Shoes that are too tight aren’t just uncomfortable, they may also be harmful. This website offers several shoe size converters and reliable size tables for women’s, men’s and kid’s shoes. Easy how-to guide to measure foot lenght + fitting guide and many tips for buying shoes that fit perfectly.
Guide: How to measure feet
Determining the length of your feet is easy.
- The best time to measure is the afternoon or evening, when your feet have flattened out to their normal size. If you measure your feet in the morning, they will be smaller, which would give you the wrong size and then you would buy shoes that were too small.
- Put your feet on a piece of paper. Stick the paper to the floor with some tape so that it doesn’t slip.
- Draw around your foot with a pen, keeping the pen straight (at 90° to the paper).
- Measure the longest distance from the heel to the tip of your big toe.
- Enter the measurement into the shoe size calculator.
Pro tip: If one of your shoes is always too tight, measure both feet and then use the length of the largest foot to calculate the size. If the two lengths vary a lot, you should consider getting your shoes made specially or using special insoles.
Converter inch – shoe size
Use this converter to calculate the following shoe sizes: EU-size, German size, British size, US size, Brazilian size, Japanese size, Korean size, Australian size, Brannock size and Mondopoint shoe sizes. You can enter inch or centimeters to calculate the perfect fit.
Shoe size chart for men
|Inch||US Shoe Size||UK Shoe Size||EU Shoe Size||Mexican Shoe Size||CM|
Shoe size chart for women
|Inch||US Shoe Size||UK Shoe Size||EU Shoe Size||Mexican Shoe Size||CM|
EU shoe sizes
EU shoe sizes are used throughout Europe, mainly in Germany, France and Italy.
US shoe size chart
Most international shoe size charts are based on the Brannock system. It is used in America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It was invented by Charles F. Brannock, who had developed a device for measuring the length and width of a foot in inches in the 1920s. Foot length is used as the basis for this system, and two barleycorns are added to the shoe size. There are different calculation formulas in this system for women’s, men’s and children’s shoe sizes, and each group has its own zero point. Most other shoe-size systems do not take gender into account.
UK shoe size
The UK uses the Barleycorn system. The scale starts at 12 barleycorns, the smallest shoe size, which is known as children’s size 0. After reaching children’s size 13, the scale moves on to adult size 1, which is equivalent to 26 barleycorns. This system also calculates sizes by means of a formula, which in this case uses the length of the “lasts”. Please note whether the foot was measured in inches or in centimetres. Two formulas are available: one to calculate children’s sizes, and the other for adult sizes. For purposes of calculation, the bar length is used in inches as a basis. There are two formulas to determine size, one for children and one for adults. Make sure you measure your feet in inches or centimetres. The system used in the UK differs from the US shoe size as well as that of the EU. In this chart, you can find the correct size and which shoe size corresponds to an English shoe size. In contrast to the European shoe size, you will also find half sizes here.
More than just a number
Just think how many steps you take in a single day. Our feet are the probably the most heavily stressed parts of our bodies and a lot less robust than many people think. Having the right shoes with a proper fit plays an important role in preventing painful deformities and other orthopaedic problems such as “hammer” toes or a twisted big toe.
Unfortunately, different shoe size systems are in use worldwide, so a comparison and simple overview of the different sizes is therefore difficult. The shoe sizes in different countries only have one thing in common: The basis for determining the correct size is always foot length. To get the correct shoe size, you can either convert the known size or measure your feet and then read the correct shoe size from the chart.
Not always a guaranteed fit
The biggest problem with buying shoes is that although shoe sizes are theoretically standardised, each country calculates sizes a little differently. Many manufacturers also deviate slightly from the standards. Some brands prefer to make shoes that are a bit more comfortable or also suitable for wider feet, so they secretly increase the measurements. Brand X shoes are usually smaller than those of brand Y, and differences in production also occur. Due to the fact that the materials used (fabric, leather, leatherette, rubber, etc.) are very flexible, producing shoes to exact specifications is very difficult – or simply too expensive for the manufacturers. So make sure that you try different sizes!
Another big problem: the size of a pair of shoes doesn’t only depend on the length of the foot: the shape of the foot is also important. If the shape of the foot varies from the norm (wide feet, fleshy feet, high arches, flat feet, over-pronation or splayed feet) then a different shoe size is necessary.
