A parent’s guide to finding just the right shoe size for newborns, infants, and older babies. With baby shoe size charts and illustrations.
Finding the Right Baby Shoe Sizes
From day one, a baby’s feet are a delicate work in progress, with every small step foreshadowing how their feet, leg muscles, balance and stride will develop over the years ahead. Accordingly, when they must be worn at all, baby shoes should be chosen with tender, loving care.
Baby shoe sizes are not just smaller, identical versions of adult sizes. They’re a totally different category of shoe sizes specifically tailored for the feet of newborns, infants, and toddlers, based primarily on the child’s foot length in inches.
Unlike adult sizes, baby shoe sizes are identical for both girls and boys. Furthermore, baby shoe sizes are subcategorized into those for newborns (0-2 months), infants (2-12 months), and toddlers (1-3 years).
Baby Shoe Size Chart by Age
To help you find the best shoe size for your newborns (0-2 months), infants (2-12 months), and toddlers (1-3 years), refer to the US baby shoe size chart below. Scan down the chart until you find your baby’s shoe size by foot length and age. If the length of your child’s foot lies outside the corresponding age range, go with the baby shoe size assigned by the chart to that particular foot length. Naturally, still be sure to try the shoes on your child.
|Foot Length in Inch||Baby/Kids Shoe Size (US)||Approx. Age||Worn by|
|3 5/8||1C||0 - 2 months||Newborn|
|4||2C||1 - 3 months||Newborn|
|4 1/8||2.5C||3 - 6 months||Infant|
|4 3/8||3C||6 - 9 months||Infant|
|4 1/2||3.5C||9 - 11 months||Infant|
|4 3/4||4C||10 - 12 months||Infant|
|5||5C||13 - 15 months||Toddler|
|5 1/4||6C||16 - 18 months||Toddler|
|5 5/8||7C||21 - 24 months||Toddler|
|6 1/4||9C||3 years||Toddler|
Infant Shoe Size Chart
For the most part, infant shoes sizes are intended for little ones between the approximate ages of 2 and 12 months. The infant shoe sizes chart by age below will guide you to the perfect fit.
|Age of Infant||US Shoe Size||Foot length (inches)|
|0 - 2 months||0.5C - 1.5C||3 1/2 - 3 7/8"|
|1 - 3 months||2C||4"|
|3 - 6 months||2.5C||4 1/8"|
|6 - 9 months||3C||4 3/8"|
|9 - 11 months||3.5C||4 1/2"|
|10 - 12 months||4C||4 3/4"|
Newborn Shoe Size Chart
When they must wear footwear at all, newborns often wear socks and booties. Due to the varying size of newborns and their feet, age ranges may overlap, with a 1C fitting 0- to 2-month-olds while some 1- to 3-month-olds may require a 2C.
|Age||US Shoe Size||Foot length (inch)||Worn by|
|0 - 2 months||1C||3 5/8 inches||Newborn|
|1 - 3 months||2C||4 inches||Newborn|
Broad consensus among pediatricians and podiatrists encourages that newborns remain barefoot as much as possible for the unfettered development of bones and musculature. When cold temperatures or other environmental factors demand, however, such protective footwear as socks and booties are commonly worn by babies 0-2 months old. These are usually made from hypoallergenic, lightweight, and breathable materials such as cotton and wool. The newborn shoe size chart will help you pinpoint the best fitting shoe sizes for these ages.
At a Glance
- Allow for one-half to three-quarters of an inch of extra space between the shoes and your child’s feet. This provides enough wiggle room to avoid restricting proper growth. A poor fit could lead to serious problems later on.
- After measuring both feet and the time has come to shop for shoes, make sure to use the longer foot measurement as the basis for the size. A little extra space in one shoe beats buying a pair that only fits one foot.
- Since babies’ feet grow rapidly, be sure to measure their size often. During a baby’s first 24 months, it is recommended that the feet are measured every 2 months to ensure correct shoe size.
- If buying shoes that you intend for your child to wear with socks, measure the feet while wearing those exact socks to determine the additional length and width needed for proper fit.
- No shoes before walking: It’s best for babies to go barefoot or wear socks until they start walking as this allows for optimal development of their feet.
- Shopping online? Read customer reviews to see if others have found the shoes to fit true to size, and to get a sense of the quality and comfort of the shoes. It’s also a good idea to have a backup plan in case the shoes don’t fit, such as a store that sells the same brand locally where you can go to try them on and exchange them if necessary.
