When it comes to foot comfort, wearing the proper shoe size is crucial. Advising you to make sure you always buy the right size might sound like a no-brainer, but many people actually unknowingly wear the wrong size. It’s even been reported that upwards of half of adults wear either the improper length or width.¹
The wrong fit can cause significant pain and discomfort, not to mention a number of mild to serious foot conditions, even if you have comfortable shoes. One of the easiest tips for how to make shoes more comfortable is to determine your proper shoe size. Whether you’ve been wearing shoes that are too long, short, narrow, wide, loose, or tight, it’s time to get the right shoe size once and for all. Read on to learn exactly how to measure foot size.
The process of determining the length and width of your feet is pretty straightforward. All you’ll need is a pen, a piece of paper, and a ruler or tape measure.²
Here’s how to measure shoe size:
- If you usually wear socks with shoes, you should be wearing socks, but if you’re measuring for sandals or other sockless footwear, measure your bare foot.
- Set the paper on the floor. Make sure it’s a hard, flat floor—carpet won’t work. You can tape it down to make sure it doesn’t slide around, though you might not need to.
- Place your foot firmly on the piece of paper while standing, sitting in a chair, or crouching. Whichever position you choose, your legs should be slightly bent so that your shins are positioned in front of your ankles.
- Now it’s time to trace the outline of your foot. Use the pen to draw a line around the entire perimeter of your foot. Make sure the pen is pointed straight down to ensure your lines stay on the outside of your foot without angling in under your toes.
- Repeat the process with your other foot. (It’s unlikely your feet will be two different shoe sizes—though not unheard of—but most people’s feet vary ever so slightly.)
- Mark the longest and widest points of each side of your outlines. This will be the outer tip of your longest toe, the outermost point of the back of your heel, and the broadest edges of your forefoot.
- Using your ruler or measuring tape, measure the longest and widest portions of both feet. The length starts at the mark from the outer tip of your longest toe and goes down to the outermost point of the back of your heel. The width is the distance between the broadest edges of your forefoot.
- Measure a couple of times to make sure the numbers are accurate. Write down your measurements.
- You might also want to record your measurements in both inches and centimeters, as shoe sizing charts use different units. Otherwise, you can always do a quick Google search to convert your numbers from inches to centimeters or vice versa.
- These numbers will help you determine your shoe size. You should record your foot length and foot width on both sides, but if they vary slightly, go with the larger one.
Since your feet can expand as you age, during pregnancy, or due to certain medical conditions, we recommend taking your measurements at least every few years.³ This will save you money on ill-fitting fitting footwear and ensure your feet are as comfortable as possible.
How to Determine Shoe Size Based On Your Measurements
Now that you have your foot measurements, you can figure out what size shoe you should be wearing. Though you should always check a brand’s shoe size chart or fit guide before purchasing a new pair, most are based on roughly the same measurements.
Another thing to keep in mind is that a sizing chart typically indicates the length of the shoe, not the length of the foot for which the shoe fits. And generally, the measurements in a fit guide tell you the length of the inner cavity of the shoe—in other words, the footbed.
While it varies from person to person, your shoes should be about 0.6 inches longer than your feet or (1.5 centimeters). When you’re wearing them, standing up, and walking around, the additional length will be dispersed in the front and back. Find a breakdown of Vionic’s fit guides for women and men below.
When you measure your foot for shoe size, add about 0.6 inches (or 1.5 centimeters) to the length. If you’re between sizes, we recommend going up. As you can see, the difference of one whole size is only about a half-inch (less than 1 centimeter). The difference of a half size is—at most—a quarter of an inch. Opting for a larger shoe won’t make a huge difference in fit, but it will be more comfortable overall.
Don’t Forget Width!
While the difference between the length of whole and half sizes are small, keep in mind that shoe width does increase with size. So, selecting a half size larger will give you a little more wiggle room for both length and width.
With that said, if your feet are wider than average, you might want to consider getting wide width shoes. Wide footwear is typically about 0.25 inches wider than the standard medium width.
Vionic carries an impressive selection of wide-width shoes for women. We’ve got soft leather loafers, elegant ballet flats, easy-breezy sandals, comfy walking shoes, wide-calf boots, booties, pretty pumps, and more on-trend styles for people with wide feet problems.
Stylish Orthotic Footwear for Women and Men
Vionic is committed to designing the most comfortable and supportive shoes for women and men. With your correct shoe size, you’re ready to shop for the perfect pair. Every fashionable style comes in whole and half sizes, and many of our women’s shoes are available in wide widths.
From dress shoes, professional footwear, and high heels to ankle boots, slippers, and sneakers, we have it all. Not only that, but every pair has unbeatable orthotic arch support and cushioning, all built into the sole of the shoe.
If you need help determining your correct shoe size, we’re here to assist. Get in touch with us with questions or order a pair of Vionic shoes today!
How Should Sandals Fit?
How Should Boots Fit?
How Should Sneakers Fit?