Size Conversions- how to convert European shoe sizes to UK/ US and Australian sizes
Posted on January 13 2020
Another thing we get asked a lot is how to convert shoe sizes, so today I wanted to talk you through a few pointers to help you order the correct size for you. All our shoes are in European sizes and run from a size 35 to a 42 (we can also make size 43's by request). We only offer full sizes rather than half sizes- we'd love to offer half sizes too but because we hold stock this would mean we'd have to have less styles in the collection. So at the moment it's just full sizes but you never know- we may add half sizes in future.
Here's a short video all about how to convert European shoe sizes, then read below for even more guidance:
So, how do you convert European shoe sizes? Let's take it one country at a time...
How to convert European shoe sizes to UK sizes
European sizes convert to UK sizes as follows:
Obviously it's difficult to remember a whole list of size conversions, so there's a little trick you can do. Up until a size 40, if you subtract the first number from the second number you'll get the UK size. For example looking at a size 39, if you subtract 3 from 9 you get 6, so an EU 39 is a UK 6- got it? Annoyingly this doesn't work from a size 40 upwards, but if you just remember the equation for size 39 which is the middles size, it's pretty easy to count up or down until you get to your own size!
So which size is actually a UK size 8?
Over the years I've worked for numerous shoe companies, and the issue of what size is actually a size 8 differs between them. A true UK size 8 has always been classed as a European size 42- a size 41 is a 7.5 and a size 40 is a 7. The reason for the confusing 40 and 41 thing is that the sizes don't equate exactly, so by the time you get to a size 40 the next size up isn't a full size bigger, so a half size is needed in there to level it back up again.
Sadly the majority of the high street now class a size 41 as an 8 and I believe it's so they don't have to hold as much stock. Ask anyone who has size 8 feet and I guarantee they'll tell you how hard it is to find shoes which really fit them. So if you are a true size 8 you need a size 42. If you're in between a 7 and 8 then go for the 41- it's a 7.5 so should be about perfect.
What size is a 43? What size is a UK 9?
Another confusing issue, so let's set the record straight. A lot of website advertise a 43 as a UK 10, but strictly speaking it's a 9. As previously explained, a 41 is a UK 7.5, not a UK size 8. When companies convert a 43 to a UK 10 it's usually because they've down sized the 8 to a 41 (see above).
All that said, Rachel Simpson shoes do tend to come up a little on the generous side, so we do have quite a few size 9 customers who end up with a size 42. Likewise we've happily helped brides with size 10 feet find their perfect wedding shoes! In case you missed it you can read my blog about how our shoes fit here.
How to convert European shoe sizes to US and Australian sizes
Let's take another look at the size chart, and talk about how to convert shoe sizes from European to US or Australian sizes (to all intents and purposes US and Australian shoe sizes are the same by the way):
Sadly I don't have a natty little equation for this one, but what I would say is that it's easier to convert US/ Australian sizes from the UK size, rather than the European one. So if you don't have access to a size chart, use the sum I told you about earlier to work out your UK size, then simply add 2 and voila- that's your US/ Australian size. Here's an example of how to convert from a size 38: 8 minus 3= 5, so the UK size is 5, add 2 and the US/ Australian size you need will be a 7. Sounds a little complicated when you write it down but trust me, it's simple.
Should I order my usual US size in Rachel Simpson shoes?
Whilst we do tend to use the above size conversion chart, we do get a lot of feedback from our US customers that our shoes come up quite large. So if you are in between sizes and you're not sure which to order, always go down a little just to be on the safe side. The soft leather of the shoes will give when you wear them too- for more guidance on this check out my sizing blog here.
I hope you've found this helpful- it can sound a little complicated so if you do get a bit lost and need some guidance you can always give us a shout. We've helped brides from all over the world find their perfect wedding shoes, so we know all about how to find the right size!
Feel free to drop us a comment below with your experiences and top tips when converting shoe sizes.