How to Find Your Shoe Size

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What You'll Need

Tape Down Paper to Measure for Shoe Size

Measuring your feet at home isn't difficult. In fact, it's very easy to calculate your shoe size without using any special equipment. And once you have your measurements you can refer to any manufacturer's size charts to find a proper fit.

But remember: our feet are actually three dimensional, and most size charts only account for two of those dimensions. The only way to guarantee a perfect fit is by trying shoes on.

Here's what you'll need:

  • A chair
  • Socks
  • Two pieces of paper, each larger than your feet
  • A pencil, pen or marker
  • Tape
  • A ruler or measuring tape

First, tape the paper down to the floor.

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02
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Trace Your Feet

Tracing the outline of your feet

You'll want to measure your feet while wearing a pair of socks similar to the ones you'd wear with the shoes you're buying.

Sit on the chair with one foot firmly planted on the floor with your leg bent slightly forward so that your shin is just in front of your ankle.

Trace the outline of your foot, holding the pencil upright and perpendicular to the paper. Don't hold it at an angle or else you'll end up tracing under your feet and will get an inaccurate measurement.

Make sure the pencil is aligned snugly against your foot as you trace.

You may actually find it helpful to have someone else trace your foot, but as you can see in this photo, it can easily be done by yourself.

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03
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Mark the Length and Width of Each Foot

Draw lines at outermost points of your tracings to mark the length and width of each foot

Once you've traced your feet, it's time to measure.

It's important to trace and measure both of your feet, as most people's feet are slightly different lengths and widths. For some people, that difference could be a half or whole shoe size.

Use your pencil to mark the widest parts of your feet and the longest parts of your feet from the tip of your longest toe to your heel.

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04
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Measure the Length of Your Feet

Measure from the top to the bottom line to find the length of each foot

Use a ruler to measure the length.

Find the closest mark that you can on your ruler—for inches, use the closest 16th mark—don't round up or down too drastically.

Write the measurement down and repeat this process on your other foot.

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05
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Measure the Width of Your Feet

Measure the distance from one side of your tracing to the other to find your shoe width.

A lot of people tend to think of their shoe size as just one measurement, but width is also an important factor. Though widths vary slightly from size to size, the actual shoe size really only takes the length of the foot into consideration.

Knowing your shoe width can make a world of difference when it comes to finding comfortable footwear, and since many people need narrow or wide shoes, this step is just as important as the last. The width of a shoe is marked by a letter after the size of the shoe. Like shoe sizes, there are different width markings for women and men.

Use a ruler to measure the widest parts of your feet. Again, be certain to find the closest mark that you can. For inches, use the closest 16th mark.

Write this number down and measure your other foot.

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06
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How to Use Your Measurements

Shoe size measuring device

Use the largest of each of these measurements to determine your shoe size.

For example, if your left foot is 1/4 of an inch longer, then use your left foot's length measurement. If your right foot is slightly wider, then use that number as your width.

After you have the length and width, you'll want to subtract 3/16 of an inch from each of those numbers. This is to accommodate for the slight space between your actual foot and the line made by the pencil.

These final numbers are your actual foot measurements. You can convert them to the appropriate size and width using the links below, but again, it's important to know that these shoe size charts are not going to give results that are as accurate as what you'd get by visiting a shoe store and having your feet measured by a professional.

Women's Shoe Widths and Sizes:

Men's Shoe Widths and Sizes: