How To Measure Your Foot Shoe Size – The Most Simple And Effective Way!

Brannock Device Foot Measuring Device

Are you one of the many women who went through the frustrating experience of ordering shoes online, just to find out that they don’t fit your feet correctly? Getting the correct shoe size involves figuring out your correct foot length as well as your correct foot width.

How many times have you found yourself trying to figure out what your actual foot size is? In order to get your correct shoe size, you must know your exact foot size. Getting the correct shoe size is extremely important if you want to keep your feet and legs healthy. I have helped hundreds of women figure out their actual foot size.

I am an expert when it comes to fitting women’s shoes since I have been working for a specialized shoe store for the last 10 years. Moreover, I have been helping women find the correct type of shoes and orthotics to reduce or fully eliminate the foot and leg pain that they were having. We specialize in women with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well.

I have noticed through the yeas that most women tend to wear shoes that are too short or too narrow for their feet. I want you to keep this in mind:  It doesn’t matter how many features a particular shoe style provides, if the shoes are not the correct size, you won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer. What’s even worse, you will actually end up creating several issues to your feet such as blisters, calluses, and corns.

If you tend to buy your shoes online, I will show you the simplest yet most effective way to figure out your exact foot size from home. Please keep in mind that  I always recommend women to go to their local fitting shoe store to have their feet properly measured and their shoes properly fitted by a shoe fitter. However, most women have reached out to me explaining how they don’t have a local shoe store that they trust and they end up buying their shoes online.

If you are buying your shoes online without knowing your actual foot size, you will end up losing a lot of time and money.

At the shoe store that I work for we have been using the Brannock device (the standard foot measuring tool) to measure children’s, women’s, and men’s feet for over 30 years. If you want to get your actual foot size, this is the device you want to use.

I know there are several at “home methods” to find out your correct shoe size, but nothing will work as accurate as using the Brannock device and I will show you exactly how to use it.

Women should check their foot size at least once a year, because foot size can vary due to age, weight, or foot issues such as calluses.

Before I show you how to figure out your exact foot size from home, I want you to understand that knowing your exact foot size is only the first step when trying to find your correct shoe size. I mention this because your foot size won’t automatically translate into your exact shoe size, since there is no universal standard for shoe sizing.

Shoes can run short, long, narrow, or wide, and depending on how they run you will need to adjust the final size that you get for your feet.

Let me expand on this…

As a recommendation, you should always wear a half a size longer of the size that you measured in the standard foot measuring tool (Brannock Device) in order to prevent your toes from rubbing against the side or the front of the shoes.

However…

Note that if you measure a foot size 6 and the shoes fit “short”, then you will need to choose the shoe size 7 in order to allow enough wiggle room (a whole size longer instead of a half a size longer). On the other hand, if the shoes fit “long” then you will need to pick the same shoe size instead of going a half a size longer (since the shoes already fit long).

I have fitted most women shoe styles before and I am familiar with how their shoe styles are cut (short, long, narrow, wide), so please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime you have doubts or questions about a particular shoe style.

Brannock Device For Women

The Best Way To Get Your Correct Foot Size – The Brannock Device!

First of all, you must always make sure that you measure both feet, since most of us have a half a size difference between our feet.

The Brannock Device will help you figure out three specific measurements which are:

  • Heel to longest toe length.
  • Heel to ball length.
  • Foot width.

This is the most popular foot measuring device used in all stores to measure children’s, women’s, and men’s feet. If you always get your shoes online, this is a must have device. Below I will describe the Brannock Device for the best price, but first let’s make sure you will be able to use it.

If you have a Brannock device at home, follow these steps in order to make sure you are measuring your feet properly:

  • Position the foot in the device: stand with equal weight to make sure your feet are elongated and your heel must be properly placed against the back of the heel cup of the device.

          IMPORTANT TIP: Always measure both feet but always FIT the longest foot when looking for shoes.

  • Find your arch length: Slide the small pointer on the side of the device forward until the inside curve matches up with the ball joint of your foot.
  • Finding your width size: Move the device’s width bar firmly to the edge of your foot. Locate your shoe size on the bar and view the width measurement that corresponds with that size.

If you follow those easy steps you will be able to find your exact foot size.

Below you can find a selection of the best Brannock device to measure your feet or your kids feet! This device is also available for the best price ($ 50 to 60), since in some places you will find it for over $100.

Brannock Device For Women

 

 

If you just got shoes and want to make sure that they are fitting the shape of your feet correctly please follow the steps below.

How to Make Sure that Your Shoes FIT – 3 Simple Steps!

1st Step: Wiggle Room

You should have about a thumb’s width between the end of your longest toe (it might not always be the big toe) and the shoe. Obviously people thumbs have different widths, so you should allow 1/2 inch between the longest toe and the end of the shoe.

How Much Space In Front Of The Shoes

2nd Step: Heel Counter

The heel counter of the shoe (take a look at the picture below for clarification) must be firm, snug and hug your ankle properly. There should be no extra room around the heel area; otherwise you won’t get the support and benefits that the shoe has to offer.

Snug Heel Counter

This is an example of a shoe where the heel counter is too wide:

 

Shoes That Are Too Wide

3rd Step: Width Space

There should be no pressure between your smallest toe (pinky toe) and the side of the shoes. For example, take a look at the picture below that shows a pair of shoes that are too narrow. Do you notice the small toe being pressed agains the side of the shoes?:

Shoes That Are Too Narrow

If you check all the steps and everything looks good, then your shoes are fitting the shape of your feet correctly.

