When the child is seated, lift up the foot, holding the ankle with one hand and the shoe in the other. Pull the shoe down lightly to check the shoe doesn’t slip off the foot. Repeat with the other foot.
When the child is standing, use your finger to feel around the top edge of the shoe. Check that the shoe fits well, not too tight, but not too open. Pay specific attention to the heel area.
Feel around the ankle and ensure that the shoe does not touch the ankle bone as this may cause discomfort and rubbing.
Feel the top of the shoe at the toe. Feel for the longest toe by applying gentle pressure. There should be a thumb width of space at the top to allow for growing room.
Feel the sides of the shoe. Check for any bulging. This can be seen visually, but by feeling the sides any pressure will be felt.
Using your thumb, apply a gentle pressure and rub it across the top of the shoe. The material should move slightly, but if a ridge forms it is too wide. If there is no movement, the depth is too narrow.
For shoes that are cut away, check the depth by running your finger around the inside edge. It shouldn’t feel tight or have any bulging, and it shouldn’t have a big gap or be loose.
Check the shoes on when the child is walking. They shouldn’t slip at the heels or have any gaping or collapsing of the shoe when walking. And most importantly, the child should not walk completely differently.