Babies' Shoe Fit Guide


When it's time to buy that all-important first pair of shoes, we're here to take the guesswork out of making the right choice.

When is it time for baby's first pair?

Once your baby is standing and starting to take a few steps.

What size should I buy?

Our specially trained staff in the Kids' Shoes department will help you find the right size and shoe type for your baby. With our First Walker program, you'll also receive a keepsake photo of your baby getting his or her first pair, plus a plush Nordy toy to take home.

If visiting Nordstrom for a fitting isn't possible, or for checking your child's size between store visits, see our handy size chart and our measuring instructions below.

What shoe features are important?

  • Uppers should be soft, flexible and made from breathable materials like canvas or leather.
  • Soles should be flexible and nonskid.
  • Velcro or shoelaces? Buckles or elastic? It doesn't matter how your baby's shoes stay on, just that they do.

How do I know the shoes fit?

  • There should be a finger's width of room between the longest toe and the end of the shoe when your baby is standing. Don't buy bigger shoes to grow into—they may make your baby trip.
  • You should be able to squeeze your pinky in between your baby's heel and the back of the shoe.
  • If the upper is soft enough, grab a bit of material on the top of the foot. If you can't grab any, the shoe might be too tight.
  • Watch your baby walk in the shoes. Check for heel slippage. Make sure the shoes crease easily at the top and sides. If they don't, the foot can't bend naturally.
  • Babies should never have to "break in" their shoes. Let your baby wear the shoes around the house and then check for signs of irritation.
  • Like an adult's, babies' feet are slightly bigger at the end of the day—the best time to check a shoe's fit.

How often does baby need new shoes?

  • Check your baby's shoes once a month and replace them as soon as they show signs of wear or seem too small.
  • Check at least every three to four months to see if your baby's shoe size has changed.

How to Measure Children's Feet

  1. Draw a straight line, longer than the child's foot, on a piece of paper.
  2. Place the paper on a flat surface. Have the child stand on the line with his or her heel and longest toe centered on the line. For a smaller child, hold the paper up to the foot.
  3. Place a mark on the line at the tip of the toe and the back of the heel.
  4. Measure the distance between the marks. Use our handy chart to find the shoe size. If one foot is larger, fit to the larger foot.