How to Find Your Shoe Size

At one time or another we've all tried to wear shoes that were too small or too big for us. It's no fun, and you risk potential injury. Knowing your exact shoe size is essential to buying shoes. Finding your shoe size before you shop saves you time in the store and helps you avoid buying a pair that doesn't fit having to return them. Just follow the steps below to find out your shoe size!

Part One of Two:
Measure your Foot at Home
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  1. 1
    Tape a piece of paper down to the floor. You are going to trace an outline of your foot to measure, so avoid doing this on carpet or any other surface that will be difficult to write on.
  2. 2
    Place your foot firmly on top of the piece of paper. Your leg should be bent slightly and your shin should be in front of your ankle. Try to put your foot perpendicular to any lines on your paper. You can stand, sit on a chair or crouch down.
  3. 3
    Draw the outline of your foot all the way around. You can wear the socks you are planning to wear with the shoes you would like to buy, but don't wear shoes.
  4. 4
    Mark the length and width of your foot on the paper. Use your marker to draw straight line touching each side of the outline.
  5. 5
    Measure the length of your foot. Use a tape measure or ruler to measure from the top to bottom. Write this number down. This number will largely determine your shoe size.
  6. 6
    Measure the width of your foot. Measure between the lines on the left and right sides and write the number down. Many shoes come in different widths, so this number will determine which version to buy.
  7. 7
    Subtract 3/16ths of an inch from each number. This is to accommodate the small space between the line made by the pencil and your actual foot.
  8. 8
    Use your length and width measurements to find your shoe size on a sizing chart. Men and women use different sizes, as do different countries.
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Part Two of Two:
Interpreting the Results
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  1. 1
    For women, find your length measurement on the chart of US women's sizes below.
    • 4 = 8 3/16" or 20.8 centimeter (8.2 in) in length
    • 4.5 = 8 5/16" or 21.3 centimeter (8.4 in)
    • 5 = 8 11/16" or 21.6 centimeter (8.5 in)
    • 5.5 = 8 13/16" or 22.2 centimeter (8.7 in)
    • 6 = 9" or 22.5 centimeter (8.9 in)
    • 6.5 = 9 3/16" or 23 centimeter (9.1 in)
    • 7= 9 5/16" or 23.5 centimeter (9.3 in)
    • 7.5 = 9 1/2" or 23.8 centimeter (9.4 in)
    • 8 = 9 11/16" or 24.1 centimeter (9.5 in)
    • 8.5 = 9 13/16" or 24.6 centimeter (9.7 in)
    • 9 = 10" or 25.1 centimeter (9.9 in)
    • 9.5 = 10 3/16" or 25.4 centimeter (10.0 in)
    • 10 = 10 5/16" or 25.9 centimeter (10.2 in)
    • 10.5 = 10 1/2" or 26.2 centimeter (10.3 in)
    • 11 = 10 11/16" or 26.7 centimeter (10.5 in)
    • 11.5 = 10 13/16" or 27.1 centimeter (10.7 in)
    • 12 = 11" or 27.6 centimeter (10.9 in)
  2. 2
    For men, find your length measurement on the chart of US men's sizes below.
    • 6 = 9 1/4" or 23.8 centimeter (9.4 in) in length
    • 6.5 = 9 1/2" or 24.1 centimeter (9.5 in)
    • 7 = 9 5/8" or 24.4 centimeter (9.6 in)
    • 7.5 = 9 3/4" or 24.8 centimeter (9.8 in)
    • 8 = 9 15/16" or 25.4 centimeter (10.0 in)
    • 8.5 = 10 1/8" or 25.7 centimeter (10.1 in)
    • 9= 10 1/4" or 26 centimeter (10.2 in)
    • 9.5 = 10 7/16" or 26.7 centimeter (10.5 in)
    • 10 = 10 9/16" or 27 centimeter (10.6 in)
    • 10.5 = 10 3/4" or 27.3 centimeter (10.7 in)
    • 11 = 10 15/16" or 27.9 centimeter (11.0 in)
    • 11.5 = 11 1/8" or 28.3 centimeter (11.1 in)
    • 12 = 11 1/4" or 28.6 centimeter (11.3 in)
    • 13 = 11 9/16" or 29.4 centimeter (11.6 in)
    • 14 = 11 7/8" or 30.2 centimeter (11.9 in)
    • 15 = 12 3/16" or 31 centimeter (12.2 in)
    • 16 = 12 1/2" or 31.8 centimeter (12.5 in)
  3. 3
    Consider your width. Many shoes will also have a width size, ranging through AA, A, B, C, D, E, EE, and EEEE. B is average for women, D is average for men. A and below are narrow, E and up are wide and extra-wide (See chart below).
  4. 4
    Consult the manufacturer or shoe store if you have extreme measurements.
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Mens Shoe Width in Inches/mm
Size AA A B C D E EE EEE
6 2.8/71 2.9/74 3.1/79 3.3/84 3.5/89 3.7/94 3.9/99 4.1/104
2.8/71 3.0/76 3.2/81 3.4/86 3.6/91 3.8/97 3.9/99 4.1/104
7 2.9/74 3.1/79 3.3/84 3.4/86 3.6/91 3.8/97 4.0/102 4.2/107
2.9/74 3.1/79 3.3/84 3.5/89 3.7/94 3.9/99 4.1/104 4.3/109
8 3.0/76 3.2/81 3.4/86 3.6/91 3.8/97 3.9/99 4.1/104 4.3/109
3.1/79 3.3/84 3.4/86 3.6/91 3.8/97 4.0/102 4.2/107 4.4/112
9 3.1/79 3.3/84 3.5/89 3.7/94 3.9/99 4.1/104 4.3/109 4.4/112
3.2/81 3.4/86 3.6/91 3.8/97 3.9/99 4.1/104 4.3/109 4.5/114
10 3.3/84 3.4/86 3.6/91 3.8/97 4.0/102 4.2/107 4.4/112 4.6/117
10½ 3.3/84 3.5/89 3.7/94 3.9/99 4.1/104 4.3/109 4.4/112 4.6/117
11 3.4/86 3.6/91 3.8/97 3.9/99 4.1/104 4.3/109 4.5/114 4.7/119
11½ 3.4/86 3.6/91 3.8/97 4.0/102 4.2/107 4.4/112 4.6/117 4.8/122
12 3.5/89 3.7/94 3.9/99 4.1/104 4.3/109 4.4/112 4.6/117 4.8/122
12½ 3.6/91 3.8/97 3.9/99 4.1/104 4.3/109 4.5/114 4.7/119 4.9/124
13 3.6/91 3.8/97 4.0/102 4.2/107 4.4/112 4.6/117 4.8/122 4.9/124
13½ 3.7/94 3.9/99 4.1/104 4.3/109 4.4/112 4.6/117 4.8/122 5.0/127

