How to convert men's to women's shoe sizes

Written by ehow contributor
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There are a few shoes that look great both on men and women. And frequently women can't find the right shoe in the women's department, especially in sporting shoes. But men's and women's shoe sizes are so different. If you can find the right shoe for your gender in your size, you can figure out which size to look for it in the men's aisle.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Measure your foot. You either can go to any shoe store and have them size you or simply trace your shoeless foot onto a piece of paper. With a tape measure or ruler, measure the length of the outline in inches. You also can take look inside your shoes for the size.

  2. 2

    Convert men's shoe size to women's. Just subtract two sizes from the men's size. For example, if you wear a size 9 in women's shoes, you would most likely wear a size 7 in men's. That is a general rule and it can vary depending on the cut of the shoe, so try on the shoes.

  3. 3

    Check the guides when you can't try on the shoes. Different manufacturers and brands of shoes have slightly different sizing guides. If you're buying over the Internet, look for those guides on their websites. To covert the shoe sizes to men's from women's, follow the guides. If they don't have one, go with the two-size rule. Make sure the company has a liberal return policy in case the shoes don't fit.

Tips and warnings

  • There is no standard shoe size. There are three different length sizing systems that shoes are marked with. Which sizing system is used will depend on who the manufacturer is and where the shoes were made. For instance, Italian-made shoes will be sized differently than American-made shoes. The only measurement they have in common is that each full size is one third of an inch longer than the previous size and women's shoes are marked 1 1/2 to 2 sizes different than a man's.

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