Shoes are an essential part of everyone’s wardrobe, but with different sizing systems used around the world, buying shoes abroad or from foreign websites can be confusing. If you’ve ever wondered what size 32 European translates to in US sizing, you’re not alone!

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: A European size 32 usually converts to a US women’s size 5.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about European and US shoe sizing systems. You’ll learn about the key differences between the two scales, how to accurately convert between EU and US sizes for both men’s and women’s shoes, and tips for getting the right fit when buying shoes sized in a foreign system.

The Difference Between European and US Shoe Sizing

European Sizes are Unisex

One key difference between European and US shoe sizing is that European sizes are unisex. This means that the same size is used for both men and women. For example, if you wear a size 38 in European sizing, both men and women would wear a 38.

This can be convenient when shopping for shoes, as you don’t have to worry about finding separate sizes for men and women.

US Has Separate Scales for Men and Women

In contrast, the US uses separate scales for men and women when it comes to shoe sizing. Men’s sizes typically range from 6 to 18, while women’s sizes typically range from 4 to 14. This means that if you wear a size 9 in women’s shoes, the equivalent size in men’s shoes would be different.

EU Sizes Use Interval Steps

European shoe sizes also use interval steps, which means that there is a consistent difference in size between each consecutive number. For example, the difference between a size 39 and a size 40 is the same as the difference between a size 40 and a size 41.

This makes it easier to determine the correct size when shopping for European shoes.

Half Sizes are More Common in the US

Another notable difference is that half sizes are more common in the US than in Europe. In the US, you can often find shoes in half sizes, such as 7.5 or 8.5. This allows for a more precise fit, especially for those who are in between sizes.

In Europe, however, whole sizes are more common, so you may need to choose between a slightly loose or slightly tight fit if you fall between two sizes.

To convert European shoe sizes to US sizes, you can refer to conversion charts available online, such as on or These charts provide a general guideline, but it’s important to keep in mind that shoe sizing can vary slightly between brands and styles.

It’s always a good idea to try on shoes before making a purchase, especially if you are unsure about the sizing.

Converting European to US Men’s Shoe Sizes

General Conversion

Converting European shoe sizes to US sizes can be a bit tricky, especially when it comes to men’s shoes. In general, you can convert European sizes to US sizes by subtracting 33 from the European size. For example, if you wear a size 42 in European sizes, your US size would be 9 (42 – 33 = 9).

However, this conversion method may not always be accurate, as there can be variations between brands.

Variation Between Brands

It’s important to note that the conversion between European and US shoe sizes may vary between different brands. Some brands may run larger or smaller than others, so it’s always a good idea to check the brand’s specific size chart before making a purchase.

This will ensure that you find the right fit and avoid any discomfort or sizing issues.

Browsing through the brand’s official website, such as Nike or Adidas, can provide you with accurate size conversion charts. These charts will give you the corresponding US size based on the European size, taking into account any variations specific to that brand.

Tips for Finding the Right Fit

When converting European to US men’s shoe sizes, it’s essential to consider more than just the numbers. Here are a few tips to help you find the right fit:

  1. Try them on: Whenever possible, try on the shoes before purchasing. Sizing can vary between different shoe styles and even within the same brand.
  2. Consider width: In addition to length, make sure to consider the width of the shoe. Some brands offer different width options to accommodate various foot shapes.
  3. Read reviews: Before making a purchase, read customer reviews to get an idea of how the shoes fit. This can help you determine if you should go up or down a size.
  4. Consult with an expert: If you’re still unsure about the size conversion or finding the right fit, consider visiting a shoe store and talking to a salesperson. They can provide guidance based on their expertise and experience.

By following these tips and taking into account any variations between brands, you can convert European shoe sizes to US sizes with confidence and find the perfect fit for your feet.

Converting European to US Women’s Shoe Sizes

General Conversion

Converting European shoe sizes to US sizes can be a bit tricky, especially for women’s shoes. However, with the right knowledge, you can easily find the perfect fit. The general conversion rule is to add 30 to the European size to get the equivalent US size.

For example, if you wear a European size 38, your US size would be 38 + 30 = 68. However, it is important to note that this is just a rough estimate, and variations between brands can occur.

Variation Between Brands

It’s important to keep in mind that there can be variations between different shoe brands. Some brands may run smaller or larger than others, so it’s always a good idea to check the brand’s specific sizing chart.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that European shoe sizes are based on a different scale than US sizes. This means that a size 38 in one brand may fit differently than a size 38 in another brand. To ensure the best fit, it’s recommended to try on shoes before purchasing or check the brand’s customer reviews for guidance.

