Shoe Size

Last update: April 2016

Knowing which size shoes to buy can be daunting!

For girls who order internationally (because your country doesn’t carry the brand or specific pair of shoes that you seek), often it’s very frustrating to have your parcel arrive after waiting for days and your Cinderella shoes don’t fit. Not only so, there’s US and European sizing, with the latter further dividing into British, Italian, and French sizing which are very different! All this can be so confusing!

So here’s my guide to most luxury shoe brands, with my standard of comparison being the US shoe size.
If you have questions regarding specific shoes, leave me a message and I’ll get back to you. I know Jimmy Choo, Manolo, Aquazzura, Gianvito Rossi, Valentino, and Louboutin shoes very well. I actually had a spreadsheet for almost all CL shoes produced from 2008 to 2014-ish, but stop keeping up to date given the market saturation of his shoes over the last 2-3 years.
Anyhow, below is a general guide only from *my* experience because I had one person stating that she disagrees, which is fine. Everyone’s sizing and foot shape are different, so please keep in mind that your experience may be different as well. I am only trying to help and I know *my* foot shape has not changed, thus relative to myself the below suggestions are true for me. And I believe that based on the comments, most people find this guide to be helpful, so I will continue updating this page as my shopping goes on in the future 🙂

triangle-congruence-20-638

Lesson 1: Math – Understanding Your Foot Size

Yes, you must wonder why I brought up the famous triangle. Well all well-soled shoes start with good math and physics. So the basic here is that most people don’t really understand how their foot size relates to the actual shoe size. They are NOT the same historically and that’s why every brand or even shoe style within the same brand can be different at times. Modern day sizing has tried to eliminate the confusion. However, traditionally speaking, a shoe size is represented by “a,” which is the BASE of the triangle. The shoe’s height is represented by “b” and your own foot length is “c.” Thus depending on the HEIGHT of the shoes, your shoe size “a” will change, if we assume that your own foot length “c” remains the same. This explains why the higher the heel, the SMALLER the shoe size one typically needs because “a” must shorten as “b” increases. The converse is also true, in that the lower the heel is, the larger “a” must increase and approximate “c,” such that when the shoes become completely a pair of flats, then “a” = “c” = foot length. Like I said before, modern day sizing has tried to eliminate this kind of confusion (eg. the famous Louboutin conversion to standard sizing these days caused a heat wave amongst fashionistas), so that when we talk about shoe size these days, some brands have converted over so that their “reference” for shoe size = foot size = “c” instead of historically “a.”

Lesson 2: Shoe Width

I had a comment recently asking what are the letters behind the shoe size. This refers to the width of the shoes. Standard shoes are generally B and because it’s the reference point, most shoe sizes actually do not have this denoted. So if it’s not written, we generally assume that it’s a size B.
A = Narrow width
B = Normal width
C = Wide width
D = Extra wide

Lesson 3: Specifics Amongst Different Brands

Aquazzura:
– New leading Spanish designer brand
– Runs very SMALL to size and narrow, go up by half a size to a full size.
Eg. I’m usually a US 5.5, and typically purchase their 36 – 36.5 size. I have one pair that goes to 37!

Balenciaga:
– Originally Spanish, but now I guess Italian sizing?
– Generally runs VERY SMALL to size, go up by one full size.
Eg. I’m  usually a US 5.5, converts to 35.5 European, and wear 36.5-37 with this brand.

Chanel:
– French sizing
– Generally small to size for their flats, but TTS for their pumps imo
Eg. Ballerinas – 36 fits best on me, whereas for all pumps or anything with a heel, I take 35.5 consistently.

Charlotte Olympia:
– British brand, but adapted to US sizing
– Runs TRUE to size or occasionally LARGE.
Eg. I’m a US 5.5, and I consistently take 35.5 with CO shoes.

Chloé:
– Italian? sizing
– Runs small to size, go up by half a size.
Eg. I’m not too familiar with this brand, but I’ve tried their scallop flats and “Suzanna” booties, which were all a bit small imo.

Christian Louboutin:
– French sizing originally, then since 2010 things changed, see blurb below.
– Original sizing prior to 2010:
Generally runs SMALL to size, meaning go UP by half to one full size
Eg. I’m a US 5.5, but would have to wear 36 or 36.5 with CL shoes.
Exception:
Pigalle 85 runs TRUE to size or slightly SMALL to size
Pigalle 100 runs TRUE to size
Pigalle 120 and Pigalle Plato 120/140 run VERY large to size (go down by 1 full size)

CL is recently changing their system for many shoes, so beware of their famous VPs which now run LARGE to size (was previously TRUE to size). In fact, the company is trying to make their line of shoes more consistent with US sizing, which actually makes everything very inconsistent because the newer styles (NOT new texture/material on an older style) are either running TTS or even LARGE; while the older styles are still made based on the older shoe molds.
I actually liked the old system, because you knew that your true CL size was just half size more than your US size, easy right? However, now we have inconsistencies everywhere. This is why I tell people that there is NO TRUE CL SIZE after 2010, so terminology should be made clear that when one says “TTS” it means true to their US size!
Update April 2015: Most CLs these days actually run TTS, so just stick to you US sizing, unless you have wide feet, then go up half a size to accommodate. Some of the original and very classic styles like Décolleté 554, Rolando, and Numéro Privé still run small.

