Giving Care: Senior & Disabled Caregiver Resource Blog

How to Measure Your Shoe Size and Width at Home

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Online shopping is incredibly convenient and makes it easy to get exactly what you want delivered straight to your home. However, it can be difficult to shop online for clothing and shoes. Sizing charts aren’t standardized, and you simply won’t know for sure how something will fit until you try it on. However, there are steps you can take to ensure that you increase your chances of ordering a shoe that fits. Here’s what you need to know about how to measure your shoe size and width at home:

Why Is Shoe Size Important?

Each of your feet have 26 bones, 33 joints and over 100 ligaments, so giving them the proper support is critical to preventing pain and injury. Wearing the wrong shoe size can cause both temporary and chronic foot problems. In the short-term, a shoe that’s too tight or too loose can cause blisters and chafing and even rub the skin off your feet. Over time, you may develop corns, bunions, arch pain and other symptoms from improperly fitting shoes. Wearing the wrong shoes can also have repercussions for the rest of your body, such as your knees. These conditions might be an annoyance, or they could even seriously hamper your mobility, so it’s important to do everything within your power to prevent them. Giving your feet the support they need starts with wearing the right shoe size. Read on to discover how to measure your shoe size at home!

Women’s Sizing Chart

SizeFoot LengthFoot WidthFoot Circumference 
69 inches3.25 inches9.25 inches
79.25 inches3.25 inches9.5 inches
89.5 inches3.5 inches9.75 inches
910 inches3.5 inches10 inches
1010.25 inches3.5 inches10.25 inches
1110.5 inches3.75 inches10.5 inches
1211 inches3.75 inches10.75 inches
Keep in mind each of our shoe styles vary slightly in sizing so it is best to review the product’s specific size chart. This can be found on the product’s  page just above where you click to choose your size.

Men’s Sizing Chart

SizeFoot LengthFoot WidthFoot Circumference 
79.75 inches3.5 inches11.25 inches
810 inches3.5 inches11.25 inches
910.5 inches3.5 inches12 inches
1010.75 inches3.5 inches12 inches
1111 inches4 inches12.25 inches
1211.5 inches4 inches12.5 inches
1311.75 inches4 inches13 inches
1412 inches4 inches13 inches
Keep in mind each of our shoe styles vary slightly in sizing so it is best to review the product’s specific size chart. This can be found on the product’s  page just above where you click to choose your size.

How to Measure Your Shoe Size at Home

First, you need to gather your materials: two pieces of paper, a pencil and a measuring tape or ruler. Having a friend can help you, but you can still measure your feet by yourself. Here are the steps to measure your feet:

  1. Place the first piece of paper on a hard surface and position your foot in the middle of the sheet of paper. Trace around your foot, or have a friend do it for you if you have trouble bending over.
  2. Repeat the same process for the other foot.
  3. Take the outlines for both feet and measure from the tip of the longest toe to the end of the heel. In most people, the big toe will be the longest toe, but sometimes the index toe is the longer one. Use whichever one sticks out more as your starting point. Don’t round up or down on the measurement — accuracy is key here!
  4. If your feet have slightly different measurements, that’s fine. It’s common for one foot to be slightly larger than the other. Take the largest measurement and compare it to the size chart for the brand you want to buy from. That is the shoe size that you should buy.
  5. To determine the width, measure across the broadest part of the foot (usually the ball of the foot right below your toes). Once again, compare that to the size chart to determine if you need a narrow, regular or wide shoe.

cta:Shop Shoes for Swollen Feet

Other Tips for Measuring Your Shoe Size

You can take several steps to ensure that you get a more accurate measurement of your feet. Some of our top tips are:

  • Measure your feet after a full day of standing or walking. Your feet swell up and become larger during the day, and your shoes need to be large enough to accommodate that change in size. (Shop our collections of shoes for swollen feet and slippers for swollen feet.)
  • Measure your shoe size while wearing whatever socks or stocking you plan to wear with the shoes. Only measure your feet while barefoot if you plan to wear the shoes barefoot (i.e., you are buying sandals).
  • Always measure both feet. Most people have slightly asymmetrical feet and each foot will give you slightly different measurements. Always choose the largest measurement and use that to determine your shoe size.
  • Be careful when outlining your foot and try not to wobble the pencil so it adds to or reduces the size of your foot. The increments between shoe sizes are very small, sometimes only ⅛-inch, so accuracy is key. Don’t round up or down either. Just record the exact measurement and use that to determine your shoe size.

