Photo KnowInsiders
Photo KnowInsiders

There's no doubt that these conversion guidelines come in handy, but it's worth noting it's a rule of thumb and not an exact science. Shoe sizes can vary quite a bit from brand to brand and even between styles by the same company. Trying on a pair of shoes in the store is still the best way to nail the right size.

But in case you can't get to the store—or you've just succumbed to the convenience of online shopping—there's a solution: Simply measure your feet and then compare measurements against the shoe size chart provided on the brand's website. Keep in mind that it's not just about length, but width, as well.

You might find you need to go down an additional half or full size if the shoe is too broad. If you can, consider ordering a pair of shoes in two different sizes to get the fit that's not too big and not too small, but just right. Make sure to check out the retailer's return policy first before you go ordering away (a lesson we learned the hard way).

How to Convert Women’s Shoe Sizes

Convert from US women’s to men’s sizes by subtracting 1.5

Photo Dar AlkiTab
Photo Dar AlkiTab

Although exact sizes differ between shoe brands, US women’s shoes tend to be smaller than men’s by about 1.5 sizes. This means that if a women’s shoe has the same length and width as a men’s shoe, the women’s size will be 1.5 more than the men’s. You can subtract 1.5 from a women’s size to get the men’s equivalent, or add 1.5 sizes to a men’s size to convert to women’s.

For example, if you wear a women’s 9, you’ll wear a 7.5 in men’s.

If you wear a men’s 10, you’ll wear a women’s 11.5.

Go from a women’s US size to an EU size by adding 30 or 30.5

EU shoe sizes don’t have half sizes, so if your US size is a whole number, you’ll add 30 to get your EU size. If your US size is a half size, you’ll add 30.5.

For example, if your US women’s size is a 7.5, you’d add 30.5 to get your EU size of 38.

If your US size is a 7, add 30 to get your EU size 37.

To go from an EU women’s size to a US women’s size, subtract 30 and try on a shoe in that size. Then try on the same shoe in a half size smaller and choose whichever one feels best to you.

Go from a US women’s to a UK women’s size by subtracting 2

If you’re starting with a US women’s size, simply subtract 2 to get your size in UK women’s shoes. If you want to know your US women’s size, add 2 to your UK size.

For example, if your US women’s size is a 6, you would be a 4 in UK sizes.

Get your Australian shoe size by subtracting 2.5 from your US size

If you’re buying women’s shoes from Australia, simply subtract 2.5 from your US women’s size. If you need to convert an Australian women’s size to American, add 2.5.

For example, if you wear a US size 9, you would need an 11.5 in Australian shoes.

Add 16 to your US women’s size to get your Japanese size

Japanese sizes are actually measured in centimeters, but if you don’t want to measure your foot with a ruler, you can simply add 16 to your US women’s size. When converting from Japanese to US women’s sizes, subtract 16.

For example, if you wear a size 8 in US women’s shoes, you’d wear a size 24 in Japanese women’s shoes.

Estimate your Asian women’s shoe size by adding 16.5 to your US size

Other Asian countries besides Japan use a slightly different measuring system. These sizes vary a bit more and the conversion might not be exact, but you can approximate your size by adding 16.5 to your US women’s shoe size.

For example, if you wear a 10 in US women’s shoes, your Asian women’s shoe size would be around 26.5.

This sizing method is used in China and Hong Kong, among other countries.

Combine conversions as necessary

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Depending on what region your known shoe size is from, you may have to do a couple quick conversions to get to your desired size. Write out the calculations with a pencil and a slip of paper, or use a calculator for an even easier approach.

For example, if your UK women’s shoe size is a 6 and you want to get your Australian size, you could add 2 to find your US size, an 8, then subtract 2.5 to get to your Australian size, a 5.5.

If your EU shoe size is a 38 and you want to get your Japanese size, you would subtract 30 to get your US size, an 8, then add 16 to get your Japanese size, a 24.

Tips:

Use your US size when buying Canadian shoes

US and Canadian shoe sizes are interchangeable in both men’s and women’s, so you won’t have to do a conversion to switch back and forth. This also means that you can use your Canadian size when doing conversions, since it’s the same as your US size.

If you wear a US women’s size 8, for example, you’d wear a size 8 in Canadian women’s as well.

How to Convert Men’s Shoe Sizes

Convert from US men’s to women’s by adding 1.5

Although exact sizes differ between shoe brands, US men’s shoes are typically larger than women’s by about 1.5 sizes. This means that if a men’s shoe has the same length and width as a women’s shoe, the men’s size will be 1.5 less than the women’s. You can subtract 1.5 from a women’s size to get the men’s equivalent, or add 1.5 sizes to a men’s size to convert to women’s.