Dries Van Noten:
– European sizing
– Generally runs SMALL to size, go UP by half size.
Eg. I’m usually a US 5.5, and wear 36 with DVN.

Gianvito Rossi:
– Non-traditional Italian sizing
– Most shoes are TTS for me, but sometimes slightly large.
Eg. Pumps and “Plexi” style are a bit big, so I wear 35 in them.

Giuzeppe Zanotti:
– Non-traditional Italian sizing
– Generally TRUE to size, but can be SMALL to size with some sandals (especially if you have a high arch).
Eg. I take US 5.5, and with GZ I’ll wear 35.5 in their pumps but 36 in their sandals.

Givenchy:
– Italian sizing
– Mostly TTS, but some heels can runs small to size.
Eg. Shark Tooth sandals are small, so go up by half size. Pumps and boots are pretty TTS.

Jimmy Choo:
– British sizing
– Generally runs TRUE to size
Eg. I take US 5.5 and would wear 35.5 with JC shoes.
– Caution:
JC’s espadrilles and wedge sandals runs SMALL to size (go up by 1/2 size)

Lanvin:
– Italian sizing, usually the smallest of all the European sizes.
– Generally runs VERY SMALL to size, go UP at least half size for flats and sandals. Pumps and anything made in satin/fabric, go UP at least one full size!
Eg. I’m a US 5.5 (converts to 35.5 European), and I take 36.5-37 with Lanvin shoes.
– I’m not a fan of this brand’s shoes cuz of the high vamp (yes, I like toe cleavage!), and their flats are just too flat and flimsy-looking for me. I like more structured shoes like Ferragamo’s and Roger Vivier’s flats, which are great for work too.

Louis Vuitton:
– Non-traditional French sizing
– Generally TRUE to size with their flats and and open sandals. Never tried LV’s pumps, so I dunno.
– I’m also not a fan of LV’s shoes cuz they’re very uncomfortable. Their flats are great though, love the Monte Carlos and other loafers.

Manolo Blahnik:
– Non-traditional Italian sizing
– Generally runs TRUE to size or ever so slightly SMALL occasionally.
Personally, I find his shoes are just like Jimmy Choo’s, ie TRUE to size.

Miu Miu and Prada:
– Given that Miu Miu is owned by Prada, I’ll just talk about both together.
–  Non-traditional Italian sizing
– VERY TRUE to size, like most US shoes. These are very much like Manolos for me, but sometimes feel slightly larger.
Eg. I take US 5.5, and with either MM or Pradas, I’m a 35.5 consistently. Only in some flats with elastic, they tend to run small, so go up by half size.

Repetto:
– French sizing
– Runs VERY SMALL, go UP by at least one full size.
Eg. I’m a US 5.5 and I need to take 36.5 in Repetto’s flats. Their boy-shoes and boots I take 37-37.5.

Roger Vivier:
– French sizing
– VARIABLE sizing
Eg. I’m a US 5.5 and range anywhere between 35 – 36.5 in their Chips flats.

Rick Owens:
– European sizing
– Generally runs SMALL to size, go UP by half size.
Eg. I’m a US 5.5, and will need to take 36 with RO shoes.

Salvatore Ferragamo:
– Italian sizing
– Mostly small to size, with a minority of flats being a bit large.
Eg. Most of my Varina-like flats are a size 36.

Sophia Webster:
– Brazil made, based on European sizing?
– Shoes are slightly small to size. I can get away with my TTS in heels, but flats I take a half size up to be more comfy.
Eg. Chiara and Evangeline heels I take 35.5, but all their flats I prefer 36.

Stuart Weitzman:
– Spanish sizing
– Mostly TTS or slightly large to size depending on the style.
Eg. I’m a US 5.5, and generally take SW’s shoes in 35.5

Valentino:
– Italian sizing
– This one brand is all over the place imo and sizing varies depending on style and heel height, and even within the exact same version/style – sizing can be unpredictable!
Eg. Rockstud 100 – Generally TTS, but some are extremely SMALL with straps that could be longer than desired…
Rockstud 65 – All TTS for me so far.
Rockstud Cage flats – VERY LARGE to size, go down by at least 1 full size!
Rockstud Ballerina flats – Some TTS, some small, some large…
Rockstud boots and booties – All seem to be 1 full size LARGE to size!

