How To Measure Foot Width?

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Figuring out your shoe size can be a bit tricky, especially if you have big feet. Your feet also change over time making it harder to get the best possible fit. Knowing how to measure foot width and length is not a technique that only experts can do. Matter of fact, you can do it right at your home; and this article will teach you how.

Brannock Device

The most accurate way to measure foot size and width is by using a Brannock Device. However, this precise device is pretty expensive considering it’s not an essential item to own. Brannock Devices can cost as much as seventy bucks on a single purchase.

If you have access to a boutique or some specialty store with a shoe fitter, it’s possible to have someone measure your feet with a Brannock device to get your correct foot measurement.

Measuring Foot Width And Length

While it’s almost impossible to utilize a Brannock device without buying it yourself, there is still a way to get the best possible precision. Here’s how to measure your feet at home.

Gather the following:

  • A writing utensil (preferably a small pencil)
  • Two pieces of paper (preferably legal size)
  • Ruler

Note: You can do this on your own. But things get easier when you have someone to help you do the task.


The gist of the activity is to simply trace your feet but you must be careful enough to make it right.

  • Sit down on a chair where the floor is level.
  • Place the paper on the floor where you can reach it easily.
  • Now place one of your foot on top of the paper and rest it naturally. If you’re a right-handed person, it’s easier to measure your right foot first.
  • Hold the pencil vertically and perpendicular to the paper and place the tip on the starting point of your choice.
  • Now trace the perimeter of your feet, carefully keeping the pencil vertical and perpendicular to the paper at all times.

Note: Do NOT make an angle with the pencil. Otherwise, it can already have a great impact on the measurement you get. It’s also not necessary to trace the outline of each toe – your main concern is the longest toe.

  • Set aside the paper and grab the other. Now repeat the whole process with your other foot. The reason why you should do this is explained below.
  • When done, you can get both papers and the ruleR. Start measuring the distance from the bottom of your heel outline to the top of the longest toe.

Note: It’s important NOT to measure in a slant line. You might mistakenly place the ruler in an angled position from the heel to your thumb-toe (if it’s the longest toe).

  • When you finally get your measurements, subtract according to the diameter of the pencil. Use the same ruler to measure the diameter of your pencil – a normal pencil can be around 0.50 centimeters or around 0.25 inches. So if you measure your feet to be 8 inches, the final measurement would be 7.75 inches (after you subtract 0.25 inches to account for the pencil’s diameter).
  • Make sure to tally your measurements in both centimeters and inches for easy comparison (and to double check).
  • Here’s to measure the width of your foot: physically inspect and find the widest point of your foot. It’s usually from the ball spanning to the opposite side.
  • Just like how you attain the length, subtract the diameter of your pencil from the initial value. It’s MORE important to do this in getting your foot width.
  • Repeat steps 7 to 11 for the other foot.
  • Do the whole process again if you’re not satisfied with your initial findings.
  • Congratulations! You already got an accurate foot measurement!

You might be confused why you should measure both of your feet. Surprisingly, there are some people who have asymmetrical feet. That means one of your foot could be slightly larger than the other; so it’s better to be sure.

If you somehow confirm your feet are asymmetrical, use the measurement of your larger foot when buying new shoes.

Tips For Measuring Your Feet

There are ways you can do to maximize the accuracy of your foot measurement. Here are the tips you can follow:

Wear socks

If you plan to wear the shoes you intend to buy with your bare feet, it’s would be ideal to measure your bare feet. But since you will be wearing most of your shoes with socks or stockings, it’s also ideal to measure your feet while you are wearing the type of stockings or socks you will wear with the shoes you want to buy.

Walk first

It’s not entirely advisable to measure your feet during the morning especially if you haven’t done any workout routine yet. It is ideal to measure your feet after a day of walking or doing any activity that requires your feet (jogging, running, etc.).

Your feet tend to slightly increase in size after a full day of work – swollen to their maximum size. So that gives your measurement just the right allowance to attain an accurate result.

Have someone to assist

It’s also advisable to have a person trace your feet for you. If you have a friend who can help you, it’s an opportunity to get a more accurate result. You can do so by standing up straight, with your feet bearing all your weight.

While standing straight, your friend can start tracing the outline of your feet. After which, follow the procedure above.


Shoes obviously come in different sizes but the thing that most people don’t spend attention to is how the sizes vary. The difference of shoe sizes can be as small as 1/8 of an inch.

That means when you measure your foot and found out there is no “exact” size that matches it, make sure to round the measurement to the larger number nearest to it. Rounding up will guarantee a better likelihood of finding a good shoe fit.

Check international shoe sizes

For some reasons, different countries somehow have different shoe size standards. With that in mind, make sure you consult international size charts when you plan to buy shoes from the U.K., other parts of Europe, or elsewhere in the world.