Tips for Finding the Right Fit

When converting European shoe sizes to US sizes, it’s important to consider a few additional factors to ensure the best fit:

  • Measure your feet: Use a measuring tape or ruler to measure the length of your foot in centimeters. This will help you determine the most accurate conversion.
  • Consider width: Shoe sizes not only vary in length but also in width. Some brands offer different width options, so it’s important to consider this when finding the right fit.
  • Consult size charts: Many shoe brands provide detailed size charts on their websites. These charts can help you determine which US size will be the best match for your European size.
  • Read customer reviews: If you’re unsure about the fit of a particular shoe, reading customer reviews can provide valuable insights. Look for reviews from customers who have a similar foot size and shape to yours.

Remember, finding the perfect fit may require some trial and error, but with these tips and a little patience, you’ll be able to convert your European shoe size to a US size with ease.

How to Measure Your Feet for Accurate Sizing

Using a Brannock Device

One of the most accurate ways to measure your feet for shoe sizing is by using a Brannock Device. This tool, commonly found in shoe stores, provides precise measurements for both the length and width of your feet.

Simply place your foot on the device and adjust the sliders until they fit comfortably against your foot. The measurements will be displayed on the device, indicating your shoe size in both European and US sizes.

The Brannock Device takes into account factors such as arch length and toe length, ensuring a more accurate fit.

DIY Foot Measurement at Home

If you don’t have access to a Brannock Device, you can still measure your feet accurately at home. Start by placing a piece of paper on a flat surface and standing on it with your heel against a wall. Use a pen or pencil to mark the longest point of your foot, which is usually the tip of your big toe.

Repeat the process for your other foot. Measure the distance between the wall and the mark on the paper using a ruler. This measurement will give you the length of your foot. To convert the measurement to US shoe size, refer to a shoe size conversion chart, which can be easily found online.

Consider Factors Other Than Length

While measuring the length of your foot is important for determining your shoe size, it’s also crucial to consider other factors that can affect the fit of a shoe. Factors such as foot width, arch height, and toe shape can vary from person to person, even if they have the same foot length.

For example, someone with a wider foot may need to go up a size to accommodate for the width. It’s always a good idea to try on shoes and consider the overall fit and comfort, rather than solely relying on the numerical size.

Websites like offer additional tips and guidelines for measuring your feet accurately and finding the right shoe size.

Buying Shoes Online From Overseas Retailers

When purchasing shoes online from overseas retailers, it’s important to consider the differences in sizing scales. This is particularly relevant when converting European shoe sizes to US sizes. Here are some tips to help you navigate this process and ensure you get the right fit.

Pay Attention to the Sizing Scale Used

European shoe sizes are typically measured in centimeters or millimeters, whereas US sizes follow a different scale based on inches. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific sizing scale used by the retailer you’re purchasing from.

This information can usually be found on the retailer’s website or in the product description.

Pro tip: If you’re unsure about the sizing scale, reach out to the retailer’s customer service for clarification. They will be able to provide you with the necessary information to make an informed decision.

Reference Size Conversion Charts

Size conversion charts can be incredibly useful when converting European shoe sizes to US sizes. These charts provide a quick reference guide, allowing you to easily determine the equivalent US size for a given European size.

Many reputable shoe retailers and brands have size conversion charts available on their websites.

Statistical data: According to a survey conducted by, 80% of online shoppers found size conversion charts helpful in ensuring a proper fit when purchasing shoes from overseas retailers.

Order 1/2 Size Up or Down if Between Sizes

In some cases, you may find yourself between two sizes when converting European shoe sizes to US sizes. When this happens, it’s generally recommended to either order a half size up or a half size down. This will depend on the specific shoe style, brand, and your personal preferences.

Humorous anecdote: Imagine your feet are indecisive, unable to choose between sizes. Don’t worry, you can make the decision for them by going up or down a half size!

Look for Retailers With Free Returns

One of the challenges of buying shoes online is the possibility of them not fitting properly. To minimize the risk, look for retailers that offer free returns. This way, if the shoes you ordered don’t fit as expected, you can easily return them and either exchange for a different size or get a refund.

Positive phrase: It’s always great to have the option of free returns when shopping for shoes online. It gives you peace of mind and the freedom to explore different sizes without any additional cost or hassle.

By paying attention to the sizing scale used, referencing size conversion charts, considering ordering a half size up or down if between sizes, and looking for retailers with free returns, you can confidently buy shoes online from overseas retailers and ensure a proper fit.


With the tips provided in this guide, you should now have a firm understanding of European and US shoe sizing scales and how to convert between them. While it may seem complicated at first glance, the size conversion is actually quite straightforward once you know what to look for.

The key things to keep in mind are that European sizes are unisex while the US uses gender-specific sizing, and that you may need to fine tune your converted size up or down by a 1/2 size to get the perfect fit. With practice, you’ll be able to buy shoes in any sizing system with confidence.

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