How Little Feet Grow

Baby (size 0–3.5, age birth–15 months)

  • Bones are not yet fully formed
  • Pediatricians recommend a soft, flexible "barefoot fit"
  • Feet grow rapidly
  • Expect to get a few weeks or a few months from your soft Baby shoes and booties.
Your Baby's foot bones are not yet fully formed. A natural fit is crucial as muscles develop and cartilage matures into bone. While Baby crawls, cruises, and pulls herself up for those first wobbly steps, pediatricians recommend a "barefoot fit." A sturdy sole is not needed for pre-walkers–instead, choose the softest, most flexible footwear when you need to protect from injuries or weather. Easy-on booties that open wide are easiest to put on chunky, wiggly baby feet.


Toddler (size 4–7.5, age 9–24 months)

  • Flexible support is best
  • Protect active feet with secure fit & traction sole
  • Favorite shoes are easy on/easy off
  • New shoe size every 2 - 4 months

Toddlers go from zero to 60, exuberantly exploring their world (with plenty of hands-on help from you!).

Toddler feet are developing rapidly, and need flexible support and protection. The best pediatric shoes have flexible soles, a stable heel counter and a roomy toe box for that ideal “barefoot fit.”

Toddler shoes should be easy to get on and off, and stay put while running, climbing, and jumping. A little room to grow is fine, but shoes should be securely on the feet for active play.

Toddler foot growth averages 1/16”–1/8” per month. Measure frequently, and expect to outgrow shoes every 2 to 4 months. Your mileage may vary!


Little Kid (size 8–13.5, age 2–6 years)

  • Growth rate slows, watch for growth spurts
  • Watch for wear & tear
  • Buy up to 1/2 size large
  • Replace 2 to 4 times a year

Expect to replace your Little Kid’s shoes every 3 to 6 months. At this age, the growth rate slows to around 1/2" per year—and on average, there's 1/8" to 1/4" between half sizes.

Growth spurts are unpredictable: Little Kids might stay in one size for several months before leaping ahead a whole size, or even more! Measure your Little Kid’s foot once a season. Consider ordering a half size up—if new shoes are a bit big, they won’t be for long. Note: Pediatricians advise that more than a half size (or 1/2") extra can increase the risk of a fall.

Little Kids are so active and adventurous, they’re hard on their shoes. Quality kids’ footwear is tough, but watch for wear and damage. Cracked or worn outsoles, ripped seams or broken straps mean it’s time for fresh kicks!


Big Kid (size Y1–Y7+, age 6–12 years)

  • Buy seasonally
  • Check soles for wear
  • Select footwear for a wide range of activities

Big Kids need several footwear choices for a wide range of activities—and they frequently wear out shoes before they grow out of them. Watch for broken straps and laces, as well as slick, worn soles that can cause missteps and falls.

You may see a new shoe size twice a year; check their fit every few months. Growth spurts are common. Outfit Big Kids with new boots, shoes and sandals before the active spring season, and again at back-to-school time. 

Youth footwear (sizes Y1 and up) is on the Men's sizing scale. Generally, Women's shoe sizing is 2 sizes down from Men's. For example, Youth 5 = Men's 5 = Women's 7. If your child fits a Women's 7, the right Youth size would be 5.