What Does the Brannock Device Measure?


The Brannock device measures the human foot to determine fit size for commercial footwear. This metallic device is designed to measure three specific aspects of the adult human foot: length from heel to toe, width and arch height, and each device is suitable for measuring both the left and the right foot. The device was designed in 1927 by Charles Brannock, who developed his device while attending Syracuse University in New York, filing a patent for his first prototype in 1926.

When Charles Brannock was first working to develop a foot measuring device, the commercial shoe manufacturing industry used a wooden stick measuring tool known as the RITZ stick. Brannock worked on developing the device for 2 years while at Syracuse University. Early samples of the Brannock Device are part of the Smithsonian Institution's collection. In addition to models for adults, the Brannock Device Company, which manufactures and sells the devices, makes specialized models for specific populations, including children. Charles Brannock ran the Brannock Device Company until his death at age 89 in 1992. Though the company was sold after his death, it continues to be an American owned and New York based company.