First, let me be clear. I'm talking about everyday, playing hard, shoes. Special occasion and sandals do not fit this cateogry.
Get babies foot measured by an expert or get the right tools to measure at home
. You'll want to check the length AND the width. Babies feet run wide so you'll want to make sure to get a round or square toe box.
Shop later in the day as babies feet expand by the end of the day.
Check with and without socks too. If it's the winter and baby wears thicker socks that will effect the size of the shoe.
I had socks on Henry that he wore on occasion when we went to buy him new shoes. The next day, when he was in regular socks, it turned out the shoes were too big. We held on to them for when he leveled up, but had to go back to the
store and get a different size.
For Ellie, I noticed she grew out of her shoes when she'd be falling more. She'd all of sudden start tripping a lot in a walk to the store, a walk she takes all the time.
Once you're trying shoes on your tot, use your pinky to check between the big toe and top of the shoe. I know their feet grow so fast. From everything I've read about buying toddler shoes, everyone says DO NOT BUY a bigger size to save money. They all ask the same question, "Would you be comfortable walking in bigger shoes?!"