Will these fit my shoe?: How to measure for subtle paws and hooves

You might recognise this chart, or a similar one from my subtle foot listings, I've designed them to help guide you in measuring your shoes, socks or feet, so you order the correct size. This posts aim is to help you use the chart, cover some frequently asked questions, and for additional fitting tips to give you more confidence in the size that you need.

This image is specifically from the subtle paws listing, but the format is the same for all subtle toe listings. Each listing also has the correct measuring table written as text for accessibility.

The toes are all design to be attached to shoes, socks or built around bare feet, depending on the needs of your project. But for ease, I will talk about them as if you are attaching them to a boot, but the information in this post is transferable. For example, if the image shows me measuring across a shoe, and you would like to measure for your foot, just measure along the same line as where your foot would be in the shoe. 

Why can I not just use universal shoe sizes?

Have you ever heard anyone say "I'm a size 7 trainer, but usually a size 6 boot" or sent back a pair of trainers that are usually your size because you needed the next size up/down? 

I have tried to offer an estimate of what paw size would fit certain shoe sizes, however, universal shoe sizes are not that universal, particularly if you're building on the outside of the shoe. This is because some shoes are a lot thicker than others, or are a different shape, for example a size 7 boot would be a lot different compared to a size 7 stiletto. 

The estimates are pretty close, but it's good to bear the full measurements in mind if you're hoping for a certain fit.

What if I have not bought the shoes I want to build on yet?

If you're set on getting those shoes, then wait until you have them to measure them. Otherwise just use the shoe size estimate from the chart, it's likely they will fit just fine, they just might not be "perfect"

Where does the paw sit on the shoe? 

The paw is a single 3D printed piece that sits on the toes of the shoe, so the only measurements that really need to be done are around the toe area of the shoe. 

Image of the original boots used in the listing without paws on, then example photos of the boots with a paw on, and another with a hoof

Measurements on the chart in more detail


Measurement A on the chart is the length of the paws, so roughly how far up the shoe the paws will sit. I say roughly, because the measurement is for the full length of the toes, but as you can see on the chart image, there is a wraparound quality to the way the toes are aligned. If you measure your boots up from the toes, along the side, that will give you an idea of how they will sit from end to end. They usually will fit right up to the bottom of the laces.


Measurement C is the width of the opening at the back of the paw. This is the most important measurement, because if the opening is too narrow for your shoe, then the paw won't fit.


Measurement D is for the height of the paw, or how far it will sit off the ground when on your shoe. With bare foot or socks, it's likely that the paw will sit directly on the floor in front of your toes, but on boots, it will have a gap. The gap is a good thing on shoes as you'll be more likely walking on hard surfaces like concreate which would wear down the paws with use if they were touching the ground.

Measuring how tall the toes of the boots are, from the top of the toe, down to the floor, or end of the sole, for measurment D


Finally Measurement B is the widest part of the paws on the outside, it’s not really necessary for deciding if the toes will fit or not, but more about judging how they will look on your shoe in the end, and also how comfortable they might be to walk in (for example, if the paws stick out too far on the sides, and you walk with a more narrow gait, then your shoes might be more likely to catch against each other as you're walking in your natural stride). Narrower fitting paws will have less impact on your comfort for every day wear.

How to get the best advice about fitting a paw?

I get a lot of questions about the kind of shoe the subtle animal toes will fit, the best information you can give me to help you decide the best fit is all of the following:

The shoe size, gender, and what country the size format is in. (E.g UK women's size 12. US unisex size 7)

The type of shoe and brand (E.g Nike hightop trainer) 

Measurements of the toes of the shoe as shown in the above guide (Or photographs of the shoe next to a tape measure in different angles around the toes of the shoe, similar to the positioning in the guide above)

Visual refrences

Here are some visual refrences of different sized paws on the same shoe (Size 7 UK unisex new rock boot). Currently I am displaying M, S and XS, but I will add more as I print them so you can see the bigger sizes.

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