpredictable: Little Kids might stay in one size for several months before leaping ahead a whole size, or even more! Check your Little Kid’s shoe size once a season. If you haven’t had a growth spurt in a while, add 1/2” to their foot measurement and recheck the size chart. Consider ordering a half size up—if new shoes are a bit big, they won’t be for long. Because Little Kids are so active and adventurous, they’re hard on their shoes. Quality kids’ footwear is extra tough, but watch for wear and damage. Cracked or worn outsoles, ripped seams, or broken straps mean it’s time for fresh kicks!
Please note: Pediatricians advise that more than a half size extra can increase the risk of a fall.
Big Kids need several footwear choices for a wide range of activities—and they frequently wear out shoes before they grow out of them. Watch for broken straps and laces, as well as slick, worn soles that can cause missteps and falls. You may see a new shoe size twice a year; check their fit every few months. Outfit Big Kids with new boots, shoes, and sandals before the active spring season, and again at back-to-school time.
In addition to foot length, width and girth (the circumference at the ball of the foot) are important for fit. With a few exceptions, shoe closures, whether Velcro or laces, can accommodate a range of feet.
For kids, the shoe they want is often the shoe that “fits”—even when it doesn’t. Studies show, if they’ve outgrown their super-special favorite shoes, they either won’t know it or won’t admit it. Don't be a fashion victim! Measure little feet regularly. Your child will discover plenty of “perfect” shoes in their new, bigger size.
To the surprise of many parents, shoe battles are often caused by socks! Thick seams can be irritating to sensitive feet. The root of the problem could also be rough cotton socks, non-wicking socks, outgrown socks, or tight stretch socks... bargain socks can be a raw deal.
Quality socks and a good fit can work like magic. Kid Friendly Footwear is proud to offer Stance, Country Kids Organics and Thorlos® socks.