While foot length is observed in almost all systems, the width of the feet is usually neglected. There are big differences due to the fact that country-specific formulas are used. In addition to the reference value for length, the unit used and the zero point also play a big role.
Shoe length vs. Foot length
Most shoe size systems are based on foot length. Depending on the system, this can be the average length of the foot, the inner length of the shoe or the length of the “lasts” used to make shoes. The length of the lasts is the simplest for the manufacturers, so this is often used. A “comfort allowance” is added to the length of the feet before the size is calculated. In US, this is usually 0.5 inches (EU = 1.5 centimetres), but varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.
- Paris point: A “Paris point” or “Parisian stitch” is most often used in Continental Europe. A Parisian stitch corresponds to 2/3 centimetres and there is a difference of 6.667 millimetres between two stitches. In contrast to US or UK shoe sizes, the Parisian stitch does not have intermediate sizes such as e.g. 9 1/2 or 10 1/2. Since there are no half sizes, the conversion of European sizes into international sizes is often very difficult, because a size smaller or larger can be designed due to rounding differences. For this reason and depending on the manufacturer, this can result in great differences, since different reference values and varying increments can lead to considerable deviations in size. Some manufacturers therefore also specify an extra millimetre size of the shoelace length. If one knows the length of their feet, they should follow this information. French and Italian shoe sizes are based on the European shoe size. However, the shoes are a little smaller. Therefore, you should buy a slightly BIGGER size in France or Italy.
- Barleycorn: Another unit of measurement goes by the name of Barleycorn. A “barleycorn” is a third of an inch – 8.46 mm. This system also has half sizes and is used in the United Kingdom and the United States.
- Metric system: Metric measurements are shown in millimetres and centimetres. The sizes are usually scaled in steps of 5 mm. Metric sizes are used predominantly in the Mondopoint system and in Japan.
Practical tips for buying shoes
Shoes are only comfortable if they fit properly. Take the time to find the right fit. Never buy shoes that “just about” fit.
- Feet expand during the day. Therefore, you should buy shoes in the afternoon or evening.
- If possible, wear regular socks. Particularly thick or thin specimens can falsify the result.
- Shoe sizes are only there as a guide. Even if you choose shoes in your correct shoe size, they may not necessarily fit. Even specimens of the same brand may be different. Always test different sizes of the shoe model of your choice.
- Don’t just try on one of the shoes in the pair, but instead, always try on the left and the right shoe.
- Take your time having a look through the shop. Also use the stairs. Make sure that you have 1 to 1.5 centimetres of wiggle room when rolling your foot in the front part of the shoe. This rule does not apply only in the case of high-heeled shoes, in which case a slipping of the foot must be prevented by firm support.
- In any case, test models from different manufacturers. Some brands are made wider or narrower. A correct width, however, is just as important as shoe length when it comes to optimal comfort. If you have narrow feet, you should not choose a smaller shoe size, but go for a brand with a narrower fit instead.
- The materials used are also of great importance. Materials such as rubber, leather, artificial leather or fabric stretch in different ways over time. This also affects the fit.
- Women in particular often buy small shoes. The reason: False vanity and outdated beauty ideals. Some manufacturers react to this behaviour and offer, for example, an actual shoe size 40 as a size 39. However, not all companies do so.
Shoe care tips
- Wear your shoes only one day long: Closed leather shoes should dry 24 hours after wearing them all day long. Otherwise, they widen and white sweat marks appear.
- Always open and close your shoelaces and use a shoehorn: Opening the shoes correctly and using a shoehorn prevents damage to the heel area of the shoes.
- Shoetrees: Shoetrees made of untreated wood are preferable as they absorb moisture from the shoe. Be careful not to use oversized shoe trees, as damp leather will stretch.
- Impregnating: Impregnation should be carried out before the first use of any other shoe care product. This means that the impregnation can act optimally. Ideally impregnate 1-2 times directly after purchase.
- A proper shoe shower: If leather shoes are particularly dirty or white sweat marks have formed, only proper shoe washing can help. To do this, wash the shoe from the outside with warm water. If available, with leather soap. Then let it dry slowly. Then treat the shoe with suitable shoe care products.
