Shoe Fitting Tips from a Canadian Certified Pedorthist

We size THREE different areas when we fit your shoes. What is the difference between shoe length, width and depth? Read on to learn more.

Length - the length of your shoe is measured from the heel to the toe of your footwear. The foot should fit comfortably in the shoe with the heel set into the back of the shoe. Once the shoe is laced or fastened and you are standing, the END of your longest toe should be approximately 1/4" from the end of the shoe.

Width - The width of the shoe is the measurement across the ball of the foot from the inside of the shoe to the outside of the shoe. Typical widths include narrow, medium or wide. Wider width footwear is typically appropriate if a user has bunions or a wide or splayed forefoot.

Depth - The depth of a shoe is the height of the toe box (the inner front part of the shoe) from the top of the liner to the upper vamp (covering the toes). Extra-depth shoes are beneficial for people with thick, swollen feet, hammertoes, corns etc. The depth of a shoe is typically not listed on the box and is determined by the last that the shoe is made on. It is best to look for footwear styles that are made on a last that matches the approximate shape of your foot (thin and narrow vs. thick and wide).

All three of these measurements should be taken into consideration independently of each other when fitting your footwear. If a shoe is too wide, the solution is not to go to a shorter length to snug things up. If a shoe is too short, going with a wider width is not the solution. If a shoe is too deep, it can feel too "big", you may choose to find a different style instead of going with a shorter length. The actual length and width measurements can vary between different companies, as well as between styles in the same company. Make sure to pick a shoe with the proper FIT not just "your size".

Author: Amy Chapman, C. Ped (C)