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How Often Do Toddlers Need New Shoes?

Children need shoes more for running and walking and less for fashion. As their feet grow fast, the need for a new pair of shoes also grows. Parents try to save up purchasing shoes which are usually 2 sizes bigger than the proper size so that they will last longer.

They also save the outgrown shoes for younger siblings to wear. This common technique of money isn’t right for both children and their feet. Worn shoes should be discarded because they’re not safe. Also, wearing a pair too big is dangerous and could cause accidents, slips, and falls.

So how often do toddlers need new shoes? Experts say that you need to buy at least two different pairs of shoes that your precious one will be able to change between.

If you can afford to buy two different pairs of shoes, great. However, if you can’t, don’t panic and stress. When it comes to everyday footwear, kids need only one pair of shoes.

Let’s dive into my article dedicated to this topic and learn more about shoe size in children. Today, I will talk about the children’s shoe size, in general.

How Fast do Toddler Feet Grow Shoe Size?

As soon as your children start getting older, he or she will begin playing more and at a more competitive level. That is when shoes begin wearing down faster.

In some cases, you might have to buy new shoes(link to amazon) even though your kid hasn’t outgrown them yet. Also, it’s nothing to be concerned about if your kid’s feet aren’t growing as fast.

If your child seems to grow at a faster speed than regular, don’t be worried either. And don’t buy bigger shoes so that your kid can use them for a longer period.

Otherwise, this might cause issues for your kid’s feet such as damaging his or her stability. Also, this may cause foot issues such as corns, calluses or blisters.

Keep in mind that the pace of growth depends on your child’s age, so I decided to break it down by age. Keep on reading to find out how often you need to buy new shoes.

Ages 1 to 3

Kids between the ages of 1 to 3 need shoe replacement every 3 to 4 months.

Meaning, you should buy 3 pairs of shoes a year. Your kid’s feet will enlarge 1/2 size to a complete size every 4 months.

Ages 4 to 6

If your child is between the ages of 4 to 6, you should replace shoes every 4 to 5 months.

So you should buy a new pair of shoes 2–3 times per year. Your kid’s feet will grow 1/2 size to complete size every 5 months.

Ages 7 to 10

Kids between the ages of 7 to 10 are supposed to have new shoes every 5 months.

Meaning, you need to buy shoes 2 times per year. Your kid’s feet will grow 1/2 size to a full size every 6 months.

Ages 11 to 17

If your kid is between the ages of 11 to 17, you should buy new shoes every 6 months.

Meaning, you’re supposed to change shoe times per year. Your kid’s feet will grow 1/2 size to a full size every 6 months.

This short guide should give you an idea of how often you need to buy new shoes for your children.

However, don’t forget that every child is different which means that the feet of your kid can grow slower or faster. Hopefully, you will find this information useful.

How Many Pairs of Shoes Should a Toddler Have?

As for size, given that your kid’s likely going to need 2 – 3 pairs of shoes per year until growth decreases, it can be tempting to purchase bigger shoe size.

However, I strongly advise against this because it might cause foot problems for your precious one. Just imagine wearing shoes that are too big for your foot.

How would your feet? Uncomfortable, I guess. Why would it be any different for children? Avoid buying a larger size and stick to the following shoe guide.

Toddler Shoes

Kids under 3 years old

Supposedly, feet enlarge the fastest during a child’s first 3 years. Therefore, your kid would need a new pair of shoes often, at least 3 to 4 times a year.

Since toddlers and babies don’t spend much time walking, their footwear would rarely show signals and signs of tear and wear. This doesn’t mean that you should wait for them to fall apart so you can buy new ones. On the contrary, you should buy new shoes often.

At this age, kids will need protection that’s comfortable and safe. Letting your kid wear bigger shoes can cause foot problems and you don’t want that for your loved one.

Kids between 4 to 8 years old

At this age, kids are already spending enough time walking, running, jumping, dancing, and riding bikes.

This means that they could be tearing and wearing their footwear before they’re outgrown. The feet of your children will enlarge a bit slower but they still will need new shoes 2–3 times per year.

It’s recommended to buy shoes that deliver greater feet protection and support. Search for shoes with a slip-free and shock-absorbent outsoles(link to amazon), comfortable insoles, arch, and ankle support.

Kids between 9 to 12 years old

As kids approach teenage years, their feet grow slower. However, as they grow older, their activities like cycling, football, basketball, and other sports grow as well.

Preteen children will need new shoes at least 1-2 times per year. Some shoes might require replacement even before they’re outgrown due to increased activity.


Kids between the ages of 10 to 16 years old experience a slowdown in foot growth. Females experience puberty between the ages of 10 to 14 and males get there between the age of 12 to 16.

Although some kids have their feet growing until their mid-twenties, most of them will reach complete feet size after adolescence (17 for boys and 14 for girls).

Teenagers will need new shoes at least once per year or frequently if the shoes are torn and work. Once their feet stop growing, you need to buy different shoes for different occasions.

For example, they will need a pair for sports use, another pair for daily walking, and so on. Keep in mind that your kid’s feet are changing at a high speed and so their needs for shoes.

How Long do Toddlers Stay in Shoe Size?

From 1 year to 3 years, they will enlarge another one to 2 sizes, lading them at an optimum size 9 by the age of 3.

This rapid growth requires you to measure your kid’s foot at least once every 3 months. Never buy shoes that are two sizes bigger so they would last longer.

Otherwise, you might compromise your child’s balance and cause foot issues.

How Often do Toddlers Feet Grow?

The pace of growth usually depends on your child’s age. However, many children’s feet will enlarge at a higher or lower speed at different stages.

Feet enlarge 1/2  size every second month, every 2 to 3 months, and every 3 to 4 months, depending on your child’s age.

Does my Child Have Flat Feet?

Toddlers don’t show noticeable arch in their foot as older kids and adults. Rather, they have soft tissue that protects their growing bones.

This combined with the posture toddlers adopt when they first land on their feet, makes it look like they have flat feet but they don’t.

Kids adapt more grown-up walking styles before they start school. However, if you’re concerned about this, you can visit your GP.

Does my Child Need Insoles?

Insoles for children are often used to assist correct issues with foot development or posture. So they’re supposed to be utilized only if recommended by a podiatrist.

If your kid is falling or tripping more than usual or complaining of painful or tired legs, it’s suggested to visit your podiatrist or GP and make sure everything’s alright.

When Will the Feet of My Child Stop Growing?

Once children reach school age, their shoe size will slow to about 1 size a year.

Every foot stops growing at different times. However, by the age of 10, most females have reached 90% of foot growth while boys reach about 80% of their foot growth by the age of 10.

The feet have stopped enlarging for most females at age 14 while the foot growth stops for males at the age of 16.

Final Thoughts

Children’s feet enlarge and develop until puberty. With so many changes happening, it’s also important to measure their feet regularly and buy them shoes that fit perfectly.

Otherwise, small feet could develop issues over time and feel discomfort. Also, your kid might encounter delayed progress with crucial events like walking.

Hopefully, my article has helped you learn more about toddlers and shoes. Feel free to share your advice or opinion in the comments below.

Monica Lawrence

I’m Monica, a single mother who’s raising two beautiful angels. Here, I share helpful and creative articles and how-to’s for all the busy, multitasking moms.