Bride Asks How to Measure Heel Height

Dear Katie-

For your peace of mind…. or what’s left of it after the frazzle of planning a wedding…. you will need to have the shoes on your feet when you try on the dress.  You can not rely on what you read on line.
Most wedding shoe manufacturers, the ones that are really devoted to that business and don’t do other styles, know how critically important the exact heel heights are.  They measure them and make that information available.
But Kate Spade makes a variety of different shoes and may not be paying attention to the importance of exact heel height in wedding shoes.  But let’s say they are.
Some websites may choose to round up to the nearest half inch.  Some websites may measure the heels themselves.  And here is where the real problem comes into play.  There are three ways to measure the heel height, all give different, sometimes significantly different, results.
1.  Traditionally, shoe manufacturers measured heel height from the breast of the heel.  This is the part of the heel that faces forward.  This is the shortest dimension and is no longer considered correct.
2.  Some people measure the heel height by holding a tape measure to the back of the heel, where the heel meets the shoe’s sole, and consider the heel height to be the length of the heel.  But this, too, is incorrect because often a high heel is designed to angle inward, thus making the heel measurement higher than it should be.
3.  The correct way to measure a heel height is to measure the line from the center of where your heel rests in the shoe, the center of the heel as seen from the side.  Measure a straight line down, keeping the measurement line perpendicular to the ground or table that the shoe is on.  This will give you the correct measurement….. but WAIT…. there’s MORE……
This will give you the correct measurement for that shoe which is generally measured in an average size.  But shoe manufacturers can vary on what they consider average.  It should be size 9.  But more likely it is size 7.  Since the heel height is graded to stay in proportion to the overall design of the shoe, a woman who buys a shoe correctly measured, at 2.5 inches, but she buys it in size 11, is likely to find that the shoe is actually 2.75 inches.
So… buy the shoes you want, hope for the best and prepare to add a pad in the heel if the shoe isn’t quite high enough.  But, not to worry, the price for re-hemming is just one more cost of the wedding.
Aren’t you glad you asked?!?
Best wishes on your special day,
The Shoe Lady
Thank you so much shoe lady!!! At this time we are going to try to actually buy the shoes at a bridal shop to be absolutely sure & can measure the heel height ourselves! Thanks again for your great answer & your time! We appreciate greatly!! 🙂

Bride needs shoes

Dear Shoe Lady, I received these shoes and they are too short.  I have measured my feet twice at shoe store and once per directions at and they measure 11.5 W.   What can I do?  I’m getting married in May and am getting pretty depressed about the shoe situation.

This needs to be handled quickly!  We know brides have enough to worry about besides their shoes fitting.  Shoe fit is more than just length.  It involves the width (side to side)  and the thickness (top to bottom) and the shape of your feet.  We love the Glamour ballet, but if it didn’t fit – you need to move on.  I suggest you order one of the ballet flats offered by Special Occasions in a size 13 AND a size 14. 


Rebecca by Special Occasions is a Low Heel Dressy Flat -

Send back the one that doesn’t fit.  If you get it in time, you can take a glue gun and add glitter, lace, etc. to dress it up.  Their flats have seen many of our customers through their wedding days!

If you measure your feet, follow the instructions and send us the information, we can help advise you on sizing.  We know A LOT about larger sized feet.  And we are painfully aware of how much bad information is out there for our sisters who need hard to find sizes.

The Shoe Lady