It’s a well-known fact that ill-fitting shoes can have a severe impact on your child's foot health for years to come. Crazy, right? But don’t worry - we’ve got you covered!

Kids grow fast - and their feet grow just as fast too. Here’s a fun fact: in the first 3-4 years, children’s feet grow up to 2 sizes per year. And by the time your little ones are ready to go to school, their feet will be growing about 1 size per year. Obviously, though, every kid is different and grows differently, so the actual numbers may vary. That’s why it’s essential you know how to measure your baby’s feet accurately and regularly.

Not only does the correct fitting of the shoes protect foot growth, helping kids feel safe and comfortable, but wearing the right shoes in the right size gives children the help they need to learn to walk around the world freely and confidently.

There Are Two Ways to Measure a Baby’s Foot for Shoes…

Now that ordering shoes online has become regular, it’s vital to correctly measure your baby’s feet right from home and to avoid ordering a few sizes at random, hoping for the best outcome. It doesn’t only save you a lot of time, but also resources.

So if you’re feeling lucky, you can always try and measure your little one’s feet yourself, in the comfort of your home. There are two ways to do it: you can either download our size guide from here or measure your baby’s feet manually for the right pair of shoes. With the right instructions, it can be super easy and even fun!

And that’s exactly where we come into play with this article: we’ll explain all the necessary steps to help you figure out how to measure your baby’s feet at home, matching their feet to our baby shoes size guide, and we’ll also give you some mommy-approved measuring tips that you shouldn’t miss!

So, get your baby ready, and let’s roll! :)

How to Measure Baby Feet for Shoes Yourself

Baby shoe sizes can be a real hassle by themselves: there are so many numbers and it gets difficult to decide between a size 2.5 or a size for an 8 month old baby - it’s tough to know how baby shoe sizes work. And measuring a baby's feet for shoes is a real challenge in itself. Not to mention that they seem to grow by the minute!

But to help your baby feel comfy and safe with their new pair of shoes, you need to make sure they’re the correct size and fit for their cute little feet. Here’s our fool-proof detailed guide, with a few simple steps that might help you out:

  • Step 1: Help your baby stand up straight. Place your baby’s foot on a flat surface (the foot must be flattened with the help of their body weight) and get a pencil and a tape line or a ruler ready for the next steps.

  • Step 2: Trace your baby’s feet. Place a piece of paper under their foot. Place the foot (without socks) on the paper and trace the outline of their feet on the paper, with the pencil held perfectly vertical. Make sure the outline is accurate - don’t be afraid to repeat the step until you’re happy with the result!

  • Step 3: Measure the length. Gently trace a line from the middle of the heel until the longest point of the contour, and measure (that is the contour length - line a. from the photo). Also, pretty important - make sure you do this step on both feet - we know how much shoe sizes differ as the babies grow.

  • Step 4: Measure the width. The next line you will want to trace goes from the "bunion" to just under the little toe (that is the contour width - line b. from the photo). Repeat this step for both feet.

  • Extra step: Measure the foot’s circumference (c. from the photo) as shown below and note it down. It will prove to be extra helpful when you choose the best barefoot shoes for your kid, as you’ll be able to provide exact measurements to the crafters.

Baby Shoe Size Chart

View our baby shoe size chart here

While a baby shoe size chart might seem like an easier solution, at the same time, it’s super important that you print the size guide to the right scale, in order to avoid ordering a size 3 when your baby actually needs a size 2.5.

  • Step 1: After you print out the sizing guide, get your little one ready for measurements! You can start by placing one of your baby’s feet on the printed guide, as per the length ruler, making sure you’re aligning their heel properly.

  • Step 2: Then, get ready to mark the first line that’s visible past their big toe with a pencil (or better, a colored marker, for an extra pop) and then note their foot length in the space provided on the guide.

  • Step 3: Measure the length and the width of both their little feet! Every child's feet grow differently, and not to mention, at different times. So it’s best to make sure you double or even triple check all the measurements before you decide on which pair of shoes to buy for your baby.

