How to choose your shoes

Here at Happy Little Soles, we use a standardised system based on centimetre measurements, see our Approach to sizing for full details. We recommend that you measure your child's foot in centimeters too and for accuracy, we always recommend referring to the cm rather than the UK sizes.

For ways of measuring your child’s foot in cm please see ‘How to measure your feet’

Once you have a reliable foot length in cm then you need to work out which length of shoes you need.

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 ½ cm and a maximum 1½ cm longer than the longest foot length. However I generally find 1.5cm is too big for everything other than wellies and snow boots to be worn with thick socks.

In practice how much growing room to allow depends on the age and size of your child and how confident a walker they are.

For shoes 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.

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.

Width Fitting

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. Please see our Approach to sizing for full details of the issues around 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. Most people fall into the medium width category and if you aren’t sure then they are probably medium width and we would suggest you start there.

We are developing a Gallery of Feet to try and show images of lots of different kind of feet to make it easier to identify which type your little one fits into.

How to choose your shoes

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 own 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 may 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.