According to Baby Centre, by the time your child reaches toddler age, she has 26 bones in her feet and her foot shape is one of three types: tapered, rounded or square. Because a toddler’s feet are soft and sensitive, it is crucial that you protect them with a good shoe to ensure they grow normally throughout her lifetime.
A toddler is ready for his first pair of shoes when he begins walking. Although your toddler can walk barefoot in a safe environment, he should wear shoes outside. Because your toddler's feet are sensitive, walking without shoes on hard surfaces can cause blisters.
Fitting a Shoe
Because a toddler can't always communicate to you whether a shoe hurts her feet, get shoes fitted to her feet. According to the Happy Shoes Happy Feet website, it is a good idea to fit a shoe about half an inch longer than her foot size. You can print a foot measurement chart from many online sources, use an in-store measurement device or have a shoe salesperson help you measure your toddler’s feet. If the shoe will require socks, wear them when measuring for a good fit.
Type of Shoe
What type of shoe you buy does make a difference in how often your toddler will need to change her shoe size. If you buy pliable materials such as soft cloth, leather or canvas, they will likely last longer than a hard plastic or other man-made materials. Because your child’s foot will help form the shoe, you might decide to purchase more flexible materials to enable the shoe to last longer.
Growth Rates and Shoe Size
Because toddlers grow at varying rates, it is not possible to determine when your toddler will need to move up in shoe size, however, the National Network for Child Care recommends you check a child who is 1 to 6 years old every one to two months to determine whether you need to resize his shoes.