January 21, 2019

You probably know what size shoe you are, right? But have you ever properly measured your feet? Most people haven’t. Sure, you might try a few different sizes, but process of elimination isn’t the best approach to measuring the actual size of your feet.

Wearing the wrong size shoe can cause many issues - blisters, abrasions, and pain (we’ve all experienced them). In the long term, they can cause permanent damage and even back issues. You might not even realize that you’re wearing a size too big or too small. In fact, most people are walking around in the wrong shoe size.

With the introduction of online shopping, it’s critical, now more than ever, to have an accurate understanding of your true shoe size. Afterall, it’s not like you can try them on before you buy them.

Measure Your Feet Day is January 23rd | Palm Beach Naturals

How can I measure them?

You’ve more than likely seen a Brannock Device, you know, that medieval looking foot measuring tool the shoe store sales person will use to measure your feet. They’re useful, and a genius invention, but they aren’t the only option. If you have access to one, use it. If not, you can do the basic measurements at home.

Most foot measuring tools, for example, fail to take the width into consideration. This is an important measurement that can make all the difference.

You don’t need fancy tools. You can do it at home. The favorite method podiatrists like to recommend is to trace your feet onto a piece of paper to measure the length and width. Keep in mind that the balls of your feet are often wider than your heel. For other people, their foot width is consistent.

When you have your measurements, always take into consideration the space between your foot and pencil. Additionally, if one foot is bigger than the other, which is the case for most people, use the bigger measurements.

Use a size chart to convert your measurements into a true shoe size.

It’s also worth noting that your arch placement and lift are important. Most people think their arch is in the middle of their foot, but the fact is that some people have an arch that is closer to their toes or their heels. This is useful info because it can inform your decisions about arch support. Plus, when shopping for expensive shoes, you can go a half size larger to get the arch to sit in the right place, but add supports to make sure you aren’t sliding around.

The last note about arches is to pay attention to lift. Some arches are higher and other are flat. You arches will determine whether some shoes will every fit you correctly or be healthy for your feet. Very high heels, for example, are much better with high arches. And running shoes with more support are better for those with fallen arches.

Measure Your Feet Day is January 23rd | Palm Beach Naturals

Our top tips

  • Shop for shoes and measure your feet in the afternoon. Your feet naturally expand as you use them during the day.

  • Wear socks that you’ll likely wear with the shoes you are shopping for and never buy a pair of shoes if you have the opportunity to try them on first. This gives you an accurate sense of what the shoes will feel like.

  • Pay attention to the ball of your foot. Does it feel compressed? If it does, you need a wider shoe.

  • Always make sure there’s enough “wiggle room” at the front of your shoe.

  • Check the arch support and placement.

Why your shoe might suddenly be uncomfortable

So, you’re favorite shoes have become uncomfortable and your feet are becoming sore. Well, we all know that children’s feet grow, but adults aren’t exempt from ongoing changes as well. If you think about the wear and tear that your poor feet have to go through - they hold the entire weight of your body, taking the equivalent of two to three times their weight when fatigued or carrying something.  

Obviously, this is what they are made for, but these harsh conditions mean that your feet change over time. Plus, arches are always falling over time. Some fall faster than others. Minimal support or walking and running barefoot excellerate how quickly arches will fall.

Anyone will bunions will tell you that bunions never stop growing. They eventually require surgery or a commitment to wider shoes.

Plus, pregnancy can cause feet to grow as much two times their original size!

Gravity causes your feet to compress over time. Just because you wore a narrow shoe at 20, doesn’t mean you’ll be narrow-footed shoe-wearer forever. The ligaments and tendons in your feet stretch and flatten so your feet will naturally become longer and wider.

Long story short, if your shoes are becoming uncomfortable, it’s time to remeasure and splurge on some new kicks.

Measure Your Feet Day is January 23rd | Palm Beach NaturalsIt’s best to go ahead and invest in the best possible support for healthy feet, beyond shoes that are the right fit, and insoles that will cushion your feet. If you’re going to invest in anything beyond the shoes, choose foot powder that will help keep your feet dry and odor-free, foot moisturizer to apply at night so they stay supple and invigorated, and socks that will cushion your feet while wicking moisture.FOOT SENSE all-natural foot and shoe powder kills odor-causing bacteria while neutralizing smells immediately. Plus,FOOT SENSE all-natural skin therapy cream hydrates, softens, repairs, and protects dry, cracked feet.

Take this advice and you’ll never have sore feet again - at least not because of the wrong shoes or support tools. Walking too far or wearing the wrong shoes for the activity you’re jumping into - that’s a different story.