How to Measure Your Foot for Knit Socks

How to measure your foot for hand knit socks
There's nothing better than a cozy pair of hand knit socks and nothing worse than an ill-fitting, baggy pair. It's worth spending some time, before you start knitting, taking good measurements of the feet the socks will be worn on.

Before You Begin

For the best measurements, you'll need to use a hard ruler to measure foot length and a soft tape measure for the foot circumference. Also, it's good to take measurements early in the day because activity and warm temperatures can cause feet to swell a bit.

Measuring Your Foot for Knit Socks

Foot length should always be measured with a hard ruler. Place your heel and the end of the ruler against a wall. Measure length from the back of the heel to the end of your longest toe. Be careful not to bear weight on the foot being measured or your foot will lengthen and spread.

Measure your foot circumference with a tape measure. Set your foot on the floor with the tape measure around the widest part of the foot. Remember not to squeeze the tape measure too tightly.

Don't forget to measure both feet. They may not be the same size.

See it in Action

Negative Ease

Socks fit best when they are snug around your foot. Designers call this negative ease and it just means that the finished sock measurements should be slightly smaller than your actual foot measurements. How much smaller is up to you, but a good rule of thumb is to knit your socks 5-10% smaller than your foot.

To calculate 5% negative ease, multiply your foot measurements by 0.95 so your sock will be 95% the size of your foot.

Actual Foot Length = 9 1/2 inches
Sock Foot Length = 9 1/2 x 0.95 = 9 inches

Actual Foot Circumference = 8 inches
Sock Foot Circumference = 8 x 0.95 = 7 1/2 inches

Recommended Pattern

After you've taken your foot measurements, you can find your next project in the Sock Knitting Section of my pattern shop.

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Sock Knitting Tip: How to measure your foot for knit socks

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The Chilly Dog: How to Measure Your Foot for Knit Socks
How to Measure Your Foot for Knit Socks
Learn how to properly measure your foot before casting on your next pair of knit socks.
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