First, the actual length of a ½ size is 1/6” of an inch (thickness of 3 dimes). In an effort keep manufacturing prices low, the majority of children’s non-athletic brands do not make footwear in ½ sizes anymore. Whole size only styles need half as many outsoles (the bottoms) and lasts (form the shoes are made on). This means footwear can be less expensive and selection can be greater (less financial risk to try new styles). The non-athletic brands that still offer ½ sizes are cutting back their ½ size offerings, including StrideRite. Now, most every child’s sandal or boot is whole size only.

So, why are children’s ½ sizes disappearing in non-athletic styles but most all athletic styles still come in whole and half sizes? Because, athletic brands are adult brands making kid’s shoes, Nike, New Balance, Saucony, Adidas, Reebok, etc.

Can you get a good fit in a shoe that is whole size only? Well, if you have ever bought a children’s UGG, Sun San sandal, Keen, Teva, Livie and Luca, Croc, Native, Pediped, infant Skechers the answer is YES. They only make whole sizes.

So, are ½ sizes relevant? In adult sizes, yes. Adult feet don’t grow, shoes are better quality and can last for years. But ½ sizes in children’s? Not as much anymore.

If the brand doesn’t make ½ sizes, there is no discussion. If there is a ½ size option, would a ½ size StrideRite sandal fit better than a whole size Sun San sandal or a ½ size New Balance sneaker vs a whole size Skechers sneaker? The answer is both YES and NO.
The average child grows ½ size every 3 months (1 whole size every 6 months). On average, most people replace children’s footwear every 6 months, generally at the turn of the spring & fall seasons (spring break & back to school). If your child wears a shoe for around 6 months, buying the ½ size ensures the size is “right” for the first 3 months. The last 3 months, you would have wanted the next ½ size up for the “right” fit. So, 50% of the time if your child wears a ½ size shoe for 6 month, they are in the “wrong” size. The only way for an average growing child to always be in the “right” size, is to buy shoes every 3 months, which very few people do.


Coggins offers many (not all) athletic styles in whole size only, forgoing ½ sizes for several reasons:

  • In a perfect world, if ½ sizes are needed, they are needed in boots and sandals, which virtually none are. Boots because there is no way to adjust them and sandals because you see the extra length at the front. Athletic shoes on the other hand, have laces and Velcro straps to hold the shoes on feet. Athletic shoes also have padded collars to aid the fit.
  • Going up to the next whole size can’t hurt feet. Too small destroys feet, never too big. If a size 1 is truly too small, a size 2 isn’t too big. It’s only 1/6” of an inch larger than the “perfect” fit size 1 ½ and there is no such thing as a perfect fit when feet are growing. Your child will not trip on a ½ size larger (1/6”), unless perhaps, they are under 18 months old and Coggins carries tons of ½ sizes in infants.
  • By carrying most styles in whole sizes, Coggins can keep more sizes in stock more often.
  • By carrying most styles in whole sizes, Coggins can offer a larger selection.
  • By carrying most styles in whole sizes, Coggins can offer lower prices by not having excess inventory.