What Size Shoes Do 1 Year Olds Wear Worldwide?

what size shoes do 1 year olds wear

What size shoes do 1-year-olds wear? Many new parents wonder about the right shoe size for their 1-year-old.

To clear up any confusion, I’ve consulted with shoe industry experts and conducted trials to determine the perfect shoe size for 1-year-olds. Below, you’ll find accurate and credible information to help you choose the right size for your baby’s first steps.

I. What Shoe Size that 1-Year Olds Need to Wear?

When we talk about what shoe size is for a 12-month-old, it tends to vary depending on your toddler’s genetics. Since there are different ways of measuring, I’ll show the comparison in the table below.

Age (months)UK/AU sizeUS sizeEU size

After seeing the table, you might be wondering, “Are AU sizing the same as UK ones?” From my years of experience in children’s footwear, and based on a respected source of information regarding the matter, I can say that yes, they’re actually the same!

II. A Guide to Proper Sizing

what size shoes do 1 year olds wear

When a baby is born, most parts of their body, including feet, aren’t fully developed. In fact, baby’s feet are delicate and mostly made from flexible cartilage, which explains why they’re very soft.

According to the University Foot and Ankle Institute, the bones in a baby’s feet keep growing until they reach the late teen. 

Age (Months)Foot structureWhat shoes to wear?
3 to 6 Consists of soft tissue similar to cartilage and the skin is very sensitive.Shoes with flexible soles and a soft interior.
6 to 9 The cartilage-like soft tissue slowly hardens and becomes fully-formed bone tissue.Snug-fit shoes with a spare room of about 1 cm (0.3 inches) for the baby’s toes to grow. Ensure that the soles are grippy and protect the toe and heel.
AgeFoot StructureWhat shoes to wear?
3 to 6 monthsHaving soft tissue similar to cartilage and the skin is sensitive.Shoes with flexible soles and a soft interior
6 to 9 monthsThe cartilage-like soft tissue slowly hardens and becomes fully-formed bone tissue.Snug-fit shoes with a spare room of about 1 cm.
9 to 18 months25 bones in each kid’s foot are growing. 
It’s normal for toddlers to have flat arches since they’re not fully formed until the age of 5.
At this age, toddlers’ growth increases rapidly, making the shoes quickly outgrown.
Well-cushioned shoes that fit just right with their little feet.
2 to 4 yearsThe feet’s arch is still flat.
The bones became fully hardened and looked less pudgy.
Your child now has 45 bones which will be fused entirely when they reach adolescence.
Pick shoes with flexible soles on the front but firm at the rear end.
4 years and olderThe bones start fusing and the arch develops.
The growth is much slower but steady.
Durable shoes that can withstand hours of wear.

To promote your baby’s muscle and bone structure growth, experts recommend exposing them to various surfaces. Allowing your toddler to walk barefoot helps them experience different sensations, aiding in sensory development.

Additionally, gently massaging or rubbing their soles is advised to stimulate muscle growth, a recommendation supported by baby development experts.

III. What Shoe Size that 1-Year Olds Wear in the UK?

In the UK, 1-year-olds typically wear size 4 shoes, equivalent to size 5 in the US. The difference in UK and US sizing is due to their measurement systems. Both use a unit called barleycorn, about ⅓ inch, but the US starts counting at 1, while the UK starts from 0, leading to the variation in shoe sizes.

IV. What Shoe Size That Most 1-Year Olds Wear?

Most 1-year-olds typically wear size 4C shoes, about 4 ¾ inches in length, often ranging between sizes 3 and 4 in sneakers. However, factors like growth rate, genetics, and nutrition can vary shoe sizes, so it’s important for parents to measure their baby’s feet before purchasing new shoes.

Shoe Size for 1-Year-Old Boy and Girl

what size shoes do 1 year olds wear

Baby and toddler shoe sizes are generally the same for both genders, unlike adult sizing. Refer to the table chart below for shoe sizes for 1-year-old girls and boys. This guide is verified by a trusted footwear expert colleague.

6 to 12 months1.53.5 – 4.5317-1810.5 – 11.5
12 to 18 months34.5 – 5.5418 – 1912.5 – 13
18 to 24 months4.55.5 – 7519 – 2113.5 – 14.5
Shoe size for 1-year-old boy and girl

V. 1 Year Old Shoe Size in Centimeters and Inches

In the US, measurements are typically in inches, unlike most of the world which uses centimeters (cm). For those who prefer using cm, the following table chart shows 1-year-old shoe sizes in both cm and inches for easy comparison.

6 to 12 months10.511 – 12.511.89.2 – 10.210.5 – 11.4
12 to 18 months1212.5 – 13.512.610.5 – 11.412.1 – 12.7
18 to 24 months13.513.5 – 14.513.411.7 – 12.113 – 14
Estimated shoe size for one-year-old in centimeters
6 to 12 months4.134.33 – 4.924.643.63 – 44.13 – 4.45
12 to 18 months4.724.92 – 5.314.964.13 – 4.54.75 – 5
18 to 24 months5.315.31 – 5.715.284.61 – 4.765.12 – 5.51
Estimated shoe size for one-year-old in inches

VI. Baby Shoe Sizes by Age

I must say it’s easier to check a baby’s shoe size according to their age, although I recommend measuring their feet first in case the size is quite different from the normal chart. See the size chart in the table below.