There are conversion charts available wherein you can compare your U.S. size against the size of the country of origin.

How To Find Your Shoe Size?

Now that you’ve measured your feet size, it’s time to know its corresponding shoe size. Look at the table below and find your size. As told in the tip above: when you can’t find the exact size that matches your measurement, simply look for the next highest half size.

Children’s Shoe Size

InchesCentimeterShoe Size
5.3813.676 ½
5.7514.617 ½
6.0615.398 ½
6.3816.219 ½
6.6716.9410 ½
6.9817.7311 ½
7.3018.5412 ½
7.9320.141 ½
8.2520.962 ½

Men’s Shoe Size

InchesCentimeterShoe Size
9 5/1623.656
9 ½24.136 ½
9 11/1624.617
9 13/1624.927 ½
10 3/1625.888 ½
10 5/1626.199
10 ½26.679 ½
10 11/1627.1510
10 13/1627.4610 ½
11 3/1628.4211 ½
11 5/1628.7312
11 ½29.2112 ½
11 11/1629.6913
11 13/1630.0013 ½
12 3/1630.9614 ½
12 5/1631.2715

Women’s Shoe Size

InchesCentimeterShoe Size
8 11/1622.075
8 13/1622.385 ½
9 3/1623.346 ½
9 5/1623.657
9 ½24.137 ½
9 11/1624.618
9 13/1624.928 ½
10 3/1625.889 ½
10 5/1626.1910
10 ½26.6710 ½
10 11/1627.1511
10 13/1627.4611 ½

How To Determine Shoe Width?

You already know how to measure foot width. The width of your foot must be relative to the shoe size. That means a 4-inch width might be regular for a certain individual but would be considered narrow for someone with a larger size.

Find the right width by finding your shoe size below and move horizontally and find the width measurement (you have measured earlier). For men, this is to determine if you are wide, medium, or narrow.

Again, if you can’t find the exact number, round up to the nearest wider measurement.

Note: The chart measurement is in inches.

Men’s Width Size

Shoe SizeNarrow (C or N)Medium (D or M)Wide (E or W)
6 1/23.303.603.80
7 1/23.403.703.90
8 1/23.603.804.00
9 1/23.703.904.10
10 1/23.804.104.30
11 1/23.904.204.40
12 1/24.104.304.50
13 1/24.204.404.80
14 1/24.304.604.90

Women’s Width Size

Women tend to have five width classifications. Determine if you are narrow, medium, wide, or extra wide by doing the same instructions above (in the Men’s)

Shoe SizeNarrow (AA)Medium (B or M)Wide (D)Extra Wide (EE)
5 1/22.883.253.634.00
6 1/23.003.383.754.13
7 1/23.133.503.884.25
8 1/23.253.634.004.38
9 1/23.383.754.134.50
10 1/23.503.884.254.63
11 1/23.634.004.384.75

What Are The Factors That Affect Shoe Fit?

Size is not the only element that will affect the fit of your shoes, though it surely is the biggest factor. Shoe size will never guarantee a perfect fit. This serves as a reminder for people who are planning to shop for their next shoes.

Here are some other things that affect the way your shoes fit when you wear it:

Foot Proportions

There are people who have shorter toes while others have longer ones. The size of your toes can have an impact on how the ball of the foot may sit at its corresponding spot in the shoe. You can consult an expert salesperson for the right recommendations to address whatever your case is.

Instep Height

Determining your instep height is a good way to select the cut of the shoe that will suit you best. The instep height is fundamentally the foot’s top part that slopes from the ankle down to the toes.

So the instep height is its measurement from the bottom of the foot to the top – basically how thick your foot is. Some people have a steep instep or a thicker foot, while some people have a shallower instep or thinner foot.

Arch Height

The arch of your foot is that concave section at the bottom of your foot between the heel and the ball. There are three types of arch – low arch, medium arch, and high arch. Low arch means you have flat feet while high arch means you have a very concave foot.

You can determine your arch type by simply looking at your foot. If you’re not convinced enough, you can step in the sand while you are at the beach. You can also wet your feet and step on the concrete around a swimming pool.

Observe your footprint. A low arch (or flat feet) will look almost solid from the heel to the ball. A high arch (highly concave) will show the heel and ball of your foot in the footprint with a very narrow side. Lastly, a medium arch (regular arch) will show a classic footprint look – the side of the foot is curved enough to connect the heel and ball.


Measuring your feet is not a hard task. All you need is a set of proper instructions on how to measure foot width and length, then you’re good to go. Follow the guideline well and you will attain the most accurate foot measurement possible.

Pamela Couch

I am a designer, shoe-obsessed lifestyle expert, and founder of, a shoe boutique located in Downtown Atlanta. I love shoes and I love being able to share my passion for them with others.