Men’s vs Women’s Shoe Sizes: Length and Width Comparison

This guide is for you if you’re concerned about men’s vs women’s shoe sizes. It has been noticed that there are differences in shapes of feet between genders.

It is unrealistic to expect one size to fit both genders perfectly, as it is obvious that men have broader and longer feet than women. We’ve prepared a side-by-side comparison of men’s and women’s shoe lengths and widths, so you can choose the right one.

What is the Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Shoe Sizes?

Women’s shoes typically run around 1.5 to 2 sizes smaller than men’s shoe sizes, which is why it’s so important for women to try their shoes on and get a proper fit. Women’s shoe size typically starts from 5, while men’s shoe size typically starts from 7. Moreover, there is also a width difference between men’s and women’s shoes. The standard width of men’s shoes is equal to the wide width of women’s shoes.

Men’s shoes have wider and longer shapes, while women’s feet are narrower and shorter on average. This means that if you’re a man buying men’s shoes, you’ll likely be able to find a pair that fits your foot without too much difficulty. However, if you’re a woman buying men’s shoes, you’ll have trouble finding a pair that fits well unless you have wider feet or larger toes.

The size difference between men’s and women’s shoes is usually due to the length and width of the shoe. For example, a man who wears a size 10 medium would be the same size as a woman wearing a size 11.5 wide.

Another important point I would like to highlight is that when you compare men’s shoe size with the size of women’s shoes, the category of shoes should be the same. That is, you should not compare men’s dress shoe size with the women’s running shoes and vice versa. The sizing criteria of dress shoes and running shoes are different.

Similarly, you should not compare women’s tennis shoe size with men’s running shoes size as the fit of tennis and running shoe is different.

Men’s to Women’s Shoe Size Conversion

Here’s a conversion of men’s to women’s shoe sizes.

Men’s Shoe SizeWomen’s Shoe Size

In some shoe brands, there is a difference of 1.5 size between men’s and women’s shoes. So, the men’s to women’s shoe size chart that is based on 1.5 size difference is shown below:

Men’s Shoe SizeWomen’s Shoe Size

The Conversion of Men’s to Women’s Shoe Size Can’t be Always True

This is because sometimes women have to wear men’s shoes if they are overweight and have fat feet due to pregnancy or diabetes. In such cases, the size may go up to 13 or 14. But the standard size for a woman is from 5 to 10. If a woman is overweight and has fat or swollen feet due to pregnancy, she would need men’s shoes with a thicker sole and larger toe box.

Women with swollen feet have a different arch structure, due to which the men’s to women’s shoe size conversion chart might not work. For instance, if from the chart, a women’s shoe size is 12, you might need a 13 shoe size to fit your feet.

Men’s vs Women’s Shoes Width

Here’s how men’s and women’s widths are defined.

Shoe Width TypeMen’s Shoe WidthWomen’s Shoe Width
Extra-narrow width2A4A
Narrow widthB2A
Medium/Standard widthDB
Wide width2ED
Extra-wide width4E2E

To learn more, you can check my guide on shoe widths.

There is no standardization in sizes across different brands, and there can be major differences in sizing between different styles of shoes (for example, high-heeled shoes are not even measured on the same scale as running shoes).

The important takeaway here is that men’s shoes are a full width wider than women’s, so always take that into consideration when converting between sizes.

What About Unisex Shoe Sizes?

Unisex shoes like Converse are based on the men’s shoe size. So, if you’re a woman, you will have to apply the same men’s to women’s shoe size conversion.

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