How to Measure Shoe Size at Home: A Guide

More people buy clothes and shoes online than they do in stores these days. But online returns for clothes and shoes are far greater than in-store returns simply because you can’t try them on first.

Now, most companies have great shipping, exchange, and returns policies. But not all do. Even if returns are free, you still have to deal with long shipping times, and dropping off your returns at the post office.

A better option is to check your actual size at home before ordering. Wondering how to measure shoe size at home? It’s not as hard as you think, and it doesn’t require you to buy an expensive foot measuring device that they have at Payless.

Read on below to figure out how to measure your feet with accuracy, and how to translate foot length to shoe size online.

How to Measure Foot Size With Ruler

The simplest way to measure your foot size is with that old-school ruler that might be in your backpack somewhere. But you have to line up your foot and ruler perfectly.

The best way to do this is by placing the back of your heel against a flat, vertical surface, like a wall or door. Then, one end of the ruler up against the wall as well, right next to your foot.

Make sure your foot is relaxed, and not flexing or forcing itself into position. Write down the measurement in both inches and centimeters from the wall to the tip of your big toe.

Make sure to measure the other foot as well, as many people have different-sized feet. It also helps to measure your feet at the beginning of the day, before you’ve done any walking, and at the end of a busy day when your feet are somewhat swollen. Compare these two measurements. 

How to Measure Foot Size With a Tape Measure

Using a tape measure is basically the same process as a ruler. But it helps to use a soft tape measure, specifically used for measuring parts of your body, rather than a rigid tape measure used for construction.

Again, set your heel and the tape measure against a flat wall and relax the foot. By setting a piece of paper on the ground, under your foot, you can use a pencil to mark the tip of the big toe.

Then, remove the foot and measure from one end of the paper to the line that you drew. This may provide a more accurate measurement. 

How to Measure Foot Size at Home With a Printer

Can’t find a tape measure or ruler at home? If you have a printer, you can still determine your foot and shoe size. 

Find a free image online that you can download and print that has foot measurements on it. Just type in “foot measurement print out” on Google and select one that looks easy to read.

Print it out and set the paper against a wall. Then, set your foot on the paper with your heel against the same wall. Mark where your big toe reaches on the page.

It should correspond with a measurement line on the page. Or it might sit between two lines. If that’s the case, use the bigger line as your foot size.

Regardless of which method you used to measure your feet, you’ll want to have a size in inches and centimeters for both of your feet. Then, you can determine which shoe size you are. 

The Cheating Way

Don’t feel like measuring your own feet? You can also visit a local shoe store and act like you are going to buy a pair of shoes. Have the shoe size specialist measure your feet using their crazy foot contraption. When they tell you your foot length, remember it.

If you don’t want to shop at the store, say you didn’t find anything you like. Then head out of the store and visit your favorite shoe brand online using your smartphone. 

Use Foot Size to Determine Shoe Size

Every shoe brand has a size-chart you can use to determine your shoe size. All you need to know is how long your feet are. 

In general, the average adult man will have a foot length of 10.938 inches. This would put him at a size 11 shoe.

Just check out your favorite shoe brand’s size chart to find the shoe size in inches. If your foot is in between measurements on their chart, choose the larger size. You can even use a shoe size calculator once you know your measurements. 

Beware the Varying Shoe Sizes

Unfortunately, not all shoe manufacturers do things the same way. Their footwear is shaped and sized differently, and quite frankly, they aren’t concerned with how other companies size their shoes. 

So not all manufacturers use the exact same sizing techniques when creating shoes. So while your Air Max 90 shoes might fit perfectly in a size 11, you’ll be more comfortable wearing size 10 Vans Classics. 

This is normal, and if you wear multiple different brands of shoes, sandals, sneakers, and boots, you can expect to have a few different sizes in your closet. The worst thing to do is to buy the same size in every brand and convince yourself it’s okay.

Don’t wear shoes that are too small. It can cause tons of side effects, such as deforming your toes, decreasing stability and balance, cause blisters, and other uncomfortable issues. 

And don’t wear shoes that are too big. When your feet slide around inside your shoes, you can get blisters. And big shoes can cause you to walk in an unnatural way. 

Rather, shoes fit just right when there’s a bit of space between your toes and the front of your shoe. Your feet expand throughout the day as you spend more time walking around, so buy shoes that allow for this. 

How to Measure Shoe Size at Home

Now that you know how to measure shoe size at home, you can collect your measurements and start buying shoes online with confidence. No longer do you have to deal with excessive returns and exchanges.

It saves you time, and it saves the company money; a win-win!

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