Most people wear the wrong size shoes. Here’s how to properly measure your feet

Someone once said, “Give the girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.” This quote has since been attributed to Marilyn Monroe despite evidence that it was actually actress Bette Midler who said it.

But either way, there’s no denying the importance of having good shoes. As well as protecting our feet from the elements, they add instant cushion, thumbs, and, let’s face it, “spring” (visually but also emotionally) to our gait, which is to say, a great pair can give you confidence.

[READ: Good shoes mean more comfort]

The reverse is also true. Wearing unsightly shoes makes us aware of our appearance. One measure of a good shoe that is often overlooked, however, is fit.

Photo by Fikri Rasyid on Unsplash

A 2018 study published in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research found that between 63 and 72 percent of people wore the wrong size shoes. I know these people. These are the guys who, when asked about their shoe size, give a range instead of a fixed number, noting that they have never had their feet measured.

Shoe sizes come in a variety of formats: American, European, Japanese, and the most basic centimeters and inches. It is universally accepted although the sizes can still deviate by a few centimeters at best depending on the type of shoe and the brand or manufacturer.

And it’s not just the toe-to-heel length that needs to be measured. Width should also be considered when buying shoes as it differs from person to person. Some have narrow feet and some have wide feet. Therefore, brands usually have width markers ranging from B (extra narrow) to EEE (ultra wide). Women tend to have narrow feet compared to men, which is why despite having the same design, some shoes have different sizes depending on whether they are for men or women.

But why is it important to wear shoes in your size?

Wearing ill-fitting shoes (too tight or too loose) is not only uncomfortable, it can also lead to foot pain and disorders. Prolonged use of improperly sized shoes is associated with the formation of toe deformities, corns, and calluses.

And as we age, our feet change too. This can mean minimal changes in its length as well as its width. So it’s important to have yours measured, especially when you’re wearing what were once your favorite comfort shoes and now feel uncomfortable.

Knowing your correct size also saves you from having incorrect sizes, especially now that we buy most of our items online.

Man wearing shoes
Photo by Eren Li/Pexels

How to measure your feet

You will need:

  • Your most comfortable socks or the ones you wear regularly
  • Pen or pencil
  • Paper
  • Rule
  • A person to help you trace (optional)


  1. Measure your feet at the end of the day when they are the tallest.
  2. Tape a piece of paper to the floor and, while wearing socks, stand up with the paper under your foot. Make sure to plant your foot firmly on the ground. Bending the knees a little can help ensure this.
  3. Using a pen or pencil pointed down, trace the outline of your foot onto the paper. Repeat on the other foot.
  4. Mark the tip of your longest toe and your heel and measure the length using a ruler.
  5. To measure your foot width, mark the widest points of your forefoot. Use the ruler to measure the distance.

Last reminders

You can record in inches or centimeters. Use these measurements to compare to a shoe chart of the brand you want. You may find that sometimes your left or right foot is slightly longer or shorter. When shopping for shoes, go for the larger size of the two measurements.

If you are between two sizes, take a half size up.

[READ: How to choose the right running shoes via]

This will help you get an idea of ​​your shoe measurements. But again, sizing differs from brand to brand and shoe type. Synthetic materials used in sneakers, for example, tend to be more stretchy and can accommodate gradual changes in length and width. Leather shoes, on the other hand, can take longer to break in and often have stiffer toes, soles, and heels.

The best way to ensure a good fit is always to go to a shoe store where you intend to buy and try on the shoe you like.

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Story originating from NOLISOLI.PH

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