Women's International Shoe Size Conversion

Young woman looking in shop window at a pair of pink flat shoes.
Matthias Tunger/Digital Vision/Getty Images

If you do all your shoe-shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, you might not realize that sizing varies among countries. After all, a salesperson is typically available to help you find the right size, you're able to inspect the shoe physically, and you can try it on. Look a bit more closely at the tag or imprint, however, and you might find multiple international sizes listed.

This lack of standardization can pose a challenge if you prefer to do your shoe-shopping online.

For example, let's say you're a size 7 (U.S.). Choose a size 7 from a British manufacturer, and you'll wind up with a pair that's two-and-a-half sizes too big for your U.S.-sized feet. Likewise, ordering a size 7 from a Mexican manufacturer will get you shoes that fit a size 10 foot in the U.S. And you might not dream of ever ordering a size 38 shoe, but that's exactly what you'll need if it's sold in China.

Few fashion items are more uncomfortable than a pair of shoes that don't fit well, and returning shoes you've bought online can be a hassle. Taking two steps in your stocking feet first can save you trouble later: Measure your feet, and check the chart.

Measure Your Feet

If you're serious about getting the perfect fit the first time out, your feet should be measured. You could visit a shoe store and have a salesperson do it for you, or you can do it yourself.

Measuring your foot size is easy:

  1. Make sure you're standing on a flat surface.
  2. Trace the outline of your foot on a piece of paper. Keep your writing utensil as perpendicular to the paper as possible to produce the most accurate outline.
  3. On the tracing you've created, use a ruler to measure from edge of your heel to the tip of your longest toe.
  1. Use Chart 1 below to convert the length of your feet to a U.S. shoe size.
Chart 1: Measurement  (to Shoe Size Conversions
InchesCentimetersU.S. & CanadaEuropeUK

International Shoe Size Conversion Chart for Women

Now that you have an accurately measured U.S. shoe size, use Chart 2 below to find its equivalent in China, Australia, Europe, Mexico, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

Chart 2: International shoe size equivalents

A Few More Shoe-Shopping Tips

If you're buying shoes online, keep these tips in mind:

  • Always check the retailer's return policy for any shoes you buy.
  • These measurements don't take into account the thickness or width of your foot, so check if the shoes come in varying widths. These are usually denoted by "AA" (narrow), "B" (average), "C/D" (wide), or "E" (extra wide).  Additionally, you might see "M," indicating a "medium" width.
  • Consider the socks you plan to wear, if any. They can take up room and make shoes feel tighter.
  • No one's feet are exactly the same size, so measure them both and use the larger measurement.
  • Feet tend to swell a bit as the day goes on, or after you stand on them for a while. Measure your feet when they're at their largest.
  • Consider the materials, manufacturing techniques, embellishments, and other factors that can affect the way a shoe fits.
  • Check the reviews for the shoes you're considering and look for comments regarding how true to size they run.

Considering shoes made outside the U.S. broadens your choices exponentially. Taking the time to gauge your shoe size accurately and consider all the other factors that can affect sizing can help ensure a smooth, satisfactory shopping experience.