How to measure how wide your foot is



The Brannock Device

All specialty shoe stores have one and it is great for doing a quick check if your shoe is fitting properly or if there is an obvious problem in sizing that can be corrected. It became famous after it revolutionized shoe fitting for the Navy and lead to a massive decrease in foot pain.

It gives 3 measurements

  • Heel to toe length
  • Heel to the ball of the foot
  • Foot width


How to measure how wide your foot is with the brannock device.

1)Put your right foot against the heel cup that says right foot. Press your weight down onto the device equally distributed between both feet. The foot length can then be calculated on -either the women’s or the men’s side, remember to measure to the end of the big toe and always round up by half a size if there is any confusion.


2)Move the arch pointer with its groove(located on the inside of your foot) to fit against the bump at the beginning of your big toe joint. This is the arch length.


3)Compare the sizes from step 1 and step 2: the larger number between the arch length(2) and the foot length(1) is your actual shoe size. This takes into consideration some people with a short arch but long toes and people with long toes and a shorter arch.


4)Press the width measuring device on the outside of your foot(side of the 5th toe) against your foot. Line the shoe size number from step 3 and line it up with the width letter. A is the more narrow width and E is a wider width. with B,C, D being in between. This is how to measure how wide your foot is.


Additional pearls for how to measure wide feet:

  • Measure standing and weight bearing **Not Sitting Down** – Foot size increases greatly on weight bearing.
  • Measure the foot in the evening,  In the morning the foot is smaller and can grow up to a size or more in the evening due to the buildup of fluids while walking throughout the day. You don’t want your foot being to big for your shoe as the day goes on.
  • Important to measure both feet, one foot is usually shorter and wider and the other foot is usually longer and more narrow.
  • Take the highest measurements for each measurement when picking the shoe.
  • Shoes don’t stretch unless they are falling apart! Don’t rely on a shoe to stretch to accommodate your shoe size.


How to measure wide feet:

  • Know the difference between heel to toe vs heel to ball (detailed above), this is probably the most important mistake that people make in terms of sizing a shoe. Base your shoe size on the largest of the two values.
  • **Note: there is no universal sizing in the shoe industry- The measurements here are a rough guideline, but you should still always try on the shoe. Don’t select shoes based on the size label but by how they fit. Use it as a general guideline!
  • Make sure you stand while wearing the shoe, not just sitting, your foot expands DRAMATICALLY!
  • Don’t buy shoes expecting them to stretch. **They should never feel like they have to be broken in.
  • Shoes don’t stretch unless they are falling apart! Don’t rely on a shoe to stretch to accommodate your shoe size.
  • Leave a thumb’s width of room at the end of the toe.
  • You think you know your size but you really don’t- most people pick their shoe when they were a teenager and when they were wearing only soft sneakers never changed it.
  • Your foot grows & deforms wider as you get older!
  • You transition to more sturdy dress shoes as you get older in life and they are less accomodating than running shoes.
  • Know your width- it can be just as uncomfortable to have narrow feet in a wide shoe as it is to have a wide foot in a narrow shoe.
  • If buying shoes online – Get a Brannock device first! It’s as perfect as trying it on for yourself, but it’s the best option you’ve got!
  • This is especially important in children with growing feet.
  • There may be other problems occurring in your foot like hammertoes, plantar fasciitis, a bunion, runner’s toe that need to be accounted for! It never hurts to go up 1/2 a size for any problem.
  • The number one cause of shoes being returning is that
  • The best way to measure your foot structure is still with imaging at a podiatrist’s office.