Community Q&A

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Add New Question
  • What if my length and width give me different shoe sizes?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Then you may have a narrower or wider than average foot (size D width) and may need to special order online if you can't find a store near you that carries shoes to your specification.
    Thanks! 26 7
  • I see a chart for mens' shoe width but not for womens'. Where is the one for women?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • The article explains that a women's average width is a B and a women's narrow is an A or below, while the men's average is a D. Even though the chart they are using is titled "Men's Shoe Width...", it is actually the same chart for men and for women -- the article just didn't make that clear.
    Thanks! 26 10
  • Is it okay if my thumb touches in front or shall I go for the next size up?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Yes its okay. After some days they become loose. If its uncomfortable or paining, then only choose the next size.
    Thanks! 23 9
  • Does playing tennis require a larger size?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • No, many play tennis with the exact same trainers they wear every day, so you'll be fine.
    Thanks! 27 14
  • How can I determine my exact shoe size when buying shoes from the internet?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Most websites that sell shoes will have a sizing chart that you can refer to. If the website does not have a sizing chart, then you can order a size that is similar to the size you are currently wearing. If the shoe arrives and it does not fit, see if you can return it; most online shops have a flexible return policy.
    Thanks! 31 19
  • Will it affect my shoe size if my second toe is longer than my big toe?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Most shoes do not have this problem but if your second toe touches the front of your shoe and the others don't, your best bet is probably to just get the shoe in the next size.
    Thanks! 22 17
  • Why does my foot slide forward in my shoe?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • Your shoe is likely too big. Try to get a foam or gel heel insert. It goes on the inside of your shoe, right on the heel part.
    Thanks! 21 17
  • Why don't the women's shoes go up to a size 11, and wider?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • The reason is because it's so uncommon that it just doesn't make sense to a shoe store to keep that size in stock. Most of the time, they need to be specially ordered online from a manufacturer directly or from an online shoe store that carries your size.
    Thanks! 10 7
  • Should I purchase a trainer a half a size larger than my normal size?
    Answered by Blondtraillite
    • It depends on the purpose for which you will be wearing the shoes. The average sports-player needs less of a different size than supports (stiffer versus softer structures in differing areas) for their particular sport, to avoid injury. Those who are especially active or train for long periods (such as marathon runners), to a degree by which the shoe must accommodate swelling, do need to purchase larger shoes. However, if you are that serious about sport, you should be professionally fitted by shops that sell shoes for your sport, e.g. a hiking store for outdoorsmen or a sports store. They not only have better advice than the general guideline but a size replacement policy.
    Thanks! 3 1
  • Should I calculate the length of my foot in inches or centimeters?
    Answered by wikiHow Contributor
    • The charts here measure in both inches and millimeters. You could measure in either inches or measure in centimeters and multiply the centimeter length times ten to get the millimeter length.
    Thanks! 13 21
Show more answers
  • Is there a formula for shoe sizing that takes height into account?
  • What is the size difference between eight and nine?
  • Is your shoe size primarily determined by the width of your foot when standing?
  • How do I find out what size foot I have?
  • Does this size count for soccer cleats?
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Quick Summary

To find your shoe size, start by placing a piece of paper on the floor and tracing the outline of your bare foot onto it. Then, use a ruler to draw a rectangle around the outline that touches the furthest point on each side of your foot. Finally, measure the length and width of the rectangle to get your shoe size. Keep in mind that most shoe sizes are based on the length of your foot, although some will also include the width.

TipsEdit

  • Always try your shoes on first if you can.
    0 Helpful?  0
  • Every brand of shoe fits each size slightly different, so be prepared to go up or down a a size.
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About This Article

19 votes - 79%
Co-authors: 28
Updated:
Views: 1,542,630
Categories: Shoes

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