Measuring Your Feet

A poorly fitted shoe is always the wrong shoe no matter how much they cost, where you wear them to, or how long you’ve had them. In addition, the longevity of your shoe is not only dependent on the quality of leather and how you care for your shoes. A good part of keeping your shoe smart and solid is by choosing the right size. Loose shoes are as bad as tight shoes. The only difference is that you feel the pain when it’s tight. When it’s loose, your audience will know you’re sloppy. Whether it’s loose or tight, it’s very difficult to walk in them.

Leather Expands Over Time

The mistake many people do is making sure that new shoes fit like the old pair they already own in their closet, forgetting that over time a good leather such as full grain calfskin will expand. If you purchase a shoe that fits exactly like the two year-old pair you have without verifying the size, chances are that you’re buying a lower size that will become loose and floppy within weeks.

The Last

The last of a shoe is what forms its design. It’s a perfectly shaped model of the intended design of the shoe. Some shoe designs require the wearer to wear a size larger than what their actual size is. Different shoe models (mostly between slip on shoes and dress shoes), vary and most of the time you’ll find that your oxfords are a size tighter than your drivers, loafers or slippers. These may vary with manufacturer.

Know Your Size

Your actual shoe size is not the larger size you wear, it’s the smallest. For instance, if you wear US 8 for oxfords and 8.5 for drivers, your shoe size is 8. Chances are that not every slipper will require you to increase your size. Secondly, most of your dress shoe closet will be the size you use for oxfords, not the driver size.

We have  established why you need to know your actual size. You can find the size on a good pair of shoes you really like by checking the bottom around the shank or under the tongue. If they are worn out – which is most likely, here’s how to measure:

  • Sit with your foot on a piece of paper;
  • Trace around your foot with a pencil;
  • Draw a line from your toe to your sole and do the same for the width;
  • Measure the length to 1/16 of an inch for both feet; and  
  • Choose the larger one.
Your measurement is on the left side of the table, and your size is on the right side of the table.
MeasurementYour Shoe Size
9 1/2 6.5
9 5/8 7
9 13/8 7.5
10 1/8 8.5
10 5/16 9
10 1/2 9.5
10 5/8 10
10 13/16 10.5
11 11
11 1/8 11.5
11 5/16 12
11 1/2 12.5
11 5/8 13
11 13/1613.5

How to Fit a Shoe

Now that you know your size, find a local shoe store and try your sizes in the various types of shoe styles. It might be a size lower or higher, and that’s ok. The important thing is that a gentleman never gambles with his shoe size. Even before you buy online be sure to try it on in a real store first unless you are familiar with the shoe store and their size chart.

The tongue should rest on the top of your foot. It shouldn’t be too tight, but close. Your toes should be about one-quarter to one-half an inch from the toe cap of the shoe. The arch should be supported by the shank of the shoe. No pressure please.

Overall, the shoe should be a little close to tight (not too tight). If it feels as comfortable as the shoe your wore to the store, it’s too large. Try a size lower to give room for future expansion. If it’s too tight that you can barely make moves in it, no amount of expansion will be enough.

Tie the laces properly. Make sure that the tabs with the eyelets that holds the lace are close.

Don’t wear a new pair of shoes to an important event, especially one that you are expected to be in the spotlight. If you can avoid it, don’t even do that on your wedding day.

Always use a shoehorn to put on your shoes.