How to Find Out Exactly What Your Shoe Size Is

Published: 15 Aug 2007

foot_sizeOK, so this is a slightly off the path most traveled but still technical nonetheless. It's time for me to purchase another pair of running shoes and it occurred to me that I don't precisely know what size my feet are! Like a lot of people I generally go to a store and try on shoes that I know are in my "range" of sizes. I've found that depending on the manufacturer of the shoe, the type of shoe (running, casual, dress, etc.) and other variables like if I was pressed for time while shopping, the actual size of the shoe would always vary a bit.

This all said, I decided it was time to find out what size my feet were, exactly. So after doing a bit of Googling, I found some instructions on doing this without those fancy pants, iron maiden for your feet measurers they have at the shoe stores. I've always had a fear of them for whatever reason; those old guys in cheap suits trying to man handle your only two feet by sliding them into those cold contraptions. Do you think they actually clean those once in a while or do your feet meet up with every other person who's had their feet in them....ewwww. ANYWAY!...moving on.





So here are the steps for measuring your feet without having to worry about the horrors above:

  1. Get a piece of paper large enough to trace the outline of your foot on, a pencil, and a ruler or measuring tape.
  2. Trace the outline of your foot keeping the pencil perpendicular to the paper
  3. Draw parallel lines which intersect with the widest areas of your foot. You should have a rectangle, not a rhombus, not a trapezoid.
  4. Measure the length and width of your foot in inches.
  5. Use the chart below to convert your two measurements from inches to find your actual shoe size. I've included size charts for men in the U.S. here but you can find similar charts online for women and international sizes.

Find your length size

U.S. Men's Shoe Size Inches
6 9.31
6.5 9.5
7 9.69
7.5 9.81
8 10
8.5 10.19
9 10.31
9.5 10.5
10 10.69
10.5 10.81
11 11
11.5 11.19
12 11.31
12.5 11.5
13 11.69
13.5 11.81
14 12
14.5 12.19
15 12.31



Find your width size

U.S. Men's Shoe Size C Narrow D (Medium/Standard) E Wide
6 3.3" 3.5" 3.7"
6.5 3.3" 3.6" 3.8"
7 3.4" 3.6" 3.8"
7.5 3.4" 3.7" 3.9"
8 3.5" 3.8" 3.9"
8.5 3.6" 3.8" 4.0"
9 3.6" 3.9" 4.1"
9.5 3.7" 3.9" 4.1"
10 3.8" 4.0" 4.2"
10.5 3.8" 4.1" 4.3"
11 3.9" 4.1" 4.3"
11.5 3.9" 4.2" 4.4"
12 4.0" 4.3" 4.4"
12.5 4.1" 4.3" 4.5"
13 4.1" 4.4" 4.6"
13.5 4.2" 4.4" 4.8"
14 4.2 4.5" 4.9"
14.5 4.3 4.6" 4.9"
15 4.3 4.6" 5"

Now you, like me, can rest more easily at night knowing exactly how large your feet are.

Women's Shoe Sizes

Update: In order to determine women's sizes, just add two sizes to the mens size. For example, a men's size 8 is equivalent to a women's size 10.