Check Your Shoe Size Once A Year To Avoid Discomfort

Check Your Shoe Size Once a Year to Avoid Discomfort

Chances are that you think you know your shoe size and you buy the same size all the time. But according to The Wall Street Journal, it's actually worth measuring your foot once a year.

Photo by John Walker

An improper fit in your shoes can cause all kinds of problems and it turns out your size can change over the course of a year, which is why the Journal suggests checking your size once a year:

When was the last time you had your foot measured to check your shoe size?

If the answer is more than a year ago, there is a good chance your shoes are causing you some kind of pain, from pinched toes to unsightly calluses. Foot shape and size can change in small but meaningful ways throughout adulthood, yet time-starved shoppers increasingly order shoes online and forgo proper sizing by a trained salesperson.

When you do get your foot size checked, you're looking for a few key things. Here are some notes to keep in mind when you get your foot measured:

  • For pain in the heel, known as plantar fasciitis, choose shoes that have proper arch support and sole cushioning
  • Use a Brannock Device (that metal measuring device at shoe stores) to measure the length and width of the foot and the length of the arch. Shoe size should be a guide, not an absolute. Go with what feels most comfortable.
  • The ball of the foot is its widest part. if you are unsure about a shoe's fit, outline the sole on a piece of paper and place your bare foot inside to check if it spills over.
  • Shoes should be a thumb's width longer than the longest toes. If too narrow, shoes can cause a bunion; if too short, they can lead to a hammertoe.

Most importantly, it's just good to keep in mind that you probably don't have a set shoe size. So, even if you tend to shop for shoes online, it's probably good to get a measurement about once a year (preferably in the afternoon), and keep the above tips in mind.

Feet Are Getting Bigger, and Many People Wear Shoes That Don't Fit Right [The Wall Street Journal]


    I've found that the actual size of a shoe will vary from brand to brand and even the different styles within brands... I doubt 'yer foot would vary that much year to year..!

      Was about to come here and complain about exactly this lack of size consistency in clothing. I have a pair of Size 9 shoes that are bigger than a pair of my Size 11 shoes, one of the reasons I mostly ignore sizes and try them on in store.

      Until sizing is consistent across brands and ranges I'll have to buy my clothes in store and try them on. I purchased two pairs of jeans (Same Brand, Cut, style and colour) once one pair fit perfectly the other being the exact same size on the label was actually too small when attempting to wear them. Still have the pair that fit, returned the pair that didn't.

      I've found this too. I'm a 9 women's, but recently I've found that a 9 in some brands and styles is either too small or too big. I have a pair of boots I bought recently that are a size 8 (and even then they're still a little too big around the heel), and a pair of sneakers that are a size 10. The sole consistency I've found is in socks - I'm still a 9 women's no matter the brand.

    On another note, keeping track of change in your shoe size, glove size and hat size can be very important. One pathology that some people have is a pituitary tumour that secretes growth hormone, which will result in growing bones (not in a good way). People with growth hormone secreting tumours will experience quite a dramatic change in shoe/glove/hat sizes.

    Tell me about it. At some point in my late teens my height and shoe size were the same as my dad's. I didn't grow any taller and from that time onward I bought size 8 shoes. I hated buying shoes! New shoes meant blisters. It was many, many years before it occurred to me to buy size 9s.

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