Six kids holding hands and jumping, wearing formal clothes and dress shoes for kids

How to Choose Dress Shoes for Kids – 9 Takeaway Tips

There are so many footwear options for toddlers; it’s no wonder parents get confused. In particular, dress shoes for kids are perfect for those special occasions when your little girl wears a dress, and a boy wears his first tuxedo. 

That might be a birthday party, a Holiday celebration, or any other formal event that requires proper dressing. With the great availability of this footwear, choosing a perfect pair can be exhausting.

We crafted a guide on choosing dress shoes for kids in the form of useful tips that you can easily remember.

Benefits of Dress Shoes for Kids

Kids’ shoes are adorable, and the cutest ones are always a choice. There are also a lot of different types of shoes to choose from, so sometimes it can be difficult to pick. 


All in all, before buying, especially dress shoes, ask yourself some questions. Do those shoes support your kid’s foot muscles? Are they good for their healthy foot development? 

Luckily, dress shoes for kids excel in terms of being fashionable and comfortable at the same time. Let’s see what the main benefits of this footwear are. 

  • Dress shoes are great in terms of quality.
  • They are usually lightweight, so they are very comfy to wear.
  • This footwear is almost always a closed-toe shoe type to prevent potential injuries. 
  • They offer proper ankle support. As a result, you can rest assured that your kids’ heels are protected.
  • These shoes are versatile since they are suitable for many different occasions, such as parties, formal events, malls, schools, Holidays, etc.
  • Most of the dress shoes for boys and girls dress shoes are crafted with leather, making these footwear breathable and perfect for avoiding kids’ stinky feet.
  • These shoes are also popular as a school uniform. Luckily, these types of shoes are very easy to maintain and clean!
  • Kids’ dress shoes are great for their posture and development in their early years.
  • These shoes are anti-skid, which means slipping and falling are not so common.

How to Choose Dress Shoes for Kids

Choosing dress shoes for your little one is a piece of cake. Just remember these 5 tips, and you will be good to go!


1. Right size and comfortability 

Having properly fitted dress shoes for kids will protect them from deformities and any other foot problems. All you have to do is ensure they are the right fit. If you are shopping in a store, simply ask for assistance from workers and try on the shoes. 

If shopping online, measure your kids’ feet with the Footmeter tool and get the exact measurements of your kids’ feet. 

As always, we recommend measuring both of their feet in the afternoon or evening since they can swell during the day. Also, one foot might be bigger than the other, so always opt for the size of the bigger foot.

2. Check the flexibility of the shoes

Probably the biggest disadvantage of dress shoes is they are often too stiff. This can cause discomfort and even blisters. On the contrary, if shopping in a store, try to bend the shoe. 

Do they feel too stiff, or are they easily bent down? Dress shoes are good if they are effortlessly flexible.


3. Avoid heels

Ensure to check the heel at the ankle and the heel under the shoe. Ankle-level heels shouldn’t be too snug or too loose to allow the foot to move freely inside.

Try to avoid wearing shoes with bottom heels as much as possible because they can lead to foot issues, even in adults. But if it’s your princess’ birthday and you want her to feel special, choose girls’ dress shoes in modest heels and don’t let her wear them for too long.

4. Ensure that shoes have the proper airflow

Proper airflow, sometimes referred to as breathability, is required for a comfortable and healthy experience regarding kids’ dress shoes. Insufficient ventilation results in a humid or moist foot that could annoy the kids. Worse yet, these unsanitary circumstances may lead to bacterial or fungal growth.

Dress shoes that feature leather or proper sustainable materials with moisture-absorbing features to guarantee dryness and adequate airflow.

5. Check the shoes toe shape

Kids’ dress shoes with rounded toe shapes provide your child’s toes enough room to spread out comfortably and properly grow. But pointy-toe shoes tend to be uncomfortable and even painful since toes are very much tucked, and there is almost no room for spreading them. 

To ensure that the toes have enough space, measure the distance between your kid’s toe and the tip of the shoe by pressing your finger onto the toe box. If there is less than half-inch of space, shoes are most likely too small, but if they are more than an inch, they are too big.

6. Choose the type of closure 

Dress shoes come in different types of closures. While shoes with laces provide better grip, they tend for older kids that know how to tie them or are just learning how to tie shoelaces.

On the other hand, velcro shoes are great for younger kids and do the job just as well. Determine which type of closure will be more appropriate for your little one and provide a better grip and, thus, safer play. 

7. Avoid hand-me-down dress shoes

So far, we have established why we want to stay out of second-hand shoes. In brief, worn shoes are already shaped to someone else’s foot. This can cause blisters, pain, and other complications in a kid’s feet. 

If you have some outgrown kids’ footwear, you can always repair, recycle or donate them.  

8. Check the current dress shoes

Current kids’ dress shoes can tell you a lot. Observe whether your little one has any irritation on its toes and heels. It can be a sign that his existing shoes aren’t fitting them properly. They might require a different fitting pair of dress shoes. 

For instance, a wider shoe and toe box or a slimmer shoe with additional insole support. 

9. Determine your budget

At the end of the day, the whole shopping experience depends on your budget. Luckily, dress shoes for kids are available at affordable prices on platforms such as Amazon and eBay

Since kids grow up fast and thus their feet, be prepared for often shopping. However, dress shoes are not for everyday use; thus, one pair is sufficient for at least half of the year.

There is also no sense in spending a fortune on dress shoes if you won’t be wearing them too often. On the other hand, purchasing comfortable, long-lasting dress shoes for kids sounds reasonable if you’re seeking a casual, all-day shoe for school.

In Conclusion

Even though purchasing footwear for kids is familiar to parents, assisting while shopping is always a plus. For that reason, we crafted these 9 takeaway tips when looking for dress shoes for kids. 

The first and most important rule is to measure kids’ feet and get the most accurate size possible. Once you have that, ensure they provide proper support, high comfortability, and sufficient airflow.

Don’t forget your budget and, of course, include your kid in the shopping experience. Allow them to choose shoes they like while you ensure they fulfill the needed requirements. 


  • 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.