How to compare men's shoe size to boys' shoe size

Updated March 23, 2017

When it comes to comparing men's and boys' shoe sizes, there is no comparison. The standard sizing scale for men's and boys' shoes in the UK does not have any overlap; that means you won't be able to find a pair of shoes sized for boys in a comparable men's size. Also keep in mind there is no standard sizing chart for shoes; while there are some similarities, each manufacturer determines the exact measurements that constitute a shoe size.

Measure your feet using a ruler. Place your heel on the back edge of the ruler at the "zero" mark. Place the length of the ruler under your foot so it runs from your heel to your big toe. Note the length: for boys' sizes, it will likely be between 3 1/2 and 9 inches (9 and 23 cm); men's sizes typically run from 9 inches (23 cm) and up. If your foot is longer than a standard ruler (12 inches or 30.5 cm), use a tape measure or metrestick instead.

Make sure to measure both feet. Sometimes your feet will not be the same size. If you are unable to buy shoes in two different sizes to accommodate this difference, buy a pair in the larger size. Wearing shoes that are too small can lead to bunions and other foot problems.

Take into account the width of your feet. Again, different manufacturers have different ways of measuring width; some use a small/medium/large scale, while others use letters (A to E) to indicate width.

Compare the length of your foot to the sizing chart for your preferred brand of shoes. Again, the size that goes along with a corresponding measurement varies from brand to brand. For example, a man with feet that measure 10 inches (25 cm) long will wear a size 7 1/2 (size 7 UK) in shoes made by the online retailer Men's Flair, but size 8 (size 7 1/2 UK) in shoes made by the SoftMoc company.

Note the sizes of boys' shoes compared to men's shoes. Shoe sizes for boys start at size 0 and continue to size 8 and men's shoes start at size 3. There is a size difference between a boys' size 8 and a men's size 3; the exact difference in length will depend on the manufacturer of the shoe.


There is no difference between boys' and girls' shoe sizes; therefore, a boys' size 6 is the same as a girls' size 6. The main difference is in the style of the shoe.

Things You'll Need

  • Ruler
  • Size chart (may vary based on manufacturer)
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About the Author

Elizabeth Falwell has been writing for the TV news industry since 2005. Her work has appeared on WXII 12 News, WMGT 41 News, and multiple parenting blogs. A graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University, Falwell holds a Master of Science in broadcast journalism.