According to research, only about 28% to 37% of the population wear proper-fitting shoes. A proper fit means the footwear is of the correct length and width proportionate to the user's feet.
Using the correct shoe size is essential to protect your foot health. If you always don ill-fitting pairs, you may develop blisters and infections. You may also suffer from foot pain, deformities, and ingrown toenails.
So if you're in the market for a new pair of kicks, you must know how to choose the correct sneaker size. This is especially crucial if you plan to wear them daily.
In this guide, we'll tell you how to take accurate shoe and foot measurements, so read on.
Gather Your Measuring Materials
Grab two sheets of paper, a pen, a tape measure or ruler, and some sticky tape to measure your feet.
You need some tape to keep the sheets of paper in place. It helps prevent them from moving when you draw your foot's outline.
Each sheet of paper is for each foot. You must measure both as one foot can be shorter than the other.
Take Measurements in the Late Afternoon
Measure your feet when it's late afternoon or just before nighttime.
The main reason to do this is because the feet can swell or expand throughout the day. This can happen if you sit or stand for prolonged periods at work. Thus, your feet may become larger at night than in the morning and early afternoon.
If you take your foot size too early in the day, you might buy sneakers that feel too snug later in the day.
Wear Socks Before Taking Measurements
Wear the same kind of socks you intend to wear with your new shoes before you measure your feet. This is particularly crucial if you plan to use or like using thicker socks.
If you measure your bare feet and wear thick socks with your new shoes, your kicks may feel too tight.
Once you're ready to take measurements, lay out the sheets of paper flat on the floor. Don't forget to secure them with the sticky tape.
Step on one sheet of paper and slightly bend your knees. Use your pen to trace the socked foot as closely as possible.
You can also do the above while sitting on a chair, but ensure your foot lies flat on the floor. Your toes should be straight, too, and not curled.
Repeat the steps for your other foot.
Measure Your Foot Size
Once you have the outlines of your feet, grab your tape measure or ruler. Place one end at the very tip of your longest toe. Remember that the big toe isn't always the longest; in some people, it can be the second or third toe.
So, look at the sketch carefully to see which toe is the longest. Once you determine that, measure a straight line from its tip to your heel in centimeters.
That toe-to-heel measurement is your foot's length. To get the appropriate sneaker size, add about 1 to 1.15 centimeters to that length. This leeway is vital to keeping your feet comfy without being too snug or loose inside the kicks.
Convert to the Right Sneaker Size
Sneaker sizes can vary based on their shoe-size system. The most common are the U.S., U.K., Europe (Euro), and Japan (JP/CM) systems. The U.S. also has different sizing for men's and women's shoes.
Suppose you're in the U.S. and want to buy a pair of Nike Blazers. You can then check these out online to see their available sizes.
If you're buying from a U.S. store, you'd likely see their sizes in the U.S. shoe-size system, often ranging from 4 to 10.
Each shoe size accommodates a range of foot sizes.
For example, a U.S. 4 in women's size can fit a foot length of 21 cm. A U.S. 4 in men's size can fit a foot length of 22.5 cm. If you're buying shoes using the U.K. shoe-size system, a U.K. 4 can accommodate a foot length of 23.5 cm.
As you can see, each shoe-size system can have similar numbers but varying sizes. So, please check the size chart or guide for the shoes you want to buy. Then, convert your foot length (with the extra 1 to 1.15 cm added) to the correct sneaker size.
So if your total foot length is 23.5 cm, you can get a pair in U.S. 6.5 women's size, U.S. 5 men's size, or U.K. 4 size.
Correct Sizing for Different-Sized Feet
If your feet are less than half-size different, use the size of the larger foot when buying sneakers. This way, you can ensure your longer foot won't get cramped in a smaller shoe size.
For the shoe of the smaller foot, consider inserting a half-size shoe insole. You may also add heel liners, strips, or toe cushions to make the shoe more snug. Alternatively, you can wear a thicker sock on the smaller foot.
What if your feet are at least a full-size apart? Then consider buying sneakers from a place that lets you order them in different sizes.
Some retailers and companies allow you to purchase shoes in split sizes. You can also find them online, but to be sure, send the store a message first about your dilemma. Don't order or pay immediately; wait until they tell you they can accommodate your request.
Buy the Right Sneaker Size
And there you have it, your ultimate guide to correctly measuring sneaker size. Now that you know how, please ensure you do this every time you buy a pair of sneakers or any other type of shoes. This is vital, as the feet can widen, even lengthen, over time as people age.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Then we have more shoe-related tricks to share! For starters, check out our guide with tips on finding the best pair of casual men's shoes.