Shopping for Kids Wide Shoes

When my girls were little and we were shopping for kids wide shoes, there were usually three defaults. One, I would buy them Crocs. Because even if Crocs didn’t come in a traditional wide width, they fit their feet.

Two, if I needed dressy girls shoes, I would go with a Mary Jane style. I found that these were more forgiving, especially since my daughters have a high arch like my husband and I do.

And, three, if I needed wide width sneakers, I would choose the ones with Velcro straps. Not only were these easier to get on and off, but they tended to be more forgiving of wide feet. Again, since my girls have high arches, you could loosen the Velcro sneakers more so than the kind with shoelaces.

Shopping for kids wide shoes

Why am I sharing this with you? Because I know what it’s like to have a child with wide feet. Shopping for wide shoes for babies, toddlers and little kids isn’t easy.

In fact, children with wide feet face the same challenges that adults with wide feet do. And that is this: not every store stocks wide widths.

However, thankfully there are plenty of brands that are here to meet the demand. Plus, with online shopping, you have many more options for finding kids’ wide shoes.

So, read on for brands, stores and styles that I bought for my own children. I believe you’ll have luck with these suggestions, too.

Crocs for wide feet

I wasn’t kidding when I said that Crocs were a lifesaver for my kids with wide feet. And I’ve got visual proof.

Below is a picture we took with the band Barenaked Ladies. We were taking a fan cruise, and everyone got to stop for this shot before boarding the boat. 

wearing crocs

Notice the bright green Crocs on my daughter Jane, then 11. Her sister Annie, then 9, is wearing purple Crocs. I swear they’re on her feet, behind that deck chair.

Even though we made the Crocs work for them, I’ve since learned that Crocs does, in fact, stock wide width shoes. In fact, there are five styles on the Crocs website under the umbrella of “wide.”

Crocs in children’s sizes

One is made specifically for infants and babies. A second is a kids’ rain boot in three colors.

These Crocs rain boots come in children’s sizes (little kids, ages one to five) and big kids (ages five plus). 

Crocs for Wide Kids Feet

Kids Handle It Rain Boot

Classic Clog

Infant Crocs Littles

However, as someone with children that were tall for their age and therefore so were their shoe sizes, fitting kids based on age is an imperfect science. It is helpful that Crocs includes a size chart that helps you figure out things based on your kid’s foot length.

Plus, the popup about shoe sizes includes this handy tip:

“Juniors size 3 and up can also shop our adult sizes.”

Converting Crocs sizes from womens to children

Finally, there are three adult style Crocs that come in wide widths.

Further down in this article I share a chart for converting kids sizes into womens. But for the purposes of this section on Crocs, let me tell you how you could buy wide Crocs in women’s sizes and have them fit your children’s feet.

In most instances to go from a women’s size to a kids size, you would subtract two. On the other hand, if you knew your child’s size and wanted to find a shoe in a woman’s size, you would add two. 

So, for example, the Classic Croc Clog comes as small as a women’s size 4. That would translate to a size 2 for children.

However, most Crocs, especially the ones in wide, start at women’s size 6. So that’s a size 4 in children’s sizes.

Toddler wide width shoes

In addition to buying Crocs, you have other options for getting toddler shoes in a wide width. In this section I’ll cover sneakers and sandals for boys and girls with wide feet. 

In fact, when my daughters needed new sneakers, sandals or dressy shoes, we would head to our local Famous Footwear. We were lucky to live close to an outlet shopping mall where one of the anchor stores was Famous Footwear.

Kids wide shoes at Famous Footwear

If you don’t have a Famous Footwear stores near you, you can always shop Famous Footwear online. In fact, the website has a terrific filter system to get you right to kids wide shoes.

You can find them easily this way. One, visit FamousFootwear.com on a desktop computer. Two, hover your cursor over the top menu where it says “Kids.”

You’ll get a dropdown menu. Look for the word “Wide.” And, three, click on it.

Now you’re on a results page that says “Kids Wide Shoes.” From there you can refine your search.

On the day I visited Famous Footwear, my results gave me three options for these kinds of kids shoes in wide:

  • Boots
  • Dress shoes
  • Sneakers and athletic shoes

Unfortunately, the selections were a little bit more limited than I would have liked to see. For example, under dress shoes, there were shoes for boys only. 

However, there were plenty of sneakers to choose from, including the kind with those Velcro straps that I loved for my own children. 

Kids wide width shoes at DSW

When I checked out DSW, I was impressed with their collection of wide width shoes for kids. Here’s how you can find them on the website.

One, visit DSW.com. Two, click on Kids across the top menu. Three, look at the dropdown menu under “All Kids” on the right. Then scroll down to wide width shoes. Once you find it, click on that.

DSW online had nearly double the amount of kids wide shoes than Famous Footwear did. However, like Famous Footwear, it was mostly sneakers and athletic shoes.

On the other hand, they had wide-width Mary Jane shoes for girls from Hush Puppies. Unfortunately, there was only one size left in a wide width.

I didn’t see any sandals, though. That could be because I am researching this article in the middle of winter. I’ll have to check back as the weather here in the Northeast starts to warm up.

Other online stores that stock wide width shoes

After locating those Mary Janes from Hush Puppies, I tried to see if I could find them in a wide width at other stores. Well, I did.

Here are the places that also sold them–and which I would recommend you shop when looking for kids wide width shoes:

Zappos (a favorite of mine)

Stride Rite

Nordstrom 

Yes, Nordstrom stocks children’s shoe sizes in wide-widths. This is true for boys shoes as well as girls shoes.

Nordstrom Rack

However, when looking at Nordstrom Rack online, I was able to filter kids shoes by width. And came up with a handful of options, ranging from toddler sandals in wide to big kid hiking boots in wide.

Kohl’s

From time to time you can find wide and extra wide kids sneakers at Kohl’s. Recently, I discovered Nike extra wide sneakers for boys there. So, if the brand is important to you and you’re set on wide Nikes, don’t forget about Kohl’s.

Converting kid shoes size to women’s

Here’s an easy hack for finding wide kids shoes: shop in the adult section. True, this usually works best with big kids or children who have bigger feet.

The idea here is this: you can convert women’s sizes to kids shoes. Then, you may have an easier time finding wide width sneakers or other shoes for a child.

For example, you can usually find gender neutral sandals (think white, black or brown) or sneakers in very small women’s sizes. These would be an easy substitute if you’re having trouble finding wide enough kids shoes in these styles.

When I wrote my article on kids cycling shoes for Peloton, I created a conversion chart like this one. You may find it helpful when shopping for kids shoes in wide widths.

Youth or big kid shoe size to women’s shoe size

In case you’re having trouble seeing the chart, let me describe the conversion of kids sizes to women’s shoe sizes. It’s pretty intuitive once you get the hang of it.

Also, this is a general recommendation. Certain brands might run bigger or smaller than normal. So always try a few sizes or different kinds to make sure.

The number on the left is the kid’s size. And the number on the right is the women’s size equivalent.

  • 3.5 to 5.5
  • 4 to 6
  • 4.5 to 6.5
  • 5 to 7
  • 5.5 to 7.5
  • 6 to 8
  • 6.5 to 8.5
  • 7 to 9

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