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When Measuring For Shoes, Length and Girth Matter. Width is the Key

When Measuring For Shoes, Length and Girth Matter. Width is the Key

Posted by Stephen O'Hare, President Pedors Shoes on 31st Mar 2021

Helping patients find the footwear they need for swollen feet edema and lymphedema

Modern pharmacological advances in treating disease often result in the lymphatic system being compromised which in turn can lead to severe swelling in feet. Many patients and healthcare providers are left struggling to find accommodative footwear to manage these specific needs. The Pedors Classic MAX was designed to allow the foot to be placed on the footbed and for the shoe to affix to the foot with two long adjustable touch closure straps.

When fitting a shoe to a patient with a swollen foot, arguably the most important measurement to take is for girth. The bones in the adult edematous foot haven’t grown at all in length - they are the same length as they were before the edema came along - the difference is that the foot has become larger by volume.

Provided the shoes being fitted have plenty of depth in the toe-box to accommodate any swelling in the toes, the patient’s normal shoe size in length is usually the size to start from.

To get volume into a shoe, the width is increased incrementally and Pedors characterizes those widths as Medium (B/C), Wide (D/E), Extra-Wide (2E/3E), Extra-Extra-Wide (4E/5E) and Extra-Extra-Extra-Wide as (6E/7E).

Dependent on the severity of the edema the wider the width required to ensure there is plenty of volume. The Classic MAX in the 6E/7E width works for about 90% of patients with lymphedema – the most severe form of swelling. With 5 widths and 25 sizes the Pedors Classic line offers 125 unique sizes in length, width and girth.

Key Tips For Sizing The Edematous Foot

Step 1) Determine the Best Time of Day To Measure

It makes the most sense to measure your feet when they are normally at their most swollen as this is what the shoe will need to accommodate. For most people that is late afternoon to early evening. If one foot is different in size to the other you may need to evaluate for different sized shoes for each foot, so it makes sense to measure both feet.

Step 2) Take a tracing of the foot

Trace both feet and measure the longest length to the nearest 1/8th of an inch. To be sure these measurements are as accurate as possible, it’s recommended that a rectangle be drawn around the tracing so that the tracing is flush inside the rectangle. Then measure the length of the rectangle.

Step 3) Take a girth measurement

Using a tailor’s tape (or a piece of string) and measure the length around the instep - the circumference - and again measure to the nearest 1/8th of an inch.

Step 4) Make a determination for the best size shoe to order

Go to

Select the shoe size that matches the length of your tracing.Then review the girth measurement table and determine the appropriate width required to accommodate your girth. If there is more than two width difference between your feet or more than a half size difference in length, consider buying two pairs of shoes to make the ideal single pair. Although it will cost more money to get a mis-mate pair, it will be considerably less than having a custom pair of shoes made and will help reduce the risk of fall due to ill fitting footwear.

Notes: In some instances of extreme edema, it could be determined that by going up a half size the girth requirement may meet the volume need. It is not recommended that you go up more than one full size as this will increase the risk of tripping.

Step 5 if needed: Call for Help

Pick up the phone and call 800 750 6729 and talk to a customer service representative. We’ve helped thousands of people like you find the footwear solution they need for their foot problem.

More on other design features on shoes for swollen feet here