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Shoe Size Conversions for Kids in the U.S. & Mexico

by Nadia Haris

If you're buying shoes for your kids in Mexico or sending a pair from the U.S., you will have to convert shoe size. Similar to Europe and Japan, Mexico uses a larger number for sizing adult and children's shoes. Using a sizing chart, which should be available at shoe stores, or having your kids try on the shoes, will help you find the right size.

Sizing

Before you go online and order shoes for friends or relatives in Mexico or buy a pair while on holiday there, you will have to convert the size. Mexico uses a sizing chart that is close to the shoe-sizing system that Japan uses -- they are only a half size apart. Your child's shoe size will have a much larger number in Mexico. If your toddler wears a size 5 kids' size shoe in the U.S., he will wear a size 12 in Mexico. Similarly, if he wears a U.S. size 8 in kid's shoes, he will wear a size 15.

Conversion

The best way to figure out what your child's shoe size is in Mexico is to add seven to his U.S. kids' shoe size. This only works for U.S. shoe sizes 0 to 13, which are for infants, toddlers and kids. If your child is a U.S. size 9, he would be a Mexican kids' shoe size 16. If your older children or preteens are wearing adult shoe sizes, you can add 19 to the U.S. size to roughly calculate the Mexican shoe size.

Foot Growth

It's best to have your child try on a pair shoes to ensure they fit and he finds them comfortable. Your child is growing quickly; as he sprouts upward, his feet are also getting bigger. Proarch Podiatry notes that between the ages of 6 to 12 years, the feet of both boys and girls grow at their fastest rate, lengthening about a centimeter per year. After that, until the age of about 17, boys' feet grow an additional 10 percent, while girls only have a 2 percent growth. Your child's feet might grow faster than you expect. Check your infant's and toddler's shoes regularly. If the shoes are difficult for you to put on them or if your child constantly wants to take the shoes off, they might be a tight fit.

Considerations

In the early year's infants and children have developing feet that are changing as their bones fuse together. Whether you are buying shoes in the U.S. or Mexico, it is important to buy the right size and type of shoe for your child. Choose a sneaker or soft-soled shoe that has plenty of toe space and some flexibility to allow the muscles and ligaments of the feet to develop normally. If you are unsure of the best size for your child, have a fitting done by a podiatrist or at a store that specializes in children's shoes. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons advises that your child's foot might be wider through the arch as it grows, so proper shoe fitting is important both lengthwise and widthwise.

About the Author

Nadia Haris is a registered radiation therapist who has been writing about nutrition for more than six years. She is completing her Master of Science in nutrition with a focus on the dietary needs of oncology patients.

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