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Choosing your shoe size: a complete guide

Monsieur Chaussure gives you all the advice you need to choose the right size and, above all, to find the right shape to enhance your feet.
When we talk about the size of a pair of shoes, what are we talking about? We are talking about a convention in the shoe industry to help customers determine the right size. It is only a convention that can vary from one brand to another by a few millimetres. This reference is based on several data, two of which remain fundamental: length and width.
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This advice file reads in  5min

Meaning of the shoe size

The length takes into account the number of centimetres between the convexity of the heel and the tip of the most prominent toe. It can be obtained with a foot gauge. But the length must also take into account the lengthening of the foot when walking.

The width is the upper perimeter of the foot in the area where your foot is widest. It is rare for brands to offer different widths for the same length of shoe.

Find your size and shape of your future pair of shoes

Now that we have understood the elements that make up a shoe size, how do we choose the right shoes? Of course, you have to take into account the size, but also the shape.

First of all, you have to determine your correct size by measuring your foot. This will be your basis for finding your ideal shoe. Mr Shoe's advice: don't do it at the end of the day! Why not? Because your foot has swollen during the day and can therefore distort the result. The best time to take your shoe size is in the morning with a pair of thin socks.

Now that you have the length of your foot, you can refer to the following table to find the corresponding size according to the French, English and American systems.

The second key step is the fitting.

Do not neglect this step, it allows you to know how you feel in the shoes. It involves the feeling of comfort in the length and width of the shoe. If one of your toes touches or grazes the tip of the shoe, this is not a good sign. The shoe does not fit you. Trust your feeling, as leather shoes in particular do not relax. To find out if the shoe fits, try wiggling your toes. They should all be able to move slightly without touching the tip of the shoe. If you have bought a pair of shoes that are slightly too small, there are ways to improve walking comfort.

Your second point of vigilance is the width. This is where you can tell if your foot is well supported in the shoe. You should feel pressure on the top of your foot without it being painful. In order to recognise this sensation, you should think that you can stay in the shoe for more than 10 minutes, but not necessarily all day. If the leather remains rigid lengthwise, it is said to be working widthwise. It is by walking that you will gain a few millimetres. They will allow you to be more comfortable in your shoes.

The shape of the foot is an essential element and helps you to find the right fit. The right shoe shape for your foot is when your foot is in the right place. The aim of finding the right shape is to avoid creating disparate tensions and therefore unsightly creases in the future.

A pair of shoes that fits your size and shape will give you better arch support, be more comfortable and above all last longer. And even more so if you take care of them regularly.

Beware of misconceptions!

You probably know the saying:

- If your laces are too tight, the shoe is too big.
- If your laces are spread out, the shoe is too small.

In theory this technique is simple, but in practice it is wrong! In fact, depending on the pattern and morphology of your foot, this technique is of no value in finding your size.

The same applies to the feeling of the heel coming off when walking. This can be caused by a number of factors: the shoes are not tight enough, the heel counter is not yet made to fit your foot, or simply your heel is thinner than the last. The important thing to remember is that a slight lift in the heel is not a sign that the shoe does not fit. Only time will tell, as the leather and counter will adjust to your foot after a few wears.

With all these tips, you have all the keys to finding the right pair of shoes for you. However, never forget that comfort remains a subjective notion and is different for each of us.

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