Why You Should Know Your Foot Size in Centimeters

Shoe sizes vary so much from brand to brand that buying a new pair may seem ridiculous. Obviously, the best way to find the right fit is to just try them on, but this is not always possible. If you have no choice but to order online, you should know what size your feet are in centimeters.

Why centimeters and not inches? Unsurprisingly, they are more widely used: almost every shoe manufacturer on the planet includes centimeters in their size charts, so knowing your numbers makes it easy to find your size from any brand. It also allows you to quickly and accurately convert male to female or child sizes (and vice versa). Basically, if you buy shoes online, you need to measure your foot.

Fortunately, this is very easy to do. The two best methods require a ruler or tape measure, pen and paper, and someone to help you. A centimeter line is ideal, but it’s okay if you don’t have a metric ruler or tape. Just remember to multiply each inch measurement by 2.54 to get the equivalent number in centimeters.

It is easier to use a soft tape measure because you can simply step on it and have a helper calculate the difference in the position of your toe and heel.This video from Good Sports Outdoor Outfitters in San Antonio details this technique in detail:

If you only have a ruler or something else that you don’t want to stand on, you can trace your feet and use that to measure length. The Michigan Foot Doctors YouTube channel has a detailed guide to properly tracking and measuring :

Whichever technique you use, make sure you actually load each leg while measuring to get the most accurate number possible. When you’re done, save both measurements to a note on your phone, Google Drive, Dropbox, or password manager. (The fridge sticker works too.)

Using your measurements really takes the guesswork out of figuring out your size. Let’s say your left foot is 26.3 centimeters and your right foot is 26.5 centimeters. For shoes that need to fit snugly and / or that can stretch, look for a size that matches 26.5 or 27 centimeters. If you want a more spacious fit – like boots that you will wear with thick socks – go for 27.5 or even 28.

That’s all! You may not get the perfect size every time, but you will be much closer than with traditional number sizes. Size 9 can mean a million different things, but you can always trust a centimeter.


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