Believe it or not, this will probably give you the closest accurate measurement of your shoe size. This measurement will not only measure your length and width, but you can also include the slope of your ankle over the top of your feet. This part of the foot is ‘taller’ in a sense than others. This is something we don’t usually measure, and it may create problems when trying to obtain the right shoe. If you have ever had the right size shoe not fit well this is likely the culprit.
Let us explore a simple alternative to traditional foot measuring devices like the commonly used Brannock device found in most shoe stores. However, some stores additionally place a mat on the floor in their fitting area with shoe soles from smallest to largest. This is very similar and could be helpful to those who fit those standard sizes but if you still come up short or long on the mat, simply resort to tracing your foot onto a piece of paper. Technically the mat we are referring to is similar to the method we review below.
How Do You Know Your Boot Size?
Definitely, do not rely on the boots you currently have to tell you the size you should purchase. All products are different, feet can be two different sizes, some in half or whole shoe size, and manufacturing processes can change. But most of all, they eventually become worn-in, shaping to your foot, and any additional insoles you wear. When purchasing new boots keep these things in mind to make sure you are getting the best fit. The steps to know your boot size are the same as measuring for other shoes but with more attention to the width of the foot. Boots come in a variety of styles, some are pointed or rounded, steel-toed or custom styles. The fit of most boots relies almost entirely on the width of the foot. This is especially so for special boot types like steel-toed boots that have reinforced interior sections.
How to Measure
Listed below are steps to measure your feet without devices and with common materials found in the home. This method can be used to measure the feet of adults and children, men and women. US sizes are usually consistent and are measured in inches. This process is easier to do with a roll of measuring tape but you can also use a ruler measured in inches. How you position your foot during the process can potentially obstruct the ability to accurately trace and measure the outside of your foot.
Paper and Pencil
Start by placing a piece of paper on the floor vertically and tape down the corners. Make sure the paper can fit your entire foot on it, if needed you can get bigger paper or tape two pieces of paper together. Be careful, and try not to tear the paper(s) with your pencil or other writing utensil. The pencil does not have to be fully sharpened. In fact, it is easier to use a wide pencil tip as if the pencil has been used. This will flow more smoothly around your foot and won’t poke or tear the paper.
Put Socks On
Put on a pair of socks, preferably the ones you plan to wear with the boots you are purchasing. The socks give a more relative shape to the sole, showing exactly how much space it will take up inside the boot. Grab a chair and sit down in front of the paper placing your foot on it so it fits the whole foot. Adjust as needed and then slightly bend your knee inward without moving your foot. This is a more realistic representation of the space taken up by your foot in your shoes. It is also recommended that you wait to measure after a regular day of walking, standing, etc. because your feet tend to become inflamed at swell from being on your feet. This will help give your foot room to breathe and provide legitimate comfortable space for your toes and feet.
Trace Around Your Foot
Trace around the outside of your foot with a pencil, pen, marker, etc. Keep the pencil straight and don’t tilt or bend it, doing so will trace under your foot instead of around it. The sock acts as a buffer to prevent tracing your toes and provides a more accurate measurement of the foot. If you have trouble tracing, ask someone to trace your foot for you.
Otherwise, you can place your foot between two large flat objects like books, push them together so they comfortably encase your foot. Measure the length and width of the opening, this rectangle is formed by the outermost points of your foot both in length and width. Repeat this process as many times as you like, if you are still unsure most retailers recommend ordering half or whole size larger. It is better for your shoes to be too big rather than too small, which can cause discomfort and possibly result in injury.
Use a tape measure and your pencil to mark the length of your foot in inches on the paper from the end of the big toe to back of the heel. Do the same with the width by measuring across the widest part of the foot. Write these measurements down and use the same process on the other foot. If these are custom ordered boots, you will need to do both feet as they naturally differ in size. Additionally, you must subtract 0.2” from each measurement to exclude the width of your pencil or the width of the tip of your chosen writing utensil. The tip size is commonly located on the pen or pencil itself.
Applying to Sizing Charts
Take the measurements and apply them to the size chart provided with the desired product or a simple US(inch) size chart online. Custom order boots will probably rely on these measurements and the size chart the creator uses for their customs. However, you do also have the option to take your measurements to a local boot retailer and seek assistance from the clerk. They should be able to help you find which boots will fall under the umbrella of your size and style. Some retailers also offer to order a particular boot they carry in your size into the store or by mail.
As you may already be privy, the new boots will be slightly stiff and may potentially feel a little constraining because they need to be broken in. And you truly won’t be absolutely sure if you have found the right fit until you try them on. A good pair of boots in the right size to suit you should last you no less than around 2 years. The fit of the boot is naturally altered depending on how often they are worn, what they are worn for and what they are made of. Often boots are mass produced and there is the possibility to continue replacing the same boots whenever the old ones quit. But not everyone is so lucky, especially those with custom fit boots. Despite the ideal concept of a custom fit, keep in mind that it is possible you may not be able to continue purchasing a new pair once they have lived their purpose. No longer relying on devices like a Brannock to measure your feet gives you that much more control over your shopping and consumer experience.
Feel more confident about the shoes you choose to purchase online by making sure you know the relatively exact measurements of your feet. The next time someone you know asks ‘How do you know your boot size?’ give them the awesome power of measuring their own feet. Add another life hack to your ever-growing collection of unique tips and tricks that help you get in those little wins of the day.
Featured Image: Image by Mohamed Nuzrath from Pixabay