A shoe store professional can measure your toddler's feet, but because shopping online is less stressful than taking a rambunctious tot to the mall, it can be easier to take her measurements at home. A toddler's feet can grow a few sizes per year, so you'll have plenty of opportunity to master this technique. Wearing shoes that fit properly affords her the support and stability she needs as she masters walking.
How to Size
You can buy a foot measuring device to keep at home, but with a growing toddler to outfit, your money is better spent elsewhere. Instead, print out a shoe sizing guide from the website of a shoe vendor. At the end of the day, when a child's feet are their largest, have her stand barefoot on the chart to find the size and width of shoe she needs. Measure both feet and if one foot is bigger, buy shoes to fit that foot.
Another option is to have your child stand barefoot on a plain sheet of paper. Make marks at her heel and longest toe and measure the distance between them and compare the distance to a shoe size chart. This method isn't ideal because it doesn't take width into account.
Toddler feet typically range from about a size 4, or about 4.5 inches in length, to a size 10, or about 6.5 inches in length. Because her feet grow quickly at this age, measure your toddler's feet about once a month so you'll know when she's ready for the next size up.
The Right Fit
One brand's size 5 isn't necessarily the same as another brand's size 5, and fit can vary by style. So when you choose a new pair of shoes, have your toddler try them on at the end of the day.
Her toes shouldn't be jammed up against the toe of the shoe. Press your finger against the toe box. If there's about one finger's width of space there, the shoes should fit her for three to six months, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. But shoes that are too large can make her slip and trip. Her shoe shouldn't slip off easily in your hand, and as she walks away, her heel shouldn't slip out of the shoe.
Choose toddler shoes that are made of breathable materials, have smooth soles, are lightweight and tie or strap onto the foot.