What Size Shoes Do 1 Year Olds Wear? (Complete Guide)

what size shoes do 1 year olds wear

As babies and toddlers turn 1 year old, they’ll start to learn to walk. It’s also important to accommodate their very first step with a pair of fitting and comfy shoes to protect their delicate feet outside. Many new parents are still figuring out what size shoes do a 1 year old wear.  Say no more to confusion while checking for your baby shoe’s size, because we have the solution to your issue! I consulted with my fellow well-versed experts in the shoe industry regarding what size shoes do 1 year olds wear, thus the information you’ll get from this article is highly accurate and based on credible sources.

Understanding kids’ foot anatomy: 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. Baby’s feet are delicate and mostly made from flexible cartilage, which explains why they’re very soft. According to University Foot and Ankle Institute, the bones in a baby’s feet keep growing until they reach the late teen. 

AgeFoot structureWhat shoes to wear?
3 to 6 monthsConsists of soft tissue similar to cartilage and the skin is very 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 (0.3 inches) for the baby’s toes to grow. Ensure that the soles are grippy and protect the toe and heel.
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 get your baby’s feet to maximize their muscle and bone structure growth, there are a lot of things you can do. One of the most recommended methods is exposing your little one to various surfaces. Aside from that, I let my toddler wander around barefoot so they can feel different sensations from various surfaces. Massaging or rubbing their delicate sole gently is also recommended by numerous experts to stimulate muscle development.

What size shoe does a 12 month old 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 wonder, are AU sizing the same as UK ones? From my years of experience in children’s footwear, they’re the same!

What size shoes do 1 year olds wear UK?

If you happen to find toddler and baby shoes in UK size, the best one to wear for a 1 year old is size 4, or in the US sizing it’s the same with 5. You might wonder why the UK sizing is different from what we used to know, and I have an explanation for that.

UK shoe size tends to run larger compared to the US ones for some reason. Both of them were measured with a measurement unit called barleycorn, which is around ⅓ inch in length. The difference is that the US starts the counting at 1, while the UK counterpart starts from 0. That explains why the UK shoe sizing is different from the US ones.

What size are most 1 year olds wear?

The majority of 1 year olds wear shoes in size 4C or about 4 ¾ inches in length. On average, most 1 year olds wear 3-4 sneakers. Generally speaking, this sizing can’t be applied for every toddler since many contributing factors affect their shoe size.

Babies’ growth rate differs from one another, and there’s still more of it. Besides genetics, nutritional intake plays a huge role in determining your baby’s feet size. Those reasons are why various shoe professionals, including me, recommend measuring your baby’s size first before buying a new pair.

Shoe size for 1 year old boy

what size shoes do 1 year olds wear

For the most part, baby and toddler shoe sizing has no difference by gender. Unlike adults, they’re quite the same regardless the gender. You can take a look at the table chart below on shoe size for 1 year old boy. Note that this guide has been approved by my colleague who is a trustworthy expert in footwear.

Age (months)US sizeEU size
6 to 123.518
12 to 184.519
18 to 245.520

1 year-old shoe size girl

what size shoes do 1 year olds wear

I’ve mentioned above that shoe sizing for boys and girls is just the same. The table chart below is a credible guide on what shoe size is worn by a 1 year-old girl. As an expert, I’ve teamed up and consulted with other experienced footwear professionals regarding this sizing chart.

Age (months)US sizeEU size
6 to 123.518
12 to 184.519
18 to 245.520

1 year old shoe size in cm

In the US, we used to measure everything in inches, the complete opposite with the majority of the world. They use centimeters abbreviated as cm in the International System of Units. The following is a table chart to show the shoe size of 1 year old in cm. For easier comparison, I also provide the measurement in inches.

Age (months)Length (cm)Length (inch)
6 to 1210.84 ¼
11.44 ½
12 to 18124 ¾
18 to 2412.75
13.35 ¼

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.

Age (months)US sizeUK/AU sizeEU size
Newborn to 610.516
6 to 123218
12 to 185420
18 to 247623

Sizing for different brands: a comparison of popular kids’ shoe brands

Another thing worth noting 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.

BrandAge groupUSUKEUJP
FilaInfant0 to 3.50 to 315 to 198 to 11
Toddler4 to 123.5 to 11.519.5 to 29.511.5 to 18
NikeBaby and toddler1C to 10C0.5 to 9.516 to 277 to 16
AdidasBaby and toddler1 to 100 to 9.516 to 27
ConverseInfant and toddler1C to 10.5C
New BalanceCrib to toddler1 to 100.5 to 9.516 to 27.5
PumaInfant4 to 103 to 8.519 to 26
ReebokBaby and toddler2 to 101.5 to 9.517 to 26.5
Dr. MartensToddler4 to 103 to 919 to 2711 to 16
CrocsLittle kids (under 1)C1 to C32 to 317 to 19
(1 to 2)C4 to C64 to 619 to 2312 to 14
(2 to 5)C7 to C107 to 1023 to 2815 to 17.5

Common mistakes to avoid when sizing shoes for one-year-olds

It’s a must to get the right measurement of your toddler’s shoe size, but there are some things that parents often get wrong. Fortunately, I have listed some common mistakes to avoid when sizing shoes for one-year-olds and the reason why based on years of research I’ve done.

  • Measure on uneven or bumpy surfaces. I don’t recommend sizing shoes for your kids on the carpet because it’s not always on the same level. You need a flat and firm surface, like a table, to measure your toddler’s feet so the result would be accurate.
  • Wear socks that are too thick. It would result in an inaccurate measurement that leads to an unfitting shoe size.
  • Do the measuring in the morning. I suggest sizing them during the late afternoon or evening since their feet are quite expanded compared to the morning.
  • Measure just one foot. Sometimes toddlers’ feet have different sizes, thus it’s important to measure both of them and take the largest measurement.


    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.

    • Ask your toddler to stand barefoot on a piece of paper and 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.

    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. 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! 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!

    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.

    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. 

    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 older76.22


    To sum things up, 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 the different sizing methods. From my years of experience, it’s best to measure your little one’s feet before heading out to shop for a new pair of shoes.