- Growth patterns: Studies have revealed that babies’ feet grow at different rates, with some growing faster in length, others in width. It’s important to measure the feet regularly to ensure a proper fit.
- US shoe sizes differ from European shoe sizes. Likewise, Euro sizes also differ from UK shoe sizing. To convert baby shoes for newborns from US to UK sizes, simply remember that UK shoes are usually one-half size smaller than US sizes. See all international Sizes
What size shoe does a 6-month-old wear?
On average, a 6-month-old baby wears 3C size shoes. However, we recommend you always measure your child’s feet as well as try the shoes on, since the foot size of individual babies may differ widely. And at this age, proper fit is all-important. See Chart.
What size shoe does a 1-year-old wear?
On average, a 1-year-old (i.e., 12-month-old) baby wears 4C size shoes, assuming their longest foot measures 4 ¾”. However, we recommend measuring your child’s foot and looking up the correct shoe size here, as shoe size may differ based on an infant’s growth rate.
What size shoe does a 2-year-old wear?
Depending on her or his foot measurement, a 2-year-old (i.e., 12-month-old) baby will wear 7C or 8C size shoes. If the baby’s longer foot measures a full 6”, the larger 8C size shoe should fit; if the feet are no longer than 5 ⅝”, the smaller 7C may be in order. As always, back up these approximations by measuring your child’s foot and ascertaining the correct shoe size here, then try that size on.
What size shoe does a 12-month-old wear?
On average, a 12-month-old baby wears 4C size shoes. However, we recommend measuring your child’s foot and look up the correct shoe size here, as their shoe size may differ based on their development.
What are the best shoes for babies?
For newborns, no shoes are the best shoes, according to pediatricians and other health experts. Going barefoot permits unrestricted development of baby’s foot bones, leg muscles, sense of balance, and gait. When cold temperatures or other environmental factors require donning some sort of protective footwear, socks are more appropriate for keeping feet warm and cozy. Socks of naturally absorbent, hypoallergenic materials such as cotton or wool are recommended.
Socks or shoes?
As previously mentioned, socks are preferred for extremely young babies such as newborns. Shoes will increasingly become an option, particularly when a child begins walking and to negotiate harsher terrain out of doors. For babies who are learning to walk, soft-soled shoes made of lightweight, breathable material will protect the child’s feet from those rough surfaces without hampering development of strength and balance.
Non-slip socks keep your child from slipping with soft rubber tread on the outer sole that provides better traction and grip on smooth surfaces. Even before babies take their first steps, socks with non-slip soles can help them propel themselves across the floor.
Should babies wear socks with shoes?
In general, wearing socks with shoes is recommended for everyone, and that includes the little ones. Wearing socks helps absorb moisture, reduce friction between feet and shoes, and prevent damage to the skin from constant rubbing or chafing. However, just like shoes, socks should fit properly to avoid such harmful effects as inhibiting the growth of the feet and restricting air and blood circulation.
Should babies wear shoes while crawling?
When your baby is just a newborn or in a later infant stage, wearing shoes is unnecessary. While they’re crawling, soft socks or, at most, socks with non-skid soles will work just fine. This will allow them to move more freely and not worry about supporting the weight of shoes. Also, no matter how good a fit they are, shoes (and even socks) will still fall off their tiny feet.
How long should babies wear soft-soled shoes?
Soft-soled shoes can be useful until the baby is about 24 months old. Beyond this, babies become more confident and adventurous walkers, venturing onto varying surfaces and terrain that may require shoes with firmer soles and sturdier materials.
Do babies have bones in their feet?
The 22 bones in a baby’s feet at birth are actually cartilage. Over time, these will ossify into the 28 bones of the adult foot. Complete mature development of the foot won’t occur until children reach their late teens.
Ingrown toenail in babies – causes and treatment
Did you know that over 65% of kids are wearing shoes that are too small for their feet? An ingrown toenail in a baby is a nail – usually the biggest toenail – that begins pressing into and even puncturing the adjacent skin and soft tissue. Onset of the condition shows up in early signs such as redness of the skin or swelling, and it can be excruciatingly painful for babies. This condition is commonly caused by nails growing too long and in the wrong direction. Wearing very tight shoes or socks could also cause an ingrown toenail by misdirecting growth of the nail into the toe.
To treat this condition, soak your baby’s foot or the affected toe in warm, soapy water two times a day and apply an antibiotic cream as recommended. When the affected toe is less swollen, try to edge the toenail out of its nail bed little by little so as not to hurt your baby. To prevent any future occurrence, cut the nails as often as needed to prevent them from growing too long and avoid tight footwear.