- Allow to dry slowly: Stuff shoes with newspaper and let them dry slowly to avoid cracks in the leather. Do not place wet leather shoes under the heater.
- Polishing: After the shoe care products are dry, smooth leather can be polished with a horsehair brush or a soft cotton cloth.
- Care cream or better wax for smooth leather shoes? The longer the cream or wax absorbs, the more work-intensive the polishing is, but the shinier the shoes shine afterwards. Cream absorbs faster and provides a silky matt shine. Wax adheres better to the surface and thus allows a stronger shine. Waxed shoes should also be cared for from time to time with creams, as the cream penetrates deeper into the leather.
- Cleaning the inner sole: An inner sole made of leather can be cleaned with warm water and leather soap. Then dry it slowly. This avoids unpleasant foot odour.
- Loops and holes: Treating them with Vaseline once in a while makes them last longer.
- Soles: Leather soles can be treated with leather oil. It is important to take care that the seams and the edge are left off, as the oil can solubilize adhesives.
- Pro tip for cleaning sneakers: Scratches on rubber surfaces are best cleaned with a nail varnish remover and cotton cloth. Toothpaste and a toothbrush are suitable for rough surfaces, for example at the bottom of the sole. Simply scrub over the dirty areas with a toothbrush.
- Storage: During the seasonal break, winter or summer shoes should be kept dry and airy, for example in a cotton bag. Caution: Keeping them in an airtight box may cause mould.
Why extra care is necessary for kid’s shoes
Children’s feet need space – however, up to 50 percent of all children still wear shoes that are too small for their feet. But only a third of children have healthy feet when they grow up. The most common cause of this is that they wear shoes that are too small for their feet! Children often don’t feel “when the shoe presses against their toes” because the fabric is still very soft and refined. Unfortunately, this does not mean that damage cannot develop down the line. Shoes that are too small are causing great problems for children’s feet as they grow: deformation and misalignment are the result.
Measuring children’s feet correctly
Measure the feet in the afternoon, because they will become wider and longer during the day. Your child should be standing instead of sitting during measurements, as this also affects the size of the feet.
Upon measuring, place the foot on a tape measure and measure it from the heel to the longest toe. The measurement from the heel to the longest toe is your child’s shoe size.
Always measure both feet: differences in length can occur. A difference of 6 mm in length is quite normal, but this corresponds to a whole shoe size and must be taken into consideration when buying!
Check for measurements every 2 months – because children’s feet grow amazingly fast!
Size chart for children’s shoes
|Inch||Age||US Shoe Size||UK Shoe Size||EU Shoe Size||Mexican||CM|
|6.75||Small Kid||11 M||10||28||-||17.1|
|7||Small Kid||11.5 M||10.5||29||-||17.8|
|7.125||Small Kid||12 M||11||30||-||18.1|
|7.25||Small Kid||12.5 M||11.5||30||-||18.4|
|7.5||Small Kid||13 M||12||31||-||19.1|
|7.625||Small Kid||13.5 M||12.5||31||-||19.4|
|5.75||Small Kid||1 M||13||32||-||19.7|
|8||Small Kid||1.5 M||14||33||-||20.3|
|8.125||Small Kid||2 M||1||33||1||20.6|
|8.25||Small Kid||2.5 M||1.5||34||1.5||21|
|8.5||Small Kid||3 M||2||34||2||21.6|
|8.625||Big Kid||3.5 M||2.5||35||2.5||21.9|
|8.75||Big Kid||4 M||3||36||3||22.2|
|9||Big Kid||4.5 M||3.5||36||3.5||22.9|
|9.125||Big Kid||5 M||4||37||4||23.2|
|9.25||Big Kid||5.5 M||4.5||37||4.5||23.5|
|9.5||Big Kid||6 M||5||38||5||24.1|
|9.625||Big Kid||6.5 M||5||38||5.5||24.4|
|9.75||Big Kid||7 M||6||39||6||24.8|
Whoever wears shoes that are too small can damage their feet. Children’s feet, in particular, need enough space to develop well, because they are in a process of growth. Children’s feet are the basis of their physiology and must be able to keep up with the whole day’s activities, whether it’s while they’re romping around, playing or sleeping.
