How to Figure Out Your Boot Size?

Updated on

Our feet are constantly changing in shape and size. A pair of shoes that you were wearing comfortably two years ago, may not fit you today. It may be too small or too large for your feet. And as you are aware, wearing ill-fitting shoes will leave you with blisters, hotspots and other foot injuries. Besides, it will be impossible to focus on your work, if your feet are not comfortable. Therefore, if you are planning to buy a new pair of shoes, it’s important to get the size right, to ensure you purchase the right fit. Here are some tips that will help you to determine your shoe size.

Measure the Length

One of the easiest ways measuring the length of your foot is by using an old pair of similar shoes. If you are buying a new pair of work boots, you can use your old pair to determine the length. However, this method is not always accurate, since no two pairs of shoes are the same, even if they come from the same manufacturer. The good news is that measuring the length of your foot is not as hard as it appears. You will just need a piece of paper, a pen, and a ruler. First, you will place your foot on the plain piece of paper, and then draw a close outline of your foot. Once you have that outline, you will then use the ruler to measure the actual length of your foot. In case you obtain a half reading, then you simply need to round it off to the nearest whole number. For instance, if your ruler reads 10 and a ¼, then you should round it off to 10. On the other hand, if it reads 10 and ¾, then you should round it off to 11. But if you are buying winter boots, you should always size up, since you will be wearing them with a thick pair of winter socks.

Measure the Width

Width is also a vital factor to measure when it comes to foot size. Knowing the width of your foot will help you to determine whether you will need a wide pair of shoes or a narrow pair of shoes. To measure the width of your foot, you will use the same approach as you did when you were measuring the length of your foot. But since you’ve already created an outline of your foot, you just need to measure the widest parts of that outline, and that should give you the width of your foot. Again, you should round off the dimensions to the nearest whole number. When shopping for shoes, you will notice that most footwear manufacturers normally sell boots in wide sizes. However, if your preferred pair of boots are only available in narrow widths, then you should purchase a bigger size.

Measure the Arch

Measuring the arch of your foot is equally important when you are trying to figure out your boot size. Just like the length and the width, the arch of the foot differs from one individual to the other. There are three types of foot arch – normal arches raised arches and fallen arches. To determine your foot arch, you simply need to dip your foot in water and then step on a piece of plain cardboard. If the middle part of your footprint appears halfway filled, then there is a high chance that you have normal arches. This means that your arches will absorb and distribute your body weight naturally. If the middle footprint appears like a complete foot, there is a high probability that you have fallen arches. People with fallen arches should opt for motion control shoes. On the other hand, if you only a small part of your footprint appears on the cardboard, then you have raised or high arches. The positioning of your arches may lead to excessive strain on your muscles and joints. When buying shoes, you should look for a model that comes with adequate cushioning. It’s also advisable to measure the actual height of your arches. And you can do this using a Brannock device.

Measuring Tips

When measuring your foot, you should put on the socks that you intend to wear with them. For example, if you are trying to find the size for work boots, then you will just need to wear your ordinary pair of socks. On the other hand, if you are trying to find your ideal size for a pair of hiking boots, then you will need to wear thicker socks. Also, it’s highly advisable to measure your foot in the afternoon or towards the end of the day. Your foot will expand slightly throughout the day. Therefore, if you measure it in the morning it may be slightly smaller than it would if you measure it in the evening. The same case should apply when you are buying shoes. You should fit shoes in the evening when your foot has already expanded. Using this approach will ensure that you don’t purchase a smaller shoe size that will not fit properly.

Shoe Size and Fit

As much as measuring your foot can help to determine your boot size, it’s important to note that different types of shoes are made using different lasts. Therefore, no two types of shoes are the same. Also, there are different sizing systems are used in different jurisdictions. The 3 most common sizing systems are the U.S, U.K, and E.U. In short, you cannot always rely on the sizes indicated on the shoes. Fitting the shoes is the only foolproof method that can help you to determine your desired fit. For instance, if you are buying hiking boots, you should make sure they have a spacious toe box but they are not too wide. If they are too wide, your foot will keep sliding back and forth, which may lead to blisters. On the other hand, if they have a narrow forefoot area, they will pinch your toes, making it extremely uncomfortable to walk in them.

Closing Remarks

No two pairs of shoes are the same and no two feet are identical. Therefore, measuring all aspects of your foot is the only way that you can figure out your true boot size. And as you can see, measuring your feet is not a complicated process. You can easily do it at home, using readily available materials. However, if you don’t have the time to do it, you can still visit a foot professional, who will take the different measurements of your feet. With the right measurements, you can then go ahead and buy a pair of shoes that will fit your feet comfortably.

Photo of author

About the author


Hi, I’m Brian Bradshaw. I’m a super duper mega hiking enthusiast, with a love for everything that has to do with outdoors, hiking, gear, footwear and more.

Leave a Comment