11 Best Shoe Brands for Toddlers With Wide Feet
Plenty of people have wide feet that are harder to fit. And toddlers can be plagued with girth problems, too. Your average kids’ shoe is designed to fit a medium width foot.
And when it comes to shopping for wide width shoes for toddlers, the options can be bleak. I can’t get excited about plain, solid white plod-along tennis shoes – no matter how orthopedically correct.
Kids and parents want fun, playful shoes. Especially my daughter. She wants “ballerina” shoes in Barbiecore styles. And while a casual Google Search would have you believe that only a couple of “sturdy” brands fit the bill, there are plenty of stylish options for little wide-footed tiny dancers.
I need to explicitly state I am not a foot doctor or podiatrist. I do not have a clinical background. What I do have is 20 years experience buying shoes for my “D” width feet and over 3 years of experience buying wide width footwear for my kids.
Through trial and error, and a 9-month stint working in the shoe department at Herberger’s in college, I’ve learned what works.
Here’s how to find out if your toddler needs wide width shoes, and then the best brands to explore.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY TODDLER NEEDS WIDE SHOES?
If your child complains that their shoes pinch their feet even though you know they are long enough, your toddler probably needs wider shoes.
Another giveaway: you (the child’s mom or dad) have wide feet yourself. I have wide feet and so does my husband. Since birth I had been on the lookout.
Measure your child’s feet. Whether or not they’ve complained of pinched toes, doing a proper fitting is important to finding the right footwear.
Trace your child’ feet (right foot and left foot) on a sheet of paper. For size, measure the length from heel to toe. For width, measure the widest point across the foot.
After you have the measurements, compare them to this size chart and width chart above. Data in this chart is compiled from the Zappos international shoe conversion size chart and kids’ foot width chart on HealthyFeetStore.com.
WHAT TYPE OF SHOE IS BEST FOR WIDE FEET?
The best type of shoe for wide feet is a shoe made of stretchy materials with a flexible tongue or adjustable straps and a roomy toe box. You’ll also want an extra wide opening. Cowboy boots, for example, are usually a tight fit with a narrow opening that can be a problem for extra wide feet.
Typically, brands like Vans and Saucony make sneakers for toddlers that are extra wide. In general, runners, sneakers and skateboard-style shoes do a good job accommodating wide feet.
Do not buy a shoe a couple sizes too big in order to accommodate the extra width. Your child needs a snug, stable fit. Shoes that are too long or too large are not stable. Your child is more likely to roll their ankle or trip and fall.
Even if your child is not tripping and falling, wearing shoes that are not the correct fit can alter their natural stride. This can lead to foot problems like bunions, corns, and arch pain. Eventually, it can lead to chronic pain in knees or hips.
HOW DO I KNOW IT’S THE RIGHT SHOE SIZE?
In addition to measuring your child’s foot and selecting the size based on measurements, examine the overall fit when your child has the shoe on.
The toes should not hit the tip of the shoe. According to the Cleveland Clinic, there should be at least a thumb’s width of distance (or 1-2 centimeters) from the longest toe to the front of the foot. More than 3 cm is too big and less than 1 cm is too small.
You should also look for extra gapping around the ankle where it is not a flush fit.
And if your child says the shoe pinches, hurts, or feels funny, listen to them.
WHAT BRANDS HAVE WIDE SHOES FOR TODDLERS?
Finding a brand that offers the right shoes for your toddler becomes easy once you know where to look. Here are some of the best shoe brands to help your child walk and grow comfortably.
1 | Stride Rite
You can’t go wrong with Stride Rite. The brand is way more than just sneakers and first walkers.
Stride Rite offers boots, shoes, sandals, loafers, and MaryJanes in wide and extra wide width. Stride Rite even sells shoes that can fit a medium or wide width foot with its removable insole made of a soft supportive foam.
It’s an easy to navigate site, with lots of ways to filter your search for “wide width” or “extra wide width” toddler shoes.
While the options aren’t as “high-design” as other brands, Stride Rite shoes are well built for healthy growing feet. They’re versatile and suit most occasions. And there are many kid-friendly extras, like shoes with light-up heels and soles or shoes that are machine wash safe.
This brand’s prices are all over the place, ranging from $20-$60. With clearance markdowns and sales events, you can snag an even cheaper pair. And you can find this label sold at DSW, Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack, Kohl’s, and a number of other retailers. Additionally, you can shop Stride Rite’s first walker or new walker styles at discount retailers like Target.
If you’re looking for wide toddler feet options though, your best bet (selection-wise) is going to be on StrideRite.com.
2 | Ten Little
Ten Little shoes are high-quality shoes designed by real moms with guidance from medical advisors (a pediatrician and a children’s podiatrist).
Made of vegan leather or recycled canvas, Ten Little offers a range of styles: tennis shoes or high tops with velcro straps, booties, First Walkers, sandals, rain boots, and Mary Jane flats.
The vegan material is premium quality (not cheap fake leather) that’s breathable and ultra-lightweight. Soles are thick and flexible with lots of grip. And the wide toe-shaped box is designed for a comfy fit and extra wiggles.
Shoes come in fun solid colors (like Lava Red or Candy Pink) and can be customized with removable specialty stickers and designs.
The furry high tops are my 18-month-old son’s favorite pair. He loves wearing them everywhere. When those shoes aren’t on his feet at home, he cries and brings them to me to put them on.
Shop Ten Little on their website. Save $5 off your first purchase with this Ten Little referral link.
