How Much Bigger Is a Half Size in Shoes?

While a difference of half a size might not sound too bad in reality, it can be disastrous as it makes breaking in shoes painful and uncomfortable. 

Shoe sizes aren’t as straightforward as we tend to think, especially with all the measuring systems used worldwide. That said, it’s essential to note that this doesn’t include the slight differences in sizes by different companies for both men and women. And because of this, finding the perfect shoe size can be quite a challenge.

So, just how much bigger is a half size in shoes? If it’s strictly about measurement, then the difference isn’t that big. But in terms of your comfort, then that slight difference will have a considerable impact.

Does 0.5 shoe size make a difference? This article will give you all the information you need.

How to find your exact shoe size infographic

Finding the Exact Measurement of Your Foot

No person has exactly identical feet; each foot is slightly different. That’s why sometimes, buying shoes and breaking them in is usually tricky, even if you have purchased shoes you think are the perfect size for you.

Below is a simple DIY method you can use to find the exact size of your feet:

  • Find a flat surface to stand on. Place a piece of paper beneath you while ensuring you’ve rested your weight equally on your feet and you’re comfortable.
  • Using a pencil or a pen, mark the outline of your foot as accurately as you can, paying attention to your longest toe and heel area.
  • Repeat the process with your other foot (as one foot may be larger than the other.
  • Take note of your larger foot’s measurements and use these when picking out the shoes you want. 

Where You Wear Your Shoe Matters

During the summer, owning shoes that can slip with each step, especially those worn sockless, can be annoying as well as uncomfortable. In those cases, a half-size down might be ideal to ensure your comfort and reduce slippage.

If you plan on getting running shoes, they can be a half size bigger as your feet may swell as they hit the pavement and because of the heat.

Wood spiral spring for shoes

Shoes that come with leather uppers, sizing down by a half size may give you the freedom to stretch your shoes. This will mold it to the shape of your foot every time you wear it. You can also do this with a shoe tree. If that’s your plan, be prepared for some discomfort at first. 

The most important aspect of the fit is making sure your foot’s arch aligns with the shoe’s arch. You’ll get the most support out of the shoe this way. However, your sizing will differ because not all shoe brands use the same sizing system. A difference between half shoe size and full size can throw this balance off and cause discomfort, so it’s important to try it first.

Shoe Sizes

If you’ve been wondering, “Is it bad to wear shoes a half size too big?” then you’ll have the answer by the end of this section.

Shoe sizing is different worldwide, and there is no globally recognized standard. But the three central sizing guides used by most companies are the US, Europe, and UK sizing. These will be indicated on the shoes for sale in your store or online.

The sizing guides are simply the measurements according to the various systems, not an indicator of the manufacturing location. A woman’s half size is usually 0.5 cm, while it’s 0.4 cm in the United States for men.

Another point to consider is that many brands follow different sizing methods. An Adidas or a Nike running shoe won’t fit the same way as an Allen Edmonds Park Avenue oxford in the same size.

Various manufacturers use diverse lasts (the shape used to mold a shoe). A longer last results in a more extended toe box, so you might need to go down a size. Depending on where they’re made, the shoes will also use different sizing systems. 

As a result, you’re unlikely to be the same size across all shoe brands. Therefore, it’s critical to consider various shoe sizes from different companies and you may need to size up or down by half a size.

If this is your first time ordering shoes from a European retailer, order the size you think you are as well as one size smaller. Then, based on your personal preferences, you can choose which is the better fit.

Different converse shoe sizes

Length and Width

A shoe size is more than just the length. It’s also important to know how wide your foot is to ensure a good fit. At the same time, most people wonder, “Is a half shoe size wider or longer?”

In the United States, a “D” width foot is considered average. Additionally, a narrow foot has a width of “A” to “C,” while a ‘wide’ foot has a width of “E” to “EEE.” In the UK, however, the standard foot width is “F,” with “E” being narrow and “G” being wide.

Most companies offer E and D-width shoes. If you’re a narrow width, though, consider sizing down by half a size. If you have wide feet, try half a size larger than your regular size.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Bad to Wear Shoes Half a Size Too Small?

Yes, it is. Unlike bigger shoes which you can adjust by wearing thick socks, there’s no way of comfortably forcing your foot into a tight space.

How Small Is Too Small for Shoes?

The simplest trick is to push your foot to the front of the shoe and insert your index finger at the back. If your finger won’t fit, then the shoe is too snug. But if your finger fits just right, then the fitting will be great!


Before purchasing shoes, it is critical to understand the sizing system. Because, as you already know, the size of every foot varies. We hope that this article will help you in finding the correct shoe size.

Having a slightly larger foot than others is a common and natural occurrence; therefore, it is imperative to know your actual shoe size. You can do this either by measuring yourself or by getting your feet measured at the store. 

Once you know your exact sizes, you can use sizing charts to choose shoes that will fit when you purchase them. And then you can finally get rid of the pain and discomfort of breaking in shoes that are too big or too small.

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