Children’s feet are still very soft and much more mobile. At the same time, they are significantly less sensitive than adult feet. The entire functional capacity of a child’s foot is only reached after several years. This also has an effect on the child’s load-bearing behaviour of shoes: children do not feel it when the shoe is too small. On the contrary – if the child pushes forward, the toes are often still drawn in. The child forces their little foot into the shoe without feeling that the first signs of damage are already taking their course.
Over 50% of children wear small shoes. Do not rely on how your child feels in the shoe, but rather on measurements. Check the measurement results regularly, because children’s feet grow up to three sizes per year.
Choosing a child’s shoe size according to their age
The growth of children’s feet is not only very individual, but also very rapid. Children’s feet can grow by one millimetre from the age of four to six years. Prefabricated shoe size charts therefore do not have to match the development country of your child’s feet. Therefore, it is better to measure the actual size of the foot regularly yourself.
|Age||Length of Foot in Inch||US Shoe size||EU Shoe Size||Length of Foot in CM|
|Newborns||3.1 - 3.3||13||7,9 - 8,4|
|Newborns||3.3 - 3.5||14||8,5 - 9|
|Newborns||3.6 - 3.8||15||9,1 - 9,6|
|0 - 3 months||3.8 - 4||1 / 1,5||16||9,7 - 10,2|
|3 - 6 months||4.1 - 4.3||1,5 / 2||17||10,3 - 10,9|
|6 - 9 months||4.3 - 4.5||2,5 / 3||18||11 - 11,5|
|9 - 12 months||4.6 - 4.8||3 / 3,5||19||11,6 - 12,2|
|12 - 15 months||4.8 - 5.1||4 / 4,5||20||12,3 - 12,9|
|15 - 18 months||5.1 - 5.3||4,5 / 5||21||13 - 13,5|
|18 - 21 months||5.4 - 5.6||5,5 / 6||22||13,6 - 14,2|
|21 - 24 months||5.6 - 5.9||6,5 / 7||23||14,3 - 14,9|
|2 - 2,5 Years||5.9 - 6.1||7 / 7,5||24||15 - 15,5|
|2,5 – 3 Years||6.1 - 6.4||8 / 8,5||25||15,6 - 16,2|
|3 – 3,5 Years||6.4 - 6.7||8,5 / 9||26||16,3 - 16,9|
|3,5 – 4 Years||6.7 - 6.9||9,5 / 10||27||17 - 17,5|
|5 Years||6.9 - 7.2||10 / 10,5||28||17,6 - 18,2|
|6 Years||7.2 - 7.3||11 / 11,5||29||18,3 - 18,6|
|7 Years||7.4 - 7.6||11,5 / 12||30||18,7 - 19,2|
|8 Years||7.6 - 7.9||12,5 / 13||31||19,3 - 20|
|9 Years||7.9 - 8.1||1 / 1,5||32||20,1 - 20,7|
|10 Years||8.2 - 8.4||1,5 / 2||33||20,8 - 21,3|
|11 Years||8.4 - 8.7||2,5 / 3||34||21,4 - 22|
|12 Years||8.7 - 8.9||3,5 / 4||35||22,1 - 22,7|
|13 Years||9 - 9.2||4 / 4,5||36||22,8 - 23,3|
|14 Years||9.2 - 9.4||5 / 5,5||37||23,4 - 23,9|
|15 Years||9.4 - 9.7||6 / 6,5||38||24 - 24,6|
The growth phases for boys usually extend up to 15 years, while in girls they are often completed by 13 years. Regular measurement is unavoidable for such long periods of time.
It is only when your child takes their first steps that you will need to deal with purchasing shoes. In order to provide enough space for the rolling of the foot, the shoes on the inside should be 17 millimetres larger than the foot.
How much space is necessary?
It will soon become clear after reading this article that children’s shoes should fit well. Most parents act in an exemplary manner when buying children’s shoes and especially look for enough wiggle room in the shoe. Did you know, however, that at least 12 to 17 millimetres should be added to foot length? That is how much space your child’s foot needs to be able to roll in the shoe while walking and running around.
