Richtige Schuhgrösse

How to Find the Right Shoe Size: Length Measurement, Ball Width, and Heel Cap

Many people don't know how to determine the right shoe size and find the perfect shoes. Shoes are not just stylish accessories – they are key to healthy feet. Astonishingly, many adults wear shoes that don't fit properly. Did you know that one-third of men and half of women wear shoes in the wrong size? This can lead to many uncomfortable foot problems.

What Happens When the Shoe Size Is Wrong?

Wearing the wrong shoe size can have significant impacts on the health of your feet. Here are some potential problems:

  • Blisters and Chafing: Shoes that are too tight or poorly fitting can cause painful blisters and chafing. This can not only be uncomfortable but also lead to open wounds and infections.
  • Deformities: Long-term wearing of incorrect shoe sizes can result in deformities such as bunions (Hallux valgus) or hammer toes.
  • Misalignment: Shoes that do not fit properly distribute weight incorrectly on the feet, which can lead to pain in the joints and muscles, both in the feet and legs.
  • Increased Risk of Injury: Poorly fitting shoes can affect balance and stability, increasing the risk of falls and injuries.
  • Growth Issues in Children: Especially in children, wearing the wrong shoe size can impede the natural growth of the feet and cause long-term problems. It is important to regularly check the shoe size for children to ensure that the shoes fit properly.

To avoid these problems, it is important to regularly check the correct shoe size and try on shoes before purchasing them. This is also crucial when buying shoes online to ensure that they fit well and provide adequate support.

Why Do People Wear the Wrong Shoe Size?

Many people wear shoes that are too small because they are not aware that their foot size can change over time. Here are some reasons why this happens:

  • Age: As people age, their feet lose elasticity and the arches flatten, causing the feet to become longer and wider.
  • Weight Gain: Additional weight can cause the feet to become wider and require more space in shoes.
  • Pregnancy: During pregnancy, hormonal changes and weight gain can affect foot size.
  • Activity: Regular physical activity, especially activities that put a lot of stress on the feet, can lead to an increase in foot size.

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Measuring Your Foot and Shoe Size Correctly

Let's start with the length measurement. It's not enough to only consider the length of your foot when choosing shoes. Even a small change in length, such as a blister on the foot, pregnancy, or weight changes, can make a difference of a few millimeters. Therefore, a shoe should be about 12 to 15 mm longer than your foot. This way, your toes have enough room, and you avoid pain and pressure points.

But length isn't everything. The ball width, or the width of the shoe, is just as important. Shoes that are too narrow cause pressure points and pain, while shoes that are too wide do not provide enough support and can cause blisters.

And let's not forget the importance of the heel cap. It supports the heel and provides stability, preventing the foot from slipping or rolling inward while walking. A good heel cap is crucial for a good fit and walking comfort.

The problem of poorly fitting shoes is exacerbated by online shopping, where trying on shoes is not possible. Even in stores, many adults do not have their feet measured and rely on their usual size. Every shoe is different, so it's important to try on different models, feel how they fit, and check their comfort.

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Tips for Determining Shoe Size

So, how do you ensure that your shoes fit properly? Measuring your feet is a good start. Place a sheet of paper on the floor, stand barefoot with your heels against the wall, and mark the longest point of your foot on the paper. Measure the distance in centimeters. Don’t forget to measure both feet, as they can be different sizes.

A good trick to ensure shoes have the right length is to check, while standing, if there is at least a thumb's width of space between your toes and the front of the shoe.

Do You Pay Attention to Your Heel Cap (Counter)?

The heel cap ensures that your foot stays in the shoe and doesn't slip. A minimal movement, about the thickness of a pencil, is normal. When walking uphill, you will quickly notice how the heel stays in the shoe. You can also increase your stride length to test the heel cap.

If you have flat feet (pes planovalgus), the heel bone at the back of your foot tilts inward. The back of the heel becomes flat, making it barely held by the shape of the shoe. This is the ideal recipe for slipping out of almost any shoe. A narrow heel cap provides better support.

Anatomie Fersenfassung

From left to right: Flat Foot, Normal Foot, High Arch


The red line shows the back of a flat foot, which slips easily. The black arrow shows how other foot shapes are better supported.

Finding the Right Shoe Size for Children: What to Consider

To find the right shoe size for children, measure their feet every two to three months. Use a foot measuring device or have their feet measured at a specialty store. Ensure that the shoes provide enough room for the toes and are made of flexible, breathable materials. Have your child try on the shoes with their usual socks and take a few steps to ensure a proper fit. This way, you can find the appropriate shoe size and support your child's foot health.

Finding the Perfect Shoe Size for Wide or Narrow Feet

Finding the Perfect Shoe Size for Wide Feet

Finding the perfect shoe size for wide feet can be challenging. For wide feet, opt for specially designed wide shoes that offer more space and avoid pressure points. Soft, flexible materials better conform to the shape of your feet. Avoid pointed shoe styles as they can constrict the toes further. Sufficient toe room is crucial to support the natural rolling motion of the foot and prevent the formation of blisters and corns. Measure your feet in the afternoon when they are largest, and look for models available in different widths.

Finding the Perfect Shoe Size for Narrow Feet

For narrow feet, it's important to look for shoes that are narrow-cut and provide a snug fit. Many people with narrow feet tend to wear shoes that are too small, believing they provide more stability. In reality, this causes the toes to curl, reducing stability and potentially leading to foot problems in the long run. Try out different brands as fits can vary, and measure both feet as they may differ in size. Then, choose the appropriate size for the larger foot.

Tips for Shoe Shopping

  • Regular Measurements: Regularly check the length and width of shoes. Especially with children, shoe size should be checked regularly.
  • Use Insoles: Remove the insole from the shoe and stand on it to check the fit. Do you have tapered toes with a longer second toe, or are all the toes in line? Pay attention to whether there is sufficient height in the front part of the shoe. A good trick is to remove the insole from the shoe and stand on it. Do your toes have enough space?
  • Try Shoes On: Every shoe is different – try on different models to find the best fit.
  • Consultation on Correct Shoe Size: Take advantage of the opportunity to get advice in specialty stores. We are happy to help you determine the right shoe size and recommend models that best fit your feet.

Finding the right shoe size is an investment in your foot health and well-being. Take the time to measure your feet properly and try on shoes before purchasing them. Your feet will thank you!

Expert Advice on Shoe Selection and Size

If you're unsure about which shoe size or type is right for you, don't hesitate to contact our experts for shoe consultation. We provide personalized advice to help you find the best-fitting shoes for your specific needs.