How Much Difference Is A Half Shoe Size? [10 Queries!]


  • For every half-size up or down in shoes, the difference is roughly 1/8″.
  • Generally, half-size refers to only the difference in length of the shoes, the measurement of width is not included.
  • You can go from half to a full-size up for sneakers or boots, but for dress shoes, you should stick to the original size.
  • When you know your foot measurements, take the help of a sizing chart to know whether you need a half-size or a full-size shoe.

A half-size in shoe represents roughly a 1/8” difference. It’s not that much of a variation technically speaking, but there are some considerations you should take into account while choosing a half-size, which we’ll cover in this article. Keep reading to find out!

Wrong-sized shoes, whether they are too big, too small, or don’t comfortably fit the width of your feet, can end up ruining your day. You may also end up having foot issues when the case is serious. So, choosing the perfect fit is essential.

Even though it’s difficult for most of us to discern the difference between shoe sizes that are only half a size off, for many people, this half-size can make a big difference in comfort.

Are you confused about whether to choose a half-size or a full-size?

Learn how much difference a half-shoe size is, its comparison with full-size shoes, when and when not to go wit half-size, and much more here!

How Much Difference Is a Half Shoe Size?

For every half-size up or down in shoes, the difference is roughly 1/8. However, this difference varies based on the shoe sizing methods used in different countries, and isn’t the precise measurement for every type or style of shoes either, it is just for general cases.

How Much Difference Is a Half Shoe Size

For the majority of shoe brands, a pair of half-size subsequent to a full size adds approximately 1/8″ in length, for example, between an 8 and 8.5, an 8.5 and 9, and so forth. And widthwise the difference is negligible.  Shoe sizes do not usually include width fittings, a wholly different set of measurements is used for it. 

Is a Half-Size Difference in Shoe Significant? 

Although half sizes do not drastically alter shoe size, yes, even a half-size difference in shoes can have a significant impact on how the wearer feels. They do give better foot comfort than full sizes.

Is a Half-Size Difference in Shoe Significant 

A half-size variation in shoes may seem like a little difference, but it can have a big impact on the way they fit and how convenient they are, says James Lewis. It can prevent you from having a cramped toe, or an insecure fit that might cause irritation and blisters.

How Much Difference Is Half a Shoe Size Around the World?

A half-shoe size is approximately 1/6th of an inch in the United States sizing system. This indicates that going from a whole size, such as 8, to the next half size, such as 8.5, adds 1/6 inch to the length.

How Much Difference Is Half a Shoe Size Around the World

Again, a half-shoe size is approximately 1/3 of an inch in the United Kingdom sizing system. Going up a one-half size from 6  indicates that the next available size  6.5 has an additional 1/3 of an inch in length.

As for the European sizing system, a half-shoe size is 2/3 of an inch. Stepping up one-half a size from 41 would indicate that the following size available is a 41-42 will be longer in length by two-thirds of an inch.

Is a Half Shoe Size Wider?

No, half-size refers to only the difference in length of the shoes, the measurement of width is not generally included here. Instead, to suit both narrow and wide feet, every full size and half size is offered in a variety of width fittings. 

Is a Half Shoe Size Wider

However, some manufacturers alter both length and width for shoe sizing. The downside of this is, sometimes when you want to alter only the length, shoes become wider in breadth as well. Again, for a few brands, sizing up or down affects every measurement of the shoe, including the volume, length, and width. 

What Is the Difference Between Half Size and Full-Size Shoes?

Whole-number shoe sizes, such as 8 or 9, are referred to as full size.  Whereas half sizes come in sizes like 8.5 or 9.5.

Some people aim to purchase shoes in a slightly bigger size to feel more comfortable in them, but a hole size-up results in too much space between the foot and shoes, which leads to discomfort during walking, prevents the shoes from being snugly, and causes foot issues sometimes. For such cases, half-size shoes come in handy. A slight difference of ⅛  inch or ⅓ cm can give them the desired fit. 

Here’s Ron Heinlein stating the differences between half-size and full-size shoes for you in this video.

