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How To Measure Yourself For Online Insole Buying

Most reputable online retailers provide in-depth measurements and measuring tools for consumers who shop online- but, a savvy way of ensuring your shoes fit to the tee, would be to not only focus on the actual size you think you wear but to actually fit to the measurement of the sole of your foot.


No matter how sure you are of your shoe size, it is still pretty important to know what your insole size is, specifically when buying sandals or shoes from a brand unknown to you as well as to achieve an optimum fit in the future. These measurements are a also a key factor when shopping for off-the-shelf orthopedic insoles. Follow our guide below to find the right insole fit for your feet.


Your numerical shoe size, whether it be in a US, UK or French size is based on the length of your foot, it is measured from the heel to the tip of the longest toe. This measurement doesn’t factor in width - to determine the width of your shoe fit, read below for the best advice


Here’s how you measure your insole:

  • Take your favorite, best fitting pair of shoes
  • Using a flexible tape measure or a ribbon that you can mark on
  • Push the end that is marked with the 0 right into the tip  of the toe on the inside of your shoe
  • Laying the tape flat, walk it all the way to the inside of the heel, laying it flat against the bottom of the shoe
  • This measurement is your true insole length
  • Measure in cm- if the size ends up between half sizes, round up to the nearest ½ size, eg. 18.25cm will be rounded up to 18.5cm

If you’re buying half insoles, the heel to ball ratio is the measurement you’ll be looking for. This measurement is also pretty important when looking for high performance sports-specific insoles.


How to measure your heel to ball ratio: ( You’ll need a partner to help you with this one)

  • Stand on a flat surface on a clean piece of paper with your heel touching and not overlapping the edge of the page. Mark the heel out holding the pen perpendicular to the foot- now extend the line, using a ruler from the curved end of the heel to the outside of the foot
  • Get the person helping you to mark the spot where the ball of your foot touches the paper-
    • if you have normal arches- this will be quite obvious to spot as it will be the part that touches the paper in front of the gap that your arch will make.
    • If you have fallen arches, this ball position should be identified from the top of the foot but finding the ball position with your fingers, then touching the paper in exactly the same position and marking that off.
  • Using a measuring tape, the person measuring you will measure the length from the ball position to where you extended the heel line.
  • This measurement is your heel to ball ratio- repeat on the other foot.


Custom Vs. Off-The-Shelf

Most foot pain is the result of a disconnect in the relationship your feet have with the ground and a miscommunication between the bones and muscles of the foot. As such, sometimes the disconnect is too large a problem to be solved by self-identifying it

Whether you’re looking for an off-the-shelf option or a custom option, quality is key to ensure the efficacy and the longevity of your insoles.

When looking for an insole:


  • Understand the purposes of the various foams used- sometimes a firmer foam can do more harm than good and vice versa
  • Choose an insole that is specific to your needs- trying to use an arch support when you actually need metatarsal comfort can be counter-productive.
  • Make sure you know your size- don’t guess; use our how-to guide above to get accurate measurements.
  • Buy an insole from a quality, well-known brand- cheap insoles are a waste of money and actually do more harm than good.



  • Buy insoles for battered, broken shoes- insoles can only provide additional comfort and cushioning, two things that your battered shoe already doesn’t have- so you will be throwing money away trying to revive a shoe that is too far gone.
  • Guess your insole size, trimming off-the-shelf insoles is a bother and you can avoid it by buying the right size the first time
  • Buy extra soft floppy insoles, they get worn down quickly and in no time, you’ll find yourself needing another pair.
  • Buy arch supports in a smaller size than you need- this can be painful!
  • Get the positioning of the metatarsal padding wrong- simplest way to figure out the positioning of the padding is to use an existing shoe-liner, remove it from your shoe, look for the telltale dip where the ball of your foot was worn away the liner, place the liner and step on it to feel if you’ve got the right spot. If your shoe is new, put a dab of eye shadow or eyeliner under the ball of your foot, take the new liners out of your shoe, step on it firmly and where the make-up leaves a mark is your ball position.