How to Size Kids Shoes

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Kids outgrow their shoes quickly. Keep track of their shoe size at any given time by learning the proper way to measure their feet. Insist that your kids -- even the ones who hate shopping -- try on many pairs of shoes, because the fit is as important as the size. The goal is to find shoes that support your child's feet, allow for growth and feel comfortable. Of course, your child must like how the shoes look; even shoes that are the right size are useless if your kid won't be seen in them.

Measure your child's feet to figure out her shoe size. Head to a kids shoe store or shoe department and ask a clerk to measure your child's feet, using a traditional slide tool. Or go online to a shoe website and print out a foot measuring tool.

At the store, ask your child to try on many shoes. Determine whether a shoe is easy to get on and off; whether it includes laces or buckles that she can manage; and what kind of foot support the shoe provides. Check that a shoe is not too wide or too narrow. If a shoe is hard to get on, it is probably too small. A shoe that slips off as she walks is too big.

Avoid shoes with rigid or stiff cuffs, the part around the ankle. A rigid cuff will hurt her feet and cause blisters.

Ask your child to stand with the shoes on and feel for her big toe through the shoe. A well-fitting shoe will include wiggle room between the front of the shoe and the toe. This is for comfort as well as growth. Too much room, however, may cause your child to trip and fall.

Grab the heel of the shoe and hold it to the floor. Then ask your child to take a step. If her heel slips out of the heel cup, the shoe is too big.