Are you wearing the wrong shoe size? Here are the risks


A study done by The College of Podiatry in 2017 found that nearly half of British women wear the wrong size shoe. A third of the 2000 men and women surveyed also said that they often wear shoes that don't fit them properly. 

This is me, defined. 

READ MORE: The best places to shop for (great) shoes for women who have big feet 

I often either a) keep shoes I bought online that are ill-fitting (convincing myself that I'll 'grow into them') or b) buy shoes in store that are the wrong size, because I just have to have them, and my size wasn't available.

Now I'm not a complete loon in the sense that I'll purchase a shoe size that's way bigger or smaller, but give or take a size. So sometimes I walk like Jen in IT Crowd, feigning bliss, while feeling deep, desperate foot pain. 

Surely, we've all done this. My mother has forever been adapting to wrong shoe sizes, as many people with size and a half feet do. (Seriously, there are not enough 6.5's out there!) 

And granted, online shopping for shoes can be risky, especially with all the UK, Euro, US sizing confusion out there.

But wearing ill-fitting shoes can be dangerous 

According to, wearing the wrong size shoes involves many more serious risks than just wasting your money (like me) online.

Loose-fitting shoes can lead to falling, tight-fitting shoes may cause a greater chance for diabetics to develop foot ulcers because of the pressure and rubbing of the shoe.

“Wearing the wrong size shoes can be life changing - a lifetime of suffering to come as it causes permanent damage to feet; as in deformities: claw/hammer toes, ingrown toenails, corn /calluses, bunions. People don’t realise how important their feet are and the importance of mobility, without mobility comes a host of systemic diseases and obesity,” says local podiatrist, Deepika Patel.

TIP: Be sure never to shoe shop at the end of the day, as one's feet tend to swell just slightly during the day. 

Who What Wear suggests measuring your foot, DIY style. 

This is what you should do: 

1. Pull up a chair, have a seat and make sure you do this on a flat surface.

2. Use a piece of paper, like an A4 sheet and place your naked or socked foot on top of it. 

3. Trace your foot using a pen or pencil.

4. Use a ruler to draw a perfectly straight line on each edge of your foot: the toes, each side, and the heel.

5. Then measure the width and length of your foot, i.e. measure the space between the two parallel lines on either side of your foot - top to bottom and side to side. 

See sizing here: 

Simply add your calculated result into this generator and it will tell you the sizing in EU/UK/AU and even in Japanese sizing. 

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