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Need help with shoe sizing/buying

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Posts: 8
Duchess
Topic starter
(@starletashley)
Eminent Member     Stoneham, Massachusetts, United States of America
Joined: 3 months ago

I need some advice about shoe sizing and buying, and am hoping someone can help me with a few questions:

1. When I wore men's shoes, I was a usually a 10 regular. What size would you recommend that I go try first when buying shoes online? Is wide enough, or do I really need double wide, which would limit my choices?

2. Besides Torrid, what are some other trans-friendly stores in the Boston area that sell reasonably priced women's shoes? (Gucci heels are not in my budget.) I certainly don't want to buy anything from a store where I might be harassed or misgendered.

3. I really badly want a pair of UGG boots (typical millennial girl). For other ladies who have UGGs, how does their sizing run in terms of length and width?

Thanks in advance! 🌺 

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14 Replies
Ambassador
(@ellyd22)
Joined: 8 months ago

Famed Member     Norfolk, United Kingdom
Posts: 2005

@starletashley If you opt to go online (and since you're in the US) the general advice is to buy a size one and a half up from your male size. For example Hannah McKnight (if you don't subscribe to her blog, you should) wears a 9 1/2 man’s shoe and a 11 women’s shoe ... which she says works out pretty well with a little stretching. If in doubt, measure the length and width (at its widest) of your largest foot and email the vendor to ask their opinion on the fit of a particular style. Be sure that any shoes that you're browsing online are sized in female sizes; some specialist suppliers (who make shoes in women’s styles for a male clientele) may already be quoting the male sizes. Read the description carefully to save yourself the bother of returns (and also look for a store with a good returns policy)!

If you try online-bought shoes on at home, do so on a carpet to avoid scuffs. This is in case you subsequently have to return them.

In the US, Payless Shoe Store is one outlet with a regular supply of women’s shoes up to size 12, and even larger sizes can be purchased from them online. Another excellent source for larger shoes is Nordstrom Rack. They routinely carry shoes up to size 13, and every year have a β€˜large shoe’ sale which ranges up to size 15.

Long Tall Sally can be pricey but also go up to 15.

If the store has a good returns policy, there's nothing to stop you ordering the same footwear in a couple of sizes and simply returning the pair that doesn't fit.

In terms of UGGs ... I know nothing.

hUGGs

Ellie x

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(@cdashley)
Joined: 4 years ago

Noble Member     Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1216

@starletashley well they say 1 1/2 to 2 sizes up from your man size. I love dsw for shoe shopping. Everything is out for you to try with no pushy sales associates standing over you.

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Baroness
(@chrisfp99)
Joined: 12 months ago

Honorable Member     London , Kent, United Kingdom
Posts: 405

@starletashley here in the UK, from my limited experience I find that women's and men's sizes are the same. Praise the Lord! I'm lucky that although being a big framed girl I take a UK 8, or even 7, so can order from regular female outlets. I have tiny hands too which causes challenges playing keyboards in bands. Please don't extrapolate about the size of other extremities πŸ˜‚.

Ellie, being pedantic, can you have a largest foot of two?

Hugs, Chrissie xx.Β 

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Duchess
(@lucyb112)
Joined: 1 year ago

Prominent Member     Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 452

@chrisfp99 I’m also a UK size 8 and can sometimes get away with 7 1/2, or 7 at a push.

I have a largest foot of two though. Not by very much, and nothing I notice when wearing boy lace up shoes, but it’s annoyingly just enough to be awkward trying to wear court shoes or similar.Β 

I’ve tried all manner of inserts, but nothing actually makes them feel really secure.

I’ve had some success though with Mary Jane’s style shoes and those shown on my profile cover.Β 

Hugs

LucyΒ 

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(@caroline2k)
Joined: 1 year ago

Reputable Member     Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
Posts: 192

@lucyb112Β  I have a foot-size discrepancy too, and like you say, just enough to be awkward in girly shoes.Β Unlike yourself, I have bigger feet (itsΒ SO not fair! lol) and have to find a 9 that equates to a European 43, also wide fit if possible, just to be on the slightly more comfy side πŸ™‚

I've seen the "buy two sizes up from a man's shoe size" mantra bandied about all over the internet but have never actually done that - au contraire, my first 30 years in heels were spent suffering in size 8s (if I could find them). Thank the goddess that retailers are increasingly catering for slightly larger feet!Β 

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Duchess
(@lucyb112)
Joined: 1 year ago

Prominent Member     Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Posts: 452

@caroline2k Yes I forgot to add wide fit into the equation.

My favourite heels are 7.5 wide fit.
My Mary Jane’s are 8 standard fit from Next. I wore them on a trip out. I just walked around a large M&S. By the time I’d finished my feet were screaming for them to be taken off.

The only issue was the big toe on my (smaller) left foot was catching against the end of the shoe as the shoe was millimetres too big. I’ve previously tried putting some padding in the end but it’s just too small a gap. Really annoying….

