Shoe shopping is confusing enough without vague size labels like “5.5 youth” in women’s Nikes. What does 5.5 youth even mean when it comes to finding the right Nike shoe size? I’ve been there, scratching my head, clutching different size boxes hoping one might fit.
Well, scratch and clutch no more! In this handy guide, I’ll clearly explain what women’s size 5.5 youth means in Nike shoe sizes, so you can shop with confidence instead of guesswork.
So, what does 6.5 youth size mean in Women’s Nike shoes? A Nike youth size 5.5 youth generally corresponds to a women’s size 7. However, kids sizes may fit more narrowly and use lesser quality materials. It’s recommended to try on both to compare fit and width. While youth sizes are cheaper, some prefer the comfort and construction of adult versions when budget allows. Consider foot shape and the specific shoe model when deciding between 5.5 youth and women’s sizes.
Also Read: Difference between adult and junior shoes
Overview of Nike’s kids/youth Sizing
Nike uses a few different labels for their shoes made for kids and younger teens – they may be called “youth”, “grade school”, “GS“, or “big kids” sizes.
Nike indicates kids sizes by putting a “Y” after the size number – for example, you’ll see sizes like 3Y, 4.5Y, 7Y. This “Y” stands for youth. The number corresponds to a men’s size, so a 5.5 youth is a kids version of a men’s size 5.5 shoe. Easy peasy!
Here are some key things to know about Nike’s kids sizes:
- They generally run narrower than adult shoes in the same numeric size. Kids have narrower feet, so the shoes are made slimmer.
- The size number matches up with men’s sizing. So if your kid wears a 5.5Y, the equivalent men’s size would be a 5.5.
- For girls, it’s typical to go down 1.5 sizes from the women’s size to get the kids size. So a woman’s 7 would usually wear a kids 5.5 youth.
- The fit can vary quite a bit depending on the exact shoe model – some may fit true to size while others run small or large. Trying on in store is ideal if possible.
Comparing Kids, Men’s, and Women’s Sizes
Things get a bit tricky when trying to convert between kids, men’s and women’s sizes. While the kids sizes are tied to men’s sizes, you can’t just equate a 5.5Y to a women’s 5.5 – women’s sizes are structured differently.
Here’s a quick cheat sheet for converting between the sizing systems:
- Kids to Men’s: Same numeric size, so 5.5Y = men’s 5.5
- Kids to Women’s: Subtract 1.5 sizes from women’s to get kids. So, women’s 7 = kids 5.5Y
- Men’s to Women’s: Add 1.5 sizes to men’s shoe size to get women’s equivalent. So, Women’s 7 = Men’s 5.5
Of course, this is just a general guideline – the ideal way to get the right size is to have your feet measured properly on a Brannock device. Sizing varies across shoe models and brands, so it’s not an exact science.
Also Read: Difference between 2E and 4E shoes widths
Why Nike Uses Youth/Kids Sizing
You may be wondering – why does Nike use this separate kids size system with the “Y” instead of just sticking with standard sizing? There are a few reasons:
- Accommodate smaller foot proportions: Kids have shorter, narrower feet so sizes need adjustment.
- Cheaper for kids shoes: Using different materials and design saves costs.
- Distinguishes from adult shoes: Helps avoid mix-ups between big kids and small adults.
- Consistent sizing across kids’ brands: Many other brands also use the “Y” youth sizes.
For example, the leather on kids Air Jordans is noticeably thinner and stiffer than the buttery, premium leather found on adult pairs.
The foam midsole will be more generic and lack advanced cushioning technology seen in adult shoes, like Nike’s Air units.
And small signature details are sometimes left off, like the plastic wings on Jordan 4s being replaced with printed or embroidered wings on grade school 4s.
The rationale behind using lesser materials is that kids’ feet are growing rapidly, so there is less need for durability and support.
Their smaller body weight also means cushioning tech like Air units are less necessary. So, Nike is able to cut costs on kids shoes by trimming premium features and using cheaper parts.
Som in short, the youth sizing system allows Nike to cater to growing kids’ feet at a lower price point than adult shoes.
The tradeoff is that kids sizes may not always align perfectly with adult sizing in the same numeric size.
Differences in Fit, Quality and Features in Youth and Kids Shoes
While the youth and adult sizes may carry the same model name and look similar, there can be some key differences:
- Fit: Kids shoes tend to run narrower, especially in the toe box. Check the width if your kid has wide feet.
- Materials: Many kids shoes use synthetic leather and cheaper materials to save costs.
- Cushioning: Less advanced cushioning systems may be used to reduce weight and costs.
- Details: Kids shoes sometimes skip premium details like stitching, branding etc. found on adult pairs.
- Performance Tech: Some advanced performance features like Nike’s Zoom Air may not be included in kids’ sizes.
Basically, you may not get the full premium experience of an adult shoe at the discounted kids price point. But the core fit and functionality is usually still solid for growing kids who will quickly outgrow the shoes anyway.
Nike Women’s Shoe Sizing vs Kids Shoe Sizing
Here is Nike’s official size conversion chart for women’s versus kids sizing:
- Women’s 4 = GS 2.5 Youth
- Women’s 5 = GS 3.5 Youth
- Women’s 6 = GS 4.5 Youth
- Women’s 7 = GS 5.5 Youth
- Women’s 8 = GS 6.5 Youth
- Women’s 8.5 = GS 7 Youth
- Women’s 9 = GS 7.5 Youth
- Women’s 9.5 = GS 8 Youth
- Women’s 10 = GS 8.5 Youth
Fit Differences Between Nike Kids and Women’s Shoe Sizes
One of the main differences is that kids sizes tend to run more narrow through the toe box than women’s sizes. Kids naturally have narrower feet, so Nike sizes their shoes slimmer to fit a child’s foot shape.
This means that someone with a wide foot who normally wears a size 7 in women’s may find the equivalent GS 5.5Y too narrow. Sizing up half a size could help provide a bit more width.
On the flip side, someone with a narrow foot may find the GS size fits great and potentially even size down half a size. It all depends on your individual foot shape and preferences.
What Size is 5.5 youth in Women’s Nike? (FAQs)
Why are kids sizes like 6.5 youth cheaper than adult sizes?
Nike uses cheaper materials and construction methods in order to offer kids shoes at a lower price point. Features like advanced cushioning are also sometimes excluded.
How can I confirm the 6.5 youth size conversion is right for me?
Double check by measuring your foot length in cm/mm and comparing to Nike’s size chart. Also, look at the euro size which is more consistent between kids and women’s sizing.
Is the quality the same for 6.5 youth and women’s sizes?
Generally, kids sizes use cheaper materials and construction compared to adult shoes in the same model. However, the style is usually very similar.
Why is the sizing different for kids vs women’s shoes?
Kids sizes like 6.5 youth are cut slimmer through the toe box and heel to fit narrower kids’ feet. The numeric sizing correlates to foot length but the proportions differ.
Is a 6.5 youth the same as a women’s 7?
No, a 6.5 youth is not the same size as a women’s 7 in Nike shoes. A 6.5 youth is closer to a women’s 8 or 8.5. Always check the brand’s size chart for accurate conversions.
Are there quality differences in Nike shoes between grade school and preschool sizes?
Yes, Nike’s grade school (GS) sizes, which include 7Y, are generally made with slightly higher quality materials than preschool (PS) sizes. But adult sizes still use premium materials and construction.
Are there differences in Nike shoe width between kids and women’s sizes?
Yes, kids sizes only come in medium width while adult shoes are offered in medium, wide, and extra wide widths to accommodate different foot shapes.