Shoes, kids size conversion…?
It should be easy, shouldnt it?
If I want to convert fractions to decimals or to metrics, there are simple formulas to follow. Anyone can do it. But if youre looking for simple conversions of kids shoe sizes from, say, Great Britain to the United States or just to that mysterious land across the channel (Europe), youd better not take anything for granted.
Say you have recently moved from London to New York. You want to buy the kids new shoes, but whats a British size 5.5 in the New World? Simple. Its size 6.5, and for the less than obvious reason: its 5.38 inches long! As close as you can get.
It you moved to the mainland instead? Its a size 23!
For the rest of this article, Ill concentrate on the labyrinthine confusion in shoes kids size conversion, followed by my recommendation and a killer tip that can help you avoid acres of frustration and save your kids miles of sore feet.
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Shoes Kids Size Conversion: The Mess That It Is
Back in the 1980s, a movement was hot for going metric in the U.S. It would make us more competitive by encouraging manufacturers to use the scale the rest of the world used. It made significant inroads before being abandoned. (Were still pretty competitive anyway.) Unfortunately,(and oddly) that kind of standard doesnt exist in shoes, whether kids, adults or athletic.
Whats really weird is that there are four categories for kids: Infants, Toddlers. Little Kids and Big Kids. But not always. Anyone hoping to find consistent methods for conversions will eventually become dismayed at learning that while only Europe has sizes that follow a logical sequence from lowest to highest, they start at size 16 for infants before plunging bravely forward. No word on where the other fifteen sizes went.
Then it gets worse. Logic gets lost when we find that, just for laughs, in Europe, in many cases, the same size represents different measurements. European size 33 is what we in America call both size 1.5 and size 2. And Great Britain (be ready), it covers both size 13.5 and size 1. No, that isnt a typo. The U.K. is about to transition from Little Kids to Big Kids sizes, following the U.S.
Were you ordering online, you might not have noticed that they already have a size 1… Wait. Scratch that. They have two other size 1s.
Even considering that you can almost always save money by ordering online, when doing a shoes kids size conversion, youd be wisest to use the conversion guides offered as the handy advice of a friend whos always a little clueless. Translation: it aint gospel because there is no gospel.
And the manufacturers know about it and even worse. Worse? Unfortunately, yes.
Even among shoes with the same standard, a size 13 isnt necessarily a 13. When I used to buy running shoes online, the purchasing guidelines (geared obviously toward reducing returns) frequently advised that certain manufacturers tend to run larger, suggesting that the 13 I expected might be a 13.5. Why, you wonder? Me, too.
What I did was grant myself a smaller foot and move on. But your kids feet in their formative stages are too important to gamble on. I have a few cramped and bent toes I could show you for proof, but sparing you is more kind. Trust me.
Shoes Kids Size Conversion: Recommendation and A Tip
Unless you have the time and patience to return shoes until you get the right ones, its absolutely necessary that you go to the store and make sure the shoes you buy for your kids are right. Its not that online retailers are untrustworthy. They’re just playing in an arena where the rules are ridiculous.
But rather than spend more money than you should for the same pair of shoes for your kids, heres what you do. With my apologies to all those practicing my former profession of shoe salesperson.
Well, you go take your kids to the shoe store or the department within a store and keep trying things on until you find the perfect shoe. Make sure you have the manufacturer, style and size that works best for you. Next, go home, fire up your computer and go to Shoebuy, Zappos or any number of other outlets and find that same shoe on their site. Go ahead and buy, if you see savings, as you almost certainly will, and let whatever guilt you feel be washed over by your satisfaction in outfitting your child with the right shoes at the right price.
Shoes kids size conversion should be simpler. But as long as it isnt, this information should help you make great choices that benefit you and kids. Plus, youll be smarter than all your neighbors and have a few bucks in your pocket as well.
David Stone, Writer