How Much Bigger is a Half Size in Shoes?

You are here to find out the correct measurement of a half size shoe. But do you know one of the old techniques for measuring shoes was the use of barleycorns? If you keep aside the history, the summary would be three-barley corn = one unit of measurement = one shoe size = one inch. 

The formulation of one inch equal to three-barley corn was done in England. With that in mind, you can say half a shoe= 4.23mm as a barleycorn measures 8.46mm.

Though the US has taken the measuring system differently by taking zero as the starting point, as you can see, England starts the measurement with one. So, here you can say, half of the footwear is one & half a corn.

What Do You Need to Know About a Half Size Shoe?

Let’s know about the sizing standard:

There isn’t any standard sizing scale that is followed globally; it varies. However, there are three primary sizing systems that you can see on store or online. They are the UK sizing, US sizing, and Europe sizing. According to the US sizing method, the half size of a women’s footwear is 0.5cm & 0.4cm for the man.

The US system:

Most women’s footwear in the US ranges from 4 to 12 & 6 to 16 for men. Of course, there are some exceptional cases, and you can find more significant as well. Apart from the fact that women’s footwear is a bit narrower and the man’s shoes are slightly wide, the children’s footwear sizes are distinct.

European shoes don’t have the same system as the US, whose most sizes are wide, extra-wide, medium, and narrow.

The European system:

You will be a bit surprised how different is the European sizing system from the US. The footwear sizing system here is unisex, and no separate shows are there for children & adults. 

The ranges go by small to larger where the small ones are for children and the bigger ones. 

Now, you can say keeping apart the design & detailing of men’s and women’s shoes, the sizing for both of them will be indifferent. Europe uses the whole number in footwear & doesn’t go up in half-sizes. So, you will witness many adults wearing incorrect sizes of shoes.

Taking the size of the feet:

You may not know, but the feet aren’t symmetrical. Your one foot perhaps is bigger than the other by one or half American size. In rare cases, there are people with a foot three to four sizes bigger than the other. 

Having too small or too big shoes affects your toe, which can’t be seen immediately but afterward. If you are buying shoes for some specific reason, like mail carriers or profession aside from regular lifestyle, the correct size matters a lot. 

So, it’s a critical point to measure the feet before purchasing both online and offline. 

You can do that with the help of a professional or by yourself at home.

The procedure to measure your footwear sizes:

  • Collect a paper piece which is larger than your foot, a pencil, pens, and a ruler.
  • Choose a flat surface and place the paper piece on it.
  • Keep your feet over the paper piece comfortably.
  • Now, mark the back and front of your foot on the paper.
  • For the front part, choose the longest toe.
  • Now, follow the same procedure for another foot.
  • Removing the foot, measure the difference between the two marks using the ruler. You can do that in both centimeters & inches.
  • Choose the most extended size to buy a pair of footwear.

Let me provide a chart below for both genders to help you find your shoe size with the measurements you have collected right now. 

In case your collected size is missing on the chart, round up the measurement & use the larger footwear size. You will eventually see experts advising on buying half size bigger shoe for running due to some practical reason.

Men’s Shoe Size Chart

Women’s Shoe Size Chart


By far you know, knowing the measurement of your feet is essential as the sizing system of shoes differs from place to place, country to country. And so the answer to your question “How Much Bigger is a Half Size in Shoes?” differs. As the measurement system differs, it’s better to have your feet sizes and going through the charts to find your shoe size.

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