0 to 6 months0 – 0.51 – 30 – 2168.5 – 9.5
6 to 12 months1.53.5 – 4.5317-1810.5 – 11.5
12 to 18 months34.5 – 5.5418 – 1912.5 – 13
18 to 24 months4.55.5 – 7519 – 2113.5 – 14.5
Baby shoe sizes by age

VII. Comparison of Popular Kids’ Shoe Brands

Another thing worth noting is that each shoe brand has different sizing. From my observation as a shoe expert, most brands provide chart sizes on their website to check before shopping for a pair. Below is a comparison of some popular kids’ shoe brands and their sizing.

1. US Kid’s Shoe Size Comparison Between Popular Brands

Age GroupNikeAdidasStride RiteConverseSkechers
Infants1C – 4C1K – 5K0 – 41C – 4C1 – 5
Toddlers 4.5C – 10C5.5K – 10K4.5 – 104.5C – 10.5C5.5 – 10
Young Kids10C – 13.5C10.5K – 310.5 – 13.510C – 13.5C10.5-L – 13.5-L
Older Kids1Y – 7Y3.5 – 61 – 71Y – 6Y1-L – 7-L

2. UK Kid’s Shoe Size Comparison Between Popular Brands

Age GroupNikeAdidasStride RiteConverseSkechers
Infants0.5 – 3.50K – 4K0 – 3.51 – 3.50 – 4
Toddlers 4 – 9.55K – 9.5K4 – 9.54 – 104.5 – 9
Young Kids9.5 – 1310K – 2.510 – 139.5 – 139.5 – 12.5
Older Kids13.5 – 63 – 713.5 – 613.5 – 713 – 6

3. EU Kid’s Shoe Size Comparison Between Popular Brands

Age GroupNikeAdidasStride RiteConverseSkechers
Infants16 – 19.516 – 2016 – 1917 – 2016 – 20.5
Toddlers 20 – 2720 – 26.520 – 2620 – 2621 – 26.5
Young Kids27 – 31.527 – 3427 – 3126 – 31.527 – 31
Older Kids32 – 4035.5 – 40 2/332 – 3832 – 40.532 – 40

VIII. Common Mistakes to Avoid

When measuring your toddler’s shoe size, avoid these common mistakes for accurate results:

  • Avoid measuring on uneven surfaces like carpets. Use a flat, firm surface for precision.
  • Don’t use thick socks, as they can lead to inaccurate measurements.
  • Measure in the late afternoon or evening, not in the morning, as feet expand throughout the day.
  • Measure both feet, not just one, as they can differ in size. Use the larger measurement.

These tips are based on extensive research and expertise in shoe sizing.

IX. Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I know my toddler’s shoe size?

To know what shoe size will fit your toddler’s little feet, I’ll show a short tutorial below on how to measure them. These steps of tutorial are part of the best methods recommended to specifically measure your baby’s shoe size and find accurate result.

  • Ask your toddler to stand barefoot on a piece of paper and then ensure their feet are flat with straight toes. 
  • Carefully trace their feet with a pencil or marker.
  • Use a measurement tape to measure your toddler’s feet length from the heel to the top of their toe.
  • Add about ½ inch or 1.3 cm to their length to provide extra room when they grow.
  • Use the sizing charts and find the shoe size that matches the length of your beloved toddler’s little feet.

2. How do I know my baby’s shoe size?

Basically, to know your baby’s shoe size, you can do just the same way with the toddler ones. Here’s another alternative way to measure them that I’ve proven to yield a similar result.

  • Print a size finder template.
  • Ask your baby to stand and align their heels on the end of the template. However, if your baby wears socks with shoes, I recommend measuring the feet with them.
  • Use a marker to mark their longest toe.
  • Repeat the second and third steps for another foot.
  • If you find out that your baby’s feet size is different, that’s okay! Just use the larger size and you’ll be just fine.
  • Measure from heel to toe, and don’t forget to add ½ inch to the measurement to provide their growth.
  • Now you can determine your baby’s shoe size by using the charts, and you’re done!

3. When to update your one-year-old’s shoe size

A research published by PubMed stated that for babies aged 12 to 30 months, shoe size changed as often as every 2 to 3 months. This is because foot growth in children happens during the first 3 years of their life. Thus, I advise you to update your one-year-old’s shoe size regularly in case they have outgrown and need a new pair.

4. What size is 3C in baby shoes

The 3C baby shoe size is about 4 ⅜ inches and is suitable for infants aged from 6 to 9 months. I’ll present the sizing charts in the table below so you can compare what size is 3C with others easily.

AgeSizeLength (inch)
0 to 2 months1C3 ⅝
1 to 3 months2C4
3 to 6 months2.5C4 ⅛ 
6 to 9 months3C4 ⅜ 
9 to 11 months3.5C4 ½ 
10 to 12 months4C4 ¾ 
13 to 15 months5C5
16 to 18 months6C5 ¼ 
21 to 24 months7C5 ⅝ 
2 years old8C6
3 years old9C6 ¼

As you can see from the table, the average 12 months wear 4C size shoes, or baby’s shoe size 4. 

5. Baby’s shoe size chart by age

Besides measuring, you can get an idea of what shoe size your baby has by checking on their age. Although it’s not as accurate as measuring the feet’ length, you still get the idea of how big or small the shoes are needed. The table below presents the baby’s shoe size chart by age, according to the information I gathered from many experienced shoe experts.

AgeUS SizeUK SizeEU Size
0 to 3 months10.516
3 to 6 months2117
6 to 9 months3218
9 to 12 months4319
12 to 18 months5420
18 to 24 months6521
24 months and older7622


To sum things up, it is important for you to understand that it’s important to pick shoes that will accommodate your baby’s first tattering steps. One major point to remember and pay close attention to is none other than the different sizing methods. From my years of experience in the field, it’s best to measure your little one’s feet before heading out to shop for a new pair of shoes.