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(@caroline2k)
Joined: 1 year ago

Reputable Member     Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
Posts: 192

@lucyb112 Fortunately, I find that New Look's wide fit 9s are (almost!) perfect for me and I can wear them for hours on end. I actually have some nice Mary Jane style heels from there which are dead comfy.

I sympathise with the big toe issue - I've a gorgeous pair of ridiculously high heels with crossover ankle straps that have a slightly narrow toe. I've tried stretching as much as possible but still after an hour or two I have to take them off, as it feels like some sort of vicious torture! πŸ™‚Β 

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Lady
(@harriette)
Joined: 10 months ago

Noble Member     Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1739

@lucyb112 There little sleeves that you can get that would cover a toe, too stop it from rubbing or catching on something. Very handy.

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Duchess
(@loneleycd)
Joined: 4 years ago

Noble Member     Roland, Iowa, United States of America
Posts: 1767

@starletashley Buying shoes is difficult, for myself I normally wear a size 10 men's and go with 11 women's.Β  Because my big toes are swollen/arthritic I have to have wide shoes, even a little pressure on them makes the shoes unbearable.Β  Β Now like I said I usually wear size 11 women's but once while trying on one style at Torrid the 11's were to big and the size 10's were perfect.Β 

Β All I am saying it all depends on your feet.Β 

Β  Β  CassieΒ 

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(@tiffanygreene)
Joined: 3 years ago

Trusted Member     Knoxville-ish, Tennessee, United States of America
Posts: 79

@starletashley Hi Ashley! In the US, I usually go 2 sizes up from mens size for heels. Some heeled sandals I can get away with 1.5 or sometimes even one size up, as long as my toes don't hang off the front. I have also found that in Torrid sandals, sometimes i can buy my man size or a half size up and they still fit. I think all Torrid shoes are wide anyway, I have a "regular" width man size and a regular-ish to maybe a tad wide in women's.Β  DSW is a good place to try on some shoes, go to the clearance racks in the back first and you may not be hassled at all, especially if you go about 15 to 30 minutes after opening. As far as UGGs, I have no experience with that particular brand.

Good Luck!

Tiffany

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Lady
(@harriette)
Joined: 10 months ago

Noble Member     Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1739

@starletashley Shoes sizes are arbitrary. Relying on hard and fast rules will disappoint you more than trying on shoes in a store. If the shoe fits, regardless of its size numeral, wear it.

Lately, I have seen foot length in millimetres printed on box labels. That is a good start because millimetres are not arbitrary (if done right). You can find some on-line stores doing the same and more stores should be encouraged to do this, too.

You know better than anyone whether you need wider widths. If you didn't need wide men's widths, maybe you can get away without them in women's sizes, too. Lucky you if that is true.

Shoes are tricky to get right. Even wearing high heels can allow the foot to jam your toes into the toebox. High arches will make it difficult getting your feet into some unlaced shoes or boots. Distorted feet and nerve issues can exacerbate fitting problems, so trying shoes on in stores can really help.

Another aside: when Nordstrom was in Canada, I was able to get fitted fairly well with my first nice shoes, a pair of Stewart Weitzman sandals. When I was in the local SW store, yesterday, I asked them about getting wider widths. I was told that they don't import their wider width shoes into Canada. <groan> What's a girl to do? Look for brands that do supply wider widths. Clarks and Rockport are a good place to start. ECCO and a whole bunch of other stores don't have large sizes, either. Experience trying on shoes will answer lots of questions.

Β 

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(@lauren114)
Joined: 7 months ago

Prominent Member     Connecticut, United States of America
Posts: 579

@harriette I love Stuart Weitzman shoes and boots but unfortunately their sizing just doesn't work for me.Β  I am looking all over for a pair of OTK boots like theirs!

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Lady
(@harriette)
Joined: 10 months ago

Noble Member     Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1739

@lauren114 Trust me, it was a struggle finding a pair of SW shoes that fit, but I did it. I love the shoes, but I rarely get to wear them, esp out of the house. πŸ₯΄

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(@lauren114)
Joined: 7 months ago

Prominent Member     Connecticut, United States of America
Posts: 579

@starletashley I always go two sizes up from my men's size.Β  Still, I have found that sizing is all over the place so stores with good return policies are a must for me.Β 

DSW works well for me relative to their big selection and sales.Β  Β I have good luck with Journee Collection shoes and boots and DSW has a good selection.Β  My Journee riding boots are probably the most comfortable shoes I own!

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Posts: 36
Guest
(@Anonymous 92919)
Eminent Member
Joined: 3 months ago

hi there Ashley,

in re: your questions, here is my considered advice.

1. for online shopping, what size do you usually wear in women's?Β  go with that.Β  if you're unsure, try a bunch on in a store & see what works.Β  if that's not possible, rule of thumb is men's +2, which isn't always true.Β  i find that regular width is usually ok, but wide is better.Β  double wide? never heard of it.

2. i'm not around Boston but i've never had that sort of issue in any store that i can recall, except my local kwikie mart.Β  i don't think it'll be a problem.Β  if it is, you're strong enough to overcome it.Β  don't forget to smile at people and be friendly.

