How do I know what size to buy?

by Laura Oden November 21, 2021

How do I know what size to buy?

It's the question anyone trying to buy online is thinking!

If you’re trying your first pair in a new brand, it can feel like you're flying blind. If you have foot swelling, venous insufficiency, or any other foot anomalies, it can go from frustrating to impossible very quickly.

Pandere has figured all of this out for you!

We have two great ways to determine your size, even when you’ve never bought from Pandere before.

Option A: Let us size you   -   Option B: Size yourself

Both of these options are novel. There is nobody else in the shoe industry using our proprietary sizing process. And there is nobody else that’s providing sizing charts like ours either. 

And there is a reason for this.

One of the secrets behind our success is that unlike every other shoe company, we have added an extra measurement to consider when determining size. Every other company looks at only length and width. But if you have swelling or bunions or wear a brace, length and width alone will not do the trick. We need a third dimension in order to tell if your swollen foot or brace (or other issue) will fit into the shoes. This is where Pandere excels in sizing people online. It’s another one of our hidden superpowers!

Let’s walk through the two options together so you can determine which one makes most sense for you.

Option A: Let us size you

Full disclosure. We always prefer that you let us size you because the size recommendation is based on more data points than when you size yourself. (Eight data points, to be exact.) 

We need four foot measurements to size you, plus answers to four questions.

How do I measure?

Step 1. Foot length - Measure from heel to longest toe

The easiest way to measure is to trace around your foot on a piece of paper. Then measure the distance between the heel to the place on the page where your longest toe ends. 

  • If you are wearing any daily device or garment (examples: a brace or wraps) you’ll need to measure while wearing your item
  • Don’t add any additional length for room. We add the extra room on our end.

Step 2: Circumference of the ball of your foot (all the way around your foot)

The ball of your foot is at the base of your toes meet the main part of your foot. It’s the same area that has the padding on the bottom of your foot.

Step 3. Circumference of the instep (all the way around your foot)

The instep is in the middle of your foot. This where many people have difficulty fitting into traditional shoe sizes. You might have swelling on the top of your foot or just a high instep.

Step 4. Circumference of ankle (all the way around your ankle)

We are looking for the measurement near your ankle. If you have lower leg swelling that interferes with putting shoes on (overhang) or if you are wearing a brace or any other device that takes up space in the ankle area, please let us know.

Step 5. Input your measurements on our website

Go to our FIND YOUR SIZE page and then input measurements into the Size Finder tool. Once in a while we hear a report that the form won’t submit or other frustrating obstacles. If this happens to you, just email us the measurements and we can enter the data manually. Email us at hello@pandereshoes if you have any problems or questions! 

What happens next? 

We will analyze your data and make a custom recommendation on both size and style for your particular circumstances. We will email you within 24 hours of submitting measurements. (Often less than 24 hours!) If it’s been 24 hours and you haven’t received our email with recommendations, please check your spam folder. That is usually the top culprit! If you didn’t receive anything from us, email us at hello@pandereshoes.com or chat with a Fit Specialist on our website.

Option B: Size Yourself

Some people just want to have the tools to determine their own size. This is fine if you don’t have a lot of complicated issues. In our happy perfect world, would love to have everyone give us foot measurements and then we would tell them what size would be recommended, because that leads to the highest success rate.

We have posted new sizing charts for our Closed Toe shoes and if you follow the steps, you can probably get pretty close to what we would recommend. We would always encourage you to chat with us if you have any questions or if the outcome of the size chart doesn't seem right to you.

Generally speaking, we find that lots of people need a larger size than they expect. We have developed our size charts very (VERY) differently than a size chart you'll find on any other website. (If you find anyone who has a chart like ours, they copied ours!)

How do I use the chart?

Step 1. Measure your foot length. 

  • Put your larger foot on a piece of paper
  • Trace around your foot with a pen/pencil
  • Measure the longest length from heel to toe
  • Go to the chart and find the size that your foot length fits into
  • Find the shoe size that your foot length falls into on the chart
  • Make sure that your foot length is not smaller than the Minimum Foot length
  • Then make sure your foot length is not longer than the Maximum Foot length

Step 2. Measure all the way around your instep

  • Find the middle of your foot - this is where your arch is on the bottom and your instep is on the top
  • Measure the circumference all the way around the middle of the foot
  • Make sure your instep circumference measurement does not exceed the Maximum Instep circumference on the chart

Pro Tips for sizing yourself!

  • Don't size down! If you're on the Minimum Foot length, don't size down to the size smaller. This is especially true if you have foot swelling or any other condition that impacts shoe fit.
  • Wear any garments or devices that you will be wearing with shoes. For example, wear your socks or compression garments when you're measuring. Wear your brace or velcro compression system when you're measuring.
  • Chat with us if you have questions. We can help!

What do I do if the shoes don’t fit?

I wish we could claim that we get it right 100% of the time, but we don’t. Our customers come to us often with a lot of foot problems. Sometimes people measure wrong. (Actually this happens a lot - but we have a built in flag for this when you let us size you.) And other times, the measurements don’t take into account certain issues that don’t get captured through measurements. But it’s ok! We have an ah-Mazing exchange policy and you’ll hardly have to wait for your exchange pair to arrive.

Exchanges are always Free!

We pay shipping in both directions. We do this because a lot of our customers are hard to fit and we know that sometimes it takes more than one try. We prefer to have your foot measurements before you exchange because it helps us get an idea of foot shape and we can make pretty good predictions about what size and styles will work best for you. 

Bonus! We don’t even make you wait for the original pair to get back to the warehouse! As soon as you request your return label through the return portal, we will set up the exchange order so it ships out the next business day!

Return labels are emailed to you. If you need us to snail mail you a return label, just ask. We’re happy to do it!





Laura Oden
Laura Oden

Author



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