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Video:How to Measure Your Foot

with Brent Rose

Online shoe shopping can be convenient and quick, but it's critical that you know how to accurately measure your foot at home so you get the best fit. Here are some tips on how to measure your foot.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Measure Your Foot

Hi, I'm Brent Rose for About.com.

There are so many great places to buy shoes online today, but it's critical that you get the right fit. Shoes that are too tight or too loose can cause some real physiological problems. With that in mind, I'm going to show you how to accurately measure your feet at home.

Supplies Needed to Measure Your Foot at Home

For this, you will need a piece of paper that's bigger than your foot, a pencil, a butter knife, and a measuring tape (or a ruler, if it's longer than your foot).

Tips to Measure Your Foot at Home

Here are a couple of tips:

#1: measure your foot later in the day, preferably in the evening. Your foot actually expands throughout the day, the more you walk on it, and the more you're upright, then it shrinks again as you're sleeping through the night. You want a shoe that's going to fit right when your foot is at its biggest, so it doesn't get constricted as the day goes on.

#2: Wear a sock when you measure your foot, since you'll almost certainly be wearing socks when you wear your shoes. Try to wear socks similar in thickness to those you will be wearing with the shoes you hope to get. As in thinner socks for dress shoes, and thicker socks for hiking boots.

How to Measure Your Foot at Home

Okay, here's how to do it.

Put the paper on the ground, put one foot on it, and stand up. Standing, with a good deal of weight on your foot is important, since that will make your foot expand as if you were walking.One of your feet is probably larger than the other, and that's the one we want to use. If you can't easily tell which one that is, then repeat this process for both feet, and use measurements for the larger one.

Holding the butter knife perpendicular to the floor (straight up and down), and touching it to your foot, make a mark in the paper behind your heel and at the front of your longest toe. You don't need to press down hard, and you don't want to tear the paper, just make a visible impression. Then make a mark on both sides of the widest part of your foot, like this.

Step off the paper, and trace the indentations with your pencil to make them easier to see. The reason we didn't use the pencil in the first place, is because it's thicker, which makes it less accurate.

Now use the tape measure to find the longest line on your foot, usually from your heel to your big toe or second toe. Measure to the nearest 1/16th inch, and write the number down. Then measure the widest point down to the 1/16th inch, and write that down, too. These are the measurements we'll be using to determine your shoe size.

Differences Between Men's and Women's Shoe Sizes

Obviously, men's and women's shoe sizes differ greatly. Luckily, About.com has charts already made for you to determine your shoe size by these measurements.

For instance, I check the U.S. Men's Shoe Sizes chart, and I see that 11 3/16 (or roughly 11.18 inches) inches means I'm a size 11.5.

Then I go to the U.S. Men's Size/Width Chart, and now that I know I wear I size 11.5, I add the width of my foot (which is 4 1/4"), and I can tell that I'm right between a standard D (Medium) or E (Wide). And knowing that I'm most comfortable if I have a little extra wiggle room, that would make my shoe size an 11.5 or 12 E (Wide).

Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web, at About.com.

Women's Shoes Width and Size Charts

Men's Shoes Width and Size Charts

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