3. since UGGs occupy the same place in my budget as Gucci does in yours, i bought the $50 UGG knockoffs.Β  they were true to size, and i still have them 4 years later πŸ™‚ tho they're not quite as plush nowadays...

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Posts: 114
Lady
(@dallen)
Estimable Member     Texas, United States of America
Joined: 1 year ago

Ashley,

I wear a size 10.5 in men's shoes and have found that a size 11 in women's fit me the best. I do usually got for the wide shoes in dress shoes like flats and heels but stick to just an 11 if I am getting sneakers or anything made out of a canvas that has some give to it. The wide shoes give me a little extra space for my big toes. I went to the local walmart and tried shoes on, sure I got a few weird looks but who really cares. I hope that helps you with finding your size.

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Posts: 11
Lady
(@sonal)
Eminent Member     Dallas, Texas, United States of America
Joined: 4 months ago

I wear a size 7 in men's and a size 9 in women's. I usually go with regular, but my feet are generally smaller so it works out for me. I've never had the guts to try out shoes in-person, and (after reading tons of articles and blogs, this was before I found this site) I ordered a 9.5 and a 10 from Amazon. I had to return both and then ordered a 9, which fit perfectly. Since then, whether I buy from a store or online, I always get a 9 regular. Hope this helps!

PS. I love shoes! Especially ones with heels. If I could, I would fill up an entire closet with shoes πŸ™‚

Β 

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Posts: 431
Ambassador
(@melodeescarlet)
Prominent Member     Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America
Joined: 7 months ago

Hiya Ashley, I would suggest going for an 11 in womens. Of course, sizes vary from maker to maker, but I find that +1 is about right when going from mens to womens sizes.

As for width, that you'll have to find out as you go, I expect. My feet are (for better or worse) fairly narrow and so when I can find a 12 I like, I don't need to look at width additionally.

Happy hunting!

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Posts: 646
Lady
(@michaela2001)
Prominent Member     Goldsboro, North Carolina, United States of America
Joined: 7 years ago

Without anyone to ask, my first attempt at shoe sizing was done on google. I found a number of website that translated measurements to sizes for both men & us girls. For shoes, it was trial and error for me, despite measuring my feet at home. One website seemed as good as another for instructions on how to do it, so this one is probably as good as another... https://www.realsimple.com/how-to-measure-shoe-size-7228981

I also used this website to get an idea of my UK size 11 translated to US womens sizes too... https://www.famousfootwear.com/shoe-size-charts

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1 Reply
Duchess
(@flatlander48)
Joined: 4 years ago

Noble Member     Cathedral City, California, United States of America
Posts: 1336

@michaela2001 Virtually all of the significant retailers have size and measurement charts. Direct conversion charts between male and female are fairly rare, but you can take the length from your male size and see where that falls on the female scale. That 2 size thing doesn’t really work. It does tend to be more like 1 to 1 1/2 sizes.

Personally I find shoe sizing to be pretty consistent; much more so than clothing sizes. My problem tends to be finding wide widths in size 11, but there are ways to help that. Shoes with less structure, like sandals, help and there are ways to stretch shoes. Also, open toe and open heels can help if you are slightly over a given size.

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Posts: 1093
Baroness Annual
(@d44)
Noble Member     New York, United States of America
Joined: 4 years ago

I'm a 9 in a man's shoe and a 10.5 in a ladies shoe which is very hard to get so I wind up with either a 10 or 11. Best bet is go to a DSW and try them on.

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Posts: 8
Duchess
Topic starter
(@starletashley)
Eminent Member     Stoneham, Massachusetts, United States of America
Joined: 3 months ago

Hi everyone,

Thank you for all of your great advice and suggestions about shoes!

Although I have been out for several months now, I find that I am the most nervous when it comes to shopping in person in the women's department of a store that I haven't been to before. That being said, you have inspired me to try going to my local DSW and try some shoes on. I'll let you know how it goes, and whether or not they have UGGs in stock there, I can ask them to order a pair for me based on how other shoes fit me. Definitely could use a nice pair of ballet flats, too.

Still practicing with heels - I have a lovely pair of wedges from Torrid, but need to keep learning how to walk in them.

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1 Reply
(@lauren114)
Joined: 7 months ago

Prominent Member     Connecticut, United States of America
Posts: 579

@starletashley There is a lower cost Uggs brand called Koolaburra that is carried at DSW.Β  Β I haven't tried them myself (yet...) but the price point is lower than Uggs.Β  Β I'm thinking that they would look really cute with my leggings!

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Posts: 778
(@jacquelinelarkspur)
Noble Member     Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom
Joined: 3 months ago

My drab shoe size is 10 (UK), but I invariably find a women's size 9 to be a reasonably good fit.

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Posts: 115
Duchess
(@karensa1136)
Estimable Member     Colorado, United States of America
Joined: 5 years ago

Hi Ashley,

I know everyone is a bit different. I have narrow feet for a guy and wear a 10. For women's sizes I'll go with 10 - 11 depending on style and whether it's heels/pumps, or boots. I have a high arch, so I can't do the strappy heels or some boots, even with the relatively small foot size.

XOXO

Karensa

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