Help! My child has narrow feet

This is a weekly email and phone call that we receive here at Little Wanderers. You have just been to your local high street shop and been measured a C,D or E width fitting to be told that there is nothing on the shelf in that size. So what now…

All is not lost, my best advice is to find your nearest professional shoe fitter. This can be done through various websites such as the Society of Shoe fitters

Society of shoe fitters logo     Children's foot health register

or Children’s foot health register web site  

While the number of shops is falling there are experienced shoe fitters, if you are prepared to travel. The major brands also have stockist lists on their websites. It may be that the best shoe fitter is nearer to Granny’s house than yours, so plan new shoes in with visits and holidays and you will save more time than endlessly searching the internet.

A child may be deemed to have a narrow foot because whenever they try a shoe there is always a gap on top. This maybe more due to the depth of the foot than the width and they might just need an insole to raise the foot in the shoe. Again, a trained professional will be able to help and advise.

There are some brands that are my first choice for narrow feet. Although there may not be the label on the box that says C, D or E fitting an experienced shoe fitter can understand what is needed to ensure a good fitting pair of shoes.

My go-to brands are as follows:

Ricosta The Ricosta range is based on the European WMS width fitting system of Wide, Middle and Slim. There are very few slim fitting styles produced as we, and they, have found that the middle fitting is normally narrow enough for slim feet. View the Little Wanderers Ricosta Range.

Ricosta Pepino Nipy Ricosta Pepino Aileen Winter Boots     Ricosta Liza narrow school shoe

Superfit Like Ricosta, Superfit use the WMS system. Their trainer styles are narrow at the heels which can often resolve an issue for children with narrow feet. View the Little Wanderers Superfit Range.

Superfit Sport 4 mini trainers         Superfit Joe Gore-tex School Shoes       Superfit Marley pink shoe

Petasil school shoes are produced in European sizes with width fittings from D to G. The fashion ranges (not school shoes) are not as narrow. View the Little Wanderers Petasil Range.

Petasil Bonnie School shoesPetasil Emma lace school shoePetasil Ollie Boys School shoePetasil Peel lace school shoe

There are other brands that, within their ranges, have narrow fitting styles. These are noted on our website and included in our narrow fitting category. 

Top tips for narrow feet

1)      Find a professional who can get to know your child's feet and advise on appropriate styles

2)      Buy at the start of the season when you will have more choice. As a general rule shops will place orders for the season in advance, therefore waiting until there is a heat wave to try to find narrow sandals will not give you the best chance. Buying sandals in late march may seem strange, especially if the weather is cold, but it will be more likely that you can have the first pick. This will also allow time for sizes to be ordered from suppliers if available.

3)      Children with narrow feet may not need as much growing room and if your child is a slow grower then trying a size smaller may help. Again a professional will be able to advise if there is going to be sufficient growing room.  

4)      Boots with laces will hold the foot better than Velcro. More boots at the moment have laces and zips and these are good for offering width adjustment.

5)      Ask questions – If you are looking at a style online and you want to know more about how it will fit, then just ask. Without seeing your child’s foot we can not always be right but we have seen enough feet, and know our stock, to know if a style will suit.

So hopefully we have been able to set some minds at rest and a little hard work now finding the right professional help should pay off in the long term.