How To Measure Your Feet For Shoes

How To Measure Your Feet For Shoes

Got a great deal on a pair of shoes online but confused about what size to buy? If you relate to facing confusion each time about the size of your feet before you buy a pair of shoes online, it is always best to be extremely sure about the size of your feet.

That ways, you not only end up buying a comfortable pair for yourself at the first shot but also don’t have to go through the hassles of returns and refunds over your favorite pair.

However, if you are new to this or confused about how to go about choosing the right size, we give you a detailed step by step guide on what you can do to be sure about your feet size.


Types of Feet

Types of Feet

The majority of the population, estimated at around 60-80% of the American population complains of feet-related issues due to the wrong shoe size.

If you are one amongst them, then its time you need to understand the type of feet you have, based on which you can get the right-sized shoe for yourself:

Based on Width

Based on Width

The forefront section of the feet is the widest amongst the entire feet which can change the width of your feet. Based on the different types of feet width, shoes are available in the following sizes:

  • Narrow
  • Medium
  • Wide
  • Extra Wide
  • XX-Wide

The usual sizes are characterized as AAA to EEE ranging from the narrowest to the widest size. It is easy to determine if you want to determine the sub-size of a pair, e.g. AA means narrow and AAA would mean a narrower pair of shoes. The extra letter indicates how narrow the shoes are.

As per industrial standards, each shoe width is ⅛ inches larger than the other, if it is measured in terms of increasing width.

Width size can also be different for men’s and women’s shoes and therefore it is necessary to refer to the correct sizing chart based on gender. A female’s medium size would be too small for a male. Just as size B is generally referred to as a medium for women, whereas size D is for men.

The width of the shoes may also change if you have any of the following feet conditions:

  • Bunions: Characterized by a bony outgrowth in the big toe which can make your feet wider and you may need more room in the forefront section of the shoes for the bony outgrowth to fit in.
  • Arthritis: Inflammation of the leg joints that can cause friction between bones which changes your walking pattern to avoid pain.
  • Hammertoes: The toes start bending if the shoe is tight around the toe region, and appear like a bent hammer, hence the name hammertoes.
  • Edema: Swelling in the feet or joints of the leg that can affect the walking pattern and shape of the feet.

Podiatrists generally recommend wide shoes for such conditions to allow the feet to rest comfortably and not be pressurized due to the material or fitting of the shoe.

If you refer to the European shoe size chart, you may find that most of their shoes come with a medium width and don’t guide you well about the width of the shoe. If you are looking for a roomy shoe, make sure to go sure for shoes meant for specific conditions like diabetes and arthritis which are wider than the general pair of shoes.

For a quick reference, you can see the table below:

Women’s Width Chart

Standard WidthNarrowMediumWideExtra WideXX-Wide
Manufacturer’s Width2A, A, AA, N2A, A, AA, N2A, A, AA, NEEE, 3W, 3E, 4E, X, XW5E, 6E XX, XXW
Size 53 1⁄16″3 3163 5163 7163 58
Size 5.53 1 ⁄ 83 143 383 123 1116
Size 63 3⁄16″3 5163 7163 9163 34
Size 6.53 143 383 123 583 1316
Size 73 5163 7163 9163 11163 78
Size 7.53 383 123 583 343 1516
Size 83 7163 9163 11163 13164″
Size 8.53 123 583 343 784 116
Size 93 9163 11163 13163 15164 18
Size 9.53 583 343 784″4 316
Size 103 583 343 784″4 316
Size 10.53 343 784″4 184 516
Size 113 13163 15164 1164 3164 38
Size 123 15164 1164 3164 5164 12

Men’s Width Chart:

