The importance of fitted shoes

Properly fitted shoes allow for healthy foot development.

At Start-rite, we believe that it's really important to measure a child's feet accurately before buying them every pair of shoes. That's because ill-fitting shoes can have a serious impact on your child's foot health for years to come. To be sure that your child is wearing shoes that fit properly, you can either visit one of our retailers where trained staff will measure and fit your child with shoes, or if that's not convenient, use one of our specially developed tools to help you to measure your child's feet at home.

Like jelly in a mould, your baby’s feet can take on whatever shape they're forced into, so shoe shapes should always match the form of the foot. In toddlers this is wide at the toe and narrow at the heel, a shape that will change as the foot develops.

  • The width and depth of a correctly fitted Start-rite shoe ensures excess pressure is never applied to your baby’s delicate foot
  • Start-rite shoes have built-in growing room to give children’s toes plenty of room to develop

There is no such thing as an ’average’ foot, so every child should be individually fitted with shoes.

To ensure the best possible fit for children and young people of all ages, Start-rite makes shoes in whole and half sizes, and in up to 5 width fittings (D, E, F, G, H).

Things to look for when shopping for shoes…

  • Shoes that come in whole and half sizes, and in up to five width fittings, to ensure the best fit for your child
  • Footwear which is styled to resemble the natural shape of the foot, so for a toddler this should be wide at the toe and narrow at the heel
  • Effective fasteners across the instep so that your child doesn't curl their toes to keep them on
  • Shoes made from, and lined with, breathable materials such as leather to allow the feet to breathe
  • Soles that are lightweight, flexible and non-slip to make walking easier for young children

Start-rite shoes are sold by retailers with skills developed through Start-rite training and experience.

Using the Start-rite foot gauge, they will measure both feet for length and width/girth to give them a guide to the size that your child will need. They will then advise on the style most suited to your child's foot.

When checking the fit of the shoe, the fitter will get your child to stand up so that they can make sure that the shoe is of the correct length, width and girth. They will also check that the shoe is not rubbing on the anklebone and that the fastening is comfortable and secure. They will then watch the child walk, to make sure that the shoes do not slip off and on.

We recommend that children have a professional fit check every six to eight weeks as toddlers, and every three to four months once they are older.

You can now also measure and fit Start-rite shoes yourself at home. We provide the tools and resources you need to measure your child's feet and then choose the right pair online. And if when you receive the shoes they do not fit correctly then we offer free returns. So it really couldn't be easier to purchase Start-rite fitted girls and boys shoes. Find out more on the fitting page.

Girls & Boys shoes and boots - Start-rite shoes