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Narrow or Wide Feet? How to Get the Best Shoe Fit for Your Child



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Narrow or Wide Feet? How to Get the Best Shoe Fit for Your Child

Have you noticed your child’s feet are just that bit wider than usual? It can make shoe shopping a huge pain in the neck – and usually ends with you trying to jam narrow shoes onto your child’s pudgy feet.

If your child has wide feet, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re fitting them in the right shoes. Putting them in ill-fitting shoes could lead to all manner of foot problems as well as impede natural, healthy foot development. The same goes for children with narrow feet.

We’ve heard plenty of questions around children with wide or narrow feet. So we’ve tried to answer some of your biggest concerns here. Read on to find out the best solutions to cladding your baby’s feet!

It’s Natural – to a Degree

We’ll start by saying babies’ feet do tend to be thick, tapering in at the heel. Newborns have a protective padding that makes the foot appear wider than an adult’s. It’s that very fleshiness – the square toes and rounded heel – that makes us go gaga over baby feet. The best baby shoe brands will factor that natural width into their designs.

It’s only as your child begins to toddle that the foot generally slims out, becoming leaner, with a more defined arch and Achilles.

All Feet Are Made Differently

You’ll notice in the sentence above, I said generally. That’s because all feet are, at the end of the day, individual. The length, width and growth of young feet will be different for every child.

Some children will have narrow feet – perhaps with a high arch – while others could sport wide, chubby feet. So children’s feet usually become narrower with age. But that’s not a given. Some children could carry that quirk into adulthood.

row of children's feet

How to Measure Your Child’s Feet

A lot of parenting is about bluffing your way through; thankfully, with the resources out there these days, that’s not entirely necessary. So we can tell you right now, bluffing when it comes to fitting your child’s shoes is not the way to go.

Instead, you can use our Expert Fitting Tool to properly measure your child’s feet yourself. Get the fit right from the beginning, and you could be saving your child a lot of discomfort and even potential injury from the outset.

Fitting Shoes for Wide Feet

The length and width of shoes are usually proportional, so every time you go up a full size, you’re adding, on average, a quarter of an inch to the width.

Kid shoes should have a little bit of wiggle room in them. So a good gauge to see if the shoe is the correct size is to squeeze a pinkie between your child’s shoe and their foot at the instep. If it’s impossible to do, you’re probably strangling the poor kid’s foot!

Most toddlers will outgrow the width of their shoe before they outgrow the length, so don’t forget to check the width fit regularly. This is pretty easy to do; just squeeze and pull the material above the ball of the foot. If the material lifts a little (but not too much!) it’s still a good fit.

Fitting Shoes for Narrow Feet

You don’t want your child to be slipping and sliding around in their shoes either. They’re clumsy at the best of times, so it’s just cruel to give them the extra challenge of hobbling around in oversized kicks.

What you’re wanting to check for here is the slipperiness of a shoes. Just plop your child in a chair and grab hold of their shoe-clad foot. Keep a firm hold on their ankle and tug at the heel of the shoe. If it slides off without any resistance, the shoes are likely too large.

A small gap between the foot and the shoe is totally fine, as long as the heel doesn’t slip when they walk.

The Best Shoe Feature for Narrow and Wide Feet

Essentially, the more flexible and malleable the shoe, the better it will be for a tough-to-fit foot. So with that in mind…


Nothing beats velcro (or adjustable buckles) to cater to wide or narrow feet. Shoes with velcro take into account length, width and thickness to help you tighten or loosen your child’s shoes as needed for the perfect fit.

Many of the shoes in our new Memphis Edit range are designed with wide opening velcro fastening, which gives the shoes much greater adjustability. Shop this invigorating range today for that ideal fit for your child!