Children’s Shoe Buying Guide

Children's Shoe Buying GuideAs members of the Society of Shoe Fitters, we at Little Soles strongly believe that children’s shoes should be well fitted and provide lots of room for growing feet.

The best way of achieving this is to have your child’s shoes fitted in our shop by an experienced and trained fitter. If you cannot visit us in person and want to buy some of our lovely shoes online, please do feel free to call us on 01489 565919 for help and advice on fitting before you buy from our website. We will be able to provide advice on how a particular shoe fits (as shoes sizes vary drastically between brands) and also what type of shoe may be most suitable for your child’s feet.

We get asked a number of questions by our customers in our shop when they are purchasing shoes so we have put together our Children’s Shoe Buying Guide to try and help with your choose the best shoe. If there is anything else that you want to know please don’t hesitate in calling us on 01489 565919.

When does my child need their first shoes?

A child only really needs shoes when they start to want to walk outside and you therefore feel that their feet need protecting.  We always advise parents to try and leave it for 6 weeks after their little one has started walking before buying their first pair of shoes. A child will develop their walking skills much quicker if they get to practice barefoot, it allows their feet to develop and the muscles that they need to walk to strengthen.

First shoes should be as flexible, soft and light as possible to enable your child to make the transition to wearing shoes easily.

How often should I get my children’s shoes checked?

If your children are 4 or under we would recommend you pop in and get their shoes checked every couple of months. They won’t need a new pair each time but we can give you an idea of how much they have grown and how much growing room they have left. As your children get older their feet will not grow as quickly and therefore getting them checked every 3-4 months is fine. If in between checks you suddenly feel that getting your child’s shoes on has become more difficult then pop them in for a check as this can be a sign that they have outgrown their shoes.

Can we get a size bigger than my child measured so that they will last longer?

We fit all new shoes with the maximum amount of growing room possible. This is usually a thumb’s width of growing room at the front of the shoe. This should ensure that the shoes will last your child and that they will not grow out of them as soon as they have a growth spurt. While it may be tempting to try and buy shoes with even more growing room it will mean that they will not fit well and they may be difficult for your child to walk in causing them to fall more easily.

Why has my child tried on lots of different size shoes when he was measured as a size 9?

As trained shoe fitters we only use the shoe size as a starting point when measuring your child’s feet. While measuring the length and width of your child’s feet is important, we are also looking at the depth of the foot, the height of their instep and the overall shape. All of this information helps us to decide which brands and styles of shoes may be suitable for them. To make matters even more complicated, manufacturers do not standardise the sizes that they make, however your fitter will use their knowledge of the different brands to select the size that will fit your child best.

If you are having shoes fitted in our shop, all of our staff will explain this as they are fitting so that you are clear that the shoes you buy really are the best fit for your child. If you are buying our shoes online and are unclear on whether or not they may be suitable for your child, please give us a call and we will be happy to help.

My child hates having their feet measured, what can we do?

Little Soles Shoe Buying GuideIt is quite common for children to be nervous of having their feet measured. We would encourage you to come in to our shop to play with the toys, watch the DVD and have a look round a few times before you even try to get them measured. If they are happy in the shop and know it is somewhere they can come and have fun, they are more likely to relax when it comes to measuring.

When it does come time to measure, our staff will happily take as long as is needed to make your child comfortable and ensure that their feet are measured correctly.

The following leaflet provides more information on foot health and looking after your children’s feet: