Does the shoe fit?

Feb 6th, 2009 | By | Category: Features, In The Hole!, Shopping tips

It’s no secret: we women can get a little nutsy when it comes to shoes. Heck, we’ve been known to resort to surgery in order to fit our feet into a pair of stilettos. Yow!

When it comes to golf shoes, however, comfort tops the list. After all, it’s hard enough to stay in that birdie frame of mind without dealing with sore arches or — golf gods protect us — blisters!

Trails by Vivek Chugh, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

"Trails" by Vivek Chugh, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re picking out your next pair of golf shoes.

Size matters. And guess what — your feet don’t necessarily stay the same size your entire life. Some of us gain a shoe size when we have a baby, for instance. (Well worth it! Well worth it!) And it’s likely that one of your feet is bigger than the other. So make sure you really know what your shoe size is.

How do you do that?


Measure first, buy later. The best way to measure your shoe size: get two pieces of paper. Stand on one and trace your right foot (get a friend to help if you need to — you want to stand as naturally as possible during this step). Stand on the other and trace your left foot.

Then use a ruler to measure each tracing. Measure the length — heel to toe — and the width across the widest point.

Convert the length in inches to your shoe size. Then you can calculate the width.

Womens U.S. shoe lengths in inches

Size (US) Length (in)
5 8 11/16
5.5 8 13/16
6 9
6.5 9 3/16
7 9 5/16
7.5 9 1/2
8 9 11/16
8.5 9 13/16
9 10
9.5 10 3/16
10 10 5/16

Womens U.S. shoe widths in inches

Size Narrow Average Wide Extra-wide
5 2.81 3.19 5.65 3.94
5.5 2.88 3.25 3.63 4
6 2.94 3.31 3.69 4.06
6.5 3 3.38 3.75 4.13
7 3.06 3.44 3.81 4.19
7.5 3.13 3.5 3.88 4.25
8 3.19 3.56 3.94 4.31
8.5 3.25 3.63 4 4.38
9 3.31 3.69 4.06 4.44
9.5 3.38 3.75 4.13 4.5
10 3.44 3.81 4.19 4.56

Now you know what your “official” shoe size is. Write it down on a slip of paper and . . .

Throw it out. Okay, maybe not really! But your official shoe size is really only your starting point. Different golf shoe designs will vary in how they fit your feet. Some brands of shoe might run larger or smaller than others. The real test comes when you start trying on your shoes. So . . .

Try, try, and try them on again. Take your time. Sample different brands and different designs.

Consider the shape of your foot. Size doesn’t tell you everything. The shape of your foot is also important. Some women will be more comfortable in a boxier shoe design, for instance. Others (lucky gals!) have a foot shape that works with a pointier shoe.

Go up or down a half size if you need to. Or a whole size for that matter! Put your comfort first. Don’t accept a shoe that squeezes your foot, or slips when you walk.

Wear your golf socks when you try on shoes. Your street socks may not be the same thickness.

Don’t put too much faith in “breaking in.” Yes, your shoes will stretch to your foot to some degree. But you’re better off with a shoe that fits well from the first tee.

Take advantage of online selections. Online stores can often afford to stock a wider variety of  shoe sizes. At Golf, for instance, you can choose from a huge selection of sizes for FootJoy golf shoes, including narrow and wide widths. (They’re generally on sale there, too!)

If all else fails, invest in a custom-fit shoe. Otabo golf shoes — featured last year in an issue of the late great Golf for Women magazine — offers custom-made golf shoes. (Perfect if, like some of us, you happen to wear a 6 triple-E!)

Yes, custom shoes will be expensive — but they’ll also last for years. And if comfortable shoes help you keep your swing thoughts where you need them, it’s an investment that will be well worth it!