We derive an explicit expression for predicting the thicknesses of shear bands in metallic glasses. The model demonstrates that the shear-band thickness is mainly dominated by the activation size of the shear transformation zone (STZ) and its activation free volume concentration. The predicted thicknesses agree well with the results of measurements and simulations. The underlying physics is attributed to the local topological instability of the activated STZ. The result is of significance in understanding the origin of inhomogeneous flow in metallic glasses.