3 | Livie & Luca
As a shoe company that prioritizes healthy foot development, Livie & Luca shoes has healthy and cute options for toddlers with wide feet. Their “First Walkers” series provides several features to keep your toddler safe and comfortable, including non-slip soles and wide toe boxes.
Typically, these shoes come in cute blue, cream, and fun juvenile colors. There are some MaryJane and dressy shoe options that have a sneaker style non-slip sole. Most shoes cost around $40 to $60 a pair, but you can find clearance deals and generous sales events throughout the year.
4 | Vans
Since Vans is an iconic skateboarding brand, it’s no surprise that they offer supportive shoes that offer lots of flex. And soles of Vans shoes are far thicker than most, thus protecting your child’s feet.
When you dress your child in Vans, you might have a miniature teenager (lookalike). Vans’ footwear for toddlers is the same style as their regular shoes for teens and adults.
Most toddlers’ shoes cost around $40 or less.
5 | Skechers
Made with flexible fabric, Skechers gives your toddler’s feet some breathing room so they can grow. Along with being comfortable, Skechers’ wide toddler shoes come in designs that children love. Whether it’s bright neon colors, light-up soles, or shine and glitter.
Sales and promos are common. You can find styles around $30 or less on Skechers.com, and around $22 or less at discount stores like Marshalls or TJ Maxx.
6 | See Kai Run
As a shoe brand with “run” in its name, See Kai Run is built for little feet on the move. All See Kai Run shoes are APMA approved so you know they are orthopedically correct. This means your child’s feet will be properly supported to grow as naturally as possible.
If you look at their Instagram page, you’ll notice that their shoes are extremely stylish. Your toddler will love showing off. Canvas and leather are common fabrics. They come in fun colors and patterns with extra wide straps and unique design embellishments.
While most shoes range between $40 and $60, you can buy select shoes from their website at a 60% discount on clearance. You can also find deals around $12 to $30 on Nordstrom Rack or Saks Fifth Avenue.
7 | Saucony
Saucony has a reputation for quality tennis shoes. Their toddlers’ shoes are both wide and functional. Your child can play as freely as they want because of the versatility and durability.
While there are few options for toddlers’ shoes on the website, they are high quality and in a range of bright kid-friendly solid colors. Prices mostly range between $30 and $40.
8 | New Balance
With a slick and flexible design, New Balance doesn’t need to sacrifice style for your child’s comfort. There are plenty of cool color and style options. You can choose between thick and thin soles.
New Balance’s prices range between $30 and $70, although there are frequent sales.
9 | L’Amour
L’Amour shoes are, in a word, exquisite. If you’re looking for a pair of wide dress shoes for your child, L’Amour is your best option. They’re whimsical and classical, but can go with any design “look”. Most are suede, leather, or patent leather. They have canvas options, too.
L’Amour shoe styles include first walkers, lace-ups, saddle shoes, boots, boat shoes, MaryJanes, sandals, sneakers, and flats.
Many of their shoes have adjustable velcro or hook straps to allow your child some breathing room. I love all the unique, swoon-worthy flourishes: scalloped edges, dot-punch designs, ribbon laces, rosettes, and bows.
For the type of styles they offer, L’Amour is fairly affordable. Their shoes go for $30-$60.
10 | FootMates
FootMates is another brand that sells elegant, timeless children’s footwear. While the website suggests their shoes are for kids who attend garden tea parties and vacation in the Hamptons, their styles are versatile and tough enough to handle everyday kid’s wear.
FootMates sells sandals (you’ll love their Captain style), saddle shoes, sneakers, loafers, MaryJanes (in canvas or leather), boots, and chukkas.
FootMates puts a lot of care into style and form. For instance, their shoes provide ample toe room and arch support to enable proper balance and movement. And the company puts great emphasis on helping you find the best fit.
A spendier brand, most shoes sell for $45 to $75. But the brand has dozens of AFO friendly styles (Orthopedic recommended) and the largest range of color choices.
Shop FootMates shoes on FootMates.com.
11 | Merrell
Selling a variety of sneakers and runners, Merrell prides itself on offering shoes that are rugged and comfy. If your family loves camping, hiking, and the outdoor life, Merrell is for you.
Shop water shoes, hiking boots, hiking sandals, sneakers, sneakers, clogs, rain boots, and snow boots. Like Stride Rite, it’s easy to search for shoes by width (medium, wide, or extra wide). And already most of their designs feature extra-wide toe boxes. My wide-footed kiddo can wear a medium width Merrell hiking sandal very comfortably.
Most wide toddlers’ shoes from Merrell range between $30 and $50. You can get 15% off your first order, and there’s free shipping for orders of $50 or more.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON KIDS’ WIDE WIDTH SHOES
Shopping for wide toddlers’ shoes is much easier than it looks when you have a game plan. Even if you can’t find a specific “D” width shoe, you can look for shoes made out of flexible materials and roomy toe boxes
In the past, I’ve had a hard time buying shoes for my wide feet kiddos. But through trial and error, I’ve had good luck with the brands on the list. I have shopped for them on their brand websites, at Once Upon A Child stores, or in buy sell trade groups. But if you’re looking for a wide size, you may have a hard time finding any pair in your size on the used marketplace.
If you’re getting started on your wide foot fashion journey for your kids, don’t worry. There are plenty of cute options for wide toddler shoes and extra wide toddler shoes. While one day my kids may be content to wear boring, all-beige extra-wide sneakers, there are tons of stylish pairs to run with now.