5 tips to help you choose the right shoe size

July 30, 2018

5 tips to help you choose the right shoe size

Getting the right shoe size seems like something that should be easy but sometimes it’s a bit of a challenge – especially when you’re shopping online.

Unlike things made in factories, feet don’t all come out the same.

Humans aren’t made in factories so we’re not standardized. We all have glorious little variations that make us unique.

Did you know, for example, that most people have one foot half a size bigger than the other?

But unlike feet, shoes don’t come in flexible sizes. They are rigidly symmetrical and standardized to artificial sizes that don’t exist in nature.

And not all factories use the same sizing scale either, which makes it even more complicated!

Here are our top five tips to help you get a comfortable fit first time:

1. You’re unique – don’t fight it! 

Most people are between factory sizes. So your foot might be a size 7.8 or 8.2 rather than a neat size 8. And chances are your left foot is a little smaller (unless you’re left-handed, then your right foot may be a little smaller). This means you need to find the shoe size that fits your larger foot most comfortably. Don’t worry about your little foot – if the shoe fits the big foot, the little foot will be fine!



2. You can fit shoes in the “wrong” size

If you’re buying a court shoe with a closed heel and toe, you need to get the fit just right because your feet won’t have any room to move. But if you buy a slingback, sandal or peep-toe, there’s a lot more flexibility. You can actually go up or down by half a shoe size or even a whole size and they’ll still fit comfortably because you have extra heel and toe room.

The increments between shoe sizes are also really, really small – about 3 millimetres. That means if you’re a size 8 and Shoe Envy only has 7.5 or 8.5, you will almost certainly fit the size 8.5 comfortably. (But don’t try to go down a size unless you’re planning to shave some length off your toes!)

3. Shoe sizevaries – not all size 39s are the same

Different factories have different shoe size standards. At Shoe Envy, some shoes are in European sizes. While some use the same numbers but they refer to Chinese sizes – which are about 1 size smaller. That means a European size 39 is usually the same size as a Chinese size 40.

We want to make it as easy as possible for you to get the size that will fit you most comfortably so we check every style and calibrate them to Aussie sizes.

This is why when you buy shoes from Shoe Envy, you might have one pair marked 39 and another marked 40 but they are actually the same fit. It’s just that one factory is using a European scale and the other is using a Chinese scale.

4. Different materials feel different  

Softer materials tend to be more comfortable and offer more flexibility with fit. But if the material is stiffer, it can feel tighter – especially if you’re between shoe sizes. At Shoe Envy, we have a couple of styles that fit more firmly than the same shoe in a softer material. We manually adjust the sizing in our system to make sure the shoes you receive will be a comfortable fit. That’s why you might have a pair of flats marked 39 and another marked 40 but they’re actually the same fit.

If you have a pair of shoes that fits you but has a couple of firm spots that press on one or both feet, you can use the hairdryer trick to make them fit like a glove.

5. Your shoe size gets bigger in summer

Yes, they really are! Feet swell in warmer weather so your feet can be as much as a whole size bigger in summer (although most people only go up a quarter to half a size). This means if you buy shoes in winter, they might feel tighter in summer. Don’t panic – just put them away until the weather cools down. It’s just another great excuse to get more shoes!

If you’re not sure what size to buy, we can help! Just email our Customer Happiness Fairy at [email protected] to get size advice specific to your feet and the style of shoe you’re interested in. We know our shoes like children so we can give you helpful, personalised advice that will help you make the right choice.

But if you do accidentally buy the wrong size, don’t worry, Shoe Envy will exchange them for free!
Refer to our Exchanges/Returns terms and conditions for details.