Tips for getting the best fit for kids shoes


Our girls have very different feet. One has really narrow feet, one has flat feet, one still has a little of her baby feet left, and of course, one has feet that are all baby. Shoe shopping for and with kids isn’t really as fun as mom’s shoe shopping. I end up guessing their size often, crossing my fingers and bringing the shoes home to try out later. I’ll let you guess how often that works out.

Tips for getting the best fit for kids shoes | Parrish Heel Kids

I’ve teamed up with Parrish Heel Kids, a kids shoe and accessory store to bring you 5 tips for getting the best fit for kids shoes, presented to you in kid terms!

How to get shoes that your kids

Going bye-bye.

It’s always best to bring child with you and have both feet measured at time of purchase, if possible. Note that a child’s left and right foot may differ by as much as a full size. Always have the fit specialist fit the larger foot.

How to get shoes that your kids

Thumbs up.

There should be approximately ½ inch of space between the end of your longest toe and the end of the toe box, or roughly your THUMB width sideways.

2014 11 01 10 17 51

Take my breath away.

Choose shoes with breathable, lightweight materials. Soft leather or cloth is best. Stiff leather shoes can interfere with foot development, and synthetics, which don’t breathe.

How to get shoes that your kids


Bend the soles make sure the shoes you select are flexible. They should be flexible and gripping, not smooth and stiff. A non-skid rubber sole with ridges will offer the best traction.

Parrish Heel Kids


Think about the type of shoes you are looking to purchase and bring the appropriate type of socks/tights etc. that your little one will likely wear with the shoes. This will ensure a better fit.

How to get shoes that your kids | Parrish Heel Kids

Have a say.

Let the kids feel like they are having a say in their shoe choice (if they are old enough) and listen to them. If they say it feels funny, or looks too sparkly, they don’t like the shoe. You want your kids to like their shoes because shoe battles every day are not fun!

Tips for getting the best fit in kids shoes | Parrish Heel Kids

One to GROW on.

Make sure to walk/run or even play hopscotch in the shoes to make sure they fit and feel right. Spend time wearing the shoes at home indoors on the carpet (to keep bottoms from getting worn), this helps confirm the fit is a good one.

How to get shoes that your kids

Parrish Heel Kids made sure to follow all of the tips and made sure we were aware of the tips for getting a good fit. Just like any other clothing or shoe item, we didn’t really pay attention to the number. Our oldest could fit in a 1 in one shoe and a 3 in another. It’s all about the fit and how it feels. We were bummed we missed their shoe tying classes, too.

How to get shoes that your kids | Parrish Heel Kids

In addition to cute shoes and shoe tying classes, they also have an assortment of great accessories, from hair bows and headbands to bowties and regular ties for little boys! They even have seasonal items like knitted hats. 

How to get shoes that your kids

One of my favorite things is their leggings and shorts specifically for under skirts (on the left on the wall). We struggle to find shorts that are a good fit and provide coverage without adding bulk under a dress or skirt. (My legging loving 5 year old had to be told to take them off after trying to wear them a THIRD day in a row!).

How to get shoes that your kids | Parrish Heel Kids

How do you make sure you get a good fit for your kids shoes?

Thank you to Parrish Heel Kids for having us out to the store and providing the girls with a pair of shoes. We will definitely be back! All thoughts are 100% our own. 

Similar Posts


  1. I’ll be honest, shoe buying for the kids isn’t my area of expertise. My husband normally takes them. He’s got the best track record.

  2. Oh my goodness, I so want to visit this store. I have such a hard time finding shoes that fit my youngest and we usually end up in tears after trying to stuff his foot into fifteen different shoes! Sounds like you have a much better experience!

  3. I had no idea shoe tying classes were even a thing!

  4. Ok, the shoes your girls tried on are CUTE!

    And shoe-tying classes?! Are they in San Antonio?! I need to find out!

    And, those hide-ees are awesome! I wonder if they come in adult sizes? 😉

    I usually buy and bring the shoes home. It works alright, but I definitely need to use these tips more often.

