Gentlemen, size does matter!

How big are your…feet?
Image: sirtravelalot

Size matters when it comes to…feet!

Listen fellas, it turns out your mum does know best, and that, yes, good shoes really do matter. Picking well-fitting mens shoes is incredibly important if you give two hoots about your feet. And after reading about the nasty horrors below, we’re sure you will do!

But hold up. Do you actually know how big your feet truly are? It’s time to learn how to measure, accurately and avoid these common foot problems.

Knowing thy foot

X-ray of feet

Image source: Hong xia
How well do you know your hooves?

The human foot consists of 26 bones and an intricate webbing of muscles, ligaments and skin. Squeeze all that into a tight fitting shoe, walk around a lot and eventually you’ll run into foot-related problems.

From dull aching to ingrowing toenails to some more listed below, poorly fitting shoes will make your life a misery quicker than you can say chiropodist (if you can even pronounce it).

Common foot problems

Man wearing wooly grey socks

Image source: Eugene Sergeev
Freaked out by your feet? Don’t be!

Corns: If you’re wearing shoes that aren’t offering protection or are too tight then the repeated friction of rubbing will prompt the skin on your feet to man-up. Not good, as these hard layers of yellowish skin form round bumps called corns and they’ll feel uncomfortable.

Athlete’s foot: There’s nothing athletic about athlete’s foot either. The condition causes itching, intense burning and scaling on your feet due to microscopic fungi, which has thrived in the warm and moist conditions in a sweaty sock and/or tight-fitting shoe.

Ingrown toenail: Another foot horror caused by shoes-too-small-syndrome is the ingrown toenail. Basically your toe is growing into your skin due to the pressure of a tight shoe pushing down onto it.

There’s a few more to mention, but you get the picture by now. Buy the right shoes in the right size and you’ll be footloose and free from foot hell. But what if you’ve been unintentionally buying the wrong size for years?

So measure your feet, wise guy.

How to measure your shoe size accurately

Paper, pencil, ruler and sharpener in soft sunset lighting

Image source: PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek
Dig your pencil case out, things are about to get old school.

Timing: Feet expand throughout the day due to the amount you walk on them, so measure them in the evening. If you want your shoes to fit well, then you’ll need shoes to allow your feet to expand and not constrict them.

To sock or not: If you plan on wearing socks with your new shoes, make sure you’re wearing socks when you measure.

Pick the biggest: One of your feet is probably bigger than the other, so only measure the biggest (if you cannot tell a difference between the two, then measure both and use the biggest measurement).

How to measure: Place your foot onto a piece of white paper and using a butter knife make a visual impression on the paper at your heel and again at the top of your longest toe. Do the same for the two widest parts of your foot and then remove your foot from the paper. Go over the impressions with a pencil and then measure both the length (heel to toe) and width sizes using a tape measure or ruler to the nearest 1/16th of an inch.

All that’s left to do is to find a shoe-size conversion chart or a friendly cobbler to tell you what size your feet and also whether they are small, medium or large based on the width measurements you recorded.

That’s it! Were you the size you expected or have you been footing the bill for wrong-sized shoes?

Posted in Men's shoes.