"How long will these shoes last?" ... how I wish I had the answer! It is the most natural question to ask at a fitting but the truth is every child is different and there is no predicting how and when their feet will grow.
Some children's growth is slow and steady, while others don't grow for some time and then have a massive growth spurt. Over time you may detect a pattern to your child's growth, however, there is never any harm in having the fit of their shoes checked. All reputable shoe fitters will offer no obligation fitting checks and will not suggest a new pair of shoes when they are not needed.
What is extremely common is for feet to grow at different rates and it is essential for shoes to be fitted to the larger foot. This is why a shoe fitter needs to apply the same detailed assessment to the fit on both feet. If there is a significant difference in size, adjustments, such as an insole, can help. Around 60% of adults have one foot that is slightly larger than the other, most commonly the left foot.
As a rough guide, the advice is to have your children's feet measured every 6-8 weeks up to the age of four and every 10-12 weeks thereafter. On average, feet grow two sizes a year up to the age of four, then slow to one size a year. Around the age of 12, their feet will be 90% of their full size and fully grown by their mid-teens. However, the bones will not fuse and ossify (harden) until their late teens. During this time they remain vulnerable to damage caused by ill-fitting and inappropriate footwear.
If you are ever unsure or concerned about the fit of your children's shoes please pop in to have them checked. I am always happy to answer any questions you have about children's feet and their footwear.