This is to say that Valentino seems to have different factories with various shoe molds that are all non-standard or inconsistent with each other. Definitely a must to try the shoes on first before purchasing!

Vince:
– US sizing
– Consistently TTS

(Yves) Saint Laurent:
– Non-traditional French sizing
– Runs TRUE to size or slightly LARGE
Eg. I’m a US 5.5, and take 35.5 consistently in their sandals and pumps, but their boots run quite LARGE! So if you tend to size up in your boots like me to wear thick socks in the fall/winter, then DON’T! Otherwise they’ll be too big on you!

136 thoughts on “Shoe Size

  1. Hi Susan, I would recommend maybe a 36 in the Hangisi pumps. Flats can be hard to compare and RV sometimes can be inconsistent with their sizing in my opinion. If you prefer a looser fit or have wider feet, go for 36.5, if you don’t want heel slippage, try the 36. Best of luck 🙂

  2. Hi Ayishaa, for me GR tends to rue TTS or even slightly bigger (so I go DOWN a half size), whereas for Aquazurra they definitely run smaller, especially the Amazon sandals with the zipper and straps, you do want more room or else you’ll have overhanging toes in the front (so go up a half size or even a full size!). Hope this helps and sorry for the very late reply!! 🙂

  3. Hi Okwi, I would say GR runs TTS or even slightly larger to size (and this is all in comparison to US sizing). So I’d probably recommend sticking to 39.5 (9.5) or even 39 for a more snug fit if you don’t want heel slippage. Best of luck and sorry for the late reply! 🙂

  4. Hi Ashley, I would probably recommend the same size of Giuseppe’s i.e. 36 because Valentino’s flats can be quite variable in sizing even with the same style they’re inconsistent. Best of luck and happy shopping 🙂

  5. Hi Melanie, I do not have any of Bal’s sandals, but I do have their boots and tried on flats before in the past. I would recommend at least a half size up. It depends on the sandal’s style and the leather too. If there are many straps and with a thicker type of leather, then maybe go for a full size up. Otherwise, half size up should be fine! Good luck 🙂

  6. help! Gianvito Rossi leopard loafers – torn between a 38,5 and a 39. I always go with a 38,5 with pumps because my feet are very narrow but I’m not sure about the flats??

  7. Hi Tina, for loafers I personally prefer a looser fit, so for me I’d choose 39. However the 38.5 will be a more “true” fit. It depends on your preference. Happy shopping 🙂

  8. Thank you so much for the reply, this was helpful! I’ll go for the 38,5 then because of my narrow feet + I like it a bit snug 🙂 thanks xo

  9. Hello, need your advice for these CLs. Any material
    P 100 & 120 new style
    PP 120 post 2013
    PP 140 post 2013
    VP new style
    Fifi 120
    Corneille 100.
    My size: consistent 35 in PF 100 kid, filo, neofilo. 34.5 in P120 old style, and iriza 120. 35.5 in LP with heel grips while 35 fits ok, 36 in rolando with heel grips. Other designers like Prada, Valentino, Dior, JC, Zanotti, are 35.
    Thanks for hepl

  10. Hi, I’m a prada 38 in their pump heels, which size would I recommend for giovanti plexi pumps?

  11. I’m a perfect Prada 38 in their pump heels, which size would I recommend for giovanti plexi pumps??

  12. Hi lovely, need a bit of help again – aquazzura lace up flats – I fluctuate between a 38,5 and a 39 but have extremely narrow feet so my loafers are usually a smaller size. which one do you think i should go for? xx

  13. Hi Tina, I think that’s a tough one; Aquazzura shoes tend to be pretty narrow to begin with, so I would still probably recommend a 39. If it’s too big, I wouldn’t worry much about it because the lace-ups will still keep your feet bound in the shoes. You can always add a foot petal or heel pad. Good luck! 🙂

  14. do you have any experience with Alexander McQueen shoes?

    As for Rick Owens… I’m usually a US 6.5, so should I probably take a sz 37 in that case?

  15. hi Cecilia – I usually wear size 35.5 in Chanel pumps and I plan to buy a pair of patent gianvito Rossi – what size do you suggest ?

  16. Hi, I recently bought Valentino Rockstud cage ballerina flats in size 38 and they fit perfectly. I am looking at buying the Valentino Rockstud motorcycle boots and wondering if I should buy in same size. What do you think?

