How to measure foot width and size at home

Last updated July 22, 2016

measuring foot width and length howA major concern for many people is to ensure that their shoes are comfortable and blend in correctly, giving them a stylish look that would get encomiums pouring in from family and friends. Getting the right size of shoe is a piece of cake, when you are purchasing from a boutique or fashion store because you can try it on and ensure it fits properly. However, you may experience a little drawback if you are ordering it online, as you won’t be able to try it until delivery. To select correct shoe sizes when purchasing footwear online, you should have a way of measuring your foot width and size, then compare it with the shoe size chart provided by the manufacturer.

How to measure foot length and width

You can figure out your perfect shoe size at home using a Brannock device. But a Brannock device is not the only way to measure your feet. Here is a homemade method to measure your feet.

Step 1: Get a ruler, pencil or pen, and two pieces of paper.

Step 2: Draw a straight line on the paper. This is needed in order to get our measurements right. If your foot will be tilted your width measurement will be wider.

piece of paper with straight line for foot width measurement

Place your foot on a piece of paper along the line and carefully trace the outline of your foot. You can get a friend to help trace the outline if it is proving difficult for you to do alone. It is better to measure in the evening after a day of walking around as the foot would be larger. Also, you may consider measuring with your socks on if you normally wear socks with your shoes!

place foot for shoe size measurement on paper at home

Step 3: Using the outline, get the width of your feet by measuring the widest part, (usually across the ball of the foot) and the length of your foot (from the back of your heel to the big toe).

outline foot to find shoe size and width

Step 4: You now have two sets of measurements, one for each foot. You may consider doing a little “measuring amendment” depending on how close the outline was to the actual foot.

measuring foot width and length how

Step 5: Interpret the results. Compare your foot length, width measurements to an appropriate shoe length/width size chart. By lining up the measurements gotten to a chart, you should be able to get your correct shoe size.

Mens shoe width size chart

U.S. Men's
Shoe Size
Extra Wide
Extra Wide

Women's shoe width chart

U.S. Women's
Shoe Size
Extra Wide

Step 6: With the foot length and width measurement you have taken, it is easier to see if one foot is slightly larger than the other. If both feet are of a similar size, then you can buy your shoes in pairs, however, if one is larger than the other, then purchase the size of the larger foot.

Shoe width codes

Different manufacturers mark their shoes with different width codes. Normal or standard width shoes won’t get marked. While all other widths will get a special character on a shoe box:

Narrow: A2/A3/A4, AA/AAA/AAAA, S/SS (Slim), N (Narrow)
Medium/Standard: B, M, W (W means medium for women only)
Wide: C, D, E, W
Extra wide: E2/E3/E4/E6, EE/EEE/EEEE/EEEEE, XW, WW

Sometimes people don’t know that they have wide feet. How to tell if your foot is wide? You can determine that your feet are wide by measuring them properly at home or at a store. This is always the best way to establish the correct size.

A sign of wide feet may be that larger size footwear fit you better than your normal size shoes according to the length of your foot. If you have wide feet than it feels better to wear one to two sizes up in order to avoid jammed feet. Larger shoes won’t have the correct arch and foot support though. So buy the right width and length size footwear each time you have an opportunity to do it.

According to American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, many people do not know their correct shoe size. A lot of patients that present to foot and ankle clinic with foot pain and damages wear shoes that are smaller or bigger than their feet. If you look critically at the report, that is a lot of people who wear improperly sized shoes! Purchasing a shoe with a perfect fit should not be so hard.