There are different shoe-sizing scales used all over the world. Cycling shoes are not measured on traditional American sizing charts. Cycling shoes are standardised worldwide on a European sizing scale. Cycling shoes have only one number in reference to size, it does not take into consideration width, only length. This makes it easy to find your size. There are two scales, one for women, and one for men. Cycling shoes endure a lot of stress and should fit more snugly than other shoes that you typically wear.
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Try on a size 38 cycling shoe if you wear a 7.5 street shoe. Stand up with the shoes on and walk around. They should fit tight, but have room in the toes. You should be able to wiggle your toes. If your toes are cramped, and you can barely move them, try on a shoe that is one size bigger, a 39 and test fit again.
Slide your foot around in the shoe. If you can move your foot forward and back inside the shoe, the shoe is too big. Try on a half-size smaller, a 38.5.
Put on a pair of cycling-specific socks and test fit again by walking around in them.
Try on a size 44 cycling shoe if you wear a size 10 street shoe. Walk around. If you can't wiggle your toes, or the shoe hurts your foot, the shoe is too small. Move up one size to a 45.
Walk around in the shoe. If you can slide your foot forward and back in the shoe, the shoe is too big. Move down one half size to a 44.5.
Put on a pair of cycling specific socks and test fit the shoes again.
Tips and warnings
- You should always wear cycling socks with cycling shoes. Cycling socks are part of the equation when fitting shoes. Cycling shoes do not come with cleats, so you can't test them on a bike until you buy them, but if you can walk comfortably in them, they will work on a bike. Be aware of the fact that all cycling shoes are not created equal. Different manufacturers will size shoes differently. And sizing scales can even differ slightly.