How to Tell If Your Shoes Don’t Fit

Sometimes, your shoes don’t fit despite your best efforts. Even if you measured yourself perfectly, you should still try the shoes on once they arrive (but before you take the tags off) to ensure that they fit well. Here are some signs that you should look for:

  • Put on whatever socks or stockings you plan to wear with the shoes. Don’t try them on barefoot unless you plan to wear them barefoot, just like when you took your measurements.
  • Try them at the end of the day, after your feet have had a chance to swell. You want to make sure that they will still be comfortable to wear all day, not just in the morning.
  • Stand up and make sure that your heel sits comfortably against the back of the shoe. Then, inspect the toe area. You should have at least ⅜- to ½-inch between your longest toe and the edge of the shoe. If your toe is right on the edge of the shoe, it’s too small and you need to size up.
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  • Slip a finger in between your foot and the back of the shoe. If your finger fits snugly, then the size is good. If you can’t squeeze your finger into the shoe, then you need to go up in size. If you can easily fit one or more fingers into the back of the shoe, then you need to size down.
  • Check the width of the shoes once you have tied or fastened it fully. It should cradle your foot and keep it in place, but it also shouldn’t be too tight either.
  • Examine the toe box and make sure that your toes don’t rub it on the top or the sides. If they do, you might need to size up or switch to a wider shoe size, depending on the fit.
  • Try to find some carpet (to avoid wearing down the bottom of the shoe) and walk around on it. Pay attention to the heel and how much it moves around. If it presses uncomfortably into the back of your foot, then you need to size up. If it slips around more than ¾-inch, then you need to size down.
  • For boots, they should offer some resistance the first few times you put them on. If they don’t, the size might be too large. The shoes will loosen up as you wear them and become easier to put on over time.
  • Never assume that shoes will break in or expand in size as you wear them! The shoes should be comfortable out of the box. If they aren’t, either exchange them for a different size or return them and look for another pair.

How to Shop for Shoes Online

Shopping for shoes online means that you have many more options and sizes at your disposal, making it possible to find exactly what you are looking for. However, not being able to try before you buy does make it a bit tricky. Here are some tips to make it easier to shop for shoes online:

Consider specialty retailers.

If you have special footwear needs, such as orthotics or diabetic footwear, then a regular shoe store might not carry what you need, even with an extensive online selection. If you need shoes to suit a particular need, then we recommend shopping at specialty retailers such as Silverts, which will have the footwear that you need.

Check each brand’s size chart.

Like clothing sizes, shoe sizes aren’t standardized across brands or countries. You should always remeasure your feet and then compare it to each brand’s size chart before making a purchase. It’s very common to be a size 8 in one brand and a size 9 in another, so always double-check before clicking the “order” button.

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Look at the shoe shape.

Examine the shape of your foot and then compare it to the shapes of the shoes that you are looking at. Seek out a shoe that mimics the shape of your foot. For instance, if your toes spread out a bit, then seek out a shoe style that has a wider toe box to accommodate your feet.

Think about how you will wear the shoes.

In certain cases, such as tennis shoes, you may not care whether or not your footwear matches your outfit. However, in other situations, you will want everything to match. Before buying a shoe, think through your closet and put together different outfits that will go with the shoe. If you don’t currently have any clothes that might match the shoes, then you might want to reconsider purchasing them.

cta:Browse Diabetic Footwear

Examine the pictures.

Pictures really are worth a thousand words when it comes to shopping online. Look for any pictures uploaded to reviews so that you can see what the shoes look like in real life. This is especially helpful for color, which isn’t always reproduced accurately in the official store photographs.

Read the description.

Pictures are a must, but they also don’t tell the whole story. Carefully read the description of each pair of shoes so that you know what you’re getting. The pictures might make them look like they’re made of real leather, but then the description might reveal that they’re actually made of faux leather, which might not be what you’re looking for.

Skim the reviews.

Reviews from other customers can sometimes be really helpful in narrowing down your options. While each individual review should be taken with a grain of salt, identifying patterns can be really handy. If five reviews for the same pair of shoes say that they run small, then you might want to size up.

Check the return/exchange policy.

Obviously, you hope that you don’t have to return the shoes, but some things just don’t fit right. Before ordering your shoes, make sure that the store that you’re ordering from offers a good return or exchange policy so that you can get the right size or your money back. For example, at Silverts, we offer easy returns within 60 days as long as the item is still in saleable condition.

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Try your shoes on immediately.

Most stores have some kind of limit on their return policy, with 30 to 60 days being the most common window. It’s all too easy to put your shoes aside and forget about them until after the window closes. To stop this from happening, try your shoes on immediately indoors, ideally on a carpeted surface to avoid marking them up. That way, you’ll have plenty of time within the return window, even if you need a few days or weeks to decide.

At Silverts, we offer a wide range of specialty footwear, including adaptive shoes for seniors and shoes for diabetic swollen feet. We offer free shipping for all U.S. orders over $20 and easy returns should any of the items not work out. Our customer service team is always ready to help you with shoe orders or anything else from our website. Order your shoes today from Silverts!

Image Credits

MrTrush/Shutterstock.com

Prostock-studio/Shutterstock.com

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