Measure you child’s feet at the shoe store. Most shoe stores offer a metal foot measure that allows you to accurately determine the length and width of your child’s feet. Be sure to measure your child’s foot with his socks on (the ones he usually wears often) and at the end of the day toward evening when his feet will be a bit swollen from walking a lot. Also be sure to measure both feet since one is usually a bit longer than the other. Ask for assistance from a shoe clerk or salesman to be sure you have the most accurate measurements.
To check your child’s shoe size at home, have him sit in a chair with his feet flat on a piece of blank paper. Make sure your child has socks on that he wears often to get an accurate measurement. Using a pencil, trace around your child’s feet (be sure to do both because one is usually bigger than the other). Measure the length of the tracing with a cloth tape measure or a ruler. Subtract a 1/5 of an inch off the total length and this will be the measurement of your child’s foot. Do the same for both feet to get the most accurate shoe measurement.
Have your child try shoes on that match the size of the shoe store measurement. Ask your child to walk around the store a few times to be sure the shoes are comfortable. I even have my child run a little to be sure the shoe won’t slip off and/or isn’t too tight. Know too that your child may have wide feet and require a ‘W’ size when trying on shoes. Making sure the shoe is the most comfortable fit on your child when he is active is most important.
Test the shoes your child tries on by pushing in on the sides and pinching against the tip of the foot. Be sure your child has a little bit of movement within the shoe, but not too much. It’s important that the shoe offers support, but it not too tight, nor too loose. When testing the top of the shoe toward the toe, try to be sure there is at least an inch of room between the tip of the shoe and your child’s toe. You should be able to flatly place the pad of your thumb in between the area. This leaves your child’s foot room to grow, yet allows him the support he needs.