When you shoe shop, are your feet measured each time you enter the shoe department? Most likely, the answer is occasionally to never. When you shop for shoes, insist on your feet being measured for there is good reason! Plain and simple, your feet change in shape and size. Wearing the wrong size shoes whether they are too small or too large in length and width can drastically affect your foot health.

The tool used to measure your foot has quite a history. The Brannock device has been in use since 1927. Developed by Charles Brannock, it is the most widely used instrument in measuring feet to this very day. The device is made in different colors of green, purple, red or black with each color representing a specific foot such as Men, Women and Children. There are also Brannock devices for Ski Boot and Athletic shoe options.

When Mr. Brannock released his invention, no one else could match the shoe fit. In a short amount of time, word traveled of the exactness of the device. During World War II, the Army hired Mr. Brannock to ensure that boots and shoes fit enlisted men. From that request, he expanded his manufacturing facilities to allow his creation to service proper shoe fitting nationwide.

The Brannock device has an accuracy rate of 95% - 96%. Based on a linear size system, the difference in each size marker on the device is approximately 1/3 inch. For example, a Men’s size one is seven and two thirds inches. Each additional size is one third inch longer.

Measurement of width on the Brannock device works the same way. Each marker for width is separated by a distance of 3/16 of an inch. Nine widths are offered in the U.S. system and vary according to foot length. The widths are: AAA, AA, A, B, C, D, E, EE, and EEE.

You owe it to yourself to shop in a location where a representative assists you in fitting shoes in lieu of selecting shoes from a display on your own. Never measure your feet by yourself as the tool is designed for a trained representative to measure your feet. Once your feet are measured, ask the representative for the length and width of each foot. You may be surprised to learn your feet may differ in size and that my friend is OK. The key is the shoe size you receive will be based on the longest and widest foot.

So now you know about the Brannock device...now go get your feet measured!