YouTube video

Is It OK to Wear Half-Size Bigger Shoes?

It is okay to wear half-size bigger shoes when they are sneakers or boots, but for dress shoes, you should stick to the original size. Sizing up actually depends on the type of shoe you are wearing. 

The only time you should go up a size in shoes is when buying sneakers or running shoes, says runner athlete Son Ho, and even then, it is recommended only to go half a size up. This is done to make sure the shoe has enough space lengthwise to handle the natural swelling that happens to the foot during the day and while you run.

As for dress shoes, it is essential to stick with your actual size. If going half size up for such a type of shoes makes your walk abnormal and dysfunctional, serious foot issues may arise from this.

Is it Bad to Wear Shoes Half a Size Too Small?

Shoe sizing can vary greatly between companies and styles, so there is nothing bad about your shoe size going half-down if you require it. Similar to clothing, certain shoe companies have larger-than-average shoes; in this situation, going down a half-size can actually prevent your foot from slipping around inside the shoe.

Is it Bad to Wear Shoes Half a Size Too Small

However, keep in mind that even if you find your small-sized shoes comfortable, the improper fit can result in substantial foot pain and discomfort as well as a number of minor to significant foot disorders.

If You Are Between Sizes, Should You Go Up or Down?

If you are between sizes, as a rule of thumb, you should size up. Larger shoes are chosen over tighter shoes in the majority of cases, except for only a few shoe styles like dress shoes.

Even though shoes tend to stretch, brand-new shoes shouldn’t feel constrictive. Also, you’re not sure if the stretch will be enough for tighter shoes to loosen up and make your feet feel at ease.. Whereas for the larger size, though the shoes might feel spacious in some places, they are much simpler to adjust the fit on.  

How to Find Your Correct Shoe Size?

You can use the general sizing chart below to know about your foot size. It will give you an idea of whether you need half-sizes or full-sizes. 

But before that, measure your feet size at home or via a professional. Here’s a tutorial on how to measure foot size yourself

YouTube video


USUKEUApproximate Foot Length in Inches
76409.6 in
7.56.540-419.75 in
87419.9 in
8.57.541-4210.125 in
984210.25 in
9.58.542-4310.4 in
1094310.6 in
10.59.543-4410.75 in
11104410.9 in
11.510.544-4511.125 in
12114511.25 in
13124611.6 in


USUKEUApproximate Foot Length in Inches
6436-378.75 in
6.54.5379 in 
7537-389.25 in
7.55.5389.375 in
8638-399.5 in
8.56.5399.75 in
9739-409.875 in
9.57.54010 in
10840-4110.2 in
11941-4210.5 in

How To Find the Perfect Fit?

Your shoes should fit nicely and comfortably, they should be just right—not too big or too small, tight or loose.  

Here’s a video if you want to know exactly how shoes should fit.

YouTube video

To find the ideal fit, follow these steps:

  • Measure your feet and know your right size: Visit a local store or use any helpful shoe-fitting guide to get the appropriate size to try on. Keep in mind to measure both of your feet first and make note of the larger one, purchase your footwear considering the measurement of the larger foot. Bring your socks if you usually wear socks with shoes to check how they fit with the additional layer.
  • Walking around while trying on the shoes: Getting up and moving around will give you a decent indication of whether your shoes will irritate or feel uncomfortable. If your foot measurements are different for both feet, consider having a snuggle feel for the larger foot, and be sure your smaller foot is equally as comfy and not coming off while you are walking. 
  • Pick the correct timing. Since feet tend to swell throughout the day, measurements can slightly differ at various times of the day. The optimum time to try shoes is in the afternoon when your feet are at their broadest

Final Thoughts

Here we are at the end of discussing half-sizes in shoes and their various aspects. Hope you found this article helpful. 

To guarantee the best fit, it’s crucial to be aware of your foot dimensions and to try on shoes from various manufacturers before making a decision. Knowing your specific foot conformation—wide or narrow—and taking stock of the shape of your feet is an important consideration for whether you need half-sizes. 

Good luck with getting the next perfectly fitted footwear!

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