Men’s to women’s shoe sizing differences depend on the country you’re living in. In the US, women’s sizes are generally bigger than men’s shoe sizes by 1.5. European sizes are usually unisex, but men’s sizes in the UK may be half a size larger.
When you’re buying work boots or sneakers, you might be choosing a men’s model for women, or vice versa. Some shoes, such as Vans sneakers, have unisex sizing. But this generally means the brand uses men’s sizes, so you’ll need to convert your size.
But shoe sizing does get confusing, so bookmark this men’s to women’s shoe sizing chart to keep your shoe size always at hand. Now, let’s get to it!
International Men’s to Women’s Shoe Size Chart
Let’s see some basic differences when converting from one size to another. Generally, to get your US men’s size from your women’s size, you’ll need to subtract 1.5 from it. And vice versa, to go from men’s to women’s.
In UK sizing, men’s and women’s shoe sizes are often the same, but not always. Many brands have about a half size difference between the two.
In EU sizing, there’s no difference between men’s and women’s sizes. You won’t have to convert anything, but remember to check out manufacturers’ specific size charts.
Here’s the conversion chart to find and compare your size in men’s and women’s shoes. Note that both the measurements and the size comparisons are estimates, and every brand has its own shoe size chart.
|US Men’s||US Women’s||UK Men’s||UK Women’s||EU|
Men’s to Women’s Shoe Width
How about shoe widths? Women’s shoes tend to be a little narrower than men’s, so the regular width is different for both.
Shoe widths are expressed in letters, from A to E, where A is the narrowest and E the widest. You can also have an extra-narrow AA or an extra-wide EEE at the opposite end. But it gets a little more complicated than that.
Women tend to have narrower feet, so in women’s shoe sizes the B width is considered standard. This means a D width is already an extra-wide shoe for women. But in men’s shoes, D is a standard size, and B would be a narrow width. You can often find men’s shoes in E or EE widths, especially in the sports shoe category.
To find out more about what does shoe width letters mean, check out our handy guide with all the information you need.
How Do I Figure Out My Shoe Size?
To find out your shoe size, you need to measure your feet. You’ll need a pencil, measuring tape, and a sheet of paper. Any paper will do; it only needs to be larger than your foot.
- Place the paper on the floor, preferably against a wall. Step on it with one foot, with your heel against the wall.
- Draw an outline of your foot on the paper, keeping the pencil upright. Try to stay as close as possible to your foot. Repeat on the other side.
- Measure your feet from the heel to the tip of the longest toe, and do the same with your other foot. Compare the longest measurement to the size charts above, or check out a brand-specific chart.
Repeat this foot measuring process regularly before buying shoes, especially after hormonal changes like pregnancy or when you’re getting older. Shoe size tends to change through the years when your muscles weaken, so your old favorites might not fit on your feet forever.
Tip: The ideal moment to measure your feet is in the afternoon or evening when you come home from work, and you’ve been on your feet all day. Feet tend to swell a bit during the day, and you’ll want to have enough room inside the shoes for those moments.
What To Pay Attention to When Trying Shoes on
When you’re in a store or at home trying on a new pair of shoes, make sure you’ve got the right size with these tips:
- Toes: Make sure your toes have enough room to wiggle and aren’t crammed at the front.
- Heel: Slide a finger inside the shoe at the heel to ensure you have enough room—but not too much that they’ll slide off.
- Comfort: You shouldn’t feel any pain or pressure in your feet when trying on the shoes.
- Insoles: If you use insoles or inserts, put them inside the shoes when trying them on.
- Laces: The laces shouldn’t feel too short, and you shouldn’t have to tie them so tight the eyelets overlap.
- Exercise: Running and training shoes should support your arches.
- Specific sports: Running shoes require more wiggle room than other sports.
Important: If you’ve been wearing the same shoe model for a while, you might think the sizing always stays the same. But manufacturers make small changes and improvements in the lining, the insoles and other parts of the shoe. These can make the formerly perfect fit too tight, so always try on new shoes before purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a Man Wear Women’s Nikes?
Men’s and women’s Nikes are generally very similar in build, but men will usually find it harder to fit into women’s sizing. Even when you find a pair of Nikes that are the right length, many Nike models are narrower than standard. This might not be a problem with a wide sneaker like Air Force 1, but in tight running shoes, it could be an issue.
Is It Bad For a Woman To Wear Men’s Running Shoes?
It’s not bad for a woman to wear men’s shoes for running, if they fit right. Test the shoes by running a bit in the store or your home when trying them out. Make sure your foot doesn’t move inside them, because it can affect your body’s alignment. Shoes that are too large can also give you blisters.
Why Are Women’s Shoe Sizes Different Than Men’s?
Men and women’s feet have different sizes, even when you account for the difference in the person’s height. This means that an average man of 5’9” will likely have a wider and longer foot than a woman of the same height. That’s why their shoe sizes also tend to be a little different.
How Do You Widen Shoes That Are Too Narrow?
If you’ve bought shoes that are too narrow, you can stretch them by putting them on and softly warming them up with a hair dryer. Another trick is leaving some Ziploc bags filled with water inside the shoes and leaving them in the freezer overnight. When the water freezes, it expands and stretches out your shoes.
When you’re looking for shoes online, you might be unsure of what size shoes to buy. And sometimes, you’re looking for a women’s shoe but find a better deal on a men’s model. But the sizing does get confusing.
Don’t worry. While there are some differences in sizing, you can always refer to our men’s to women’s shoe sizing chart for help. Also, always remember to measure your feet before you buy shoes, and check with a brand-specific size chart that you’ve got the right one.
Typically, you won’t have issues switching between men’s and women’s shoes, but sometimes women’s shoes can be too narrow.