How Much Bigger is a Half Size in Shoes?

How Much Bigger is a Half Size in Shoes

Shoe sizes aren’t as straight forward as we can sometimes think, especially with all the different types of shoe sizing systems in use around the world. This doesn’t include the slight variations in sizes per brand of footwear, both for men and women. With all these uncertainties, it’s very easy to pick out a shoe that isn’t really your size.

So, just how much bigger is half size in shoes? Not much bigger, that’s if we’re speaking strictly in terms of measurement. But there are other factors to consider, and those we will be explaining in the course of this article. It’s very disastrous when the shoe is too big or too small, but the seemingly little variations can also be crucial as to how your shoes fit.

The Actual Size of Your Foot

It’s a known fact that our two feet aren’t exactly the same size, as one is slightly larger than the other. That’s why some times, getting shoes and breaking them in might be difficult, especially if you have purchased shoes you think would fit you perfectly.

To know your actual foot size, there’s a simple DIY method you can use.

On a flat surface in your house, stand on a piece of paper and rest your weight evenly on both feet. Ensure you’re comfortable. The piece of paper can either be lined or unlined, just make sure it’s on a flat surface.

Using a pen or a pencil, mark as accurately as you can the farthest point of your heels, and also the farthest point of your toes. Repeat the process for both feet, also adding markings for the width of both feet.

Measure the two markings with whatever scales you want, feet or centimeters, or inches.

Once you’re done, take note of the length measurement and use it as a reference point when you’re picking out shoes for yourself.

The reason for this is because of the fact we stated earlier, that both of our feet aren’t exactly the same size, and if you were to use the slightly shorter dimensions, you might end up with feet feeling choked and another feeling fine.

Men’s Shoe Size Chart

US EU UK FOOT LENGTH (approximate)
7 40 6 ~9.6 in / 24.4 cm
7.5 40-41 6.5 ~9.75 in / 24.8 cm
8 41 7 ~9.9 in / 25.2 cm
8.5 41-42 7.5 ~10.125 in / 25.7 cm
9 42 8 ~10.25 in ~26 cm
9.5 42-43 8.5 ~10.4 in / 26.5 cm
10 43 9 ~10.6 in / 26.8 cm
10.5 43-44 9.5 ~10.75 in / 27.3 cm
11 44 10 ~10.9 in / 27.8 cm
11.5 44-45 10.5 ~11.125 in / 28.3 cm
12 45 11 ~11.25 in / 28.6 cm
13 46 12 ~11.6 in / 29.4 cm

Women’s Shoe Size Chart

US EU UK FOOT LENGTH (approximate)
6 36-37 4 ~8.75 in / 22.5 cm
6.5 37 4.5 ~9 in / 23 cm
7 37-38 5 ~9.25 in / 23.5 cm
7.5 38 5.5 ~9.375 in / 23.8 cm
8 38-39 6 ~9.5 in / 24 cm
8.5 39 6.5 ~9.75 in / 24.6 cm
9 39-40 7 ~9.875 in / 25 cm
9.5 40 7.5 ~10 in / 25.4 cm
10 40-41 8 ~10.2 in / 25.9 cm
10.5 41 8.5 ~10.35 in / 26.2 cm
11 41-42 9 ~10.5 in / 26.7 cm

How Should a Child Shoe's Fit

Shoe Sizing Systems in World

There are quite a number of sizing systems in use around the world, and this as we’ve stated earlier, also contributes to the uncertainties around the actual sizes of our feet.

We will be discussing two prominent sizing systems, the American sizing system, and the European sizing system.

The American Shoe Sizing System

Shoe size ranges in the US for men and women are very different. For one, men’s shoes are usually constructed with a wider cut than women’s shoes, and this is because men’s feet are usually larger than women’s feet. For children, the sizing is quite different and independent of the sizing system.

Another difference is that the size range for women is between sizes 4 to 12, whilst that of men is between sizes 6 to 16. Though it is uncommon, larger shoe sizes are developed, but that is always a matter of whether the brand decides to construct them.

The width of shoes is another important factor in the sizing system, and for the US sizing system, the law stipulates that shoes must be made within a range of widths and must also be federally recognized. The widths are divided into four categories; extra-wide, wide, medium, and narrow widths.

The European Shoe Sizing System

In Europe, the sizing system doesn’t recognize gender and age, unlike the US shoe sizing system, so larger shoes are designed for men, whilst the smallest ones are designed for children. Also, sizing goes up only in whole numbers, and so, there are no half-size shoes. The details and designs are also wildly different for American shoes and European shoes.

The width of shoes is also slightly different, though the sizing means that a woman can easily wear size 35 in women’s shoes and wear size 35 in men’s shoes. The only thing would be that for the men’s shoes, there would be a bit more width than for the women’s shoes.

Is it Okay to Wear a Half-Size Bigger Shoe?

This depends. For running shoes, it’s a good idea, because as you run, blood flow is increased to your feet muscles to keep them oxygenated. This results in a swelling of the foot. Also, socks are typically worn with running shoes, so it’s a good idea to allow some space for that when you’re making your purchase.

For dress shoes, maybe not. We advise that you pick your actual size so you can enjoy maximum comfort. For kids, their feet are still growing, and they will outgrow their shoes at a faster rate than they wear them. So, it is advisable to get the shoes that fit but have a growing room. Another idea is to get shoes that are maybe a full size larger and get them comfortable shoe inserts to supplement for the excess space whilst their feet grow.

Another factor to consider is the brand of shoes you’re picking. There is always a slight variation in the sizes of shoes per brand, as different brands have their manufacturing bases in different countries, and those countries use different sizing systems.

As such, we advise that along with your actual foot measurements, (the larger one most preferably) you consult the brand’s size chart so you know exactly what size of the shoe to buy.

Conclusion & Final Words

It’s quite the general, and natural phenomenon, to have a foot slightly larger than the others. So, it is very important to know your actual shoe size, either by doing it yourself using the method we explained or by getting your feet measured by a professional so you can know the size of your feet.

Once you do this, you know your exact sizes and then you can use sizing charts to pick out shoes that will fit when you buy them, and you permanently avoid having to suffer pain and discomfort from trying to break in shoes that are too big or too small.

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Kamal Chandel

Kamal Chandel, the founder of and wanted to share his knowledge with other people and that's why he launched Best Shoes Advisor to provide the updated information so that everyone makes more approachable and scalable who are looking for best shoes according to their choice and problems.

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