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How to convert European shoe sizes to UK sizes

Updated April 17, 2017

European sizes are a metric-based French system originally known as Paris Points; in the 14th century, King Edward II developed UK sizes based in inches and the sizes of barley corn. It's no wonder size conversion can be tricky. A Paris Point is 2/3 centimetre (17/64 inch). European sizes are calculated by the length of your foot in Paris Points, plus 2 centimetres (25/32 inch). UK sizes go up a whole every 8.5 mm (1/3 inch), with half-sizes being 4.25 mm (1/6 inch). European sizes are not gender specific, while UK sizes are different for men and women.

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  1. Determine your shoe size. Foot size can change throughout your life, so having a professional measurement will help with your calculations.

  2. Add 33 to your shoe size if you wear a whole size. If you wear a UK size 6, you would wear a European size 39.

  3. Add 33.5 to your shoe size if you wear a half-size. If you wear a women's UK size 6.5 you would wear a European size 40.

  4. Factor in the difference in the metric and imperial measurements. A Paris Point is 2/3 cm. Since the measurements are not exact, you will find a slight difference in size conversions as you go up or down sizes, meaning that you may need to try on a few European sizes to truly find a good fit for you.

  5. Tip

    European half-sizes are quite rare, so round up to the nearest whole size when converting. For men's UK sizes, add an extra half-size.

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About the Author

Gemma Craig began writing in 1993, expanding to various websites in 2007. She writes about interior decorating and design, travel, film, literature, technology and consumer electronics. Craig's work has been published in "Spinner," "USA Today" and numerous regional newspapers.

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