For Allure, by Lauren Hubbard.
We know, we know. You're a grown-up; you know what shoe size you're supposed to wear; you've been buying shoes for years. Well, bad news. According to a study by the College of Podiatry in the U.K., most people are walking around in shoes that are the wrong size for their feet. In fact, when the group surveyed more than 2,000 adults in 2014, they found that one third of the men and nearly half of the women were shoving their feet into shoes that just don't fit right.
Obviously, wearing the wrong size shoes is a problem from a pain perspective, but in the long-term, it can also cause larger issues, like bunions, foot deformities (like hammertoes or toenail damage), and pain even when you're barefoot. Of course, you could go to a store and get your foot measured regularly, but assuming you have other things you'd enjoy doing with your life like, oh, anything, here's how to measure your own.
Start by setting a piece of paper on the floor (preferably not carpet, so there's no cushioning causing any give). Then place either your bare foot or your socked foot (depending on whether you wear socks with most of your shoes) on the paper and trace around it. Once you have your outline, take a ruler and make a rectangle around the outside of your outline, as close to it as possible. Then measure the width and length between those parallel lines and subtract three sixteenths of an inch from each measurement (go ahead and break out your calculator, we don't judge). The length measurement will dictate your shoe size, while the width will determine, well, the width (though most people fall into the medium width range.)
Head over to Who What Wear to see all of the measurement breakdowns and find out if you've been wearing the wrong size all along.
PHOTO: MELODIE JENG/GETTY IMAGES
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