What Shoe Size do Most 3-Year-Olds Wear? – Answered

What Shoe Size do Most 3-Year-Olds Wear?

It feels like kids grow out of their shoes every 5 minutes. It’s hard to know what shoe size a child is because it’s probably changed since you last asked. I researched for hours and found the most accurate average shoe size for a 3-year-old.

So, what shoe size is a 3-year-old? The average shoe size for a 3-year-old is 8-9 US children’s size. A 3-year-old’s shoe size can vary greatly depending on their individual development. All children grow at different rates but this is the most common shoe size for a 3-year-old.

Now you know the average shoe size of a 3-year-old, that’s a great starting point if you are buying a gift. But what if you are going shopping and want to buy their exact size?

If I want to make sure I find the right size while shopping for a child then I would want to measure their foot. Let’s now take a look at how you can accurately measure a child’s shoe size and get it right the first time!

How to Accurately Measure a 3-Year-Old’s Shoe Size

Getting an accurate measurement of your child’s foot can be difficult if they are squirming and wriggling around. That’s why I have found the easiest and quickest method of measuring your 3-year-olds foot. This method helps you get an accurate result every time.

Easiest Way to Measure Your 3-Year-Old’s Feet

1. Take an A4 sheet on paper and draw a straight line down the center of the vertically (the longest length).

2. Place this paper on a hard and flat surface (Not carpet) with the A4 sheet’s smaller edge against a wall. (So the line you have drawn is pointing away from the wall).

3. Have your 3-year-old place their foot on the paper with their heel against the wall. Make sure their longest toe is centered on the line that you have drawn.

4. Mark the end of their longest toe on the line.

5. Now measure their other foot in the same way because the size can vary. You should always fit shoes to their biggest foot.

6. When you have both measurements, take a ruler or measuring tape and measure the distance from the edge of the paper (where their heel lay) and the mark you made for their longest toe.

7. Now you can compare this measurement with the chart I’ve provided below and accurately find your 3-year-old’s shoe size.

Foot Length to Shoe Size Conversion Chart

3 5/81
4 3/83
4 3/44
5 1/46
5 5/87
6 1/49
6 5/810
6 7/811
7 1/812
7 3/813
7 5/81Y
8 5/84Y
9 3/46Y

Global Shoe Size Conversion Chart for a 3-Year-Old

When buying shoes for a 3-year-old you might find that they are listed in a different countries measurement. Like EU, UK, and Japanese. Here is a handy chart so you can convert the shoe size you have just found into another measurement and make sure you are buying the right size shoe.

US Shoe SizeEuro SizeUK SizeJP Size (CM)

What Shoes Should I Buy for a 3-Year-Old?

Now that you have an idea about the shoe size of the 3-year-old, let’s have a look at the different kinds of shoes for a 3-year-old boy or girl so you can find the perfect pair.

3-year-olds are known for being active. Running, jumping, rolling. They just never stop moving. We wouldn’t want them to be any other way. With their limitless energy and zest for life, it’s no wonder that they crash into bed at naptime and nighttime.

So, taking their active life into consideration. I think the perfect shoe for a 3-year-old boy or girl is one comfortable, cushioned and flexible. That leads me to recommend buying 3-year-olds sneakers or tennis shoes. They are comfortable, durable, and well-cushioned. 

Sneakers can also be found in plenty of different colors and endless styles. A sneaker is a shoe that a 3-year-old will, without doubt, always get their wear from. Sneakers are the perfect shoe for playing in because they are durable, versatile, and have grippy soles.

Some popular brands are Nike, Adidas, Converse, and Vans. A 3-year-old would be especially happy to wear any of those brands. Those companies also have a massive range of colors and styles for you to choose from.

Whether its sneakers for running, playing, sports, style, or school. Those four brands produce plenty of shoes to choose from.

Where’s the Best Place to Buy Shoes For a 3-Year-Old?

I did a little research on Reddit (the biggest discussion site on the web) and compiled a list from hundreds of responses asking parents from across the country where they go to buy their kid’s shoes. This list is made from hundreds of people’s unbiased recommendations about where they shop for their kid’s shoes. 

  • Amazon: Unsurprisingly, Amazon also sells kids shoes. Although, you might be surprised at the great quality selection and prices though. If you have Amazon Prime then it might be the best place to shop as you get quick delivery and no-hassle returns.
  • 6pm.com: Parents loved this store because its the discount outlet for zappos.com (another popular online shoe store). It has great prices and good quality.
  • Zappos.com: One of the biggest online shoe retailers. Parents liked Zappos because they have a generous returns policy. So you can buy a range of sizes, try them on at home and then send the ones you didn’t want back for a refund.
  • Famous Footwear: A nationwide footwear chain that stocks branded kids shoes at discount prices. Some parents are fanatical about how good this store is!
  • TJ MAXX: TJ MAXX is another family favorite for discount branded children’s shoes. In my experience it does take some effort to hunt down a bargain, but when you find one it can be spectacular.
  • Walmart: Surprisingly, it was popular with parents for kids shoes. I usually think of Walmart as a cheaper quality. The parent’s view on this is that their kids outgrow the shoes so fast that they didn’t need them to last very long so the cost savings at Walmart were worth it.
  • Stride Rite: I love stride rite, I think they have great quality shoes, enough choice and they are good value. I love the style of their kid’s shoes. Plus they have famous brands to choose from too.
  • Nordstrom & Nordstrom Rack: Nordstrom has a great selection of kids’ shoes but even better, Nordstrom Rack has a decent selection at discounted prices.
  • Target: Target is another big-box store that you expect to avoid if you wanted good quality kids’ shoes for your 3-year-old. But most parents were surprised when they gave them a try. 

Buying Shoes for a 3-Year-Old In-store VS Online?

Buying online usually saves you money and time, but is it worth the cost savings buying shoes for your 3-year-old online? Well, sizing is the crucial deciding factor.

If you are confident that you know your 3-year-old’s shoe size then I would consider buying their shoes online. One thing to keep in mind is most companies shoe sizing is slightly different. 

So, if your little one has had the same brand of shoes before then I would so go ahead and buy. If, however, your child hasn’t tried a brand before I would suggest visiting a store to at least try on a few sizes and then you can make your mind up if you want to buy in-store or the discount online is worth the wait.

If you do decide to buy online then I would suggest buying from a retailer who has a generous returns policy, like Amazon or Zappos. Then if the shoes don’t fit as you expected It’s hassle-free to send them back.