How to Measure Shoe Size

How to Measure Shoe Size?

There are a lot of factors that we consider when we purchase a pair of shoes. Comfort, durability, design, and brand are just some of them. But the fit or size of a shoe is something we consider almost automatically, and for a good reason.

Wearing the perfect size should help reduce any risk of injuries, add comfort, and allow the pair to be wearable all day long. Thus it is essential to know how to measure shoe size. This is especially helpful when ordering online, where actual measurement won't be possible.

So let's dive right in and learn some practical yet valuable techniques.

Shoe construction

Shoes have been around for ages and come with different manufacturing methods. However, we're pretty sure that some of the old techniques on how they are produced are still employed up to this day. So it's also understandable that most are manufactured using new technology.

No matter what techniques are employed, understanding the construction of a shoe is essential in knowing what to consider when measuring your shoe size.

Here is a quick rundown of a shoe’s anatomy:

The Upper

The upper is the canvas or leather you see above the sole when you wear your shoes. Some parts of the upper are your vamp, heel, and eyelets. In short, it's what covers the foot.

The Insole

This is the material your foot is in contact with when you wear your shoes.

The Outsole

This is the bottom and exterior part of the sole of your shoes. In essence, it is what comes in contact with the ground.

The Welt

Usually found in better-constructed shoes. The welt is a leather strip that runs along the shoe's outsole. It attaches the upper to the outsole.

The Last

They are used for both design and construction. An essential part of the shoe that gives it its shape is thus necessary when measuring your shoe size.

How to Measure Your Shoe Size?

Now that you've learned a thing or two about the construction of a shoe, let's go to the meat of our discussion. How to measure shoe size?

Old-school Measuring style: How to measure shoe size using a tape measure?

Once in your life, you've probably experienced this style of measurement. All you need is just paper and a pen. Tape and a ruler should also come in handy.


Tape your paper into the floor. Make sure it won't wobble or move as you trace your foot into it. Also, tape it to a surface where you can write; a carpet, for example, is not ideal.


You can sit on a chair or bend down, but plant your foot firmly onto the ground. Also, make sure to put your foot perpendicular to any lines on the paper as much as possible.


Go ahead and outline your foot using your pen or coloring material. You can wear a sock to simulate it accurately, but you mustn't wear shoes.


Measure the length of the foot across the broadest part of the foot and write down the measurement. Compare your foot measurements to the measurements on the shoe length chart to find the number that matches your shoe length. You can cut out the outline and use it for purchases or send it to the intended recipients.


Use our shoe size chart to determine your actual shoe size measurement. Then, subtract 3/16ths of each from each measure for accuracy.

Our shoe length chart will help you interpret your readings. Use women's or men's charts accordingly. UK, US, or Europe conversion sizes for grown women and men are also available. Conversion size charts for toddlers and kids are available online.

Shoe Length Chart / Shoe Size Calculator

Shoe Size Conversions

Some other practical tips when measuring your shoe size:

  • Make sure to flatten your foot by shifting your weight forward. This is to ensure you get an accurate reading as much as possible.
  • Always move up one size larger if your measurement is in between or at half height.
  • It's not uncommon for some to have two different shoe sizes per foot. So, measure both feet in this case, then go for the larger two.
  • Consider the circumstances. Measure your feet at the time when you will be wearing a pair of shoes. For example, when buying daily footwear, working¬†shoes, or training shoes, try to fit the boots when you've been out and about all day, as by then, your feet have expanded.

With these tips, you should get the most accurate results as much as possible. A good fit equates to comfortable wear and happy, healthy feet.

See this tutorial if you have already purchased a shoe that is too narrow.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to have the best fit for shoes?

It is super important to know and measure your shoe size. This won't only result in a comfortable fit but also will prevent or aid in injuries. For example, check plantar fasciitis and how a proper shoe fit aids in it.

When is the best time to measure your shoe size?

Your feet may grow over time. So it's essential to measure your foot once a year.

Are shoes comfortable right on the get-go?

Trust your instincts. If a pair doesn't seem right, get another size or shoe model. It's not recommended to expect the shoes to stretch or fit perfectly in due time. Instead, get the pair that first just right in.

Is it better to buy bigger or smaller shoes?

I recommend you buy a bit bigger size of shoes because small shoes can cause leg cramps or injuries. Besides that, Your feet can expand under the weight of your body. So it's safe to buy half a size more giant shoes.

Final thoughts

It may sound simple, but knowing how to measure shoe size should yield lots of benefits. You'll be comfortable all day long, knowing that you are wearing the pair of shoes that's meant for your feet.

It's almost therapeutic, and I'm sure experts would agree too. It helps in managing injuries or foot illnesses. At the same time, it keeps us on the go and always on top of our game.

Whether you are into heavy-duty stuff, sports, or you just want a casual pair, comfort and style should go hand in hand. And that starts with the right fit for the couple that you are going to wear confidently.

See this useful video about how to measure your shoe size:


About the Author

Hey, I'm Wayes. I'm passionate about reviewing shoes and writing!
I know to pick the right pair of shoes, not easy. Different people have different physical requirements, so it can be quite tricky for them to choose the best shoes. I help readers choose the most suitable shoes for them!

Find Me On: Quora, Twitter, LinkedIn.

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