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2 ways to measure kids' feet at home
This guide covers two easy ways to measure your children’s feet from the comfort of home. With the Stride Rite method, you print off our size guide and measure their feet against the chart to find the perfect Stride Rite size. If you don't have a printer and need to use materials you have lying around the house, the tracing method is for you.
1. the stride rite method
First thing's first. Download our shoe size guide
Then, follow the instructions on the guide, or reference the steps below.
what you'll need:
- 1 barefoot child
- hard floor & wall
- credit card (for print scale)
- shoelace (optional)
- print the size guide: Find a color printer, and set the scale to 100 percent. In your printer preferences, uncheck "page scaling." After the page prints, double check the scale by fitting your credit card into the sizing area. If it aligns, you're good to go.
- set up your space: Following the dotted lines, cut out the length ruler and width ruler from the size guide. Tape the length guide to a hard floor (so it doesn't move when your kid stands on it), with the curved line flush against a wall. Set aside the width ruler for later.
- measure length: Place one of your kid's feet on the length ruler, aligning their heel with the curved line. Double check that their heel is touching the wall. On the size guide, mark the first visible line past their big toe with a pencil and then note the length measurement in the space provided on the guide. Make sure you record the length and width measurements in the appropriate space, depending on whether you're measuring the right or left foot!
- measure width: With your child standing up straight, slip the width ruler under one foot and wrap it all the way around the ball, or the widest part. With the ruler wrapped closely around the foot (but not tight), mark the area of the ruler that meets the "align here" arrows with a pencil. Find the number of the width ruler that matches their length measurement and aligns with the mark you made on the ruler. For example, if your child is a length size 7, look for where your mark hits the 7 on the width ruler – the darker the color, the wider the width. Note this measurement in the corresponding box on the guide.
- measure width with a shoelace (alternate method): You can also measure foot width with a shoelace. First, wrap the shoelace around the widest part of their foot. Mark the spot on the shoelace that meets the end you're holding. Then, place the end of the shoelace at the “align here” arrow line, and locate the width that matches the mark you made and their length measurement.
- repeat steps 3-4 with the other foot: Now, you know their Stride Rite size!
2. the tracing method
You can also trace your kid’s feet and convert the measurements to their ideal shoe size with Stride Rite’s shoe size chart.
Watch the tracing method in action or check out the how-to guide below.
what you'll need:
- 1 barefoot child
- trace both feet: Have your child stand on the sheet of paper – you may need a helper to keep them standing straight! Using the marker, trace the outline of both feet. Repeat this step if necessary to ensure accuracy.
- measure length: Use the ruler to measure from the outside of the heel to the tip of the big toe on both feet. Write the number down in inches or centimeters, and label it as length. Remember – many kids' feet are differently sizes as they grow. Measure each foot separately to find a size that's sure to fit both!
- measure width: Wrap the ribbon around the widest part of one foot, noting where the two ends meet. Measure the part of the ribbon that wrapped around their foot against the ruler, And record that number as width. Repeat for the other foot.
- find the shoe size: Compare your child’s measurements with our sizing chart to find their size and width.
kids' shoe size chart
how to get help measuring
To get the most accurate measurement of your kids’ feet, your best option is to visit a Stride Rite location near you. Our Stride Rite Fit Experts have been trained to measure children’s feet accurately, even if they squirm or lose focus.
Our employees use a special measuring instrument called the Brannock Device, which guarantees the correct length and width.
Babies and toddlers can’t tell you if their shoes are uncomfortable. With the help of a Stride Rite employee, you can ensure their footwear is perfectly sized.
kids' shoe sizing tips and advice
Kids' shoe sizes can be confusing to navigate. Unlike clothing sizes, your child’s shoe size doesn’t correspond to their age, unless they're a baby. Baby shoes are listed by age in month. However, you should still measure their feet, since some little ones grow faster than others!
Once your child graduates into kid-size shoes, the sizing system switches to numbers. Sizes 3.5 to 10 are considered little kid shoes. From Size 10.5 onward, you’re into big kid sizes. When your big kid outgrows their size 13.5 kids' shoes, the system changes again to adult sizing, and you’ll be shopping for a pair of size 1’s.
how often to measure kids' feet
Did you know that children’s feet can grow half a size every 2 to 4 months? While this average varies depending on age, you should measure your kid’s feet every two months to ensure their shoes are fitting well.
Read our FAQ to learn all about how kids' feet grow and the kind of shoes you need to support their healthy development.
what to do if your kid is between sizes
If your child is between sizes or one foot is bigger than the other, always buy the bigger size. You don't want either foot to be cramped or squished inside their shoes.
To avoid shopping headaches, keep referring to our kids shoe size chart. Regardless of age, Stride Rite shoe sizes are always measured according to the current length and width of your kid’s feet.
checking the fit
Got the right size? Use our fit guide to learn more about fitting kids' shoes and how to make sure those small, growing feet are properly protected.
shopping by size
Now you know which size shoe your kid needs! Pick them up the perfect pair by shopping our full selection by size below.