Your Complete Guide to Kids Shoe Sizes

Kids shoe sizes come in two size ranges, one for toddlers and little kids and the other for bigger kids or youth. Understanding the distinction between these ranges is helpful when shopping for Adidas shoes or other brands that make footwear for all ages. Find out more about each size range and how the upper range corresponds with adult womens and mens shoe sizes to simplify shopping for kids footwear.

Toddler and Little Kids Sizes

Toddler or tots sizes are the smallest shoe sizes. In general, babies do not need shoes for the first year. Booties, socks and soft-soled shoes allow feet to grow without restriction. During this time, a child’s feet will grow to almost half of his or her adult shoe size at a rate of about one-half size every two months.

Most children start to need walking shoes around the ages of 10 to 18 months. Toddlers’ feet strike the ground with more force than adults. Look for cheap Asics or shoes that provide plenty of padding and flexibility to improve stability and support while protecting against injury. Toddlers and little kids sizes range from zero to 13. Toddler sizes up to seven may be marked with the letter T and sizes seven to 13 may be labeled Kids.

Big Kids Sizes

The next size range up from toddler and little kids is big kids or youth. This range goes from size 1 to size 7. This range of sizes can cause confusion as it overlaps with adult sizes.

A big kids or youth size three is equivalent to a womens size five, while size seven is equivalent to mens size seven. When a kid’s weight surpasses 80 pounds, he or she should wear adult shoes for cushioning and support.

Converting Kids to Adult Sizes

As a big kids or youth size seven is equivalent to a men’s size seven, a men’s size eight is the next full size up from a big kids or youth size seven. There is about a 1.5 size difference between mens and womens shoes sizes, so that a men’s size eight is equivalent to a womens size 9.5. Toddlers, little kids, big kids, youth and adult sizes are available in different widths. Narrow shoes are indicated by B, C, or N labels. Medium shoes are marked D or M. Wide shoes may be labeled E or W and extra wide shoes may be marked EE, WW or XW.

Between 15 months and two years, a child’s feet grow about one-half size every two to three months. Between age two to three, you can expect a one-half size increase every three to four months. Afterward, foot size may increase one-half size every four months until growth is complete.

Most orthopedic experts recommend having a trained specialist measure your child’s feet a couple of times a year. A professional can factor in foot length, width, arch length and assess volume. In a pinch, you can also print off a size guide and do a scale test or trace and measure your child’s foot.

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