  5. Kids shoes are one of the WORST things to try and buy. Almost as bad as bathing suits! I love when what is comfortable in the store is “too tight” the next day…
    I always take my kids to a kids shoe store and they have to wear the shoes in the house until they’re sure they love them!

    1. Oh, bathing suits….so true!

      One thing about the too tight thing, if you think they are genuinely thinking they are too tight, make sure you are shopping and measuring later in the day. Apparently, their little feet swell, too. Who knew?

      But, we also do the wear them around the house first bit, too!

  6. OMG I dread shoe shopping with my kids! I always have them fit them for shoes at the store and I try really hard to remind my kids that they have to pick out something they really like because they are going to have them for a long time.

  7. This is a great post. We do all these tips. That looks like a great shoe store.

  8. Thank you for sharing these tips! I will have to keep them in mind the next time I am shoe shopping for my little guy.

  9. I think I have to have my kids feet measured EVERY time I buy a pair of shoes, because their feet grow so quickly! I kid you not, my youngest went from a 3toddler to a 6 toddler in less than four months!

  10. Stephanie Keeping says:

    These are great tips. Speaking of I think my kids need new shoes.

  11. That looks like a fun store to go shopping in with kids!
    LOVE that they have shoe tying classes…

  12. Brenda Haines says:

    Thanks, great tips for finding the right fit.

  13. I tried to have them wear the type of socks they’d be wearing with the shoes when we went shoe shopping. You’re so right about listening to them if they express any dissatisfaction up front.

  14. Nicole Dz says:

    Awesome useful tips for when buying kids shoes, sometimes it can be such a frustrating thing to shop for I think.

  15. Children shoes are one of the worst things to attempt and purchase. Just about as awful as swimming outfits. I adore when what is agreeable in the store is ” excessively tight” the following day. I and my hubby take my children to a shoe and they need to wear the shoes in the house until they are certain they adore the…. 🙂

  16. The only things growing on our son right now are his FEET.
    I’ve tried to buy sizes “ahead” and find him the most comfortable fit.

  17. What an awesome store! I wish we had one around here! Looks like such a calming place to try shoes! My middle is so picky that it becomes stressful fast for us!

  18. My husband always laughs at me as I’m constantly bringing different socks with us so when we shoe shop I can knock out different types of shoes for each kid.

  19. What a cute little shoe boutique! I love her mismatched socks!

  20. Oh yes, mommy shoe shopping is way more fun than shoe shopping for my girls!
    My two oldest are at the age where they know what they want and are pretty much in adult shoe sizes so they are figuring out which brads fit them best and which ones don’t. For my little one it’s still a lot of hit or miss. Those tips are all great tips. Thanks for sharing!

  21. It’s so important to have your child’s foot measured. I’ve been guilty of buying the wrong sized shoes and then I have a little with sore feet. 🙁

  22. Heather in VA says:

    I have so much trouble fitting my younger daughter. She has trouble wearing anything with a tongue and it isn’t always easy to find the Mary Jane style in everything. Thanks for the good tips.

  23. A great piece of information. I think this is what I was exactly looking for. All tips in a single click. I would definitely try to follow these suggestions. I really enjoyed this post and I hope you will keep posting this kind of post in future.

  24. Flo Schmidt says:

    Thank you for pointing out that kids should have a say on the shoes that they wear. I’ve read somewhere that a large portion of kids today are wearing incorrect shoes sizes, and perhaps this stems from the fact that not all children get to speak up about how they feel about the shoes their parents are making them wear. Parents need to ask (gently so the kids don’t feel pressured to answer in a way that “pleases” the parent) if they feel comfy while wearing the shoes. Asking for the child’s opinion can go a long way in ensuring healthy foot development.

    1. Flo Schmidt says:

      Just to add: When dealing with foreign sizes (like UK or European sizes), parents could also stand to benefit from referring to reliable conversion charts like this one: It will certainly increase their chances of finding the right fit when shopping online. It’s not a perfect conversion as brands vary in their sizing, but it will make figuring out the appropriate UK or EU size quicker and easier.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *