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.
We recommend that you measure your child's foot in centimetres too, using our measuring guide.
See How to Measure your Feet to get started.
For accuracy, we always recommend referring to the cm rather than the UK sizes.
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 ½ cm and a maximum 1½ 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.
To convert your cm measurement to the equivalent UK size please use our conversion table.
Sandals also need a little bit less growing room and you can often find that a sandal in a size below your shoes or boots will give the best fit.
For boots to be worn with thicker socks you can get away with a bit more.
Please contact us with your measurements and preferred style if you are unsure.
All the shoes on our website are categorised as either Narrow, Medium or Wide, often with notes to advise whether they are deep or shallow in depth. You can also filter any selections by these criteria. This is the system the majority of other countries use to fit shoes.
In the UK, we have a system of C-I width fittings. However, these are often not width measurements at all but volume measurements ie. a narrow, deep foot would measure the same as a wide, shallow foot because the tape goes around the whole foot and doesn’t actually measure the width.
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.