How to Measure Foot Size for Running Shoes

How To Clean Running Shoes

If you’re looking to buy new running shoes but not sure how to find the right fit, you’ve come to the right place.

Whether you’re a beginner runner or an elite athlete, your running shoes make the difference between comfortable training and injury.

While getting a decent pair that supports your feet matters, even the most expensive shoes in the market won’t feel comfortable if they don’t fit well.

Running shoes that are too big (or wide) can cause blisters (and other nightmares), while a pair that’s too tight can injure your toes and alter your gait.

But all in all, the first step toward getting the right shoe fit lies with getting the shoe size right. That’s where today’s post comes in handy.

How to Measure Foot Size for Running Shoes

In this article, I’ll look into how to measure your feet so you can find the most appropriate shoe size for you. Proper fit is, after all, non-negotiable.

Sounds great?

Let’s get started.

Step 1: Measure Your Foot Size

The first step toward getting the right fit is to start with your foot measurement.

The ideal way to measure foot size is by using the Brannock Device, which is commonly used in running shoe shops.

However, if you don’t have one, feel free to use a ruler or a tape measure to get your foot dimensions in the comfort of your own home.

Additional resource – How to clean running shoes

Before you proceed, make sure you have the following:

  • A piece of paper or cardboard
  • A ruler or measure tape
  • A pen
  • Hand precision and some patience.

Here’s how to measure your foot:

How to Measure Foot Size for Running Shoes


Find a flat, hard surface to put the paper and your foot upon

Step —2:

Tape a piece of paper to the floor against the floor.


While wearing the same socks you use for training, stand on your right foot on the paper, heel preferably pressed against a wall.


While keeping your weight over your right foot, trace a thin line (or have a friend do it) around the outside of the foot as closely as possible. Make sure the pen is straight the entire time by holding it perpendicular to the floor.


To Get foot length, measure the distance between the two longest points on your tracing.


To get foot width, measure horizontally across the widest part of your footprint at the bunion joint.


Repeat Steps 2, 3, and 4 on the other side.

And that’s all!

P.S. The best time to perform this measurement is in the late evening. Your feet are at their largest during that time.

What’s more? You might be able to do this on your own, but you’re better if someone else helps.

Additional Resource – Here’s how to break in new running shoes.

Step 2: Get Your Shoe Size

Use the following shoe size conversion chart to determine your running shoe size.

It’s so simple. Simply match the measurement with the recommended running shoe size.

That’s all. 

4A (AAAA)Extra Narrow
2A (AA)NarrowExtra Narrow
2E (EE)Extra WideWide
4E (EEEE)XX-WideExtra Wide

Men’s Width in Inches and Centimeters
Women’s Width in Inches and Centimeters

Step 3: Make Sure Your Shoe Fits Right

Once you have the shoe size, it’s time to make sure that the shoe actually fits.

The following pointers should help you make the right decision:

  • A pair of shoes should feel snug in midfoot and heel, with plenty of wiggle room in the toe box.
  • Has at least a thumb’s width (1/2 to 1 inch ) space between the longest toe and the shoe’s end.
  • Your heel should be locked in place, not sliding when you bend your foot, walk, or run.

Additional resource – Guide to insoles for running shoes

More Tips For Proper Footwear Fit

Here are more tips to make sure you always have the right shoe size.

Measure Regularly

At a minimum, measure your feet one time every year since size may change with age.

In fact, your foot arch may lower as you get older, resulting in a longer foot. Fitness level and weight changes can also alter your foot size.

Additional resource – Here’s the full guide to running shoe anatomy.

Pay attention

Other factors that could impact your foot dimensions include

  • Pregnancy and hormonal fluctuation
  • Foot injuries
  • Foot conditions such as arthritis, bunions, hammertoes, edema, etc.
  • Gaining weight
  • Etc.

Additional Resource – Here’s how to dry running shoes.

Large First

To ensure proper sizing, remember that one foot is usually bigger than the other—typically the dominant foot.

In fact, your right foot and left foot dimensions may differ to up to a full size.  Keep in mind that a shoe that’s too tight is more likely to cause more problems than one that’s too big.

Additional Reading  – Your guide to the heel to toe drop.

Not All The Same

The typical running shoe size is usually a half size larger than your casual footwear.

As a guideline, running shoes that are a bit larger are way more comfortable (and safe) than running in shoes that are too tight and/or small.

Additional Resource – Here’s a list of the best running shoe brands. 

How to Measure Foot Size for Running Shoes – The conclusion

There you have it! If you’re looking for the best way to measure your foot size for athletic footwear, then today’s post has you covered. The rest is just details.

Feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

Thank you for dropping by.