How to buy girls' shoes
A girls' shoes buying guide
Many different types of girls' shoes are available, from casual or formal wear to athletic shoes. Your child's shoes are not only an important part of her clothing, but the fit can impact the formation of your child's foot as she transitions into adulthood. When researching how to buy girls' shoes, consider the best girls' shoe styles and how to find the best girls' shoe size among the many different types of shoes available.
>> Consider how your child will use her shoes
When figuring out how to buy girls' shoes, the first step is consider how your child will be using her shoes because there are so many different types of girl's shoes. Ask yourself whether the shoes are for general, everyday use or for a specific purpose. For example, if you are hoping to purchase the best girls' shoes for a physical education class, you will want to shop for athletic girls' shoe styles. On the other hand, you might not want your child wearing that type of shoe to a formal event and instead might want to purchase dressy shoes.
>> Consider different types of girls' shoe styles and purposes
Girls' sneakers, also known as tennis shoes, are soft shoes that offer your child cushioned support for casual and daily wear. There are also specially designed sneakers for children who play sports. Tennis shoes have a mesh lining that allow your child's feet to breathe and stay cool, while the laces provide an adjustable, secure fit. If you child is playing a sport that needs additional traction, like baseball, basketball or soccer, sports cleats are necessary. Cleats come with metal or rubber cleats embedded in the sole, as well as a padded tongue and foot bed for a cushioned and comfortable fit. The mesh lining allows your child's foot to breathe and stay cool.
A casual option for children is a pair of slip-on shoes, sometimes referred to as boat shoes. These are soft shoes that feature a cushioned and flexible sole made of rubber or synthetic material for a comfortable fit. These shoes go well with dressy casual wear and are easy to put on, with a slide-on style that might include laces and a Velcro fastener for a secure fit. During warmer months, sandals and flip flops are a lightweight and easy-to-put on option. These shoes feature an open and airy style that will keep your child's feet cool. Some sandals feature a Velcro closure.
If your child is attending a formal event, you'll want to look for dress shoes. These shoes are a more formal girls' shoe design, ideal for when your child needs to wear nicer apparel. Girls' dress shoes, such as Mary Janes and platform slide shoes, often feature a slight heel for a more stylish appearance. These types of girls' shoes often come with laces or buckles or in a slip-on style. If your child does not feel comfortable wearing heels, consider purchasing peep-toe flat shoes.
Rain boots are for wearing outside in wet weather to keep your child's feet and pants dry. These types of girls' shoes are usually made from synthetic rubber or other waterproof materials that make them easy to dry and clean. Rain boots often come with a rubber sole that has a pattern to provide traction, protecting your child from slipping on wet surfaces. The pull-on style makes them easy to slip on and off by the door so your floors stay clean and dry on rainy days.
On nicer days, your child may be visiting places like a water park, beach or pool and need a shoe to protect her feet. Water shoes are made from neoprene and mesh. These types of girls' shoes can be safely worn in and out of the water. The non-skid outsoles provide additional traction to protect your child from slipping on wet surfaces. These shoes usually come in a slip-on style or with Velcro.
For a warm and comfortable option for your child to wear around the house, consider purchasing slippers. These types of shoes often feature plush linings, cushioned footbeds and an easy pull-on or slip-on style. Many slippers come in fun designs, allowing your child to wear characters as she relaxes around the house.
>> Consider shoe size and fit
Once you have determined the best girls' shoe to purchase, you need to consider sizing and fit. Your child's foot will continue to grow until she reaches the end of puberty, meaning that her shoe size will change throughout her development. Toddlers may need new shoes as frequently as every few months, whereas young children may need new shoes only a couple times a year. Although it is helpful to measure your child's foot to learn what size she is currently wearing, many girls' shoe styles fit differently, and the best way to know a shoe fits is to have your child try it on. It is important to remember when researching how to buy girls' shoes that both feet are usually not the same size and can swell in the afternoons and early evenings.
To measure your child's foot, use a ruler or tape measure. Place the end of the measuring instrument to your child's heel, flush with the "0" on the ruler or tape measure. Your child's toes need to be fully extended, and the foot needs to bear her full body weight for an accurate measurement. If you are measuring an infant's foot, press her foot fully against the ruler or tape measure.
You can also have your child place her foot on a piece of blank paper, trace the shape of her foot and measure the outline. There are also professional fitting devices you can purchase to make measuring convenient and easy.
Once your child tries on a shoe, consider the following items before deciding to buy girls' shoes:
- Socks can decrease the roominess in a shoe, so have your child try on the shoe with the style of sock she usually wears.
- It is recommended that there be a thumb's width of room between the longest toe and the top of the shoe.
- Check to make sure your child's foot is not too tight or loose in the shoe. See if there are bulges at the side of the shoe.
- Try to insert your pinky finger between the back of the shoe and heel to check for room.
- Watch your child walk from the front and back to ensure that shoe stays on, not slipping or causing your child to trip.
>> When to buy girls' shoes
Your child's shoe size and needs will change as she grows, and it is good to monitor her shoes to determine if it is time to buy new ones. Because children are active, check the inside of her shoes for excessive wear and ripped linings. Shoes lose cushion after they have been worn a lot, and you may need to consider buying new shoes for better support. Also, watch for blisters or red skin from where the shoe is rubbing against your child. This might mean that the shoes no longer correctly fit your child.