How to Use a Shoe Size Chart

Written by chelsea fitzgerald
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Deciding what size shoe you or your children need is not difficult. Although sizes do vary in different brands, most shoe brands use a universal sizing chart. It is a good idea to measure your children's foot every time you take them to purchase a new pair of shoes, because they grow so quickly. A well-fitted shoe makes everything you do during your day more comfortable. It is also important for adults to check their shoe size if they have lost or gained weight and after pregnancy.

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  • Shoe chart

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  1. 1

    Print out a shoe-sizing chart. You can find these free online (see Resources). There are different charts for men, women and children. All shoe or department stores will also have a shoe chart so you can also measure in the store.

  2. 2

    Place your heel on the U-shaped portion of the shoe chart. You should do this in bare feet or with a thin sock on. If you are doing this for a child, make sure he doesn't scrunch up his toes. They should be relaxed.

  3. 3

    Measure both feet carefully on the chart. Often, one foot is a half size larger than the other one, so you should always purchase the larger size. Stand up straight and have a friend or the sales associate notate the measurement on the length of the foot.

  4. 4

    Check the width of the foot also, to determine whether you need a narrow, average or wide width in your shoes. It is easy to do this by standing tall and keeping your weight balanced over your two feet. Have a friend or the sales associate notate this measurement on both feet also.

Tips and warnings

  • Even though most shoes go by universal sizes, brands do vary and the size that is comfortable in one brand may not be comfortable in another. Wear the type of socks that you will be wearing with the shoe to try it on. For instance, pantyhose should not be tried on with hiking boots and heavy socks should not be worn while trying on high heels.
  • Always try on the shoes you are thinking of purchasing. Make sure there is a thumb's width of extra space in the toe area, and that the widest part of your foot is not crowded. Walk around a few steps in the shoe to make sure it doesn't slip up and down on the heel.

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