How to Measure Your Shoe Size for a Perfect Fit

How to Measure Your Shoe Size for a Perfect Fit

When it comes to foot comfort, wearing the right shoe size is crucial. Advising you to make sure you always buy the right size might sound like a no-brainer, but many people actually unknowingly wear the wrong size. It’s even been reported that upwards of half of adults wear either the improper arch length or foot width.¹

The wrong fit can cause significant foot pain and discomfort, not to mention a number of mild to serious foot conditions, even if you have comfortable shoes. One of the easiest tips for how to make shoes more comfortable is to determine your proper shoe size. If you’re shopping for running shoes, athletic shoes, or men’s and women’s shoes, knowing your correct size will benefit you in getting the best support and comfort your feet need.

Whether you’ve been wearing athletic shoes that are too long, short, narrow, wide, loose, or tight, it’s time to get the right shoe size once and for all. It’s also important to understand if you have a narrow or wide foot to look for the perfect shoe size and a better fit. Read on to learn exactly how to measure for shoe size.

The process to determine and measure foot length and width is pretty straightforward. All you’ll need is a pen, a piece of paper, and a ruler or tape measure.²

Here’s how to measure shoe size:

  1. If you usually wear socks with shoes, you should be wearing socks, but if you’re measuring for sandals or other sockless footwear, measure your bare foot.
  2. Set the paper on the floor. Make sure it’s a hard, flat floor—carpet won’t work. You can tape it down to make sure it doesn’t slide around, though you might not need to.
  3. Place your bare foot firmly on the piece of paper while standing, sitting in a chair, or crouching. Whichever position you choose, your legs should be slightly bent so that your shins are positioned in front of your ankles.
  4. Now it’s time to trace the outline of your foot size. Use the pen to draw a line around the entire perimeter of your foot. Make sure the pen is pointed straight down to ensure your lines stay on the outside of your foot without angling in under your toes.
  5. Repeat the process with your other foot. (It’s unlikely your feet will be two different shoe sizes—though not unheard of—but most people’s feet vary ever so slightly.) So, it’s important to get the foot measurement of each.
  6. Mark the longest and widest points of each side of your outlines. This will be the outer tip of your longest toe, the outermost point of the back of your heel, and the broadest edges of your forefoot.
  7. Using your ruler or measuring tape, measure the longest and widest portions of both feet. The length starts at the mark from the outer tip of your longest toe and goes down to the outermost point of the back of your heel. The width is the distance between the broadest edges of your forefoot.
  8. Measure a couple of times to make sure the numbers are accurate. Write down your measurements.
  9. You might also want to record your foot measurement in both inches and centimeters, as certain types of shoe sizing charts use different units. Otherwise, you can always do a quick Google search to convert your numbers from inches to centimeters or vice versa to make shoe size conversion.
  10. These measurement numbers will help you determine your shoe size. You should record your foot length and foot width on both sides, but if they vary slightly, go with the larger one.

Since your feet can expand as you age, during pregnancy, or due to certain medical conditions, we recommend taking your measurements at least every few years.³ This will save you money on ill-fitting fitting footwear and ensure your feet are as comfortable as possible.


How to Determine Shoe Size Based On Your Measurements

Now that you have your foot measurements, you can figure out what size shoe you should be wearing. Though you should always check a brand’s shoe size chart or fit guide before purchasing a new shoe pair, most are based on roughly the same measurements.

Another thing to keep in mind is that a sizing chart typically indicates the length of the new shoe, not the length of the foot for which the shoe fits. And generally, the measurements in a fit guide tell you the length of the inner cavity of the shoe—in other words, the footbed.

While it varies from person to person, your shoes should be about 0.6 inches longer than your feet or (1.5 centimeters). When you’re wearing them, standing up, and walking around, the additional length will be dispersed in the front and back. Find a breakdown of Vionic’s fit guides for women and men below.


When you measure your foot for shoe size, add about 0.6 inches (or 1.5 centimeters) to the length. If you’re between sizes, we recommend going up. As you can see, the difference of one whole size is only about a half-inch (less than 1 centimeter). The difference of a half size is—at most—a quarter of an inch. Opting for a larger shoe won’t make a huge difference in fit, but it will be more comfortable overall.

Don’t Forget Width!

While the difference between the length of whole and half sizes are small, keep in mind that shoe width does increase with size. So, selecting a half size larger will give you a little more wiggle room for both length and width.

With that said, if your feet are wider than average, you might want to consider getting wide width shoes. Wide footwear is typically about 0.25 inches wider than the standard medium width.

You can now have accurate measurements when shopping for new shoes to ensure you’re getting the full support you need with a perfect fit. This will also ensure you’re avoiding any foot problems like claw toe or foot pain as a result of wrong size performance shoes.

Vionic carries an impressive selection of wide-width shoes for women. We’ve got soft leather loafers, elegant ballet flats, easy-breezy sandals, comfy walking shoes, wide-calf boots, booties, pretty pumps, and more on-trend styles for people with wide feet problems.

shop wide width shoes

Stylish Orthotic Footwear for Women and Men

Vionic is committed to designing the most comfortable and supportive shoes for women and men. With your correct shoe size, you’re ready to shop for the perfect pair. Every fashionable style comes in whole and half sizes, including an extensive selection of wide shoes for women.

From dress shoes, professional footwear, and high heels to ankle boots, slippers, and sneakers, we have it all. Not only that, but every pair has unbeatable orthotic arch support and cushioning, all built into the sole of the shoe.

If you need help determining your correct shoe size, we’re here to assist. Get in touch with us with questions or order a pair of Vionic shoes today!

Need Extended Sizes? We’ve Got You Covered

We are committed to offering stylish footwear that doesn’t sacrifice comfort for size. Our extensive selection of large size shoes for women caters to those who know that fashion doesn’t stop at small sizes. Whether you’re searching for sneakers in extended sizes or a chic pair of large size women’s sandals, we’ve got you covered. Our footwear not only fits, but supports your arches to ensure maximum comfort. When it comes to versatile large flats and loafers, our options don’t disappoint. Elevate your wardrobe with our extended sizes heels and wedges, knowing that each step you take will be both stylish and comfortable. Trust us, your feet will thank you.


Related Content:
How Should Sandals Fit?
How Should Boots Fit?
How Should Sneakers Fit?


1.Buldt, Andrew K, and Hylton B Menz. “Incorrectly fitted footwear, foot pain and foot disorders: a systematic search and narrative review of the literature.”Journal of foot and ankle researchvol. 11 43. 28 Jul. 2018, doi:10.1186/s13047-018-0284-z
2. “How to Find Your Shoe Size”. Wiki How. September 16, 2021,
3. Terence Vanderheiden. “How to Find Shoes That Fit Your Toes”. Verywell Health. Updated on Aug 05, 2021,
4. Meghan Blalock. “Why You’re Probably Wearing the Wrong Shoe Size”. Wjo What Wear. Dec 17, 2017,

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