How to measure the width of my foot

Updated May 18, 2018

Footwear for men and women is often available in a variety of widths. To ensure that they'll fit comfortably, even when worn for many hours, custom-made boots and shoes require both a length and width measurement of your feet. If a shoe or boot is too wide for your foot, its sides will rub on the sides of your foot and cause blisters. If footwear is too tight in the width, it will pinch your foot and not allow you to walk properly. Shoes that do not fit well may cause future foot problems that may need correction with orthotics.

Put on socks that are the same weight and thickness as those you will be wearing with the boots or shoes.

Place two sheets of paper on the floor. Stand with one foot on each sheet of paper with your weight evenly distributed. Have a helper hold a pencil at a 90-degree angle to the paper so it is perpendicular. Ask the helper to trace around both feet on the paper.

Step off the paper and measure the widest part of the drawing for each foot.

Subtract 0.2 inches from the larger of the two width measurements to eliminate the pencil-lead width. Most people have one foot that is slightly larger than the other. Using the wider measurement on the larger foot makes certain that the shoes will fit in width without pinching.

Compare the width of the largest foot to the width chart when ordering boots or shoes. See reference number two for a comprehensive width chart for men and women.


Some people's feet swell slightly toward the end of the day. Taking a width measurement of your feet in the afternoon or evening will accommodate the swelling, allowing your boots or shoes to remain comfortable all day.

Things You'll Need

  • Socks
  • 2 Sheets of paper
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Width chart
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Mary Lougee has been writing for over 10 years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree with a major in Management and a double minor in accounting and computer science. She loves writing about careers for busy families as well as family oriented planning, meals and activities for all ages.