What Is the Exact Men’s Shoe Size to Women’s Conversion Ratio? (Truth: You Won’t Like the Answer)

If you're a woman thinking of snapping up a men's shoe, or even a man thinking of snapping up a women's desert boot that's on sale and looks like it would suit you quite well, and you'd like to be able to convert the sizes easily...

Say, to (ideally) have a hard and fast rule that allows you to convert women's sizes to men's sizes or the other way around, men's sizes to women's, I'm here to sadly disappoint you.

There is no hard and fast rule, you absolutely cannot convert these accurately easily. But more on that later.

If you want something approximate - word around the block is that there is approximately a 1.5 size difference between men's and women's shoe sizes.

So if you're a size 9 women, you're likely to be something around a size 7.5 in a men's shoe, and if you're a size 10 in a men's shoe, you're likely somewhere around an 11.5 in a women's size.

But this isn't accurate at all and I'll get into why very soon.

It does do it's job as a decent approximation, however, a starting point, or a place where if you're willing to risk it, things might just turn out okay.

Now, I'm not talking about European sizes here, you know the shoe sizes that are typically in the 30s or 40s instead of being single digits...

Uniqlo Men's Dry Stretch Shorts
Hutton Type 01 Desert Boots Acorn Sand - Hutton Boots

For instance I'm probably an 8 and a half women's in US sizing, and am typically a 38 or a 39 in European sizes.

See how I didn't talk about men's or women's sizes there when I threw in my EU size?

That's because European shoe sizes make sense unlike American shoe sizes, they literally just have one consistent "shoe size" whether it's men or women.

I know, genius right? They're not the only ones to do this.

Apparently the same "unisex" shoe sizing is true if you're talking about shoe sizing in the UK, Australia, Mexico, Japan, China... does it seem like pretty much everyone else on earth with their own shoe sizing chart has this superior system? If only America did the same...

Ultra Women's Stretch High Rise Denim Leggings Pants
Hutton Playtime Chukka Boots in Dark Brown Welt - Hutton of Northampton

Either way, the damage has been done and, I'll be honest, it's bad and annoying that you can't convert accurately, but I'm here to let you know that, I mean honestly you probably know this, but shoe sizing in general isn't consistent at all, not from shoe store to shoe store, and not even, many times, within the same shoe store or even within the same model of shoe.

Yes it's bad. I've heard women complaining about inconsistencies in sizing for clothes for as long as I can remember.

I've heard men complain about accurate sizing for shoes and boots a considerable amount as well.

It's getting a lot harder in this day and age of online shopping, as you want to get your size just right, but without trying things on, it's very difficult to know which size to pick.

That being said, it's just impossible to be completely accurate.

Guaranteed, shoe companies want to make their sizes as consistent as possible. They don't have inconsistencies because they want to - as it surely increases the amount of returns they get.

That being said, even though they surely want consistency, it's unavoidable, as different shoes will fit unique feet differently.

Say, for instance, someone has higher feet that require a bigger size in some models then they normally take, or someone has toes that are more spread apart than most, leading them to need bigger shoes for more wiggle room in the toe area.

Even the exact same shoe, which uses the exact same "pattern" or "last" to be manufactured can have different materials used in its creation that lend to different sizes fitting better than others - for two shoes of an identical model!

So all in all, just keep in mind, you can do your best, as questions, find sizing charts for particular stores, research online, even try to go in person to see in general which shoe sizes will fit best typically for you for women's to men's shoe size conversions, or men's to women's shoe size conversions.

Uniqlo Women's Ultra Stretch High Rise Leggings
Hutton Playtime Chukka Boots in Dark Brown Welt - Hutton of Northampton

But all in all, know that the size you end up getting a particular shoe in may not be absolutely flawless fit - and that's true even if you knew your size for a different variant of the same shoe sometimes.

Sucks, but that's sadly how it is!