According to the study conducted by the College of Podiatry, of 2000 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 like a huge deal whether a pair of heels feel a smidge too tight at the time of purchase, the research shows that improperly fitting shoes can actually have a number of negative health effects. Hammertoes, deformities, bunion growth, and consistent foot pain are givens, 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 shopping online for shoes is a risk, and if they don't fit when you receive them, you should return them. But more importantly, getting a really solid measurement of your feet to determine the size you should be wearing is a must. Back in the day, most people had their feet professionally measured on a regular basis. Nowadays, that's a rarity. But there's good news: You can do it yourself.
Read on for eight easy DIY steps for how to measure your shoe size.
1. Take out a piece of notebook paper. If you don't have lined notebook paper, a normal piece of paper will do.
2. Place your naked foot—or your socked foot, depending on how you most often wear shoes—onto the piece of paper. We recommend sitting in a chair or crouching, not standing. Also make 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.