How to Measure Foot Size for the Perfect Fitting Shoe

Buying Guide

Use our simple instructions and size charts to find which shoe size to order for a shoe that fits perfectly.

Last updated: July 25, 2022
4 min read
How to Accurately Measure Your Feet to Find Your Shoe Size

Finding a shoe that fits perfectly can be difficult, but measuring your feet to find your size is a great place to start.

Poorly fitting shoes can be a real pain. Chafing, blisters and calluses can distract you from moving freely. But finding the right fi isn't always easy — research shows that up to 72 percent of people are wearing the wrong size shoe, which is associated with foot pain and foot disorders.

If you want to avoid getting stuck on a trek with footwear that rubs or pinches, finding your accurate shoe sizing and width is key. When your shoes fit like a glove, you’ll barely notice you’re wearing them.

Additionally, knowing your exact foot size allows you to buy shoes online with confidence. Then you can walk, run, hike and play without discomfort. Follow these instructions to measure your feet and find that perfect fitting pair of shoes.

How to Measure Your Foot Size

  • For a more accurate measurement, measure your feet at the end of the day, when they are at their largest.

  • Before measuring, put on the same pair of socks you plan to wear with the shoes.

  • Tape a piece of paper to a hard floor, ensuring the paper doesn’t slip.

  • Stand with one foot on the paper and a slight bend in your knees. You can also sit in a chair, but make sure your feet are firmly planted on the ground.

  • With a pen or pencil pointed straight down, trace the outline of your foot on the paper. If possible, ask someone to help you with this.

  • Repeat the process with the other foot, since it’s likely your feet will have slightly different measurements.

  • Mark the tip of the big toe and the outermost part of the heel and measure the distance between with a ruler or measuring tape to find the length measurement of your feet.

  • Mark the widest points of your forefoot and measure the distance between to find your foot width.

  • Use the foot measurements of your larger foot when comparing against a size chart as your feet may be different sizes.

How to Find Your Shoe Size

Now that you’ve measured your foot size, you can compare the measurements against a size chart to find your optimal shoe sizing.

Most shoes from any brand will follow the standard sizing below, but it’s always worth checking the manufacturer's website for guidance.

If you’re in between sizes, consider ordering a half size larger.

How to Accurately Measure Your Feet to Find Your Shoe Size

Measuring Foot Width

Use the chart below to measure your foot width. This measurement will help you decide if you have wide or narrow feet, which will impact how well your shoes fit.

How to Accurately Measure Your Feet to Find Your Shoe Size

How to Test Your New Shoe Fit

When you take your new shoes out of the box, it’s important to try them on and make sure they fit. Take a stroll or a jog in your new shoes, either on a treadmill or outside on the sidewalk. Nike offers a 60-day return policy for U.S. customers (some restrictions apply), which gives you time to test out your new shoes before making a decision.

When you first try on your shoes, check to make sure there is space in the toe box to wiggle and stretch. Then, walk around in your shoes. Check to make sure your foot doesn’t slip in and out of the shoe and the ankle collar doesn’t rub. Both are signs of an ill-fitting shoe. You’ll also want to take your shoes for a longer test walk or run to make sure they have enough cushioning and support. Pay attention to any pressure points that could cause discomfort in the long-term. Confirm that the width feels right.

When buying shoes, you can't always expect shoe fit to improve after a break-in period, so trust your gut when it comes to the initial feel. If you have any doubts about whether your shoes fit, send them back and try another size or style. It's important to land on the correct shoe size for your feet.

Shoe Size FAQ

How Do You Measure Shoe Size in Europe?

Use this handy size chart to convert your U.S. shoe size to U.K. or European shoe size. You can also use it to measure in centimeters.

How Do You Measure Shoe Size in Canada?
Canadian shoe size is the same as U.S. shoe size so there is no need for shoe size conversion. To determine your shoe sizing in Canada, simply compare your foot length to the U.S. size chart.
Can Adults Wear Big Kid Shoe Sizes?
Yes. Some people have small enough feet to wear kid shoe sizes. To find the youth equivalent to your women’s shoe size, go down 1.5 sizes. So, if you wear a 7 in women’s shoes, you’d wear a 5.5 in kids’ shoes. Kids’ shoes are based on men’s sizing, so the youth equivalent to your men’s size would be the same — if you wear a 7 in men’s shoes, you’ll be a 7 in kids’ shoes.

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