The New High Tech Way to Measure your Feet (for FREE!)

Did you know you can now get fancy 3D scans to find out your shoe size? Best of all it's free.

Standing on the 3D foot scanner was just like stepping on a scales
Standing on the 3D foot scanner was just like stepping on a scales

How it Works

I recently had my feet measured with a fancy foot scanner & highly recommend it. It was like stepping into the future!

All you need to do is remove your shoes, roll up your trousers a bit and then stand on the machine for about 15 seconds. It's similar to stepping on a scales to weigh yourself.

A couple of minutes later, you get an email with a fancy report with all sorts of data about your feet: length, width, arches - you name it! How cool is that?

Here's a quick video of me having my feet scanned:

In-store, you also get to see a list of the shoes that should fit you best. I tried on the best matching hiking shoes and the fit was spot on.

I was initially concerned there might be a hard sell, but there was no pressure to buy at all in my local Cotswold Outdoor branch and the sales assistant couldn't have been nicer.

Your foot scan results come in handy for ALL types of shoes. But especially if you have any New Year fitness plans, this is the perfect way to find the best fitting running and outdoor shoes. Take it from a reformed couch potato: comfy shoes are EVERYTHING when you want to get active!

TIP: The list of recommended shoes is only available in-store so you may want to take a note of these.

Stores with 3D Foot Scanners

Here's a list of retailers with 3D foot scanners in-store. They may not have them in all branches, so contact them first to check before you have a wasted trip.

If none of these chains are near you, try contacting your local specialist running or outdoor stores. These hi-tech machines are quite new, but more stores are adding it all the time, so hopefully there's a free foot scanner near you.

Also, there are several machine brands, each with their own proprietary technology and reporting. I've listed the scanner type after each store name. I've only used the Volumental scanner so far, so other machines may vary.

USA

Fleet Feet Fit ID uses the Volumental scanner

Road Runner Sports Fit Zone in 40+ stores combines the Foot Balance 3D scanner and gait analysis machines, so is a bit more involved & takes 10 minutes approx

New Balance select stores only. In the store finder, click categories > 3D foot scan & then the retailers tab to see stores with the Volumental scanner

Aetrex 3D scanners store locator shows they're in hundreds of shoe stores across the US.

USA & Canada

Red Wing, famous for heavy duty work shoes, have Volumental scanners.

Canada Goose, the luxury winter brand, should have Volumental scanners in some stores since 2021. I'm awaiting confirmation from them on this.

UK & Europe

Cotswold Outdoor (and sister brands Runners Need and Snow + Rock) have Volumental scanners in select stores across the UK and Ireland. I was able to just walk in to their Dundrum, Dublin branch and do it, but it may be best to book an appointment.

Note: Unfortunately, Cotswold don't have a list of the stores with scanners as of December 2023, so you need to contact individual stores to check. Thanks to Flora for this info.

Some Elverys Sports stores in Ireland have SafeSize 3D foot scanners.

New Balance outlet stores in Bicester Village (UK) and Kildare Village (Ireland), and select stores in mainland Europe have Volumental scanners. In the store finder, click categories > 3D foot scan & then the retailers tab for a list of stores

Australia & New Zealand

The Athlete's Foot MyFit service uses the Volumental scanner

TIP: while these machines are usually in sports stores, your foot measurements are relevant for ALL shoe styles.

Some of my Volumental 3D foot scan report, showing how my feet compare with average women's feet
Some of my Volumental 3D foot scan report, showing how my feet compare with average women's feet

What I Learned about my Feet

My Volumental foot length measurements were surprisingly close to my own free printable shoe size chart. I didn't expect my homemade tool to compete with cutting edge technology!

I already knew my right foot was bigger, but the scan showed me that's mainly because my right foot is wider than my left. They look the same width, and the numerical measurements are nearly the same. But with shoe sizes, tiny differences make all the difference.

The scan report also shows how your feet compare with women's feet generally. This was the real eye opener for me. While the balls of my feet are relatively wide, I never knew I have quite narrow heels and high arches.

This may explain why I have such problems getting a good fit. Hence why I live in sneakers, where I can adjust the fit with laces.

The 3D scans of my feet
The 3D scans of my feet

Volumental Scanner Shoe Size Conversions

There are several foot scanning machine types each with their own unique technology and reports. But if you're using a Volumental scanner, you get 4 report formats for UK, US, EU and Mondo Point shoe size systems.

The Mondopoint scale shows your approximate foot length in cm, which is useful to know as many brands include foot lengths in their size charts.

My UK shoe size was accurate at 8.5, but my US shoe size was half a size smaller than expected at only 10.0. 8.5 UK is usually 10.5 US, including in the ISO international footwear standard. I only wish I could fit into US 10s - shoe shopping would be SO simple! :)

My EU shoe size was 42.0, which matches the ISO standard, but 8.5 UK is 42.5 approx. in practice, based on the original shoe size formulas.

    Now I was using the scanner in Ireland, and the default local UK/Irish shoe size was accurate, for both me and my partner. I'm not sure if the machine is calibrated differently in other countries to optimise for their local sizing.

    Volumental 3D foot scanning machine in-store at Cotswold Outdoor
    Volumental 3D foot scanning machine in-store at Cotswold Outdoor

    Is 3D Foot Scanning worth it?

    Yes! It only takes seconds and it's much easier and more accurate than measuring your foot yourself. Plus you get all sorts of extra data to help you find better fitting shoes.

    It's free to do in shoe stores, so there's no downside. So if you get a chance to scan your feet, go for it!

    I hope to try out more 3D foot scanners in the future and compare the results, and will keep this post updated.