*Keep in mind that our models are handcrafted. As such, our baby shoe sizes may vary with up to 2 mm

If you find yourself debating between two sizes, always opt for the larger of the two. Also, if your baby’s feet are particularly large, you should maybe consider sizing up based on their circumference measurements.

Next Step: Test If Your Kid’s Shoes Fit Nice & Well

Once you've shopped and tried on your new baby shoes, you’ll have to double-check that all that measuring we did before actually paid off. Here are a few small tips & tricks on how to test it out:

  1. Visual check

Most shoes that don’t fit well should be easily identified just by the naked eye: Do the shoes leave marks on the baby’s feet? Do they appear to fit snugly? Are they too loose? Or maybe too tight? Make sure you turn the shoes upside down or inside out if you can, anything to check that they’re the proper size.

  1. Check the insole

If the shoes fit a bit too tight when you first put them on your baby’s feet, then they might actually become too small in a very short while. Babies outgrow their closets sooo fast! So here’s one thing you can do: take out the insole of the shoe and measure it; then, compare it to the measurements you have for your baby’s toes to the tip of the insole - there should be enough space to fit approximately 12mm, at least. If it’s any longer than that, then the shoes will be too big for your baby. And if it’s less, then they’re too small!

  1. Pinch the shoe

Preferably, the shoes should fit snugly enough that you’re able to pinch a bit of the material at the widest point. Most barefoot shoes have a very flexible material that usually stretches to fit the feet.

Frequently Asked Questions about Baby Shoe Sizing

  1. How do baby shoe sizes work?

Although we might be inclined to believe that baby shoe sizes are just tiny versions of adult sizes, that’s not really how they work. They’re specifically tailored for the feet of newborns, infants, and toddlers. They’re also the same for both girls and boys - not like the adult sizes.

  1. Should babies wear shoes when learning to walk?

It's usually recommended that babies start learning to walk barefoot or wearing soft-soled shoes, but you should alternate with hard-soled shoes once they start walking outright, to help avoid them injuring their feet.

  1. What's the smallest shoe size for babies?

The smallest shoe size available is for newborns! And it’s a 0 (zero), measuring only 8.2 cm/3.22 in length and just 10.8 cm/4.25 in width.

  1. What size shoes do babies wear?

Baby shoe sizes usually come in different categories, depending on the baby’s age: so there are 3 kinds we can think of from the top of our heads:

  • Shoes for newborns (0-2 months old) - between size 0 and size 2 (US) or up to size 18 (EU);

  • Shoes for infants (2-12 months old) - roughly up to size 4 (US) or up to size 20 (EU);

  • And for toddlers (1-3 years old) - usually between size 5 and size 10 (US) or up to size 28 (EU).

Common Mistakes Related to Baby Shoe Sizes

You know what they say… you can never be too sure! OF course, we do swear by our tips and tricks we’ve shared above and by our size chart to help you measure baby’s feet correctly, but sometimes you just have to go that extra mile and make sure you won’t have any problems choosing the right size shoes for your baby.

  • Going for a shoe size that fits a bit “too well” - as a rule, it’s always better to go a size up. At the rate at which babies grow, giving their little feet some extra room is a good idea.

  • Having your baby wear hand-me-downs - in general, shoes tend to become molded to the original wearer's foot in time. Wearing a hand-me-down will quickly become uncomfortable for your baby if the shoe rubs their feet in awkward places or makes them shift their body weight to accommodate the shoe.

  • Not measuring your baby’s feet frequently enough - sigh… babies do grow super fast, and we need to keep up with them. We recommend you monitor that growth and check them every couple of months to make sure they haven’t already outgrown their size 2 shoes that you just bought for them.

Summing Up

Quick recap: Babies outgrow their shoes super fast. Their feet need to be measured regularly. You can easily do this by yourself at home. Your pinkie is surprisingly critical. Haha

All jokes aside, we do hope we’ve made it a tad bit easier for you with our size chart and sizing guide and, when you do decide to invest in a new pair of shoes for your little one, we hope you’ll pick a pair of super funky Tikki® shoes!

Check out our soft-soled barefoot shoes here.