Buying shoes online can be tricky when sizing varies so much between brands. If you’ve ever ordered a pair of shoes in your normal size only to find they don’t fit at all, you know the struggle is real.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Shoe sizes can vary significantly between brands based on the shapes of their lasts, their fit philosophies, and even the countries they were designed in. It’s important to learn the sizing of brands you buy from frequently.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover all the factors that go into shoe sizing differences between brands. You’ll learn why the variance occurs, how to determine your true size in different brands, and tips for nailing the fit when ordering shoes online.

Why Shoe Sizes Vary Between Brands

Have you ever noticed that your shoe size can vary between different brands? This can be quite frustrating, especially when you’re shopping for shoes online. But why does this happen? Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons behind the variation in shoe sizes between brands.

Last Shapes

One of the main reasons for the difference in shoe sizes between brands is the variation in last shapes. The last is the mold or template used by shoe manufacturers to create the shape of the shoe. Different brands have their own unique last shapes, which can result in variations in the overall fit and size of the shoes.

For example, one brand may have a narrower last shape, while another brand may have a wider one. This can lead to differences in the width and overall fit of the shoes, even if they are labeled with the same size.

Fit Philosophies

Each brand has its own fit philosophy, which influences how their shoes are designed and constructed. Some brands prioritize a snug and supportive fit, while others focus on a more relaxed and roomy fit. These differing fit philosophies can contribute to variations in shoe sizes.

For instance, a brand that prioritizes a snug fit may produce shoes that run slightly smaller compared to a brand that focuses on a more generous fit. This is why it’s important to consider the fit philosophy of a brand when choosing the right shoe size.

Manufacturing Tolerances

Another factor that can contribute to variations in shoe sizes between brands is manufacturing tolerances. Each brand has its own manufacturing process and quality control standards, which can affect the accuracy and consistency of their shoe sizes.

While most brands strive to maintain consistent sizing, there can still be slight variations due to factors such as material stretch, stitching techniques, and overall craftsmanship. These manufacturing tolerances can result in differences in the fit and feel of the shoes.

Sizing Systems

The use of different sizing systems is another key reason for the variation in shoe sizes between brands. Some brands may use the US sizing system, while others may follow the European or UK sizing systems.

Each system has its own unique measurements and increments, which can lead to discrepancies in shoe sizes.

It’s important to note that shoe size conversion charts can be helpful when comparing sizes between different brands and sizing systems. These charts provide a guide to help you find the equivalent size in a different system.

How to Determine Your Size in Different Brands

When it comes to buying shoes, finding the right size can be a challenge, especially with different brands having their own unique sizing standards. To avoid the disappointment of ill-fitting shoes, here are some helpful tips on how to determine your size in different brands.

Check Size Charts

One of the most reliable ways to determine your size in different brands is to consult the size charts provided by the manufacturers. Size charts typically include measurements for length and width, allowing you to compare your foot measurements with the recommended sizes for each brand.

You can usually find these charts on the brand’s official website or on reputable online retailers.

Read Online Reviews

Another useful strategy is to read online reviews from other customers who have purchased shoes from the brands you are interested in. These reviews often provide valuable insights into how the shoes fit and whether they run true to size.

Look for reviews from people with similar foot sizes and shapes to get a better idea of how the shoes might fit you.

Order Multiple Sizes

When shopping online, it’s a good idea to order multiple sizes of the same shoe to ensure you find the best fit. Trying on different sizes and comparing how they feel can give you a better understanding of how a particular brand’s sizing works.

Keep in mind that some brands may run larger or smaller, so don’t be discouraged if your usual size doesn’t fit as expected.

Visit Stores to Try on Pairs

If you have the opportunity, visiting physical stores to try on different shoe sizes can be immensely helpful. Trying on a variety of sizes and styles can give you a better understanding of how different brands fit your feet.

Additionally, store associates can provide expert advice and guidance to help you find the perfect fit.

Contact Customer Service

If you’re unsure about which size to choose or have any specific concerns, don’t hesitate to contact the brand’s customer service. They often have knowledgeable representatives who can assist you with sizing inquiries and provide personalized recommendations.

Look for the brand’s customer service contact information on their website or packaging.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of finding the right shoe size in different brands. Remember, it’s important to prioritize comfort and proper fit, as this can greatly impact your overall satisfaction with a pair of shoes.

Tips for Getting the Right Fit When Ordering Online

Ordering shoes online can be convenient and time-saving, but it also comes with the challenge of finding the right fit. Here are some useful tips to ensure that your online shoe shopping experience is a success:

Know Your Measurements

One of the most important things you can do when ordering shoes online is to know your measurements. Different brands may have slight variations in sizing, so it’s crucial to have accurate measurements of your feet. Use a measuring tape or a ruler to measure the length and width of your feet.

