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Boys' Shoes Fitting Guide

Boys Shoe Sizing & Fitting

Playing football, climbing trees and getting up to mischief are typical activities for a little boy that’s just found his feet – so, it’s important he has the right pair of shoes for his adventures.

But, finding boys shoes that fit can be a real minefield, particularly if it’s their first pair. You’ll need to consider everything, from size and shape to style and durability, to ensure you pick a pair that can keep up with your little man.

In this guide:

Read on to find out our top tips for fitting boys shoes for every season.

How Do Boys Sizes Work?

How should boys' shoes fit?

Men's Chelsea Boots

When it comes to finding boys’ shoes that fit, the first step is understanding the sizes available and what they mean.

No two boys have exactly the same feet, so it’s important to look at the shape of the foot to ensure the best possible fit – this includes length and width. You can then choose from a range of sizes, half sizes and width fittings to find the shoe that suits your little one’s feet.

However, not all sizes will mean the same thing. Some shoes may not come in UK sizes, so you’ll need to use a conversion chart to ensure you pick the right one. Similarly, seasonal shoes like winter wellies might fit differently, especially if they are worn with thick socks. In this case, it’s best to try several sizes until you find the perfect one.

Boy Shoe Size Charts: Measurements, Age & Conversion Chart

Boys' shoe size charts: measurements, age & conversion chart

Below is a list of the standard shoe sizes available for children, alongside the corresponding foot length measurements and size conversions between the UK and EU:

UK EU Heel to Toe Length (Inches) Heel to Toe Length (cm)
4 20.5 5.78 14.7
5 21.5 6.06 15.4
6 23 6.33 16.1
7 24 6.61 16.8
8 25.5 6.88 17.5
9 27 7.16 18.2
10 28 7.44 18.9
11 29 7.71 19.6
12 30.5 7.99 20.3
13 32 8.26 21
1 33 8.54 21.7
2 34.5 8.81 22.4
3 35.5 9.2 23.1
4 37 9.4 23.9
5 38 9.72 24.7
6 39.5 10 25.4

Often, boys’ feet grow faster than girls’ so buying new shoes can seem like a constant battle at times. In fact, your little boy will likely need two or three new pairs of shoes a year to keep up with his growth, particularly when it comes to boys’ school shoes.

We recommended measuring his feet every six weeks between the ages of one and three, then every three months between the ages of three and 10. You can also use our age guide below for an approximate idea of each size:

Age Size
Up to 1 3-4
2 5-6
3 7-8
4 9-10
5 10-11
6 11-12
7 12-13
8-9 1-2
10-11 3-4

It’s important to remember that these averages are not set in stone. When they are younger, gendered shoe sizes don’t tend to differ, so you’ll find that toddler shoes tend to be unisex. However, as they get older and their shoe sizes increase, you’ll find that boys’ shoes come with a slightly wider fit as standard.

In general, the widths range from C to I – C being the narrowest and I being the widest. Most children will fit in an F which is the industry standard, while G and H widths are also popular.

Every child varies, so it’s always best to measure their feet properly. Read on to find out how.

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How to Determine Boys Shoe Size

How to measure boys’ shoe sizes

How to Determine Boys Shoe Size

Measuring your boy’s shoe size will help you find a comfortable and secure fit that supports them as they grow.

To measure their shoe size, you can follow these simple steps:

  1. Take a ruler, a pen and a piece of paper.

  2. Secure the paper to the floor with sticky tape.

  3. Place your boy’s foot on it and gently press down to make sure the foot is flat and no toes are curled.

  4. Draw a small line behind his heel and another in front of his longest toe.

  5. Measure the distance between the lines in centimetres.

  6. Use the shoe size conversion chart to determine the size needed.

Just remember, if the shoes you intend to buy will be worn with socks, make sure to include them when measuring.

Boys Shoes: Checking The Fit

Boys' shoes fitting: top tips

Dress Boots

Here are some of our top tips and tricks for finding a pair of boys’ shoes that fit your little man.

Always measure both feet

It’s quite common to have one foot slightly larger than the other, so make sure you measure both. You should then use the measurement for the larger foot to find a shoe that fits.

Give them some wiggle room

When fitting your boy’s shoes, it’s a good idea to add one finger-width of room at the end so your little one has space to wiggle their toes.

Check the top of the shoe

Rub your thumb across the top of the shoe and there should be a slight ripple movement. If the shoe doesn’t move, they could be too tight, or if you can create a ridge due to excess space, they could be too narrow.

Ask your boy to walk in the shoes

He should be able to walk easily and naturally without issue. Check that the heel doesn’t slip and that there’s no excessive gapping at the side.

How to Determine Boys Shoe Size

Fitting boys’ summer shoes

Shopping for the summer? There’s a whole range of boys’ shoes and sandals sandals to choose from, including canvas trainers, slip-ons and flip flops. But you’ll also need to consider how the style and type of fastening might affect their fit:

Walking Boots

  • Adjustable straps - Choosing an adjustable strap is a great way to customise the shoe to your boy’s foot and ankle width, while ensuring their feet are secure when running along the beach. They’re also an ideal option for younger boys who haven’t learned to tie laces yet.

  • Slip-on shoes - Boys’ slip-on shoes are quick and easy to get on and off, but it does mean they are less secure than shoes with laces or touch fastening. It’s important to make sure the fit is perfect to avoid any sores or blisters forming.

  • Open toe sandals - A sandal that is too big can cause your boy to walk incorrectly, while excess space at the toe can catch on the ground when walking.

Boys Shoes: Checking The Fit

Fitting boys’ winter shoes

If you’re looking for boys’ winter shoes and boots you’ll need to take into account a couple of extra things when fitting them:

Men's Work Boots

  • Don't forget about socks - It’s always advised that your little one wears woollen socks when out and about in winter boots to prevent them getting cold, wet feet. Because of this, you should always get them to try on boots with a pair of socks for the most accurate fit.

  • Try and avoid sizing up - When it comes to buying wellies and walking boots, it’s tempting to buy a bigger size so they get more wear. However, this isn’t necessary and could increase the risk of tripping, blisters and future foot health issues.

You can learn more tips and tricks to finding the perfect shoes with our handy guides.