INCHworm shoes grow with your child’s foot

Children’s shoes don’t last very long. The main culprit is their growing bodies. I’d venture to guess an average pair of shoes lasts around six months — max. Depending on the amount of wear and tear, the shoes may not be suitable for donation after use, which is unfortunate.


The INCHworm shoe is a decent solution to the ever-growing child’s foot. The shoe is adjustable and extends itself by one whole size, in half-size increments. So a size six can become a six and a half and then eventually a seven. This would surely extend the life of the shoe by several months. From the product description:

Inchworm shoes are design specially for kids, both boys and girls. These shoes grow with your kids as your kids feet grow, one full size in two half size increments. With the 1 fit System you have the possibility to adapt the shoes to your children feet. Inchworm shoes are made in two parts with rubber outsole & PU midsole for the best comfort and support with anatomic insole and latex heel pad. The uppers are made from quality leathers and synthetic mesh. Inchworm shoes will last approximately 3-6 months longer than an ordinary pair of shoes. Simply push the button on the side of the heel and watch in amazement as the shoe grows.

This is a pretty cool idea. What do you guys think? Let your opinions fly in the comments section.

(via CNet’s Crave)

40 Comments for “INCHworm shoes grow with your child’s foot”

  1. posted by Rue on

    Just wanted to say that your link to the site has gone askew – there’s an extra http// in it if you click on it. 😉

    A little pricey, but considering you wouldn’t have to buy two or three pairs of shoes to go up the one size, probably worth it! Definitely a really neat idea, but I’d have to see how they hold up.

  2. posted by Arvin on

    anyone else think the kid’ll have destroyed the shoes before they really pay for themselves? that or they’ll have insisted on trendier ones.

  3. posted by ChrisA on

    Push a button on the side of the heal? They’d come home from school with a different size shoe every day! It’s a very nice idea, but who would be able to resist playing around with the button?

  4. posted by Jacki Hollywood Brown on

    I can just see my kids coming home from school with the shoes at their maximum length…

    I wish that I had duck feet and I can tell you why, you can splash around in duck feet, you don’t have to keep them dry.
    I wish that I had duck feet. No more shoes for me. The man down at the shoe store would not have my size you see.

  5. posted by Khürt Williams on

    Hmmm… so the assumption here is that kids feet only grow in length and remain the same in width?

    You mentioned that with regular shoes – “Depending on the amount of wear and tear, the shoes may not be suitable for donation after use, which is unfortunate.”

    Isn’t that an argument true for the InchWorm shoes as well?

  6. posted by Eric on

    @Arvin: Who cares what the kid insists on? Who’s the adult? If the kid wants trendy shoes, let them feel free to save birthday money and buy their own. A parent is obligated to keep the kid clothed. There’s no requirement for brand names and trendy labels. There’s something wrong with any parent who lets their kid dictate things like this. You wonder why kids are entitled little a-holes these days…

    Anyway, my thought on this SHOE, is that kids feet grow in more dimensions than length. I wonder how these fit all around.

    But then, if you aren’t totally controlled by your kids, you can get off-brand shoes cheap enough to not have to worry about this growth thing.

  7. posted by momofthree on

    My kids are SO VERY tough on shoes with just walking to school, 6 to 10 blocks, depending on which school. The soles wear out so fast from slapping the cement sidewalks twice a day for those distances.
    Didn’t click on link, but I think the shoe pictured is ugly. My kids would not wear a shoe with colors like that.

    And, if the kids are playing around with the button and making the shoe bigger, isn’t that bad for their feet? I can think of tripping, blisters, ankle twisting, etc!

    Yep, kids cost money. Does that mean you as parent have to buy the most expensive shoes, clothes, accessories and toys available for sale? NO!
    I liked Stride Rite (TM) shoes when the kids were little. Our local store had a buy 10 pair, get the 11th for free deal. Any shoes in the store, even those on sale were part of the offer. Do you think a three year old really cared if the shoes were “last years” color or style? Do you really think that shoes for children change that much from year to year when buying a general “gym” shoe?

