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How to use a Brannock Device (Foot Measurer)

The Brannock Device is a widely used foot measuring tool that helps determine shoe size and width. It's commonly found in shoe stores to assist in finding the right size for a comfortable fit. Here are detailed instructions on how to use a Brannock Device:

1. Positioning:

  • Place the Brannock Device on a flat surface, ensuring that it is stable and not tilted. It can be mounted on a base for stability.

2. Step onto the Device:

  • Instruct the person whose foot is being measured to step onto the Brannock Device, placing one foot on each side. Make sure that the big toe is on the same side as the slider found on one side of the device. The person should be fully standing with their weight evenly distributed between both feet.

3. Heel Placement:

  • Ensure that the heel of the foot being measured is snugly against the back of the heel cup of the device. This ensures an accurate measurement.

4. Arch Length Measurement:

  • Move the arch slider to line up with the medial (inside) part of the 1st metatarsal head. This can be located as a palpable bump at the base of the big toe. (Surface Anatomy of the Foot). With the arch slider properly aligned it will point to a number. Look at the numbers and lines on the device to find the length measurement. This is typically marked in both inches and centimeters. The longest toe (usually the big toe) should align with the corresponding measurement on the device.

A foot being measured with a Brannock device
Heel to arch measures 11.5

5. Heel to Toe Length

  • Press the toes flat against the base of the device and look straight down over the longest toe (Not necessarily the first toe) to read to length.

A foot being measured with a Brannock device
Heel to toe measures 11

6. Determining Shoe Size:

  • Compare the arch length and the heel to toe length. Generally, you want to use the larger of the two measurements to determine the correct shoe size. Once the shoe size is determined you can then determine the foot width. Based on the example above the shoe size is an 11.5.

7. Width Measurement:

  • Locate the width slider on the Brannock Device. It is often a movable piece that can be adjusted horizontally. Position it against the outside of the foot, which is the widest part. The shoe size as just determined by the previous step will align with a letter. This letter indicates the foot width.

8. Flip the Brannock Device and Repeat for the Other Foot:

  • Measure the other foot in the same manner. It's common for feet to be slightly different in size, so it's important to measure both. If you find that you have 2 feet that are different sizes, go with the overall larger shoe size.


  • Socks Matter: If the person wears specific types of socks with certain types of shoes, it's advisable to measure the foot while wearing those socks for a more accurate fit.

  • Consider Shoe Type: Different types of shoes may have different sizing recommendations. Always measure for the type of shoe the person intends to wear.

  • Check Both Length and Width: Both length and width measurements are crucial for a comfortable fit. Ill-fitting shoes can lead to discomfort and foot issues.

  • Use the Brannock Device with Each Shoe Style: Different styles and brands of shoes may have variations in sizing. It's recommended to measure using the Brannock Device for each style or brand of shoe.

The Brannock Device is a standardized tool, and its use is relatively straightforward. Shoe store staff are typically trained to assist customers in using the Brannock Device and can provide additional guidance if needed. Following these instructions should help ensure an accurate measurement for selecting the right-sized shoes.

A Brannock Device Foot measurer
Brannock Device


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