Unlike shopping for your own footwear, purchasing shoes for the kids can be decidedly trickier. Little ones outgrow shoes at a particularly fast rate, and you might feel like you’re purchasing a new pair of sneakers or flats for your daughter mere months after buying the last pair. What’s the best way to navigate the world of children’s shoes, make the right choices, and ensure that she’s comfortable all year long? Use this handy guide to help you narrow down your picks.
It’s not always easy to know quite when your daughter needs a new pair of shoes. You can usually tell when you need to buy a new pair of snow pants or jeans for girls, but she may not inform you right away if her shoes suddenly feel too snug or she doesn’t feel like she can run in them as well as she did before. Periodically, make sure that she’s comfortable — but don’t stop there. Make it a point to examine her shoes from time to time for signs of significant wear.
When they’re too tight or ill-fitting in a specific area, they’re more likely to appear visibly different than they did when you first bought them. The toes might extend upward, for example, the sides might appear to “bulge” out, or the heels may be in poor condition. If it’s to the point that the shoes seem to have lost their structural integrity, it won’t be long before your child experiences discomfort. Stay one step ahead by keeping an eye on those shoes!
Sure, buying shoes for kids isn’t quite the same as buying them for yourself. You know that you need a great pair of heels to go with that pretty new dress, or flats to wear on casual weekends. But what do little girls need? It’s best to build a shoe wardrobe that suits her lifestyle. Active children should always have a few go-to pairs that they can wear to the playground, in the backyard, and to school. A great pair of sneakers is a must, of course, but so are other shoes that will help her stay steady on her feet throughout the day.
For everyday wear, a pair of classic ballet flats for girls is a sensible choice that will keep her comfortable. Look for styles that are versatile enough to wear both during the school day and on weekends. It’s key to seek out styles that offer plenty of room in the toe box so that her feet don’t feel constrained and restricted when she’s walking to class or playing with friends. For little ones who are especially active, Mary Jane styles are appropriate because they’ll help lock her foot down in complete comfort. You’ll feel greater peace of mind, too!
Each season calls for something different. What you look for in a pair of winter boots is decidedly different than shopping for a pair of water shoes. Spring and summer are generally simpler in terms of finding shoes that fit. She may want to wear flip-flops around the house or at the pool, and as long as they span the entire width of her foot and the straps don’t pinch, she should feel comfortable. Don’t forget the sole! It should be thick enough to provide support with every step.
Make it a point to buy water shoes and other beach- and swim-friendly footwear when you buy her a new swimsuit for the season. The right style won’t constrict her feet or feel too tight or pinched at the heel. Look for water shoes with adjustable cords that she can quickly maneuver if the shoe feels too loose or snug at the back, along with features like pull tabs that make it easy to pull on and off.
Fall is back to school season, of course, and that means putting the warm-weather shoes away in favor of more practical choices for the year. Some schools may have strict dress codes that exclude certain types of shoes; make sure that anything you’re considering isn’t on the list! Ballet flats, Mary Janes, and loafers are all perfect, so long as they have sturdy soles that provide strong traction and prevent slips and falls. Something with a hint of room in the toe box is preferable, but avoid purchasing shoes that aren’t actually your daughter’s size. Her heel may lift up when she walks, creating potentially hazardous situations.
Once winter arrives, you’ll need to turn your attention to girls’ boots. The right style will keep her toasty no matter what the season brings! If you live in a cold climate and experience heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures regularly, then a fully insulated boot that combats wind and wet weather is essential. Look for details like waterproof uppers, sturdy rubber soles for increased stability, padded collars for extra comfort, and easy closing mechanisms. These will make your child’s life simpler.
Comfort comes before everything else in a child’s life, whether you’re buying shoes, dresses for girls, or even gloves. No one is tolerant of tight fits and itchy materials, but kids, in particular, may feel especially uncomfortable if everything doesn’t feel just right from head to toe. Don’t wait to break in those shoes — they should fit great right from the start. With these suggestions in mind, you can be confident that your little girl will feel her best in those new shoes!