    This whole “last years style” really bugs me. I see no change in last year’s jeans from the pair I just bought because I blew the knee out of the old pair. (Too much time on my knees playing with kids at my pre school teacher assistant job) Same manufacturer as my old pair. except for the old pair being a bit faded from wear and washing, I saw very little difference. So much for this years style!

  8. posted by Heidi on

    Its a good idea, but they are not very attractive, and I don’t see using them for multiple styles of outfits. Let’s face it – people like to dress up little kids, and little kids like to be very active, and most love getting dirty/messy. Those shoes won’t work for both.

    If people want to unclutter kids shoes when the kids are done with them, they can either donate them, freecycle them or sell them to kids resale shops. If they’re ok with used shoes, one could buy/get them from those resources as well.

  9. posted by Heidi on

    And just to tag onto what others were saying – no one has to buy the most expensive, trendiest styles for kids. Payless and Target will suffice for my girl for dressy shoes and pseudo-athletic/casual shoes. If/when she gets into athletics, I will insist on name brand sneakers ONLY because they do tend to last longer than the off brands.

  10. posted by Lose That Girl on

    I wonder how the arch support works in that shoe. Growing feet need proper support.

  11. posted by Roshni on

    I just bought my son a new pair of shoes yesterday! Had I but known!
    Seems like a good idea. But, as the rest say, my kid’s feet increased in width too, so I’m not sure if this shoe would be appropriate then.

  12. posted by Bevin on

    I’m surprised by the negative comments so far. I thought it was a great idea, and I thought the shoes looked pretty futuristic and cool! If my daughter wasn’t already too big for the shoes I would probably consider buying some.

    On the Inchworm website they address the adjustability question. Apparently they are not that easy to adjust, but that is by design because they will only need to be adjusted twice during their lifespan, and because they don’t want the shoes to be adjusted by children.

    …Just realized I sound like an ad! Yuck!

  13. posted by Laura on

    Yesterday at Target I saw the same idea ~growing with your child~ in SOCKS!!!

  14. posted by Productivity Power Links 04-13-09 « Geeks Guide To Productivity on

    […] A shoe that grows with your kids feet…thank ya Jesus! The INCHworm shoe is a decent solution to the ever-growing child’s foot. The shoe is adjustable and extends itself by one whole size, in half-size increments. So a size six can become a six and a half and then eventually a seven. This would surely extend the life of the shoe by several months. From the product description. […]

  15. posted by Donna on

    My daughter had a couple pairs of inline skates that were adjustable. Each pair spanned 4 sizes. She only skated once every month or two. The fact that they were adjustable allowed me to buy nicer skates to begin with, while still saving money in the long run. It worked out well.

  16. posted by DaVe @ FupDuckTV on

    That is a really cool idea. It is just too bad those shoes look stupid. I’m not sure any kid would want to wear those to school. Kids that wear those shoes get beat up by kids that were the non-growy type. Get a better style and your kid won’t come home with bloody noses.

    “What happened to you?” “I fell.”

  17. posted by Donna on

    My kids must have slow growing feet. I don’t have to replace their shoes every six months because of growth. (They are 4 and almost 7 years old). They are both still wearing the same shoes I bought them at the beginning of the school year. So I’m not sure buying expandable shoes is really worth it.

  18. posted by DJ on

    My kids were rough on their shoes. We only bought them one pair at a time, for playing in anyway.

    They would wear them out long before they outgrew them.

  19. posted by joss on

    Two thoughts:

    My understanding was shoes should not be hand-me-downs or donated because they mold to the original user’s feet and cause problems for other people, especially if those people are children whose many foot bones are still growing and fusing.

    I don’t think this would make parents go any longer in between buying shoes, but it could make shoes fit better. I say that because the current parental solution to children’s rapid growth is to buy shoes too big and to let children “grow into them.” The child’s solution to this is to consistently wear the shoes on the wrong feet until they’re not too big.

    One way or the other, please buy your children their own shoes and shoes that actually fit.

  20. posted by heather t on

    For the price, approx $45/US, I could buy my kid *at least* 3 pairs of shoes in the proper size by shopping clearance sales or inexpensive brands.

    And if your kids are wearing out a pair of regular shoes after 6 months, how on earth are these going to last through 3 sizes?

