Measuring the width, in addition to the length, of your each of your feet to find the correct size can make a huge difference in the way your shoes fit, as well as the comfort you experience when wearing them. Discomfort, calluses, blisters and eventually irreversible deformities can result from wearing improperly fitting shoes according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Before you shop for another pair of shoes, measure your foot so you will know the specific width you need and avoid any potential problems.
Place a piece of paper large enough for both feet or two separate pieces of paper on the floor and secure them with tape to keep them from moving.
Place one of your sock-clad feet flat on the paper and bend your knee so that you can reach down and trace around your foot.
Trace around the outside of your foot. Keep the pencil straight up as you draw, so that you will be sure to draw an accurate template. Make sure you draw completely around the foot, across the top of your toes, down the sides and around the heel.
Remove your foot from the drawing and use the edge of a ruler and the pencil to help you draw straight lines in any areas where the pencil did not make contact with the paper.
Measure from one side of the widest part of your foot template to the other to get the measurement. Record the measurement. Repeat Steps 2 to 5 with the other foot.
Refer to the men's shoe width chart (see Resources) to find out what shoe width you need.
Make sure to measure both of your feet because one foot may be wider than the other. In the case of one foot being wider, go with a width that fits the wider foot. You should be able to wiggle your toes inside of a properly fitting shoe. If you can't, then the shoe is too small.
Don't ever continue to wear shoes that cause you pain or rub your skin. It's not worth the risk of permanently damaging your feet.