How to Convert Feet to Kilometers - Example Problem

Blueprint with a variety of measuing sticks, tape measure, T-square and level

 Huntstock, Getty Images

This example problem demonstrates how to convert feet to kilometers.

Feet to Kilometers Conversion Problem

The average commercial jet flies around an altitude of 32,500 feet. How high is this in kilometers?

Conversion Solution

1 foot = 0.3048 meters
1000 m = 1 km
Set up the conversion to the desired unit will be canceled out. In this case, we want km to be the remaining unit.
distance in km = (distance in ft) x (0.3048 m/1 ft) x (1 km/1000 m)
distance in km = (32500 x 0.3048/1000) km
distance in km = 9.906 km


32,500 feet is equal to 9.906 kilometers.
Many conversion factors are difficult to remember. Feet to meters would fall into this category. An alternate method to perform this conversion is to use multiple easily remembered steps.
1 foot = 12 inches
1 inch = 2.54 centimeters
100 centimeters = 1 meter
Using these steps we can express a distance in meters from feet as:
distance in m = (distance in ft) x (12 in/1 ft) x (2.54 cm/1 in) x (1 m/100 cm)
distance in m = (distance in ft) x 0.3048 m/ft
Note this gives the same conversion factor as above. The only thing to watch out for is for the intermediate units to cancel out.

Check Your Work

It's always good practice to check your answer to make certain it makes sense. A value in feet should equal a much lower value in kilometers. This is because there is more than one foot in a meter and a thousand meters in a kilometer.