English shoe sizes

UK shoe sizes

Newbies in the world of classic men's shoes are often lost at the sight of a strange and unfamiliar scale of sizes — UK or (less often) US. In this article we will talk about how to navigate in UK shoes, how to convert UK size to more familiar continental European, as well as how to measure the foot and determine its size.

Conversion of shoe size to different scales

You need to use special conversion tables. Unfortunately, different tables may contain slightly different data. Below we provide a professionally designed table with exact ratios.

We think that comments on the scales will be useful. The continental European size scale (it is used, in particular, by the French) is arranged as follows: shoes of size A are 6.67 millimeters longer than shoes of size A-1. To calculate the required shoe size, you need to add 1.5 centimeters to the length of the foot and multiply the result by one and a half.

The UK scale assumes a difference between the full sizes of 8.46 millimeters (respectively, the difference between the full and half sizes is 4.23 millimeters). To calculate the size on the English scale, divide the length of the last, on which the shoes were sewn, by 2.54, then multiply the result by three, and then subtract 25.

The Japanese system is the simplest one. The Japanese shoe size is the foot length in centimeters. Accordingly, if you have a foot length of 25 centimeters, then your size on the Japanese scale is 25. It can be converted to the continental European scale as follows: (25 + 1.5) * 1.5 = 39.75, and it will be 40 after rounding off, although it should be borne in mind that 39 may fit. In the UK scale, this will be 5.5 or 6 according to the table.

Unfortunately, the accuracy of drawing up the table of dimensions does not guarantee the correctness of the size selection. The fact is that shoes of the same size from different manufacturers may actually differ in size from each other and sometimes it can be quite markedly.

Moreover, shoes of the same size of the same manufacturer can fit differently. This is caused by the use of different lasts and widths. So, it is very difficult to choose the right size when ordering online for the first time. Don’t hesitate to return shoes or exchange it if it is badly fitted. The result is worth the extra expense.

Width and instep

The United States and Great Britain have not only length scales of shoe sizes, but also width scales. US one is very detailed, and the UK is quite brief. British (and some Spaniards) designate models with standard width with the letter F. The E letter is used to designate narrow models, and G for wide. Sometimes there is still the designation H for a very wide width.

It is important that the shoes fit you in size and width. Sometimes it happens that the length of the shoes fit perfectly, but it is too tight or too big in width. If it’s only a bit tight, you can try to stretch the shoes with the help of special lasts or with the help of a workshop. If the shoes are too tight, it is better to refuse the purchase. If the foot (and, in particular, the heel) dangles in shoe, the purchase must also be abandoned.

The instep is another important nuance. Different people have different bridge of the foot, and it does not always depend on width. For example, narrow width can be combined with a high instep. Owners of high instep feet often prefer derby-type shoes (with open lacing), as they are usually more comfortable for them than oxfords. Conversely, if the instep is low, then oxfords can be the optimal choice.

At the same time, we must warn you against hasty conclusions. The range of lasts, on which classical footwear is sewn, is often great even at one manufacturer. So if you have tried two or three oxford models, and they did not suit you in the instep, it does not mean that the oxfords that will be comfortable to you don’t exist.

How to measure foot

Can you determine the size by the shoes you already have? Approximately — yes. Exactly — no. In any case, always focus on classic shoes, not on the sports type. The larger the selection, the more accurate the result. Perhaps it is worth going to some multi-brand shoe store for the sake of interest and try on different models there for more accurate understanding of what shoes size fits you.

Do not forget that shoes are sewn with different widths and on different lasts, and that shoes of the same size of different manufacturers may physically differ from each other by half the size, and sometimes even by a full size.

To determine the size of the foot, it can be measured. It is better to measure both feet, and then, if we are not talking about an individual order, focus on the foot that is larger. It should be borne in mind that the foot may slightly change its size during the day: it is likely to be slightly bigger in the evening than in the morning. So, it is better to make measurements in the afternoon. In addition, it is recommended to wear socks of the type that you prefer while measuring.

Take an A4 sheet and place a foot on it so it fits completely (vertically or diagonally). Using a pencil or pen, circle the foot. Make sure the pencil is perpendicular to the surface of the sheet. Then take a ruler or tailor's centimeter and measure the length of the foot (from heel to the tip of the thumb) and its width. With the help of the table below, you can determine your shoe size on UK scale. When taking measurements, it is advisable to use the help of another person, or try to keep the foot still and take measurements a couple more times to check.

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