Many online retailers provide size charts that can help you determine the best size for your feet. If you’re unsure, it’s always better to go for a slightly bigger size and use insoles or inserts to adjust the fit.

Order Half Sizes When Available

When browsing online shoe stores, keep an eye out for half sizes. Sometimes, a half size can make a significant difference in comfort and fit. If a brand offers half sizes, consider ordering them to ensure a more precise fit.

It’s better to have a shoe that’s slightly bigger than your actual size than one that’s too small and uncomfortable. Remember, it’s easier to add insoles or inserts to fill up extra space than to make a tight shoe more comfortable.

Break in Shoes Slowly

When you receive your new shoes, it’s important to break them in gradually. Don’t expect them to be perfectly comfortable right out of the box. Wear them around the house for short periods to allow the materials to mold to your feet.

This will help prevent any discomfort or blisters when you wear them for longer durations. If you experience any rubbing or areas of discomfort, try using moleskin or band-aids to protect your feet until the shoes are fully broken in.

Choose Stretchable Materials

Opting for shoes made from stretchable materials can be a great choice when ordering online. Stretchable materials, such as leather or fabric uppers, can provide a more forgiving fit, especially if your foot size is slightly different from the standard sizing.

Additionally, stretchable materials can accommodate foot conditions like bunions or hammertoes, providing a more comfortable and customized fit.

Consider Insoles or Inserts

If you have specific foot conditions or simply want extra cushioning and support, consider using insoles or inserts. These can help improve the fit and comfort of your shoes, especially if they’re slightly too big.

Insoles can provide additional arch support, shock absorption, and even moisture-wicking properties. They can be easily inserted and removed, allowing you to adjust the fit of your shoes as needed.

Remember, getting the right fit when ordering shoes online requires attention to detail and knowing your measurements. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of finding the perfect pair of shoes that not only look great but also feel amazing on your feet.

Top Shoe Brands and Their Sizing


Nike is one of the most popular shoe brands worldwide, known for its innovative designs and high-performance athletic shoes. When it comes to sizing, Nike generally follows the standard shoe size chart.

However, it is always recommended to try on a pair before purchasing as some customers have reported that Nike shoes tend to run slightly smaller or narrower compared to other brands. For more accurate sizing information, visit Nike’s official website.


Adidas is another renowned shoe brand that offers a wide range of athletic and casual footwear. In terms of sizing, Adidas shoes typically run true to size, meaning you can generally stick to your regular shoe size when purchasing.

However, it is always recommended to refer to the brand’s specific size chart for more accurate measurements. You can find the size chart and shop the latest Adidas shoes at


Converse is famous for its iconic Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers, which have become a staple in the fashion world. Converse shoes are known to have a unique sizing system. They usually run half a size larger than your regular shoe size.

It is advisable to go down half a size when purchasing Converse shoes unless you prefer a slightly looser fit. To explore the latest Converse styles and find the perfect fit, visit


Vans is a popular shoe brand known for its skateboarding-inspired footwear. When it comes to sizing, Vans shoes tend to run true to size. However, some customers have reported that certain Vans styles can be slightly narrow, so if you have wider feet, it may be wise to go half a size up.

For more information on Vans sizing and to check out their latest collection, head over to


Timberland is a well-known brand that specializes in outdoor boots and footwear. Timberland shoes generally run true to size, but it is worth noting that their boots tend to have a roomier fit to accommodate thicker socks.

If you are unsure about your size, it is recommended to try on a pair at a local store or refer to Timberland’s official size chart. For more information on Timberland products, visit their website at


Clarks is a British brand that is known for its comfortable and stylish footwear. Clarks shoes typically run true to size, but they also offer a range of width options to cater to different foot shapes. It is advisable to refer to Clarks’ size guide to determine the best fit for you.

To explore their collection and find your perfect pair of Clarks shoes, visit

Allen Edmonds

Allen Edmonds is a luxury shoe brand that specializes in handcrafted dress shoes for men. They are known for their exceptional quality and timeless designs. Allen Edmonds shoes generally run true to size, but they also offer a wide range of widths to ensure a perfect fit.

It is recommended to visit one of their stores or consult their size guide for accurate measurements. To discover the world of Allen Edmonds, visit


Birkenstock is a beloved brand famous for its comfortable and supportive sandals. When it comes to sizing, Birkenstock uses a unique sizing system based on European sizes. It is crucial to refer to their size chart and measure your feet to find the correct size.

For more information on Birkenstock sizing and to browse their collection, visit


While inconsistencies in shoe sizing can be endlessly frustrating, understanding the factors behind varying fits and learning your true size in brands you like can help take the guesswork out of buying footwear online.

Always check size charts, read reviews, and don’t be afraid to order multiple sizes when possible. With this knowledge in your arsenal, you can confidently shop shoes online knowing the pair will fit perfectly when they arrive.

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