Women's U.S. Shoe Sizes in Inches

Happy mid adult woman trying high heels in footwear store
moodboard/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Have you ever noticed that you're a size 7 in one brand and an 8 in another? Unfortunately, footwear manufacturers have no universal size chart by which they abide. This lack of standardization means sizing varies widely and in turn makes choosing the right size of shoe a bit tricky. 

If a brand makes its size chart available, always compare your measurements to it, especially if you're ordering online.

If you're buying shoes from another country, you'll also need to convert your U.S. size; international sizes vary. Consult a Women's International Shoe Size Conversion Chart to shop for shoes from all over the globe.

If you can't find a size chart, or if you're just trying to get a general idea of your shoe size, you can use the charts below to convert the length and width of your largest foot (no, your feet are not equal in size) to an accurate U.S. women's shoe size. First things first: You must get an accurate foot measurement.

How to Measure Your Feet

You don't need a Brannock device—that heavy, odd-looking contraption you see in shoe stores—to measure your feet. All you need is a ruler or tape measure and good balance (or a friend).

  1. Stand on a level, flat surface.
  2. Tape a piece of paper to the floor.
  3. Put one foot on the paper, making sure that your full weight is resting on your feet; rock forward slightly. This helps your feet spread as they do naturally in shoes.
  1. Trace around your foot on the paper (consider enlisting a friend to do this). Hold your pen or pencil as straight up and down as possible.
  2. Flip the paper over, tape it down to the floor, and repeat step 4 with the other foot.
  3. On the tracings you've created, measure from your heel to the tip of your longest toe.
  1. Repeat for the other foot.
  2. Record the longest measurement.
  3. Use Chart 1 below to convert the length of your feet to a U.S. shoe size.
Chart 1: Inches to Shoe Size Conversions
InchesCentimetersU.S. & CanadaEuropeUK

Don't Forget the Width

Many people neglect to consider foot width when buying shoes, but this one factor can mean the difference between shoe bliss and shoe miss. You might get the length measurement right, but an incorrect width just won't feel right. Too loose, and your feet will slide around ever so slightly; too tight, and your feet will be throbbing by the end of the day. Either situation can cause blisters and abrasions.

So, you need to measure your foot width, too:

  1. Using the tracings from the above steps, measure the width of each foot at its widest point and record the larger of the two numbers.
  2. To compensate for the width of your writing utensil, subtract about 1/4 inch (1/2 centimeter) from that measurement.
  1. Check Chart 2 to determine your foot width.
Chart 2: Women's U.S Sizes/Widths in Inches
U.S.  Shoe SizeNarrow (AA)Average (B or M)Wide (D)Extra-Wide (EE)

Other Widths

Some manufacturers offer non-standard widths, which you'll see as combinations of the numbers and letters above.

For example, 11EE is a bit wider than extra wide—by about 38/100 of an inch, to be exact. Generally, that's the difference between each successive letter width designation. 

Putting It All Together

Example: You measure your foot's length as 9-1/2 inches long; that gives you a basic U.S. shoe size of 8. If you then measure the width at 3-15/16 inches, you come up with a wide ("D") width. Your complete shoe size is 8D.

Tips for Precise Measurement

To measure your feet accurately:

  • Do so toward the end of the day. Your feet swell when you're on them a while, and it's best to measure them when they're at their largest.
  • Wear the same type of socks you'll wear with your shoes to account for their thickness.
  • Don't bother measuring when you're seated. Stand up so that all of your body weight is on your feet. The pressure makes them expand a bit.

Nothing Beats a Fitting

The best way to figure out if shoes fit well, of course, is by trying them on. Walk around a bit, bend over, and squat to see how they feel and if they fit like they should (without sliding, rubbing, or compressing your feet) as you move.