Updated: Jun 27, 2019
It's incredible how quickly kid's feet grow. You should expect to buy new shoes every 3-6 months. I remember back when we bought shoes for Adam when he was little. It turned out his feet measured two sizes bigger than the shoes he was wearing. Kids rarely tell you their feet hurt; let alone, their shoes are two small.
If you find yourself shopping for shoes, here are some helpful hints. Very first step is to measure their feet. Look for the foot measurement tool (or Brannock device, I had to look that one up) you find at most shoe stores or it could be a cool pattern of different kid's feet painted on the floor. Most kids have a normal width, which is typically the shoes they sell. If your child has a narrow or wide width and the store doesn't carry those widths, I would direct you to New Balance.
Depending on their age, this will determine who is picking the shoes. I have always been willing to spend a little extra on shoes to make sure the feet are treated well. This is important as kids are still growing and developing. Plus, most kids have one pair and they will wear them everyday. My youngest is 10 years old, so I let him pick out the shoes he likes, typically this is based on style and color. He doesn't recognize brands, yet!
Don't be intimidated by the aisles and aisles of shoes. The shoes are typically organized based on the sport, type of use or everyday boys and girls. Shoe sizes may run differently. For example, Nike historically runs small so you have to buy a bigger size than other shoes. I find this is a great opportunity to engage store personnel if you have questions.
If your kids are like mine, they will pick out about ten different shoes. I get him down to 2-3 choices to start. He was looking for blue shoes, so that helped narrow our choices. A good rule of thumb is to buy one size bigger than your child measures. My son's right foot is also a half size bigger, so that can be a challenge. Yes, that can happen and he gets it from me.
With each pair, try them both on. Remove the paper fillers and lace them up or secure with Velcro. Ensure your child has at least a "thumb width" of room at the end. You can press your thumb down on the front of the shoe to make sure the toes have room. If you get much more than a thumb, the shoes are too loose. Ask your child to walk or even run around to see how they fit. If they slip in the back, tighten up the laces. If that doesn't work, they are too big. Two options, find another size in that style or onto the next pair.
We tried two different styles and two sizes within each style. It appears Under Armor runs a little small also. At this point, my son told me what feels good on his feet. We have a winner, we went home with the blue UA shoes. It turns out they were the same style as his last pair, just a different color. His observation, not mind.
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