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MonJan 23

Measure Your Feet Day – January 23, 2023

Measure Your Feet Day is celebrated on January 23 every year. If you heard about the holiday and scrunched up your face in confusion about why we need a day for measuring your feet, then Measure Your Feet Day is most certainly for you. The feet are one of the most overlooked parts of the body. Most people don’t give any special attention to their feet.

Measure Your Feet Day has a deeper purpose than simply getting people to whip out measuring tapes and compare feet sizes for bragging rights. Very few people know their true shoe size, and this means that most people’s shoes are either too tight or too loose. This leads to pain and discomfort in the feet. So in truth, Measure Your Feet Day is really about foot health.

History of Measure Your Feet Day

No one really knows who first started Measure Your Feet Day, but some sources credit it to an ancient tradition in Iceland. Spring is a very cold time in Iceland. During extreme rainstorms in the spring, ancient Icelandic natives would run into their huts and celebrate the arrival of the storms by measuring their feet in pairs and participating in the ancient Icelandic rite called Shelbing. Shelbing is done by high-fiving a fellow Icelander with your feet.

The best way to measure your accurate shoe size is with a Brannock Device. The Brannock Device is a foot measuring device that was invented by Charles F. Brannock. Charles Brannock developed the measuring instrument over the course of two years. He patented the first prototype of the device in 1925 and then made an improved version two years later in 1927. The Brannock Device was manufactured and sold by the Brannock Device Company which was headed by Charles Brannock himself until his death in 1992. You can find samples of the very first Brannock Device at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. The Brannock Device tells you your exact foot measurement by measuring the length, width, and arch length of the foot.

The Brannock Device is so important, especially for athletes, that in 2018, the Syracuse minor league baseball team renamed themselves to the Syracuse Devices for one night in honor of the Brannock Device and its immeasurable contributions to their foot health.

Feet expand at different stages of our lives. They flatten and get wider from all the pressure they get subjected to. Because feet expand under pressure, the best time to measure your feet is after a hard day of walking.

Measure Your Feet Day timeline

1970s
The Mondopoint System of Shoe Sizing

The Mondopoint system is first developed by the International Organization for Standardization to create a universal footwear sizing system.

1938
The earliest known shoes are discovered

Some sagebrush bark sandals dating between 7000 to 8000 B.C. are found in the Fort Rock Cave in Oregon, U.S.

1925
The Brannock Device is invented

Charles F. Brannock invents the Brannock Device to measure feet and determine shoe size.

1933
The Brannock Device Saves the Navy

A U.S. Navy captain tells a shoe salesman about his sailors having foot problems — the salesman uses the Brannock Device and discovers they are wearing the wrong size shoes.

Measure Your Feet Day FAQs

What time of day should you measure your feet?

Feet tend to swell throughout the day, so the best time to measure your feet is in the evening after your feet have expanded to their largest. 

Is there a National Foot Day?

While there isn’t a National Foot Day, there is a National I Love My Feet Day, which is a day to appreciate your foot and pamper it with some foot care techniques. There are also other feet holidays, like National Feet Week, International Podiatry Day, and National Foot Health Awareness Month.

When is National Feet Week?

National Feet Week takes place from March 8 to March 14 every year. The week is set aside to spread awareness about foot health. During the week, people are encouraged to visit their podiatrists to check their feet

How to Celebrate Measure Your Feet Day

  1. Measure your feet

    We hate to state the obvious, but this is the first step to celebrating Measure Your Feet Day. The easiest way to measure your feet is to place a sheet of paper on the floor against the wall, place a bare boot on the paper while your heel touches the wall, and then use a ruler or tape measure to measure the maximum length and width. It’s better to get a friend to do the measuring for you. You can then check the measurement of your longest foot against a shoe size chart.

  2. Get your feet checked

    Go to your local foot clinic and speak to your pedorthist. A pedorthist specializes in the use and modification of footwear to treat problems in the lower limbs.

  3. Buy some new shoes

    Once you know your right shoe size, you can go out and get some brand new shoes to celebrate. Your shoes can finally feel the sense of comfort and joy that comes with wearing the perfect size shoe.

5 Facts About Shoes And Shoe Sizes

  1. 85% of people get it wrong

    85% of people in the world underestimate their shoe size by at least a half size.

  2. It increases as you age

    Even in your adult life, your foot size can increase by over-one-and-a-half sizes

  3. They didn’t always have right and left

    Before the ancient Romans made distinct left and right shoes, shoes were worn on either foot.

  4. 10th-century Chinese broke their feet for it

    Between the 10th century to the 11th century, golden lotus feet were a sign of beauty in China and people broke their feet and toes just so they could fit into small boots

  5. They were originally measured in barleycorns

    In 1324, King Edward II of England declared that the diameter of one barleycorn would represent a full shoe size

Why We Love Measure Your Feet Day

  1. Athletes shouldn’t be the only ones to care for their feet

    The feet are the foundation of the body, and everyone needs to take care of their feet more. Even if your feet aren’t the moneymaker of your body as it is with athletes, they are still the home of all your mobility.

  2. It prevents further health problems

    Wearing the wrong shoe size can lead to several feet issues including calluses, hammer toe, and ingrown nails. Measure Your Feet Day helps us prevent these health problems by catching them before they happen.

  3. No one should have to wear the wrong size shoe

    Wearing the wrong shoe size can be very uncomfortable and no one should have to do it. No one should have to wear shoes that leave them with pains, blisters, or marks on their feet. Shoes should protect your feet, not injure them.

Measure Your Feet Day dates

YearDateDay
2023January 23Monday
2024January 23Tuesday
2025January 23Thursday
2026January 23Friday
2027January 23Saturday

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