How to Measure Your Feet for Great-Fitting Shoes

brannock device

(image courtesy of brannock.com)

Figuring out your correct size of shoe isn’t a trivial matter. Ill-fitting shoes can cause all sorts of problems, from blisters, to overall foot pain. It’s very important that you are fitted for the correct size of shoes – and not just in terms of length, but also in terms of width.

Shoe sizes consist of a numerical size for length and a letter for width. For men, a standard width is a D width, for women a standard width is a B width. If you do not see a width letter on a shoe, it is most likely a standard width.

We’ve all seen those devices in shoe stores that measure your feet for the proper length and width.They are actually called Brannock Devices, and have been around since 1927! When you go into any good shoe store, you can get measured by a person who knows how to help you decide on the correct size of shoe. It’s a great machine, but what if you don’t have access to one?

You can measure your feet at home. With your foot firmly on the ground, trace an outline of your foot onto a piece of paper. Then use a ruler and measure the length from the tip of the longest toe to the heel, and then the width across the ball of the foot (the widest part of your foot). These numbers will equate to standard lengths and widths on manufacturer size charts. For an example of a size chart from one manufacturer, Mephisto, click here.

Do note that lengths/widths can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Also sizes are different from country to country; you may wear a women’s size 7.5 in the U.S., but that could equate to a size 38 in European sizes. It’s always best to try shoes on to see what works well for you. Use size charts and measurements as guidelines.

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