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Home > Fitting is Easy

Fitting is Easy

Buying shoes by mail doesn't mean that you don't try on and get a proper fit! By following these instructions, you can quickly become confident in fitting your child.

How to Fit Children's Shoes

Mom fitting shoe for child's foot

We make fitting at home easy and professional.

First - Find the right size

Foot measurements should be taken in the afternoon or evening, when the foot is at its largest size, wearing the socks usually worn. Measure BOTH feet and use the larger one. There are several methods:

1. Foot length in inches

Have the child stand on a ruler, with the heel flush with "0". Be sure the toes are fully extended and not curled, and be sure the child is putting his or her full body weight on that foot. (For infants, press the foot firmly onto the ruler.) Read the foot length in inches at the end of the longest toe.

Then, use our sizing-by-style chart to choose the size based on foot length. If buying a gift for newborns, our first size is 17 (equivalent to a US 2).

2. Fitting device

Brannock shoe fitting device

You can also order our economical professional fitting device, for added confidence and ease of measuring at home. (Click this photo or see items at the bottom of this page.)

3. Make a foot tracing

Use a #2 pencil and have the child stand up, with his or her full body weight on the foot. Keep the pencil perpendicular to the ground. Don't angle it under the foot, or else the tracing will be too small. Send us the tracing by mail or fax (305-448-1980, call first).

4. Tell us what other shoes the child currently wears and the sizes. We'll help you choose the best fit in our European sizes.

5. If you have any difficulty, call or e-mail us and we'll find the appropriate size together. We don't have an 800 number, but you may call and give us your name, number, and best time to call and we'll call you back.

or e-mail

Second - Try on for proper fit

Once you have received the shoes, here is what to look for to see if the shoe fits properly:

- Try on in the afternoon or early evening, when the feet are at their maximum size.

- Wear the socks that will be worn with the shoe. Fit the larger foot - you may need a heel insert or metatarsal pad for the shoe on the smaller foot, if there is a half-size or more of difference between the feet (such a difference is normal).

1. Toe room
Feel for a thumb's width of room in the toe, for growth. When fitting sandals, this may look like a lot of room in the toe, but it isn't too much if the child isn't walking out of the sandal or tripping.

2. Width across the vamp (top of shoe, at the ball of the foot)
Feel across the ball of the foot, to check that the shoe is not too loose or tight.

3. Back counter (the heel)
You should be able to get a pinky finger (up to the first knuckle) in the shoe, behind the achilles tendon, since the achilles needs some freedom of movement. Check how the back counter holds the foot around the heel. You can use a stick-on heel-counter insert (photo below) to take up some room in the heel if necessary (find at shoe repair, or order from us).

(Please see the link at the bottom of this page.)

heel insert

4. Watch the child walk.
Watch from the back and front.
Make sure the child isn't tripping (too much room in the toe) nor walking out of the shoe (heel too loose).
Seeing a gap at the back of the shoe, around the achilles, is normal. Where the shoe holds is below there, around the heel.

If the child has a narrow heel, but fits the shoe well at the ball of the foot, you may be able to use a heel insert to make an adjustment, to take up some of the room.

Note regarding Mary Jane (girls) styles: the shoe must "break" across the top when the foot bends with each step - this is normal.

Any more questions or doubts? Feel free to call us! 305-448-1980

Finally, a word about sizes: Don't worry if the size number you get for our shoes is the same or smaller as your child's current size. There is NO worldwide standard for shoe sizes, which means that you may require a different size than what you thought you needed, especially if you are comparing to shoes made in the Far East or elsewhere. (European-made shoes usually run bigger.) Since each shoe line may be constructed differently, be prepared for your child to vary 1-2 sizes between brands and/ or styles.

This is why we suggest using foot length in inches, since inches are always standard.

In other words, if your child is wearing a 24 in his or her current shoe, but needs a 23 in another shoe line, it doesn't mean your child didn't grow. It means the second shoe line is sized more generously - that's all.

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