  21. posted by L. on

    I suspect these shoes are examples of penny-wise, pound-foolish thinking. If a kid’s shoes are getting too trashed to donate, they’ll also be too trashed to keep and “grow.” Even if they last, I am suspicious that they won’t fit right. Nor do they take the seasons into account; right now I’ll buy sandals for the summer, heavier shoes for the fall and winter. And I think a kid is allowed a little fun with new shoes in a different style. It doesn’t mean you’re owned by your children, you can get them one good pair, but that kind of thing is important to kids and their peers.

    Finally, the FAQ says the shoes are expected to last 3-6 months longer than regular shoes. Given their current price, the actual savings seems minimal. (At least for the smaller sizes; my child’s a bit too young for these but his shoes are around $20-ish a pair, and that’s for nice name brand.)

    Out of all the ways to de- and unclutter, this is not one that excites me.

  22. posted by Shana on

    Eric, your comment was overly harsh and unwarranted. Tone it down a little, eh? Even if you hate wimpy parents, it’s no reason for the vitriol.

  23. posted by JC on

    My daughter started the fifth grade wearing a youth size 2.5. A year later she was wearing a women’s size 5.5. And a year after that, a women’s size 8.5-9. Every four months we purchased a pair of sneakers, and a pair of dress shoes at discount stores and, once a year, two pairs of boots (snow and mud). We picked out the shoes, and she wore them. From the above comments, I’m certainly glad I don’t live in a place where children are beaten because they aren’t wearing the “right” shoes.

  24. posted by christa on

    Guess I’m the odd one here. I remember being able to wear shoes and clothes for 2 years. Have photos to prove it. Then again, I stopped growing at about 12-13. 5’2″ now. Size 6 shoe. 105 lbs. I also was not very hard on shoes or clothes – I always took very good care of my things.

  25. posted by Celeste on

    I would never buy these. I like to go in for the measurement and to try the new size on and see how it works.

    I also think being able to wear the same pair over multiple seasons is asking for really stinky, dirty shoes. With the exception of special occasion dress shoes that get light duty 2-3 times, I’m not willing to donate my daughter’s cast-off shoes–they have no life left!

    We have to use Stride-Rite due to borderline narrow feet. Yes the higher price is hard, but some things you just have to pay for. I go to their outlet store for older styles at a savings.

    I think this adjustable principle was borrowed from old metal roller skates, and that’s where it should stay.

  26. posted by Leonie on

    It’s a good idea, just not applicable for my boys. I get their shoes – asics running shoes on sale, deeply discounted from various websites. These shoes probably work best at the stage when kids feet seem to grow rapidly, but now, at ages 9 and 12, my kids might need a new pair once or twice a year at most.

    As for the shoes being molded to the fit or shape of the feet, what happens after the shoe size is adjusted? Does the inside of the shoe re-adjusts? to the shape of the foot?

  27. posted by Jasi on

    @Shana: I agree. He’s totally got an issue with this. Not cool.

    On Kid’s Shoes: We buy one good pair of sneaks at Stride Rite for our pre-schooler. We figure her feet need good support and sneakers are her primary footwear. If you go with sales, they’re not ridiculous and they last well. For sandals, snow boots and dress shoes (only bought for specific occasions) we go for Target or Payless. Right now she has her Stride Rite washable sneaks, Clogs from Payless and a cute pair of pink canvas girlie shoes from Target. That’s it.

  28. posted by Sandra T on

    Eric, I’m wondering how picks out your clothes and shoes. Obviously you think there’s no need to allow a child to choose which shoes he/she wears. There are lots of allowable choices without allowing the child to run your life. There’s something to be said for allowing children to make choices early on in life rather than have everything dictated to them. Giving them choices doesn’t mean they are spoiled but it does mean they get to learn from their mistakes.

  29. posted by Another Deb on

    I would think that shoes for dressy occasions would not be worn often enough to mold to the shape of a child’s foot and would be fine handed down. Shoes that get worn so much that they mold to the foot would also be worn out faster, hopefully about the time the feet grow. The trick there is to buy them with enough wear to last the growth spurt.

