Only yesterday my wife tried a new pair of shoes on my 2 year old only for her to realise they were too small! This isn’t the first time this is happened and I guarantee it won’t be the last :). This is always the risk when you buy shoes online as there can be discrepancies between the various sizes, which unfortunately makes things very annoying for parents. Furthermore, toddlers are constantly growing so they can move up a size in no time at all.
Is there an average shoe size for a 2 year old? Well if you’re based in the US, you should find it’s between sizes 6-8 which is around 5.125 – 5.75” long.As you can see this is quite a range which doesn’t make things that easy, but you have to remember that toddlers are all different shapes and sizes, and that includes their feet. Some can have longer or shorter feet than normal, where as others can have quite wide feet for their age. In this article, let’s look at what you should consider when thinking about shoe sizes for your 2 year old toddler.
- 1 Get those feet measured regularly
- 2 Are shoe sizes the same in different countries?
- 3 Are shoe sizes the same in all stores?
- 4 What should you consider when buying shoes for your 2 year old?
- 5 Should you consider half sizes?
Get those feet measured regularly
First things first, you need to make sure you know your child’s feet size just as you would for clothing. And that means measuring them regularly. Go to your local shoe store and get them measured by a professional. Alternatively you can do it yourself by purchasing a measuring gauge (which is what they use in shoe stores anyway), or by using a ruler, measuring tape or outlining their foot on a piece of paper.
Are shoe sizes the same in different countries?
Unfortunately there isn’t a universal shoe size across the world. Wouldn’t that be easier for everyone? Here are the equivalents to US shoes sizes 6-8 for kids:
- UK – 5-7
- Canada – 6-8
- Australia – 5.5-7.5
- EU – 22-24
So if you’re on holiday in another country and see some cute pair of sneakers for your toddler, make sure you know they are the right size. Personally I would definitely try them out on your toddler before committing to the purchase. Obviously if they’re a little big that’s ok as you can use them in a few months time.
Are shoe sizes the same in all stores?
It’s mostly uniform across most retailers, but there are a few differences and other things to consider so the best thing you can do is try out the shoes in store. My advice would be to try and stick to the same retailer as much as you can once you find a good pair of shoes that your toddler feels comfortable wearing. That way you can just gradually move up the sizes as your child grows knowing they will probably fit ok. Here are some examples of three US retailers:
They state that their walker shoes (12-24 months) are for sizes 4.5 – 7, whereas there toddler sizes (2-4 years) go from 7.5-12. This means that some 18 month old children will be ready for size 6 shoes where as some children who are approaching 2 and a half may already need size 9’s. On the whole, Nordstrom seem to cater for larger kids in terms of their clothing, and it looks similar for shoes too.
The main thing to remember with Kohls is that they use ‘T’ as well as the number for their shoe sizes. They state that size 6T is for 18 month old children, 7T is for 18months – 24 months and 8T is for 2 year old toddlers. With their shoes you may find that once your child is past their 2nd birthday, you may need to start looking at 9T and 10T pretty quickly.
Their shoe size chart states that size 6 is ok for 18-24 months, but size 8 shoes are suitable for 2.5-3 years old. Unlike Nordstrom and Kohls their shoe sizes seem to be a little smaller.
What should you consider when buying shoes for your 2 year old?
One of the worst things to do when you purchase shoes is buying a pair which is a very snug fit. While it might be the ideal pair of shoes for your toddler right now, in a few week’s time you’ll be on the lookout for some more. Here are some important aspects to consider:
A good fit
Make sure you allow a little wiggle room in your toddler’s shoes. They’ll be more comfortable for your child and the shoes will last longer. However, don’t go for some shoes that are too roomy as this can cause issues with their walking. Wrong footwear which is too big or too tight is a red flag especially for children’s as it can hinder their physical development.
It’s so easy to focus on just the length of your child’s feet when you’re measuring them. However, it’s vital you don’t forget to think about the width as well. If their feet are particularly wide then regular size 6, 7 or 8 shoes might not be ideal. In the US, you can get narrow (N) fitting shoes all the way to extra wide (XW).
Secondly, don’t feel you need to spend a lot of money on shoes for your child. They’ll grow out of them so quickly and they’ll also become battered and worn out very quickly. You can waste a lot of money on shoes very easily.
You also need to think about the time of day you’re buying or measuring your toddler for a pair of shoes. In the morning our feet are a little cooler, but during the day they can swell up as they get warmer, especially on a hot summer’s day! If you’re buying a pair of shoes, it’s best to try them on after lunchtime or after your toddler has been on the go for a while.
Measure both feet
Around 60% of all people have one foot bigger than another, so make sure you measure both of your child’s feet.
Think about socks
Finally, don’t forget to think about socks. If you’re intending your little one to wear a pair of socks when they’ve got their shoes on, it’s best to measure their feet with their socks on. Failing that, at least purchase some shoes which have a good amount of wiggle room.
Should you consider half sizes?
It depends on the fit of the shoes. If you find a pair which is slightly too tight, then going up half a size is not a bad idea. You could go up a full size but I wouldn’t recommend letting your toddler run around in them for quite a while. It’s very easy to get blisters in shoes which are too big and your child is more susceptible to falling over.