How To Determine Your Shoe Size

The key to a proper fit of shoes is getting the correct shoe size. People’s feet change over time due to weight loss or gain, pregnancy and medical conditions. Children also change their shoe size every nine month or so depending on their growth rate. It is imperative you have the correct shoe size so that your shoes will fit properly and comfortably.

Here’s how to determine your shoe size.

  • When at the store, ask to be measured. It’s free and it only takes a minute. Your shoe size may have changed. Also, different brands have different sizing. Europe, North America and Asia also use different sizing conversions. The tool that is used in stores is called a Brannock device. If you are measuring a child’s foot in the store, they usually have a carpet with different foot sizes printed on it. Your child simply has to step on the layout and see which one his foot is closest to in size.
  • Measure your foot in the afternoon. Our feet swell during the day because of activity so the best time to get a measurement is in the afternoon when it is at its largest. This is also the reason why it’s the best time of the day to shop for shoes.
  • Do it at home. If you measure your foot in the house, you will need a pencil, a ruler and a sheet of paper that is larger than your foot. Regular size copy paper is good for most people, but if you have unusually large feet, you may need to use a legal size copy paper or an A4 size sheet.
  • Put your foot down. Place your foot on the paper and carefully trace your foot using the pencil. It’s a good idea to tape down the paper so it doesn’t move around while you are tracing your foot. Pay careful attention to the longest ends of your foot, as well as the widest portion. Repeat the process with your other foot.
  • Measure it. Using the ruler, get the measurements you have obtained and see where it falls. Measure from the farthest points to get the length and width of your foot. Use millimeter instead of inches since the metric system is more universally recognized and is what shoe manufacturers follow. Adjust your measurement by about 5mm to compensate for the space between the pencil and your actual foot.
  • Write it down. Take note of the measurements that you got. If your two feet have different sizes, go with the measurements of the larger foot. Now that you have your actual measurements, you can refer to a foot size conversion chart. Try or as a reference.

Now that you know your correct shoe size, you know what to ask for. If you are buying sneakers, you may want to have a slight allowance for the socks you will be using. Bring the actual socks or hose that you will be using with a particular pair of shoes that you are buying so you can give it an actual road test. Most shoes are sold in medium width, so if you are a wide, look for brands that carry a wide width such as Bass. If it’s not available, ask for the shoe to be stretched in store. If you are in between sizes, consider the use of inserts to obtain the best fit.


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