Looking after your feet is important for many reasons—we’ve already seen how much a simple piece of tape can seriously lessen the amount of pain caused by your high heels—but this shoe size–related research is mind-blowing. According to The Wall Street Journal, a study reveals that as many as half of all women in the UK are wearing the wrong size shoes. Wait, what?
According to the study, conducted by the College of Podiatry and released last month, of 2000 adults surveyed, one-third of men and nearly half of women admitted to purchasing shoes that didn’t exactly fit. While it might not seem a huge deal at the time if a pair of heels feels a tad too tight (they’ll stretch, right?), improperly fitting shoes can have a number of negative health effects—hammertoes deformities, bunion growth, and consistent foot pain are a given, but poorly fitting shoes can also contribute to things like headaches and back pain.
The solution? Never wear a pair of shoes you haven’t confirmed properly fit. In theory, this means online shopping for shoes can be tricky when you aren’t sure of the brand, and if they don’t fit when you receive them, you should return them. But more importantly: doing a really solid measurement of your feet to determine the size you should be wearing is a must. Back in the day, most people got their feet professionally measured on a regular basis. Nowadays, that’s a rarity. But good news: you can do it yourself.
Keep scrolling for eight easy DIY steps to measure your own feet and determine your proper shoe size.