How to Measure Kids’ Feet for the Perfect Fit

Do you ever feel like time is passing by so quickly? It can seem like your baby was born just a minute ago, then you blink and they’re already 3 years old. 

If the concept of time speeding up resonates with you, you’re not alone! In fact, studies show that time seems to move faster as we get older. The reason for this is that when we’re younger, we have brand new experiences and learn new things every single day. Every moment is jam-packed with new information, colors, tastes, and smells. 

According to Harvard University, “When we are young, each second of actual time is packed with many more mental images. Like a slow-motion camera that captures thousands of images per second, time appears to pass more slowly.” 

When you’re a kid, the world is a place full of wonder! Every day is an opportunity for discovery. Days feel longer, more vibrant, and full of new experiences. 

You can help your little one enjoy life to the fullest by providing them with every chance to learn something about themselves and the world around them. One way you can set them up for success is by dressing them in clothes and shoes that protect them from the elements while not hindering them from running and playing. 

Having comfortable and durable shoes for play is essential. However, as we all know, children grow at an incredible rate. According to John Hopkins, children grow approximately 2-3 inches per year. 

Knowing exactly what shoe size your little one needs can be difficult. We’re here to give you some tips about how to measure a child’s foot for shoes so your little one can get into the world, take big leaps, and absolutely shine! 

Tips for Finding Your Toddler’s Shoe Size

Since babies and toddlers grow so quickly, their shoe sizes are constantly changing. However, it can often be easier to notice when your toddler’s tummy is sticking out of a too-small shirt than it is to see if their toes are curling up inside too-small shoes. In fact, about 67% of kids wear shoes that are too small, according to BlitzResults. 

There are a few ways to recognize whether your child’s shoes are too small or too big. Here are some tips:

  • Signs your kiddo’s shoes are too small:

    • They frequently get blisters after wearing shoes
    • They don’t have any room between their big toe and the end of the shoe
    • The shoes are pressing tightly against the skin and leaving marks 
    • They complain a lot about wearing shoes and would rather be barefoot 
  • Signs your kiddo’s shoes are too big:

    • They constantly trip or twist their ankles
    • They start walking differently, such as dragging their feet
    • Their heels lift out of the back of their shoes when they’re walking
    • They frequently get blisters on their feet 

Any signs that indicate your little one is uncomfortable or even getting injured because of their shoes is a major red flag. Making sure they are wearing properly sized shoes is very important for foot health and all-around health! 

How to Measure Toddler Shoe Size

Now, it would be great if we all had a foot measurement tool, such as a Brannock Device. However, since most people don’t have one just sitting around the house, we have a simple alternative for you! Here are some easy steps to follow: 

  • Measure feet in the afternoon

Even though it might seem kind of silly, measuring your toddler’s feet in the morning will yield different results than measuring them in the afternoon. The same is true for adults! As we walk around, our feet get a bit wider and stretch a bit longer throughout the day. To get the most accurate measurement, it’s important to measure feet in the afternoon after they’ve swelled to their full size. 

  • Standing up versus sitting down

Getting kids – especially very energetic ones – to stand still can sometimes be a difficult feat. However, trying to measure their feet while they’re sitting down or lying down won’t work as well. For this reason, make sure they’re standing up when you measure their feet! 

  • Place each foot on a piece of paper

Have your kiddo stand nice and tall with their back and heels against a wall. Their weight should be equally divided so they aren’t leaning completely on one foot or the other. Slide a piece of paper under each foot and make sure their heels are completely touching the wall, so there isn’t any extra space. 

  • Trace an outline of each foot

Now it’s time for tracing! Do your best to hold the pen or pencil completely perpendicular to the paper as you go around each foot. Don’t worry about going in and out between the toes at all; just an outline of the foot will do the job. Also, definitely make sure you trace both feet! You’ll see why in the next step. 

  • Measure the distance 

Now that you’ve traced an outline of each foot, you can reward your little one for standing still for so long! Then, you’ll want to get a ruler and draw a straight line from the heel to the big toe. Make a note about how many inches and centimeters each foot is. Make sure you measure the distance of each foot since it’s very rare that both feet are exactly the same size. More often than not, one foot will be slightly bigger than the other. Because of this, you’ll want to use the bigger foot as the standard. 

  • Use a shoe size conversion chart

Once you have the measurements of each foot (or you’ve determined the bigger foot), you can enter the size into an online shoe size converter or compare it with a shoe size conversion chart. Some tools use inches while others use centimeters so it can be helpful to have both measurements. 

Finding the Perfect Fit 

Measuring your kids’ feet to find the right shoe size is a great first step. But then how do you find shoes that are comfortable, durable, and also adorable? 

At Livie & Luca, we are devoted to making sure kids have shoes that they won’t want to take off! We understand how important it is that shoes fit your little one’s feet perfectly as they are growing and developing. 

Keeping little toes protected, heels padded, and feet cool is something that matters to us. If you’re looking for the perfect spring or summertime look, check out the Paz Classic Sandal or the Hope Mary Jane. Not only are they darling, but they are also flexible, APMA-approved, and vegan!


HOPE Mary Jane

Just like shoes shouldn’t be too small or too big, shoes shouldn’t hinder your kiddos from playing in the grass, mud, water, sand, or any other environment! Our shoes encourage them to create their own path. Check out the Ziggy, which is our water-friendly performance sandal that ticks all of the boxes. Also take a look at the Lynx Sneaker, one of our favorite slip-ons that is perfect for playgrounds.

Ziggy Sandal

Lynx Sneaker

No matter where you live or what your kiddo loves doing, we have shoes for you! We believe that every kid deserves the chance to explore the world around them and find their path to joy. 

Take a look at the shoes we offer and when you find a pair you love, take a look at our printable size fit chart to find that perfect fit! Have fun shopping!

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