How to Size Baby Shoes

A pair of shoes with the right fit can make a huge difference for your little one. Not only is finding the right size more comfortable for them, but it also promotes healthy foot growth and protects them as they explore their world more and more.

Our guide is a free resource that covers everything you need to know about finding the perfect fit, including:

  1. How baby shoe sizes work
  2. How to find your baby's shoe size
  3. How to make sure the fit is correct
  4. Common mistakes to avoid

The tips in this guide will make sure your little one is comfortable in their footwear and happily walking in no time.

How Baby Shoe Sizing Works

Baby shoe sizes are often grouped by age. For example, you might see shoes for ages 0-6 months or for 6-12 months. While this can be helpful, they are meant to be a starting point in your sizing journey. No two baby's feet are the same (and sometimes your baby's own feet will be slightly different sizes from each other), and there is no universal standard for age-based sizing. Use age guidelines to pick a size to start with, but the safest choice is to measure your child's foot so that you know exactly what they need.

How to Measure Your Baby's Feet

So, let's get measuring! While you can hold a ruler up to those little feet, it will probably be a challenge to get an exact measurement, especially if they are kicking or curling their toes. Plus, it is important to get a measure of the foot while standing, because the foot will tend to have a different size when under a little weight. That's why we created our handy printable size chart!

Make sure to measure both feet! It is normal for one foot to be bigger than the other, so you will want to know the size of both feet and shop based on the size of the bigger foot.

Now that you've sized your baby's feet, you're ready to pick their new favorite pair of shoes. Keep in mind that baby companies vary in sizing standards, so look for the exact inches or centimeters when using sizing charts.

Selecting the Correct Width

Some brands' baby shoes are made from rigid materials that can be either too tight, or too loose on your little one's feet. At BirdRock Baby, we make our genuine leather baby moccasins and organic cotton baby booties from soft, flexible materials that form to fit the skinniest and widest of feet. We've heard from thousands of parents who are surprised at how well our shoes fit their little one's impressively chubby (or skinny) feet!

Available in sizes 2, 3, 4, 5.5, 6.5, 8, and 9.5 (suitable for little ones from birth through age 4).

Available in sizes 1, 2.5, 4, 5.5, and 7 (suitable for little ones from birth through age 2).

How to Make Sure the Fit is Correct

Once you've tried on your new baby shoes, you will want to double-check that all that measuring paid off. There's a few quick ways to do that:

1. Visual Check

The shoes should appear snug and you shouldn't see them leaving any marks.

2. Toe Test

From your baby's big toe, measure to the tip of the shoe. The big toe should be between the width of your pinkie and the width of your thumb from the tip of the shoe. Any longer than that and they might trip; any less than that and they might be too snug (plus they will outgrow them fast). This will also depend on the type of shoe, as materials vary. Moccasins are commonly made of leather and will be sturdier than say softer baby booties.

3. Test for Width

You should be able to pinch some of the material between your fingers at the widest point. If you can't do this, then they are too tight.

4. Pinkie Test

Slide your pinkie between your baby's heel and the back of the shoe. Your finger should fit without extra room for the best fit.

Infant Wearing Baby Moccasins

Common Shoe Sizing Mistakes to Avoid

1. Hand-me-downs

Try to avoid hand-me-downs while your little one is still mastering motor skills. Shoes mold to the child's foot through use, and hand-me-down shoes will be molded to the original wearer's foot. This could cause irritation in places where the shoe rubs against the foot, and might even cause them to shift their weight incorrectly while walking.

2. Keeping an eye on foot size

They grow up so fast, and in the blink of an eye they will need to size-up about every 3-4 months. Monitor that growth with regular checks every couple months to make sure they don't start to outgrow the shoes. It helps to set a reminder on your phone so you remember to check.

If your little starts taking shoes off, hobbling around, or rubbing their feet, those are late signs that they've outgrown their shoes and need a new pair quickly!

3. Go big!

If you have done all the calculations and find your baby between sizes, go with the larger size. A little extra room to grow is a good thing.

Why does it seem like baby shoes are always too big?

When we had our first daughter, we were always surprised with how large the baby shoes we bought were. It seemed like they were always at least one size larger than advertised! After starting BirdRock Baby, and learning the ins-and-outs of the shoe business, we learned why: this is a sneaky industry trick to prevent returns.

Many baby shoe companies don't trust their customers to choose the correct size shoe, so they make all of their shoes artificially large. They figure "our sizing might not be accurate, but the child will grow into them so the parents won't return them!"

At BirdRock Baby, we pride ourselves in running our business with honesty and transparency. It's no fun getting a pair of shoes that isn't the size you expected, and that's why our shoes are true-to-size, with accurate size charts on all of our product pages.

Any questions? We're here to help!

We hope you've found our guide on sizing baby shoes helpful, and that when the time comes you'll pick out a pair of our moccasins or booties. If you still have any questions on how to find the right size for your little one, our friendly San Diego based support team is here to help: Click Here to Contact Us.