What Age Do Kids Feet Stop Growing? (Quick Answer!)

By KidSpaceStuff •  Updated: 05/15/24 •  6 min read

Growing up involves numerous changes, and one of the intriguing aspects of this process is the growth of our feet. Did you ever wonder about the age when those tiny feet stopped getting bigger? 

In this article, I’ll dive into the fascinating journey of foot growth in children, shedding light on the age when the tootsies finally settle in size. Through scientific insights and expert opinions, I’ll guide you through the stages of development and help you better understand this fascinating aspect of human growth.

What Age Do Kids’ Feet Stop Growing?

An image of children's feet

Kids’ feet typically stop growing around the age of 20. 

The most pronounced changes in foot size generally occur during the growth spurts experienced in puberty. For males, feet usually cease to grow by age 20. Additionally, in the first three years of a child’s life, their foot size may change significantly, growing around nine sizes during this period.

The Anatomy of a Growing Foot

Imagine your foot as a complex puzzle made of different pieces that fit together. Each piece has a role in helping you stand, walk, run, and jump.

  1. Bones: Your foot has 26 bones. These bones grow as a child grows, especially during growth spurts. At birth, many of these bones start as soft cartilage and slowly harden, a process called ossification, as you age.
  2. Joints: They are like the connectors between the bones, allowing your foot to move in different ways. As the bones grow, these joints expand to maintain foot flexibility.
  3. Tendons and Ligaments: Think of them as the foot’s rubber bands. They connect bones to muscles (tendons) and bones to other bones (ligaments), helping hold everything in place. They stretch and adjust as the foot grows.
  4. Muscles: These are the engines that power movement. As the foot grows, muscles become stronger and more defined, enabling a person to walk, run, or play sports like Tennis.
  5. Arch: The foot’s natural curve. Some kids have flat feet when they are young, but an arch might develop as they grow. It’s important for balance and distributing body weight.
  6. Skin and Nails: The outer layer. As the foot expands, the skin stretches, and toenails grow. Proper care is essential to avoid problems like ingrown toenails.

Stages of Foot Growth in Children

Foot growth in children can be fascinating to observe. Here are the simplified stages of foot growth in children:

Newborn Stage (0-1 year)

Toddler Stage (1-3 years)

Pre-School Stage (3-5 years)

School Age (6-12 years)

Adolescence (13-18 years)

Factors Influencing Foot Growth

Factors influencing foot growth refer to the various elements affecting how a child’s foot grows and develops. Here are some of these factors explained in simple terms:

Are you wondering why your feet feel a little smaller every morning? Check out the video below!

Tips for Parents

Here are some straightforward tips for parents to support their kids’ foot growth:

Tip #1: Right Shoe Size

Regularly check your child’s shoe size. Kids’ feet can multiply, and wearing shoes that are too small can be harmful.

Tip #2: Choose Quality Footwear

Look for shoes with a good fit, support, and breathability. Shoes should have a sturdy sole but also be flexible enough to move with your child’s foot.

Tip #3: Barefoot Time

Whenever it’s safe, allow your child to walk barefoot. It can help in strengthening foot muscles and improving balance.

Tip #4: Check for Abnormalities

Keep an eye out for any irregular walking patterns, consistent tripping, or complaints of pain. These could be signs that there’s something wrong.

Tip #5: Avoid Hand-Me-Downs

While it’s tempting to use older siblings’ shoes, they might not fit your younger child properly. Shoes mold to the wearer’s feet, so a used shoe might not offer the proper support.

Tip #6: Keep Feet Clean and Dry

Encourage your child to wash their feet daily and dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes. This helps prevent conditions like an athlete’s foot.

Tip #7: Regular Check-ups

Just like you’d visit a dentist for your child’s teeth, it’s a good idea to have their feet checked if you suspect any problems or if there’s a history of foot issues in the family.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, around the age of 20, most kids’ feet stop growing.

Kids’ feet undergo remarkable changes from the moment they are born until adulthood. Generally, girls’ feet tend to stop growing earlier, around ages 14 to 16, while boys’ feet might continue to grow until ages 18 to 20. However, as with height and other physical attributes, age can vary based on individual genetics and other factors. 

Parents must stay attentive to these growth patterns, ensuring that footwear is both comfortable and appropriately sized during these transformative years. Providing the necessary care and support can pave the way for a lifetime of healthy foot habits and well-being. Thanks for reading!