When was the last time you measured your foot? According to a study conducted by the College of Podiatry, nearly half of women and one-third of men admitted to purchasing shoes that didn't fit properly.
Shoes that are too small or too narrow can cause bunions, while shoes that are too big create friction, which may result in blisters. With so many factors outside of your control when it comes to foot pain, this is one step you can take to proactively avoid discomfort.
Things to know before you begin:
Measure your feet at least once a year since foot size tends to change with time. Take measurements at the end of the day when your feet are at their largest. Lastly, try not to round up or down significantly. Instead, use the closest mark that you can on your ruler or measuring tape (for inches, use the closest 16th).
How To Measure Your Feet
1. Put on a pair of socks similar to the ones that you'd typically wear with the style of shoe you're trying on.
2. Take two blank paper pieces, slightly larger than each foot, and tape them to the floor.
3. Sit in a chair with one foot planted firmly on the corresponding piece of paper, and your leg bent forward so that your shin is slightly in front of your ankle.
4. Trace the outline of your foot, making sure the pencil is resting closely against the foot as you draw around it. Try to hold the pencil upright and perpendicular to the paper and not at an angle.
5. Draw straight lines touching the outermost points at the top, bottom, and sides of your tracing.
6. Measure the length of your foot. Using a ruler or measuring tape, measure the distance between the bottom line and the top line you created in step 5. This will give you the length of your foot.
7. Now, measure the width. To do this, measure the distance between the lines at each side of your tracing.
8. Measure your other foot by repeating steps 3-7. It's important to do this for both because you'll likely find some variance between the right and left foot. For some people, that difference could be a half or whole shoe size, or sometimes more.
9. Refer to the larger measurement. For example, if your left foot is 1/4 of an inch long, use your left foot's length measurement. If your right foot is slightly wider, then you'll use that number for your width. If there is a large discrepancy between the lengths and widths, you may want to consider different size shoes for each.
10. Make some slight adjustments. Subtract 3/16 of an inch from each of the two numbers (length and width) to accommodate for the slight space between your foot and the line made by the pencil.
11. Determine your final shoe size by using our handy guides. These final numbers are your actual foot measurements, and you can convert them to the appropriate size and width.