shoe sizes vary between brandsIf you thought buying the right size jeans for yourself was the biggest challenge you’d face when purchasing clothing or shoes, you obviously haven’t bought any children’s shoes recently…Just like jeans for women range in size from one brand to another, so do children’s shoes. And, it’s downright frustrating.

For good reason, you may be wondering why there is such a size difference and what you can do about it. While there isn’t a logical explanation for the size variation, there is a reason, and there are a few “tricks of the trade” that you can use to get the right fit, whether you’re buying boots or sneakers, every time.

Shoe and Clothing Sizing – How Do They Do It?

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could go from store to store and buy the same size shoes and clothing for your child and know that it’s going to fit like it should? Yes, it would be, but apparently that is fantasy land, and here is a bit of explanation about why.

Shoe and clothing manufacturers do use a “fit model” as a guide for making their products. A fit model is usually the average customer of a given manufacturer. The sizing is then based around that person (with a centimetre or two difference here and there).

What may surprise you is the fit model is usually similar to the brands ideal customer. If a brand is after a wider fitting shoe then the fit model usually has a larger foot.  This holds true even with children’s shoe sizes.

How Can You Get the Right Size?

It’s well known that a lack of exercise can have an influence on your child’s health, but did you know that your shoe choices could be influencing your child’s foot development as well?

Taking your child to the shoe store is about as fun as getting all of your wisdom teeth pulled, and ordering online is as much of a guessing game as your child’s Memory game with missing pieces. So, how are you to get the right size without going through all the headache? There are a few things you can do to make sure you get the right size every time.

1. Trace Your Child’s Foot – That’s right, this will save you from dragging your child around to stores!

Bobux says:

  1. Ask your child to stand on a piece of paper
  2. Draw around both feet with a pen or pencil
  3. Using a ruler measure the length of both foot outlines
  4. Use the measurement of the longest foot (this is important!)

2. Leave Wiggle Room – Your child probably has a hard enough time just learning to walk. You can help them out by not fitting them in clown shoes! A thumb’s width at the toe is more than enough to grow into.

Don’t forget socks – So you’ve found the perfect shoe size but did you know constricting socks can interfere with your child’s foot development. Make sure you’re upgrading socks with at least every second pair of shoes.

Finding the right size shoe for your child can be tough, but with a little effort and a few simple tips, you can get the right size and the perfect shoe every time.


Hey there, I’m Tiffany! I’m a work-at-home mom of two rambunctious children (Jasmine, 9 + Sean II, 5) and recently widowed at just 35 years old. I've remarried and currently live right outside of Baton Rouge in Denham Springs, Louisiana with two adoring cats and a dog. Let's connect on Twitter @fabulousmomblog.

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