  17. Hi Cecilia,

    With great pleasure, I’ve read your wonderful blog (what a joy!) and this page on sizing. Since you are an expert on Louboutin shoes and I would really like to buy my first pair of So Kate, I’d love your advice.
    I want a black suede pair and a nude patent pair. After emailing a Louboutin and several online shops, I’ve established that my suede size should be half a size smaller than my patent size, which should be my “true” Louboutin size.
    BUT I do not own a pair yet, so I don’t know what to get and I want the suede first since the patent ones are always in the collection and the suede only in Fall/Winter.
    I am from Europe, so I don’t have to convert my US size, but my true EU size is 36. Exactly, the length of my feet is precise a size 36. I also have narrow to normal feet, so I don’t need to size up due to large feet. I only need to take the length of the shoe into consideration. However, I have not found a single pump yet that doesn’t cause heel slippage. Although I have to mention that I do not own any designer shoes yet, so those are retail shoes and mostly normal to wider cut (that’s why my more narrow feet can’t stay in the heel, because length wise I do not have a gap; Sometimes over time, I get a little gap (2-3mm the most), because the front gets more wide and my feet slide more forward). Having heel grips or half soles in front do not help, because they stay too wide. This should definitely not be an issue with CL, since they are very narrow cut. 😉
    I should also mention I have short toes, but maybe that is an advantage, because I don’t get squished or curled up toes and it’s easier to handle a tight toe box.

    Anyway, I see you take 35.5 in So Kate. Do you take the same size in patent as in suede or kid leather of do you consider the material? Do you have narrow feet and what is the exact length of your feet? So I can compare to determine my true CL size and then go from there: TTS in patent, .5 size down in suede.

    Thank you so so much for your advise!

  18. Thank you so much for this extensive guide on designer sizes. I have ordered multiple shoes online and with your help all of them has been spot on. 🙂

  19. Hi, I’m going to purchase the Givenchy Shark Lock suede booties and don’t know how they run. They SEEM to be narrow but I have no idea.

    I wear a 36 in Isabel Marant
    Have some CL in 37.5
    Wear a 6 in US (typically)

  20. Please don’t ever take this down! This has been a godsend when trying to figure out which size shoes to order! Thank you. 🙂

  21. Too exited to have found this information. I have just placed an order for Charlotte Olympia flats and no where are useful infos in terms of sizes evadable. I am going to save this blogpost. It is so helpful. sincerely thank you for sharing this. I am sure it was not easy to put all those measurements together.

    Xx Mahshid مهشید

    http://www.thankstofashion.com

  22. Hi Ellie,
    Sorry for the late reply, but I’d say the same size 35.5 in GR. Don’t know if you got your shoes yet, if yes, congrats 🙂

  23. Hi Nat, for boots I personally prefer a bigger fit to wear socks inside. I’d try 38.5 in this case, but it’s just a matter of preference. If you feel that you need a more snug fit, then stay with the 38 which should be fine. Sorry for the late response btw, and HTH!

  24. Hi Emma,
    Thanks so much for visiting my blog. My feet are 21.5cm or 8.5 inches in length for your reference if this helps you decide on your shoe size. I personally do not consider the material that much because most of my CLs are not for daily wear, so I don’t factor in the long term effects of stretching the material. I’d rather have a more comfortable fit when the shoes are new rather than squeeze my feet into something too small and deal with blisters. So all of my So Kate heels are 35.5 whether they’re satin, patent, or kidskin (which also stretches a lot). I understand that you may want to go down a half size in suede as it may stretch in the long term, but this is with a LOT of wear. So if you plan on getting a lot of use from them, it’s a good idea to size down. Best of luck on your So Kate heels 🙂

  25. Awww thanks Norli! I’m so glad my blog can provide this kind of help to dear shoppers around the world! Have a wonderful holiday season 😀

  26. Hi Maria,
    Givenchy runs slightly small to TTS for me. If I remember correctly when I tried those on in the past, they were slightly small feeling for me. So I’d recommend a half size up, so 36.5 would probably be best. Hope this helps and happy holiday shopping 🙂

  27. Hi Cassie, thank you very much for visiting. Rest assured, I won’t take it down and hope it will continue to help shoppers like yourself around the world 🙂

  28. Hello! Do you know any information/have size recommendations for Jimmy Choo Vince shoes? I am usually a size 9 for normal brands, a 40 sometimes in Aldo, but a 39 or 39.5 for SJPs. Debating if a 39 will be too small.

    Thank you!

  29. Jimmy Choo typically runs TTS for me. If you have wide feet, may want to do half size up to accommodate for the narrow pointed toe. Otherwise, they’re usually very consistent in sizing. Good luck!

  30. Hello, I want to purchase a givenchy sandal with ankle strap. I see that you say they are true to size…Do you think it would be an issue if i purchase a 39.5 and i wear a US 9 normally.

  31. Hi Tasha, I think that should be fine if you size up a bit. Their ankle straps tend to be a bit tight, so going a half size up may also give you more comfort when flexing the ankle. Best of luck!

  32. Hi, Im purchasing a Versus black leather quilted sneaker . Im a 9 or 9.5 , I have normal to wide feet , they’re just not narrow. Wondering if I should get the IT size 42 or 43 .. ?

    Can you help ? Thank You so much =D

    Jennifer

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