How to measure children’s feet

We appreciate that sizing is a minefield and trying to buy children’s shoes online is a challenge! Over the years we have built up a wealth of knowledge on sizing and this has allowed us to provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to measure children’s feet.

When you begin your online search for shoes, the likelihood is that you will have an idea of what UK or EU size your child is. This may be as a result of a shoe shop measurement or from a pair of shoes that currently fit well. This is a great starting point; however, it is important to understand that sizing can vary a lot between different brands. One size in a certain brand may be significantly smaller or bigger than the same size in another brand.

We appreciate that this makes buying shoes online even more difficult so you will be pleased to hear that we have come up with a way of standardising the process.

We measure all our shoes in centimetres using a special internal sole measurer, which gives an accurate internal centimetre measurement for each shoe. This is then converted into the equivalent UK size on our conversion chart for familiarity purposes. For accuracy we recommend that you measure your child’s feet in centimetres as well and then follow our fitting guide to ensure you get the right length of shoes you need.

There are lots of different ways to measure your child’s feet and you can make it into a game and have some fun with it! We advise measuring using a couple of different methods and at different times of the day to obtain the most accurate measurement. Feet do vary depending on the time of day, how hot they are and what they have been up to!

The first method is against a vertical surface. To do this ask your child to stand on a piece of card (a shoe box lid is ideal!) and either fold up the card by their heel, stand them against a wall or mark with a pencil where the longest toe comes to. Measure with a ruler the distance to the toe mark. Do this for both feet as one is often longer than the other. Be careful to ensure that they are standing up straight and not leaning on anything and that their feet are as far back as possible against the surface.

The second method is drawing around their feet and measuring from heel to longest toe. The key marks are around the heel and around the longest toe. Measure with a ruler the distance between the heel mark and the toe mark. You will find that you are measuring on a slight diagonal and this is correct and most accurate. Do this for both feet as one is often longer than the other. For particularly wriggly children, try making a game out of drawing around each other’s feet and make some foot pictures or art work to encourage them!

The final (and most messy) method is foot painting. If they are not cooperating, then try doing some foot print paintings to get them used to playing with their feet; you might find that whilst they are making the print you can take your chance to pop a couple of pencil marks at either end of their feet. Measuring the foot print will give some indication, although it will be a bit small as it won’t pick up the heel profile. Even getting them to walk with wet feet on a patio can help give an indication of length if all else fails!

Whichever method you choose there are three essentials for a good measurement. Firstly, the child needs to be standing as straight as possible so that their weight is evenly distributed across both feet. Feet spread on standing and if their weight isn’t fully on their feet you risk under-measuring a little. Next, make sure that you are accounting for the heel profile either by having the foot against the wall or by ensuring that the pencil you use to draw around their foot is vertical. Finally, make sure that the toes are spread out properly and not gripping the floor as this will under-measure as well. Lift the toes gently and spread them out or apply gentle pressure to the top of the foot.

You can download our size guide from our website to use as a template, however, please do check the scale of the template before using!

Once you have your measurements it is now time to choose your shoes! Don’t forget we have a step by step sizing guide on our website which includes a fitting guide to ensure your child has enough wiggle room.