Our Approach to Sizing

Sizing is a minefield! We totally appreciate that and have worked hard to make things much easier for you to measure from home.

Here at Happy Little Soles, we measure all of our shoes in centimetres using a special internal sole measurer. This gives an accurate internal centimetre measurement for each shoe which is then converted into the equivalent UK size for familiarity purposes.

For accuracy we always recommend that you measure your child's foot in centimetres too, using our measuring guide. This measurement can then be used when searching for shoes on our website. See How to Measure your Feet to get started.


Length Fitting

Use the longest measurement as the foot length, you then need to add an allowance for growing room to establish what length of shoe to choose. Shoe lengths should be a minimum 0.5 cm and a maximum 1.5 cm longer than the longest foot length. How much depends on the age and size of your child and how confident a walker they are. I find around 0.8 - 1cm is usually ideal so aim for that but bear in mind for smaller feet and new walkers you may need a bit less, narrower feet also tend to need a little less growing room. Older, larger feet can get away with a bit more.

It is also worth noting that you may need to go up or down a size depending on the type of footwear you are buying. For example;

  • BOOTS (including wellingtons) - We recommend trying a half size above the recommended UK size to allow for thicker socks and extra growing room. An insole and/or a thicker winter sock can help if a boot is slightly too large at first.
  • SHOES AND TRAINERS - Please refer to the UK size specified in the table at the bottom of this page.  We have based this on medium width feet, however very narrow thin feet might need to go down by ½ a size whereas very wide feet may need ½ a size bigger. 
  • SANDALS - Usually need less growing room due to their more open-toe design and can be worn without socks.  For a sandal we recommend choosing half (or even a whole size) below your normal shoe size to give a better fit.

You are advised to read the brand and item description pages on our website, for each product, as we regularly update these based on customer feedback for size, width and fit.

Please contact us with your measurements and preferred style if you are unsure and we will be happy to help.


Width Fitting

So how do you judge the width of your children’s’ feet? Our system relies on you as the child’s primary carer to know which bracket their feet fall into, just as we know if they're short, tall or average in height. So how to you tell? Generally speaking if your child had very narrow or very wide feet you would probably know. If you aren't sure of the width of your child’s feet then they are probably medium width and we would suggest you start there’.

In a barefoot shoe you are not looking to 'hug' the width of the foot but allow sufficient room for little toes to spread out and for the natural expansion and growth of hot, active little feet. This often means that shoes can look a little wider across the width than traditional shoe fitting would allow. This is absolutely fine and normal, you need space across the width just as you do across the length to allow feet to expand and grow. This is how you allow feet to work as well in a shoe as they do barefoot. Our philosophy is to allow as much space as possible across the toes.

Barefoot shoes are by their nature wide and roomy in order to give little feet the space they need to grow and develop naturally. Children’s feet can expand by up to 20% when hot and active. Barefoot shoes allow for this. However, although a wide fit is important, too wide can of course be detrimental. If the foot is visibly slipping around within the shoe or the child is not walking naturally, the shoe is likely too wide and shouldn’t be worn.


How to Choose Your Shoes

Once you have identified the ideal length and width you can begin to search the website. Once you have identified the ideal length and width you can begin to search the website. You can start to search any way you like, with either size, width, brand or shoe type and then filter your selections down to find the perfect shoe.

We have converted each shoe into a UK sizing using our centimetre measurement. The shoes are listed with their official size first. This could be ‘medium’, ’12-18months’, ‘UK4’, ‘US6’, ‘EU22’. It’s whatever the manufacturer uses. Then in brackets next to it will be the inside sole length measured in cm and our UK equivalent size based on this cm measurement. Please note that this does vary from the manufacturers conversion and is used to standardize brands across the website. Use the individual fitting comments on each shoe description to check you have the right shoe.


UK Size Conversion Table

Please use this conversion table to convert the cm measurement for your child’s foot into the advised UK shoe size.  The conversion is based on taking the actual foot measurement and adding 0.8cm for growing room. 

Please read our notes above on how to adjust this size for different styles and widths.


Actual Foot Length (cm) UK Size Actual Foot Length (cm)
UK Size
10-10.3 1.5 17.6-17.9 10.5
10.4-10.7 2 18-18.3 11
10.8-11.1 2.5 18.4-18.7 11.5
11.2-11.5 3 18.8-19.1 12
11.6-11.9 3.5 19.2-19.5 12.5
12-12.3 4 19.6-19.9 13
12.4-12.7 4.5 20-20.2 13.5
12.8-13.2 5 20.3-20.7 1 junior
13.3-13.7 5.5 20.8-21 1.5 junior
13.8-14.2 6 21.1-21.4 2 junior
14.3-14.7 6.5 21.5-21.8 2.5 junior
14.8-15.1 7 21.9-22.2 3 junior
15.2-15.4 7.5 22.3-22.5 3.5 junior
15.5-15.8 8 22.6-22.8 4 junior
15.9-16.2 8.5 22.9-23.1 4.5 junior
16.3-16.6 9 23.2-23.5 5 junior
16.7-17 9.5 23.6-23.9 5.5 junior
17.1-17.5 10 24-24.3 6 junior