For example, if you wear a men’s 10, you’ll wear a women’s 11.5.

If you wear a women’s 9, you’ll wear a 7.5 in men’s.

Convert from a US men’s size to an EU size by adding 32.5 or 33

Photo Dar AlkiTab
Photo Dar AlkiTab

Since there are no half sizes in European shoes, you’ll have to convert a men’s shoe size differently depending on your US size. If you wear a half size in US shoes, add 32.5 to get your EU size. If you wear a whole size in US shoes, add 33.

For example, if you’re an 11.5 in US men’s shoes, you’ll be a 34 in EU shoes.

If you’re going from an EU men’s size to a US men’s size, subtract 33 and try on a shoe in that size. Then try on the same shoe in a half size smaller and choose whichever one feels best to you.

Get a men’s UK or Australian size by subtracting 0.5 from your US size

In men’s shoes, UK and Australian sizes are equivalent. You can subtract a half size from your US men’s size to get your size in UK and Australian shoes, or add a half size if you’re going the other way.

For example, if you wear a 13 in US men’s shoes, you’d be a 12.5 in UK and Australian men’s shoes.

Find a Japanese men’s shoe size by adding 18.5 to your US size

Japanese sizes are measured in centimeters, but you can find yours without measuring your foot by simply adding 18.5 to your US size. To determine your US men’s shoe size from your Japanese size, subtract 18.5 instead.

If you wear a size 9 in US men’s shoes, for example, you’d wear a 27.5 in Japanese men’s.

Estimate your Asian men’s shoe size by adding 17.5 to your US size

Asian shoe sizes, used in areas of the continent other than Japan, such as China and Hong Kong, vary more and are harder to exactly determine. You can approximate your Asian men’s shoe size by adding 17.5 to your US shoe size, but it’s best to try the shoes on beforehand to make sure that they fit.

If you wear a US men’s size 8, for example, your Asian men’s size will be around a 25.5.
Tips:

Combine conversions if you have to. A few quick conversions can help you find your shoe size no matter what region your known size is from. Simply convert your size to US size, then use the conversion rules to calculate your size in the desired region. You can use a calculator or write out the calculations on a piece of paper to keep track of them.

For example, if your UK men’s shoe size is a 9.5 and you want to get your EU size, you could add 0.5 to find your US size, 10, then add 33 to get to your EU size, 43.

If your EU size is a 46 and you want to estimate your Asian size, you would subtract 33 to get your US size,13, then add 17.5 to find your size in Asian men’s shoes, about 30.5.

International Shoe Size Chart

MEN'S SHOE SIZE CHART

UK

JAP

USA

AUS

EU

4

23

4

37

23.5

5

37

5

24

5

38

24.5

6

38

6

25

6

39

25.5

7

40

7

26

7

41

26.5

8

42

8

27

8

42

27.5

9

43

9

28

9

43

28.5

10

44

10

29

10

10½

44

10½

29.5

10½

11

45

11

30

11

11½

46

11½

30.5

11½

12

46

12

31

12

12½

47

13

32

13

13½

48

14

33

14

14½

49

15

34

15

15½

50

16

35

16

16½

51

WOMEN'S SHOE SIZE CHART

UK

JAP

USA

AUS

EU

2

20

4

4

34

21

35

3

22

5

5

36

22.5

36

4

23

6

6

37

23.5

37

5

24

7

7

38

24.5

38

6

25

8

8

39

25.5

40

7

26

9

9

41

26.5

42

8

27

10

10

42

27.5

10½

10½

43

9

28

11

11

43

Footwear Fitting Tips

1.Sizes very among shoe brands and styles. Don't select shoes by the size marked inside the shoe. Judge the shoe by how it fits.

2.Select a shoe that conforms as nearly as possible to the shape of your foot.

3.Have your feet measured regularly. The size of your feet changes as you age.

4.Have BOTH feet measured. Most people have one foot larger than the other. Fit to the largest/widest foot.

5.If possible fit at the end of the day when your feet are largest.

6.Stand during the fitting process and check that there is adequate space (3/8 inch to 1/2 inch) for your longest toe at the end of each shoe.

7.Make sure the ball of your foot fits snugly into the widest part of the shoe.

8.Don't purchase shoes that feel too tight and expect them to "stretch" to fit. This is especially true with the toe of a safety shoe - as they do not stretch.

9.Your heel should fit comfortably in the shoe with a minimum amount of slippage. Also consider that slip-on or pull-on styles will always have slippage because they cannot be laced up for a more secure fit.

10.Walk in the shoe to make sure it fits and feels right. When trying on safety shoes, Vanderloop Shoes suggests moving in positions that you normally would be in during work (ex. kneeling). Make sure that your toes are not rubbing against the safety toe.

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