How To Tell If Shoes Are Too Big for Your Feet – Measuring Guidelines

One of the common mistakes people make when buying shoes is not understanding shoe sizing. A brand’s shoes can be true to size, but because they are different shoe-sizing systems used in different parts of the world, it can be tricky to buy a shoe that fits right. Because of this, many people end up accidentally buying a bigger shoe than they need.

However, you can solve this problem by learning how to tell if shoes are too big for your feet. In this post, we will share practical tips to help you determine if a shoe fits or not. Plus, you will learn the correct way to measure your feet.

Kid wearing adult leather shoes
Image Source: Shutterstock

How to Tell if Shoes are Too Big Check the Size

This is a no-brainer! You don’t buy shoes just because they are cute, attractive, or because you can afford them unless you plan to gift them to someone else.

If you plan to use the shoes and enjoy doing so, the first thing to do (besides being attracted to the shoe) is to check the size.

Locate the shoe size. Manufacturers indicate the size somewhere on the body of the shoe, usually underneath the shoe or inside the shoe on the tongue pad. Sometimes the size can be shown around the heel area.

Compare the size with your normal shoe size or your foot size. Don’t worry if you have never measured your feet. I’ll get to that in a bit.

Walk Around in the Shoe

Walking around in the shoes you plan to buy is by far the most practical way to know if it fits or not. Walk around in the shoes and notice how it feels on your feet. Make sure to put on your socks if you plan to wear the shoes with socks. However, note that a thicker sock can make a bigger shoe fit better than normal.

Here are a few telltale signs that the shoe is too big for your feet:

  • It feels loose around the sides
  • There is significant heel slippage as you walk
  • You curl your toes as you walk to stop the shoe from slipping
  • Your feet slide a lot inside the shoes

In addition to these, if something just doesn’t feel right about the shoes, you probably shouldn’t buy them.

Tie the Laces

Shoes with laces can be deceptive when it comes to figuring out if it truly fits you. That’s because you can tie the shoelaces until oversized shoes feel snug around your feet even if it is originally not your size.

To avoid this mistake, wear the shoes and tie the lace without making them too tight. If you need to keep tightening the laces to make the shoe fit, then it is not your size. The shoe is either too long or too wide.

Press the Toe Box

This is a simple test but it’s a great way to know if a shoe is too big for your feet. Here’s how to do it:

  • Wear the shoe and sit down comfortably with your feet fully relaxed.
  • Now, press the toe box.
  • The shoe is too big for your feet if the toe box goes down until you can feel the insole or footbed.
  • If you can feel your big toe when you press the toe box, then the shoe is your size.

Slide Your Finger into the Shoe

Lastly, you can use your finger to check if the shoe is too big (or too small) for your feet. Here’s how:

  • Wear the shoes as you normally would.
  • Push your toes slightly forward to create space at the back. Make sure your toes are not press up too hard against the toe box.
  • Slowly slide one finger into the shoe from the back.
  • The shoe is too big for you if there is enough space to allow two or three fingers to slide in without resistance.

Tips for Measuring Your Feet

Image Source: Pixabay

Have you ever wondered why many people end up wearing big shoes even though they know their correct shoe size?

There could be a dozen reasons for this but a few of the common culprits are wrong purchase, convenience, and style.

But trust me when I say you don’t want to deal with the consequences of wearing ill-fitted shoes over an extended period. To avoid unpleasant results, it is important to measure your feet correctly.

By the way, knowing your correct feet measurement is one of the best ways to tell if shoes are too big for you.

Here’s a quick guide for measuring your feet:

1. Trace Your Foot
  • Put on your sock. It is best to wear the same sock you plan to use with a shoe you have in mind. Avoid wearing thick socks for this.
  • Place a large piece of paper on the ground and stand on it. One foot on the paper is all you need. Make sure your full weight is resting on the foot you have on the paper.
  • Bend forward and slowly trace around your foot. If this is not convenient for you, have someone else help you out.

Note that you may have to trace your foot a couple of times to get something more accurate.

2. Measure the Length

Get a legible measuring tape and measure the outline of your foot. Measure the outline of your longest toe to the end of your heel.

This is the correct length measurement of your feet.

3. Measure the Width

Wrap the measuring tape around your foot to get the width measurement of your foot. For a more accurate result, wrap it around the widest part of your foot. This should cover the bunion joint – the bony bump at the base of your big toe.

Stand with your full weight resting on the foot while you take the measurement.

4. Match Your Shoe Size

Now that you know the length and width of your foot, you can use the information to find the perfect fit when buying shoes.


How to tell if shoes are too big? Test them.

Correct-sized shoes should fit snugly around your feet. If they don’t, they are probably too big for your feet.

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