Six kids playing together on the green, grass field while holding hands

7 Signs That Your Kid Has Outgrown Their Shoes

Our little ones grow up so fast. They reach their goals so fast, and before we know it kid has outgrown their shoes and their clothes. In each set goal, kids need parents’ assistance and this implies choosing their footwear as well. Oftentimes they are not good at identifying when they need new shoes or clothes and that’s where parents step in. 

When it comes to clothes, it’s pretty easy to notice if they need new ones, but as for shoes, it is a little bit more complicated

It’s common for kids’ feet to grow fast, and even more common for kids to run their shoes into the ground. It’s good that they can splash in muddy puddles and take their shoes on adventures. However, the time will come when your kids’ lovely kicks will need to go to retirement. 

But how can parents know that? Here are 7 signs that your kids have outgrown their shoes


How Fast Do Kids’ Feet Grow?

We are all aware that kids grow fast and so do their feet. But how much do they grow exactly, we’ll take a look right now!

Kids from 0 to 12 months

Until your baby turns one and a little bit after that, its feet increase in size every two months by about half a size.

Kids from 1st year to 3d year

The kids that fall under this group grow out of their shoes four times a year. This means that kids around their first birthday wear shoe size 5. Kids around 18 months to 24 months wear size 6, while once they pass the second year, they wear shoe size 7. At around 2 and a half years, kids wear shoe size 8 while three years old wear shoe size 9.
It is always a good idea to measure your kids’ feet via the Footmeter to get the precise sizes. And if your kid has one foot larger than the other, always opt for the size of a bigger foot
Try to bypass good old shoe myths such as ‘hand me down’s are fine. Kids’ feet are still developing at this stage, and giving them already modeled shoes to other kids’ feet will make problems like blisters and high uncomfortability

Kids from age of 4 to 8

Children this age are more active and thus they are more prone to wear and tear. During activities such as biking, and running in their shoes, kids’ footwear is more likely to get scuffed and beat up. Even when their feet grow, there is a big possibility that they’ll tear the up at this point, because their growth slows down. Their size will probably change once in 6 months so make sure to measure their feet once again when shopping

Kids of age 9 to 12 

Kids of this age group usually grow out of their shoes every 12 months. This also implies to the kids of the age of 8 (especially for boys) when they are at the end of kids sizes and moving onto adult sizing chartsHowever, it can also happen that kids’ feet grow every 6 months but it is usually rare. This is also a normal and healthy developing foot because each kid’s foot anatomy is different and each kid is growing at its own pace
At this point, kids will probably tear down the shoes before they outgrow them.

When it comes to the age after 12, their food growth significantly slows down but parents have to pay attention to their feet because at this age kids are prone to stinky feet due to hormonal activities.

7 Things to Look for When Doubting Your Kid Has Outgrown Their Shoes

Now that we have an understanding of how fast kids’ feet grow and what are the usual proper sizes, let’s see what things can you do to check if your kid has outgrown their shoes!   

#1 Check the fit

The kid has outgrown their shoes if their shoes are not a good fit anymore. Us, adults, when we wear something small or uncomfortable, we can barely even put our feet in. However, kids do not care about this, since all they care about is playing. If your kid does not react to small shoes and is younger than 5, it’s because kids’ nerve endings are still not fully developed. 


This is where parents step in and check the fit. Do this at the end of the day when their feet are swollen from the daily activities so this means that their feet are at their biggest. You can feel where your kids’ toes are in the shoe by wriggling their toes while they are standing up. In this situation, you can feel a gap between their longest toe (thumb) and the end of the shoe. In leather shoes, especially the big toe part, there are raised or stretched areas, which indicate that the shoes are too small. When it comes to canvas and other material shoes, this may also happen or it may even completely wear out.

#2 Check kids’ feet

From time to time it’s always a good idea to check how are your kids’ feet. Look out for possible blisters, rubbing, or even squashed toes. Even bent toenails could indicate that shoes are too tight and are pushing on the kids’ toes. 

Friction between the skin and another surface is what causes blisters. Blisters can be avoided by wearing shoes that fit properly, but if your kid is wearing shoes that don’t – either too big or too small – they may be prone to the uncomfortably. Blisters are unpleasant and a clear indication that your kid needs new shoes as soon as possible.

#3 Check the soles of the shoes

When it comes to the shoes, first check how heavy they are. If you think that they are a bit heavier, this could be the reason why the shoes are damaged. Kids who wear heavy shoes often drag the soles around the ground, gradually wearing holes through the rubber. Additionally, low-quality footwear has poorly manufactured soles that plainly wear through rapidly and do not support the feet properly. Along the borders and around the big toe are also popular places for holes to appear.

#4 Check the lining of the shoes

You can check if the lining is worn out by looking at the inner heel since it is most noticeable there. You can also check if the holes in the lining or stitching are undone. Inappropriate fitting shoes that were possibly one size larger than the kid’s real shoe size can be the reason for this type of wear.


Kids’ feet tend to slide in too-big shoes, causing friction between their sensitive skin and the shoe lining which can eventually end up in feet with blisters. 

#5 Observe how they are walking

If your kid walks awkwardly or complains about sore feet, your kid has outgrown their shoes. Even if their shoes don’t fit properly, kids will keep playing and running around so make sure you pay attention to that as well.

#6 Sandals with dangling toes 

When it comes to those summer shoes, it is pretty easy to check f they are too small. Simple check your kids’ feet while wearing sandals and ensure they are not dangling around. In this case, it is always a good idea to leave some extra space in those summer footwear but not too much as usual. These types of shoes should be treated the same as closed-toe footwear. This means that once the toes are close to the end of the shoe, it is time for shopping!  

#7 More activities are present 

As your kid is growing it becomes more and more active. When they are still babies they will require those soft and barefoot shoes, then first walking shoes, running footwear, and so on. As time passes by, different kinds of activities and sports are becoming widely present and thus, kids will require proper sports shoes

This means that for each milestone kids need to have proper footwear. Luckily, babies are not picky so whatever you put them on, they will be fine with it. But later in life, as they reach those teenage years, the kid will need different types of shoes for different purposes, thus parents should pay attention to that as well. Also at this stage of life, kids will probably realize on their own if their shoes are too small and require new ones from you.  


  • Petra Moskatelo

    Petra is the main editor and writer here at Footmeter. She is passionate about helping people find the right solution. She holds a university Master's degree in pedagogy, and she knows a lot about children and learning.