Standard WidthNarrowMediumWideExtra WideXX-Wide
Manufacturer’s Width2A, A, AA, N2A, A, AA, N2A, A, AA, NEEE, 3W, 3E, 4E, X, XW5E, 6E XX, XXW
Size 63 383 123 583 344″
Size 6.53 123 583 343 784 116
Size 73 123 583 343 784 116
Size 7.53916311163131631516418
Size 83583343784″4316
Size 8.53 583 343 784″4 316
Size 93 13163 15164 1164 3164 38
Size 9.53 13163 15164 1164 3164 38
Size 103 784″4184144716
Size 10.54″4 184 144384916
Size 114″4 184 144 384 916
Size 11.541164 3164 5164 7164 58
Size 124 3164 5164 7164 9164 34
Size 12.54 3164 5164 7164 9164 34
Size 134 3164 5164 7164 9164 34
Size 13.541443841245841316

Based on Volume

This is usually referred to as the size of the feet based on the thickness or volume of the ball of the foot region. Based on which, there are 3 types:

Low Volume: Where the ball of the foot region is flat and does not bulge at all.

Normal Volume: The ball of the foot has a slight normal bulge for which you will need a wider shoe with extra depth as well.

High Volume: The ball foot bulges out extremely for which you may have to choose an extra-wide pair of shoes. Usually, a high-volume ball of the foot may develop with old age.

Things to know before you measure your feet

Things to know before you measure your feet

Here are a few measures you may want to consider before measuring your feet to buy the right pair of shoes:

  • Measure each time you buy a new pair of shoes: Our feet size and dimensions change with passing years and age. If at all, we develop a condition or deformity or any injury in our legs, then you may need a different type of shoe which is of a different size. Therefore, do not rely on your past purchases, freshly measure the size before you order the right size.
  • Always measure at the end of the day: Your foot width and size might be a little bigger by the end of the day as the feet may swell up due to work or excessive walking. Once they are swelled and settled, measure the size to get the correct estimate of what’s going to be comfortable for you in the rested state to the worked state of your feet.
  • Check the measurements of the wider foot: Certain people may have one foot wider and larger than the other foot. Check the dimensions of both the feet and pick a pair based on the measurements of the bigger foot.
  • Measure wearing the socks or stockings you use with your shoes: If you are habituated to wearing shoes with socks or stockings, check the measurements with the sock or stocking on. Measure bare foot only if you do not generally wear socks or stockings with your shoes.
  • Try before you buy: Always recommended when you shop from a local store. Especially while trying, we make sure to stand and walk around the shoe to see if we would be able to adjust our weight and shape of the feet to the new pair.

Also, you can check if the shoes are slippery and don’t rub against your feet. However, for shoes online, you cannot do so and hence check for return, replacement options always if you are unsure of the size and want to purchase after trying.

  • Check the brand and their size chart: Every brand has a different size. “Brand A” would have a different size of medium which can be large for “Brand B”. Therefore, focus on the size as well as the brand that you choose.

Steps to measure your feet in different ways

Read on this step by step guide to measure your feet the correct way:

What you will need:

  • Two pieces of paper (or 4 based on the length of your feet)
  • A measuring tape/ ruler
  • A pen/pencil
  • A person for help (optional)

Steps to follow:

  • Place your foot on a piece of paper and trace the outline of your foot. If you have troubles bending down and tracing the outline, ask a friend or relative to help you.
  • Use a measuring tape or ruler to measure the length of your feet from the biggest toe to the back of your heel. Note the measurements down.
  • Now, measure the width of the feet. Move the measuring tape and surround across the feet including the ball of feet area as well below the foot. Note down the width.
  • Review the measurements written and compare them with the size chart provided in the description to find the size that matches your feet size.
  • Check the different size charts based on width and length measurements as well for better comparison and judgment. While a size chart based on length is usually available with shoe descriptions, we have provided a detailed width chart above to help you compare based on your feet width.

The bottom line

Not all people have the same feet measurements and not all brands and designs offer the same size. Moreover, purchasing a set of shoes online has its own challenges considering the width and length of the shoes as well as your feet.

Additionally, if you have a foot deformity, then it’s best to go for a specific set of shoes available for people with diabetes, flat feet, or even arthritis, bunions, and hammertoes.

Therefore, measure your feet correctly each time before you buy shoes. Compare the size chart for different brands and read our article above to get a better understanding of how to measure your feet based on several conditions and feet types.

Tell us whether the steps and tips worked for you in the comments section below to help us help you better!!

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