Top critical review
10 people found this helpful
Sizing is Huge! HUGE.
on June 17, 2015
I felt compelled to review these shoes because of the large amount of time I spent reading other customers' reviews before ordering them. I was very concerned that the majority of the reviewers talked about the unusual sizing issues with this shoe. I ordered them for both of my boys and the other reviewers were absolutely correct in that the Youth shoes run huge. Absolutely HUGE. There is truly no way to accurately convey the extent of this until you order them. However, I will try. My 10 y.o. son normally wears the equivalent of a woman's size 6.5 (I buy him unisex looking Merrell sneakers because he has a narrow foot). Therefore, before reading all of the customer reviews, I had planned to get him a Tom's Youth 6. However, after reading the customer reviews, I ended up ordering him a Youth 4.5 even though it seemed totally silly. But, sure enough, the other reviewers were spot on--even the 4.5 is enormous! I wear a Women's size 8 in my own Toms shoes, and the Toms Youth 4.5 fit ME! I was laughing when I took the Youth 4.5 out of the box. I even took a photo of my red size 8 Women's Toms next to the black Toms Youth 4.5 and they are almost the same size--see attached photos (also, please note that is my women's size 7.5/8 foot next to the Tom's Youth 4.5!!!). So, I just ordered the Youth 4 instead and I am sure my son will still need to wear them with socks.
My 7 y.o. son normally wears a Youth 3.5 in other brands and his last pair of Tom's (this same style) that I bought a full year ago, were a size 2. Therefore, I went with a size 3 and when they came I saw that he will need to wear two pairs of socks with them. The difference even between half sizes is incredible!!! I should have gone with a 2.5, which would still have been a full size smaller than his shoe size in all other shoe brands.
Therefore, my sizing advice since these are such unusual shoes is to start by going down at least one full size, with the expectation that you will probably need to return them and go down another 1/2 to a full size on top of that. Strange but true. Please note that these shoes also run wide since they are not very structured and, being cloth, will stretch.
As for the other features of the Youth shoe, it is nice looking, supportive (more so than the women's version), and durable (this is our second pair by growth). My only other complaint besides the incorrect sizing is that the shoes pick up a lot of lint due to the material they are made of and have to be maintained regularly and not just tossed in a shoe basket. Therefore, we carefully save ours to use for "non-sneaker occasions" since they can totally pass with a pair of black dress pants and a nice tee in the summer months if your boys protest about wearing proper dress shoes, as mine do. Overall, the black ones make for a nice looking, dressy-casual, summer shoe.