Whoever thinks that shoe size information on shoes are always right, is wrong. In the European Union, there are no mandatory standardizations on which manufacturers have to orient themselves, which leads to significant deviations of up to 1.5 numbers. 91 percent of the shoe sizes indicated do not match the internal length of the shoe and are smaller. Therefore, parents cannot rely on the correct indication of shoe sizes and must instead ensure that they take measurements themselves. Even if the shoe looks sweet and is the correct size according to the manufacturer, it does not mean that the shoe is the right choice for your child.
What kind of shoe is right?
- Stiff shoes – an ordeal for feet: It is not only small shoes but also stiff ones which hinder the development process of a child’s foot. Whether your child’s foot can be forced into the shoe is not a criterion, because their feet are so soft and malleable that they fit in almost every shoe. Consequential damage such as sinking and bending feet occur as a result, as well as postural defects and back injuries. Children’s shoes should not hinder your child’s footsteps, but leave free space for their feet to move.
- Shoes should allow room to breathe: Only a footbed made of leather and natural materials is suitable for children’s shoes. This is because the foot sole lets the foot breathe and can prevent it from sweating. Synthetic fabrics, on the other hand, make children’s feet sweat, which stands in the way of their foot health. In order for the child’s foot to develop healthily, it not only needs freedom of movement but air as well.
- Rubber boots for everyday life? Rubber boots should only be used when it is really wet outside – they are not suitable everyday shoes, as they usually make feet sweat due to reduced respiratory activity. The boots should be made of natural rubber rather than PVC. This is because both the manufacturing of PVC as well as the printed motifs can carry harmful pollutants along with them and to the feet of your child.
The perfect shoe
It is best to buy shoes in the afternoon, because feet become wider and longer than they are in the morning. Try several models with your child and let the salesperson carry out an additional indoor measurement. The appropriate shoe should be longer by 17 mm based on the inner measurement of the larger foot. If you deviate from this value and try on smaller shoes, you may have to buy new shoes for your child again soon.
Special measuring devices
If there are no specialist shops in your area and you prefer to buy online, an inner shoe measuring instrument is a good alternative to measurement in specialized shops. The price ranges from 10-12 EUR. This money is well invested, because you’ll know the exact inner shoe size from now on. In this way, you’ll prevent your child from slipping into shoes that are too small. Being economical in this case would not be wise. Among footwear, however, it is possible to save even on good shoes – namely with a used shoe, which is explained in the next chapter.
Is wearing used shoes okay?
Used shoes can be worn and offer an excellent opportunity to save money. However, you must ensure that it has an intact inner sole. If the inner sole has been severely deformed by the foot of the previous wearer, these shoes should not be worn. It is also advisable not to wear shoes with seriously worn out soles or let children with malformations wear them. However, if there are well-preserved shoes available in the appropriate size for your child, you will not only save money but also the environment.
In a nutshell
- Your children can also wear used shoes – provided that they are not worn out on one side or that the inner sole is severely deformed. Disinfection is recommended.
- Always buy your child’s footwear in the afternoon, because feet are slightly larger by that time of day.
- Also measure your child’s feet in the afternoon and do so while they are standing, in order to determine the actual size. Only rarely will the right and left foot be the same. The longer foot determines the shoe size to be bought.
- With the help of an inexpensive inner shoe measuring instrument, you are always on the safe side when buying your shoes.
- Buy in store and get the support you need with an indoor measurement.
- If your child’s shoes leave less than 12 mm of space for the feet, it is time to buy new shoes.
- New shoes, on the other hand, should leave 17 mm of free space for the feet to move.
- Shoes should neither be too big nor too small. Likewise, stiff or airtight shoes without respiratory activity are very bad for children’s foot development. Children’s shoes should be made of soft material and allow the feet to breathe.
- Rubber boots are not suitable as everyday shoes.
- Check the smell of the shoes in store: Do they smell strongly of chemicals? If so, it is not advisable to purchase them as that would expose your child to many chemicals.
- Between the ages of 3 and 6, children’s shoe sizes usually only last for 5 months. Then your child will need the next size up.
- Your child’s feet are soft and malleable. In addition, their sense of touch is still developing, which means that children often do not feel when the shoe is too small and their feet unhealthy. Where adults would feel pain right away, children can force their feet into the shoe without even feeling a thing. Therefore, the responsibility to buy the right shoes lies with the parents!