Do you happen to need your kids’ feet measured measured but don’t have a local shoe store where you can take them? I actually created an article where I describe the simplest, yet most effective way to measure your kids’ foot size from home and you can find it here:

How To Measure Kids Shoe Size From Home – In Less Than 30 Seconds!

Buying Your Shoes Online – Choose Them Wisely!

If you have purchased your shoes online before, you probably know how it can be a frustrating experience if you don’t know how that particular shoe style that you are looking for FITS.

But, if you have followed the steps I mentioned above to figure out your correct shoe size, you are ready to make the most informed decision.

If you have shopped for shoes online before, you will probably know by know that when you choose a particular shoe style in an online retailer such as Amazon, you can read others reviews where people write whether the shoe runs short, long, narrow, or wide.

However, are these reviews actually helpful? Can you rely on them?

I would advice you not to. The main reason for this is that particular person who is writing the review and stating that the shoe runs long, short, wide, or narrow, might not have been 100% sure about her actual foot size to begin with.

This is when I come into play, since I have fitted most women shoe styles and I know exactly how each style runs (long, short, narrow, wide). Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you are not sure about how a particular shoe style runs.

Before I leave, I wanted to provide you with a selection of the best shoes for women that I have fitted before in terms of support, comfort, and durability. The shoe styles below are also available in different widths such as narrow, medium, wide, and extra wide.

The Best Women’s Shoes ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Please keep in mind that I only review shoe styles that I have fitted before, since that is the only way for me to tell how well-made the shoes are, the amount of support that they provide, and how they fit.

These shoes provide the best arch and ankle support, they are breathable and lightweight, and they also provide good traction.


The first two shoe styles form the left (Asics) run “short”, which means that you need to go a whole size longer of the size that you measure in the Brannock device in order to allow for proper room in your toes.

The New Balance shoe styles fit “true to size”, which means that you need to go a half a size longer of the size that you measure in the Brannock device in order to prevent your toes from rubbing against the front or the side of the shoes.

STOP Tracing Your Feet On Paper – Get Your Foot Size The Right Way

There are several online shoe retailers that provide you with a set of guidelines to find out your actual shoe size at home by tracing your shoes in a piece of paper and measuring them with a ruler. This might provide you with the accurate foot length, but it won’t provide you with your actual foot width.

Like I mentioned before, finding your correct shoe width has the same importance as finding the correct shoe length. Also, do you know what the instep of your foot is? If you don’t, then you can’t possibly be getting the correct shoe size.

The instep is the top part of the foot, and if it’s high, you must find deeper or wider shoes. I explain in more detail what the instep of the foot is in a post I wrote called:

Foot Pain In The Top Of The Foot – The Best Shoes For Women With High Instep!

It’s important that you read that article if you want to figure out whether you have a high instep or not. Sometimes women feel like the shoes don’t feel right even when they are trying the right type of shoe in the correct shoe length and the correct shoe width.  This is due to them having a high instep and not even knowing about it.

I presented you with the most popular and effective measuring foot device tool called the Brannock device. Please remember that you must measure your foot size properly in order to be able to find the correct shoe size.

Have you ever measured your feet at home with the Brannock device? Is there any other foot measuring tool that you can recommend? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so other women can benefit from them.

About Juan Pablo 16 Articles
My name is Juan Valenzuela and I have been fitting women's shoes for the last 10 years. I have helped several women who claimed that their feet were too wide or too narrow to find that particular shoe style that they didn’t even know it existed. I have also helped women who were experiencing a certain foot condition such as flat feet, overpronation, bunions hammer toes, find the perfect pair of shoes to help prevent and treat those foot conditions. I know which shoe brands and shoe styles are better than others and if you ever have trouble finding a particular shoe style please do not hesitate to contact me.

4 Comments

  1. This is a very informative article and answered a lot of questions I’ve had for years. I’m still confused how finding the heel to ball of the foot will effect the shoe size. I have really short toes and after an unsuccessful foot surgery, now need extra wide shoes. I’How will knowing this measurement help me find the right size? Or do I just need to get the Brannock and it’ll be self-explanatory? I’ve been in so much foot and really appreciate your help.

    • Hello Nancy,

      The Brannock Device comes with detailed instructions on how to use it, and it is the most effective foot measuring tool. Do you have a good fitting shoe store in your area that might be able to help you find your exact foot size?

      If you need extra wide shoes, there is a key feature that your shoes must provide in addition to come labeled as extra wide. The shoes must be deep, since this feature will allow your feet to fit deeply inside the shoes, and prevent the top part of your feet from rubbing against the top part of the shoes. You can find a selection of the best extra wide and deep shoes in another article I wrote called:

      The Best Extra Wide Width Shoes for Women – Deep, Supportive, Flexible, and with a Round Toe-Box!

      I hope this helps.

  2. Hi

    Your article is very interesting.

    I realised recently that I have knock knees. I have always had them, however I didn’t know that it was a condition. Can I correct them by wearing the appropriate shoes?

    I am 21 years old and my knock knees are really bothering me, not just because of the way I walk (which looks weird) but also because of the knee pain sometimes.

    I read a lot about exercises that one could do to correct them but couldn’t find a lot of positive reviews on that.

    • Hello Martina.

      You can try correcting them by wearing the appropriate shoes, and if you don’t see an improvement after 3 months of wearing them you can try inserting an orthotic for extra support. I need to know what type of shoes you are wearing now, and if you provide me with your correct shoe size (length and width), I will be able to send you specific shoe recommendations. Feel free to email me a picture of the shoes that you are wearing at: comfortablewomenshoes@gmail.com

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