  30. posted by timgray on

    I just can’t see those as useful. When my daughter was little she wore out shoes before she outgrew them. I also don’t remember any kids outgrowing shoes so fast that their parents had piles of like new shoes lying around.

    Plus the price shows that you save nothing, so it’s a wash.
    My daughter grew up wearing cheapies. It’s silly to buy $120.00 nike shoes for a kid when the $29.00 Keds are better built and last much longer. I have a nephew that will not wear anything but over $100.00 a pair nike shoes. He has to buy 4 pear a year because they wear out or the glue fails so fast.

  31. posted by Shalin on

    Clever, clever idea. 🙂

  32. posted by Thom on

    I’d be very, very dubious about these. There are some things in life on which you simply can’t compromise and one of these is shoes for growing children. Economise and be creative with their clothes, but not their shoes.

    Most of my concerns have been voiced already (shoe fit being about width as much as length, never giving a child second-hand shoes, the likelihood of the inchworm shoe “surviving” the life of its extended fit, and so on). And most of the sensible solutions have already been mentioned too (buying a well-designed brand of leather shoe and to hell with the fads, ensuring that shoes are properly fitted at the time of purchase, etc.).

  33. posted by Tabatha on

    i worked for Goodwill for 5 years and even if shoes are not wearable you can still donate them and they can be salvaged and don’t end up in a landfill. all the clothes, shoes, books, and a few other things that are not sellable go into a salvage bin/box and they sell those by the pound or recycle them. i would call to make sure b/c i don’t know if all goodwill’s do it that way. the only shoes they could not salvage were high heels, boots and anything with metal cleats in them. they don’t salvage anything that smells like mold or has like blood stains or smells like pee(yes people donate stuff like that). so they don’t always have to be thrown away.

  34. posted by Interesting idea: kids’ shoes that grow « Later On on

    […] in Daily life, Technology at 11:05 am by LeisureGuy The shoes can be increased by one full size (6 to 7 for example) in half-size increments: 6, 6 1/2, 7. Good […]

  35. posted by Shoes That Grow | eTrecos on

    […] A very interesting project: shoes that grow with your child’s foot. Welcome INCHworm! […]

  36. posted by Rosanna on

    These shoes look great and meet the needs of a growing child-not to mention the savings for the parents. Very inovative and practical.

  37. posted by frank on

    Did anyone of you ever go out and buy a pair?

    If so, please could you help me get a full picture of whether this is a good buy for my kid.

    Do the shoes get outworn before they get outgrown? I notice that the material is cheap, and that the glue doesn’t hold the iFit section (the middle of the shoe) together so well.

    What is the support like for the arch of the foot?

    Is it breathable for summer?

    When extended fully, I notice there’s a gap between the inside end of the shoe and the shoe insert. Is this uncomfortable for kids?

    Are they water proof/resistant?

    Does the material on the inside of the shoe fray easily?

    How sturdy is the middle of the shoe? If there is a tear, will it weaken the shoe?

    Is the middle section strong enough to prevent stepping on nails, etc? Are they appropriate to play sports?

    I really appreciate your help!

  38. posted by Shape-Changing Shoe Design Grows as Your Feet Grow | dornob on

    […] (unsurprisingly) targeted primarily to children there seems no reason why this brilliant Inchworm expanding shoe concept could not be applied to young-adult and even fully adult shoe sizes – after […]

  39. posted by Mimi R on

    What a stupid idea by someone without children.

    Children wear out shoes quickly. This would no last longer than a year, max. This is also phenomenally expensive for a child’s shoe. I could get 4 pairs for this price–1 dress ($13), 1 tennis shoe ($15), 1 pair flipflops ($6), 1 pair Croc knock-offs ($8). That’s an entire year’s worth of every kind of shoes (except winter boots–$15) for the same price as this over-hyped ridiculousness.

  40. posted by Mimi R on

    BTW–children should wear shoes as little as possible, and when they do wear shoes, they should NOT be supportive at all, barring a real foot problem. Bracing the foot causes it to grow weakly, leading to problems later in life. Supportive shoes are the last thing most kids need. Ask a podiatrist.

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