Finding the Perfect Fit: How to Measure Your Feet for Running Shoes

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Cross Training For Runners
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Written by :

David Dack

Looking for the perfect pair of running shoes? You’re in luck because I’ve got your back. Whether you’re just starting your running journey or you’re a seasoned pro, the right pair of running shoes can be the difference between a comfortable, injury-free run and a world of pain.

Now, you might think that a fancy, expensive pair of shoes is all you need, but let me tell you, even the priciest kicks won’t do you any good if they don’t fit like a glove.

So, where do you begin on your quest for the perfect fit? Well, it all starts with nailing down the right shoe size, and that’s exactly what we’re diving into today.

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.

The Tools You Need

Now, if you happen to have a Brannock Device lying around (those nifty foot-measuring tools you often find in shoe stores), great! You’re all set. Just pop your foot onto it, and you’ll get an accurate measurement.

But let’s be real, not everyone has a Brannock Device at home. No worries, though – you can still get your foot size with just a few simple items:

  • A piece of paper or cardboard
  • A ruler or tape measure
  • A trusty pen
  • A dash of patience and a sprinkle of precision

With these tools at your disposal, you’re ready to embark on the quest for the perfect fit. So, let’s get started!

Step 1: Measure Your Foot Size

Alright, let’s get down to business and measure those feet. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure you get the most accurate measurements:

  • Step 1: Find a flat, sturdy surface to place your paper and foot on.
  • Step 2: Securely tape a piece of paper to the floor so it lies flat.
  • Step 3: Put on the same socks you wear when you’re out running. Stand up and place your right foot on the paper, making sure your heel is snug against a wall.
  • Step 4: While keeping your weight on your right foot, trace a neat line around the outer edge of your foot. If you have a friend around, this is where they can lend a hand. Just make sure the pen is straight and perpendicular to the floor as you go.
  • Step 5: To find your foot’s length, measure the distance between the two longest points on your tracing.
  • Step 6: For foot width, measure horizontally across the widest part of your footprint at the bunion joint.
  • Step 7: Repeat these steps (2, 3, and 4) for your other foot.

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

Step 2: Get Your Shoe Size

Let’s keep things easy. Use this shoe size conversion chart to find your perfect running shoe size:

Foot Length (inches/cm): 9.00″ / 22.9 cm –> Shoe Size: US 6, UK 5, EU 39, CM 24.6

Foot Length (inches/cm): 9.25″ / 23.5 cm –> Shoe Size: US 6.5, UK 5.5, EU 39.5, CM 25.1

Foot Length (inches/cm): 9.50″ / 24.1 cm –> Shoe Size: US 7, UK 6, EU 40, CM 25.4

Foot Length (inches/cm): 9.625″ / 24.4 cm –> Shoe Size: US 7.5, UK 6.5, EU 40.5, CM 25.7

Foot Length (inches/cm): 9.75″ / 24.8 cm –> Shoe Size: US 8, UK 7, EU 41, CM 26

Foot Length (inches/cm): 10.00″ / 25.4 cm –> Shoe Size: US 8.5, UK 7.5, EU 42, CM 26.7

Foot Length (inches/cm): 10.125″ / 25.7 cm –> Shoe Size: US 9, UK 8, EU 42.5, CM 27

Foot Length (inches/cm): 10.25″ / 26.0 cm –> Shoe Size: US 9.5, UK 8.5, EU 43, CM 27.3

Foot Length (inches/cm): 10.50″ / 26.7 cm –> Shoe Size: US 10, UK 9, EU 44, CM 27.9

Foot Length (inches/cm): 10.625″ / 27.0 cm –> Shoe Size: US 10.5, UK 9.5, EU 44.5, CM 28.3

Foot Length (inches/cm): 10.75″ / 27.3 cm –> Shoe Size: US 11, UK 10, EU 45, CM 28.6

Foot Length (inches/cm): 11.00″ / 27.9 cm –> Shoe Size: US 11.5, UK 10.5, EU 45.5, CM 29.4

Foot Length (inches/cm): 11.125″ / 28.3 cm –> Shoe Size: US 12, UK 11, EU 46, CM 29.8

Foot Length (inches/cm): 11.25″ / 28.6 cm –> Shoe Size: US 12.5, UK 11.5, EU 46.5, CM 30.2

Foot Length (inches/cm): 11.50″ / 29.4 cm –> Shoe Size: US 13, UK 12, EU 47, CM 30.9

Just match your foot length with the recommended running shoe size, and you’re all set!. 

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.

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

Large First

It’s common for one foot to be slightly larger than the other, with the dominant foot often being the larger one. Be sure to measure both feet and choose a size that accommodates the larger foot to ensure a proper fit.

Not All Shoes Are the Same Size:

Running shoes typically have different sizing compared to casual footwear. As a general guideline, running shoes are often recommended to be a half size larger than your regular shoes. This extra room can provide more comfort and safety during your runs.

Adapting to Changes in Foot Size

Foot size can change over time due to various factors, including pregnancy, medical conditions, and even aging. It’s essential to be aware of these changes and adjust your running shoe selection accordingly.

  1. Pregnancy:

Pregnancy can lead to temporary changes in foot size and shape. Hormonal fluctuations and weight gain during pregnancy may cause your feet to swell and increase in size. It’s crucial to prioritize comfort and support during this time.

Here’s what to consider when selecting running shoes during pregnancy:

  • Choose Breathable Materials: Look for shoes made from breathable materials that can accommodate swelling and provide ventilation.
  • Adjust Laces or Straps: Opt for shoes with adjustable laces or straps to accommodate changes in foot volume throughout pregnancy.
  • Consider a Half Size Up: If your regular running shoes start feeling tight or uncomfortable, consider going up a half size to accommodate any swelling or changes in foot shape.
  1. Medical Conditions:

Certain medical conditions, such as arthritis, bunions, hammertoes, or edema, can impact foot size and shape. It’s crucial to choose shoes that address these conditions while providing the necessary support and comfort.

Here’s how to select running shoes for specific medical conditions:

  • Arthritis: Look for running shoes with ample cushioning to reduce impact on joints. Consider shoes with a wider toe box to accommodate potential deformities.
  • Bunions: Choose shoes with a wider forefoot area to prevent pressure on bunions. Avoid narrow or tight-fitting shoes that can exacerbate the condition.
  • Hammertoes: Opt for shoes with extra depth and cushioning in the toe box area to reduce friction and pressure on hammertoes.
  • Edema: Go for running shoes with adjustable closures, such as Velcro straps or laces, to accommodate changes in foot volume due to edema. Choose breathable materials to prevent moisture retention.
  1. Aging:

As we age, our feet may naturally change in size and shape. It’s essential to reassess your shoe size periodically and make adjustments to ensure ongoing comfort and support.

Here are some tips for selecting running shoes as you age

  • Regular Measurements: Measure your feet regularly, even if you haven’t experienced noticeable changes. Aging can result in subtle shifts in foot size.
  • Foot Health Considerations: Consider shoes with added cushioning and arch support to address common age-related foot concerns, such as reduced natural padding and arch support.

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.

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