Children's shoes why such a limited choice in sizes and widths

Has anyone else had major trouble buying shoes of the correct length and width for their children? My dear 9 year old niece has a very broad foot, the best we can get from the usual shoes stores is a size larger than she actually takes to accommodate the width.
This is to me a serious issue, my parents always made sure we had correctly fitting shoes both in length and width.
The likes of Kmart, Payless, Target, Big W, Williams Shoes etc see to carry the basic narrow shoe with no choice of 1/2 sizes or widths.
Australia lost its footwear and clothing industry many years ago, variables in sizes was not an issue until the last 10 years to 15 years. I hate the thought of making children wear shoes that do not correctly fit their tender growing feet.


I think that most if not all the outlets you mention sell shoes made to a price, ie they are bulk produced in cheap labour countries. This applies to both childrens’ and adults’ shoes. These suppliers are all tending to sell the ‘popular’ sizes, and do not try to cover the wide range of requirements there are for footwear. I think that they also tend to be smaller and narrower fittings as is common in the country of manufacture.

It may be better off going to a specialist childrens’ footwear store to get the specific fittings required.

1 Like

Coming from family of broad feet, most of us with a high instep as well, including my little grandchild, I can tell you that most shoes in mainstream stores will not fit correctly. I’m not sure what State you are in, however in Victoria there are many store options for broader shoe sizes.

1 Like

As an ex Victoria I found that small family run shoe stores were the place to head. The problem is the cost, families may head to Kmart, Payless etc where cost effective shoes are sold, these are the stores that need to make it the norm to have half sizes and a range of wider shoes. Children’s feet grow rapidly making footwear expensive, families look for the cheapest way out by buying at the cheapest stores. I have also found Williams, Mathers, Betts have virtually nothing in half sizes or widths for children. I now live in a small regional area in NSW, the choices are limited.

Maybe try some online stores? I haven’t used any of these, but a quick search shows online retailers (some with bricks & mortar stores too) such as which appears to have a reasonable range of sizes and widths. If you’ve had a proper fitting and know the correct size to shop for, that could work out well. But check their returns policies in case the shoes turn out not to be suitable.

Thanks Chris, so good of you to pass this info on.

I understand.

I too have big broad feet (EE width), plus I have to wear orthotic type things in my shoes, so I need deep shoes as well.

Almost impossible to find any decent shoes I don’t have to mortgage the home for!