UK to US Shoe Size Calculator

Despite the increase in global trade, shoe sizes remain different in certain countries. This is due to the different types of lasts that are used. On this page we provide a UK to US Shoe size converter, a UK to Euro sizes converter, a US to UK convertor, a US to Euro Convertor, A Euro to US Convertor and a Euro to UK shoe size convertor. In addition to the calculators, we provide a table of shoe sizes that shoes US, UK and Euro Shoes sizes and their equivalent measurements in centimetres (metric measurements) and Inches (imperial measurements). We also provide some additional information about shoe manufacturing for your wider knowledge.

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The Wonderful World of Shoe Sizes

UK to US Shoe Size Calculator. This image shows the calamity of ordering shoes online without first checking the corresponding UK, US and Euro shoe size calculator to ensure that your new shoes and trainers fit correctly.

It's an amazing feeling when you find a new pair of trainers or shoes online at a discount price. You snap up the deal on the discount shoes and wait impatiently for them to arrive. When the glorious day comes and the delivery guy knocks on the door, the elation starts as our excitement about trying on our new shoes heightens. Carefully opening the package with trembling hands, we expose and examine our online bargain, thrilled at the saving made and our perfect looking purchase. After removing the excessive packaging that typically comes with new shoes, we carefully lace them and slip them onto our feet and discover, to our horror and dismay, they don't fit!!! Removing them in disbelief, we examine the shoe size label in disbelief, pondering, did the manufacturer send the wording shoe size? Sadly, examination of the label confirms the size. For a split second we wonder if our feet have mysteriously grown overnight, some may even try on their other training shoes to disprove this theory. Others may throw their hands in the air, frustrated with the sudden emotional switch from elation to disappointment. Whatever your reaction, one thing is guaranteed, those new shoes being the wrong size is a nightmare as you know face the inconvenience of returning your new shoes, arranging refund or replacement and extended delay and hassle. Before you return your new shoes, it's important to understand why they don't fit. Shoes ordered online that don't fit when they arrive are typically the result of one of several problems:

  1. Human error, Ordering the wrong size: As unlikely as it seems, sometimes we simply order the wrong size. A simply slip of the finger can mean the wrong size selection.
  2. Human error, The wrong shoe size packed in a differently sized box: The error here being during manufacturing process, typically down to human error.
  3. Human error, You ordered a US/UK size thinking on was the other: Confusing US and UK shoe sizes is a common error and results in a lot of returned and replaced shoes.
  4. Human error, The wrong shoe size was dispatched: Even when everything else goes right, people still make basic mistakes and can pick up the wrong box of shoes in the warehouse, it happens.
  5. Manufacturing error, The manufacturers shoe last is incorrectly sized: This is not uncommon but tends to be most notable with budget footwear. When buying budget shoes, it is always worth trying them on first at your local store.
  6. Manufacturing error, Incorrect labelling of the shoe size: This is very unusual but occasionally manufacturers can label sheer shoes incorrectly. This typically occurs when operational procedures are not followed correctly.

Whatever the reason for the incorrect shoe size, it is frustrating. The good news is that most online footwear retailers now have a free returns policy, particularly if the error was their fault.

What is a shoe size?

A shoe size is a numerical measurement which is based on the length of the shoe. In addition, a letter can also be used to provide an indication of the width of the shoe. Buying new shoes can be frustrating as not all shoe sizes are consistent and different countries have different shoe sizes, we look at each of these in more detail as we look at the wonderful world of shoe sizes.

What is a last?

A last is a jig used to produce shoes, it is a piece of material, traditionally made from wood, that is shaped like a human foot. Lasts are made in pairs, one for each foot and are made to standard sizes.

Why are shoe sizes different in certain countries?

There are a broad range of differing should sizes across the globe though the 3 standard shoe sizes that have emerged are:

  1. UK Shoe Sizes: The Uk shoe size is based on barleycorns, a term which dates to imperial measurement standards. A barleycorn is the equivalent of one third on an inch. The size zero point for children is 4 inches which is the equivalent of 12 barleycorns, this is the smallest point deemed as practical for mass production. After children sizes finish, adult size shoes start at size 1 which is 8 and 2 thirds of an inch, the equivalent of 26 barleycorns.
  2. US Shoe Sizes: Like the UK, the UK shoe size system uses imperial measurements based on the barleycorn distance. The difference between UK and US measurements is that the US starts child measurements at 1, rather than zero. In addition, the US also uses a different shoe size system for women, see below for further details.
  3. Euro Shoe Sizes: The Euro shoe size or "Continental European" shoe size, uses a standard measurement of two thirds of a centimetre known as the Paris Point.

The difference in shoe sizes is borne of the economies and development or shoes happening at different points in time in a period when the world was not as close and connected as it is in modern times. Shoe sizes are created by taking a measurement of a foot and breaking that into mathematical distances. Rather than saying you are shoe size 263mm, shoe markers use defined sizes. Those sizes covers a range of measurements 245mm to 255mm for example. The range being to allow the shoemaker to cater for a range of people and keep the cost of shoe manufacture down. image they had to make shoes in every mm increment, there would be hundreds of different sizes and, the chances are, they would never sell all those shoes. In addition to this, feet can swell and contract with heat and illness, so a range allows for movement. for example, an individual of shoe size 10, may prefer a 10.5 as their feet are prone to swelling.

With increasing global trade, the mondopoint system was introduced in 1970 to provide an international standard. This system has been implemented in several countries and appears more regularly on modern footwear labels. The traditional standard 3 shoe sizes remain more popular however as they are typically engrained in social habits, shoe sizes are something we become familiar with and oddly upset about when they vary.

Why are men's shoe sizes different to women's shoe sizes?

In the United States, woman's shoe sizes are different numerically to those of men and, frustratingly for those buying women's shoes, there are two separate women's shoe size systems in the US:

  1. Standard Shoe Size / FIA Shoe Size: The standard shoe size or FIA (Footwear Industries of America) shoe size system is basically the same size as men's shoe sizes, just add one.
  2. Common shoe Size:: the common shoe size uses the same scale as the men's shoe sizes but, to calculate a women's shoe sizes you add 1.5.