Shoes for Teens & Pre-Teens

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Where to Find Shoes for 12-year old Boy?

June 2007

I am having trouble finding shoes for my son (12 yo), now that he is too big for Kid sizes and not big enough for Adult sizes. He'd wear about a 6.5 or 7, but I haven't found anywhere that actually carries that size. Where do you go for shoes at this stage? dp and both offer lots of choices in 6.5 to 7. I wear a 7 and have never had a problem finding a fit. Try Nordstrom if you want to get an accurate fitting. Not everything comes that small, but a lot do.

Our son is 13 and we had the same problem with shoe size - he was between kids' and mens' sizes for awhile. We ended up having to look in the women's department for sizes that would fit him. He prefers Merrells and sneakers, so it wasn't too difficult to find styles that were not feminine. Good luck. Julie

Go to You can search for shoes by size, and they offer all kinds of sizes. Free shipping and returns. Shoe Savvy

Yes, size 6 1/2-7 is a very difficult size to find. We mostly shopped at Copelands at that stage; you can try sketchers. We used to look in both the boys and the adults sections. And know that his feet will get bigger, sooner rather than later! now we wear the same size

We hear you! Our almost 13 year old is having the same problem. Also I remember a friend complaining about it 5 years ago when her boy was the same age. We lived in New York then, so I guess this problem is old and at least by coastal. So far we discovered that for the sneakers the best selection is in the Sports Authority store in Emeryville. They have a lot of different brands and styles to choose from, but all are full price (around $45 and up). The Big 5 store in El Cerrito has some of the cheaper styles in the 6.5 or 7 men sizes but the selection is limited. We found sandals in Target and leather shoes in Payless Shoe Source. For hiking boots we had to go with the ladies brown Timberlands from Shoe Pavillion. In general, many ladies styles of athletic shoes are completely unisex looking. Ask your son, he may be fine with it. We are now near the end of this tunnel and finding more and more choices as his feet get bigger. Good luck and this too shall pass! yglad

A great place to find shoes for boys (& girls) of all sizes (and they always had 6.5 & 7 when we needed them) is Vans. There are outlet stores in Petaluma, Vacaville & Tracy, where the prices are considerably less than other stores or online. At any of the stores, if they do not have the size you need, in a shoe that you like ask for them to look online. If you then order the shoe in the store they will wave the shipping. natasha

Narrow size 10 for teen daughter

July 2004

I am looking for a recommendation of a knowlegeble salesperson that can give good advice on fit for larger size women's shoes. My daughter is a tall, lean and athletic teen with above average (size 10) but narrow feet. She lives in flip flops but now has a need for more formal shoes to wear with nice slacks and dresses. We really need some help with fit and comfort while still staying in a young woman's style range. Stores like Nordstrom have a wide range but we haven't found a salesperson that seems knowlegable on fit and can make constructive suggestions. Just like you need a really good person to help fit a bra, we need a really good shoe person. anon

I have a size 10-10.5 shoe and have found some success with Dansko and Birkenstock brands. These shoes are both extremely comfortable and fashionable (yes, it's true!) If your daughter likes clog styles (although many different styles are available) Dansko is the way to go and Birkenstock makes narrow styles for almost all of their women's shoes. Both brands list their sizes in European numbers. Usually the line of thinking is that you add 30 to whatever size you currently wear and that is your European size. Your daughter would be a 40. This does'nt always hold true however,(I wear a 42 in Dansko even though I am a size 10) so I would recommend trying on the shoes to find out her size for each brand. Many women's shoe stores in Berkeley and Oakland sell these brands. There is a Birkenstock store in SF and an outlet at the Gilroy mega-mall as well. Trying on the shoe before you buy and getting an exact size is obviously especially important if you buy online where you can find these shoes at a significant discount. Try or (look in their ''closeout'' section). Also, your daughter might prefer something a little ''hipper'' like Steve Madden (store at the Emeryville mall) or John Fluevog (store on Haight street in SF). I've found size 10 shoes that fit me perfectly from both of these stores. Good Luck Kristi

I am 5'10'' and wear a size 11 shoe. I also have a narrow foot. I don't have any recommendation for a ''professional'' to assist you in finding great fitting and looking shoes for your daughter. I don't think ''professionals'' in retail exist anymore. Nordstroms is your best bet for selection in large sizes. I also shop at the Nordstrom Rack -- they carry larger sizes, and you can just pull shoes off the rack and keep trying them on until you find a pair that fits that you like. Sometimes 10 1/2's fit me best. Sometimes I can find a narrow size. My advise is to have her just keep trying on shoes. If she finds a pair she likes, buy 2, or one in a different color. Mervyn's also carries size 11, and I have bought several casual-type shoes there. Over the years I have bought several pairs from catalogs. The reality is that your daughter will never be able to just go into any shoe store and have any shoe available in her size. She might as well get used to having to make an extra effort to find great shoes in her size. Kathleen

Basketball shoes for teen daughter

June 2004

We're having a tough time finding basketball shoes for my daughter. She doesn't really fit into men's shoes (too wide). Other than Sportmart, anyone know of a store that stocks women's shoes? Footlocker, Athletes Foot and the other 'mall' type stores don't stock them. I've called some smaller sporting goods stores and no luck. We're willing to go anywhere in the bay area to find shoes. Help! vr

I have had this problem for 30 years! Lady Foot Locker and sometimes are all I've found. --Liz

I've had hit-and-miss luck with Lady Footlocker, but now buy pretty much all my shoes from Their pricing is good, but the best part is that they offer a 365-day return policy (so if you get them home, don't like them, or they don't fit, return them!!). And THEY pay for the return shipping. What's not to like? Just checked and they currently have 22 different styles of women's basketball shoes. Darn, the ''Reebok WNBA Isolation'' are awfully cute... Teresa

Try See Jane Run on College near Zachary's Pizza (Forest street?)