We’ve already seen how much a simple piece of tape can seriously lessen the amount of pain caused by your high heels—but the latest research to emerge from the shoe field is even more mind-blowing. According to The Wall Street Journal, a study recently out of the U.K. reveals that as many as half of all women are wearing the wrong size shoes. Wait, what?!
According to the study, conducted by the College of Podiatry and released last month, of 2,000 adults surveyed, one-third of men and nearly half of women admitted to purchasing shoes that didn’t exactly fit. While it might not seem a huge deal at the time if a pair of heels feels a smidge too tight, improperly fitting shoes can actually have a number of negative health effects—hammertoes deforrmities, bunion growth, and consistent foot pain are a given, but poorly-fitting shoes can also contribute to things like headaches and back pain.
The solution? Never wear a pair of shoes you haven’t confirmed properly fit. In theory, this means online shopping for shoes is a dangerous risk—and if they don’t fit when you receive them, you should return them. But more important: doing a really solid measurement of your feet to determine the size you should be wearing is a must. Back in the day, most people got their feet professionally measured on a regular basis. Nowadays, that’s a rarity. But good news: you can do it yourself.
Read on for 8 easy DIY steps to measure your own feet and determine their proper size!
1. Take out a piece of notebook paper. If you don’t have legit notebook paper, a normal piece of paper will do.
2. Place your naked foot—or your socked foot, depending on how your most often wear shoes—onto the piece of paper. We recommend sitting in a chair or crouching, not standing. And makre sure you are on a truly flat surface, like a part of your house with hardwood floors.
3. Trace your foot. We recommend using a pen or pencil for this part, so you don’t leave any serious markings on your foot and/or sock. When you’re done, it should look like your foot tracing is inside a rectangle.
4. Outline your tracing with straight lines. Using a ruler, draw a perfectly straight line on each edge of your foot: the toes, each side, and the heel.
5. Measure the length and width of your foot. Using your ruler, measure the inches between the two parallel lines on either side of your foot: top to bottom and side to side. Note these two numbers.
6. Subtract 3/16ths of an inch from each number. This hyst accommodates for the tiny bit of extra space between your foot and the straight lines.
7. Using the chart below, find your true shoe size based on the length of your foot.
Size 4: 8 3/16″ or 20.8 cm in length
Size 4.5: 8 5/16″ or 21.3 cm
Size 5: 8 11/16″ or 21.6 cm
Size 5.5: 8 13/16″ or 22.2 cm
Size 6: 9″ or 22.5 cm
Size 6.5: 9 3/16″ or 23 cm
Size 7: 9 5/16″ or 23.5 cm
Size 7.5: 9 1/2″ or 23.8 cm
Size 8: 9 11/16″ or 24.1 cm
Size 8.5: 9 13/16″ or 24.6 cm
Size 9: 10″ or 25.1 cm
Size 9.5: 10 3/16″ or 25.4 cm
Size 10: 10 5/16″ or 25.9 cm
Size 10.5: 10 1/2″ or 26.2 cm
Size 11: 10 11/16″ or 26.7 cm
Size 11.5: 10 13/16″ or 27.1 cm
Size 12: 11″ or 27.6 cm
8. Find the right width. Most shoes don’t come with special width sizes, although a few do note if they’re especially narrow.