Is Your Boot Size the Same as Your Shoe Size?

The question by itself might seem a little odd, ain’t it? Why would someone ask something like this? After all, we are not changing our feet. Then how can there arise a doubt of difference in size between boots and shoes? 

I thought the same when I heard this question the very first time. But soon as I was looking to buy new shoes for myself, I understood that the query indeed had some substance to it.

The sizes for boots and shoes are NOT the same. In fact, the sizes vary between boots themselves. There are a lot of factors that influence the size of footwear including the type, the company that makes it, the country that it is made in, and a few more.

Is Your Boot Size the Same as Your Shoe Size

Understanding the differences is vital in choosing the best comfortable footwear for oneself. Continue reading to know more!

So, what brings the difference between boots and shoe sizes?

As mentioned, there are a few factors that bring in the differences. I have listed them down.

The Place:

The countries prefer their own shoe and boots size. In the UK the size starts from 0 while in the US it starts from 1. Hence, the size difference between shoes and boots is quite a real thing.

Forget about boots and shoes, among boots, the difference can get you confused depending upon the country from where the footwear is based. 

1.) Type of measurement used: 

There are different ways in which the size of the shoes or boots is decided. It depends on the length of the last which is the mold that the shoe or boot is made from. Measured in barleycorns, this is considered the traditional way of measuring a shoe or boot length.

Combination (US Mens/Womens) Genuine Brannock brand Device - international standard for foot-measuring/shoe-fitting…

Similarly, there is a more modern method of measurement called as Brannock system. Measured using a device called Brannock, this size is about 2 barleycorns shorter than the traditional size.

The difference in the basic measurement used can result in you having a dilemma deciding the size between boots and shoes.

2.) The manufacturer:

Each company has its own size chart. This is because of the same reason mentioned before. The last that each brand use is according to its whims.

Hence if you buy shoes from one brand of a particular size, you probably have to go for a different size for boots if you are buying from another company.

3.) The type of footwear:

You might have observed how the toe area and the body of boots are structured differently when compared to boots.

Boots often come with wider toe areas, unlike shoes. This is reflected in the other parts of the footwear as well. 

Therefore, the boots and shoes for your feet might vary in size not just in number but also with their outward look.

As a result, the overall space inside the footwear will not be the same for shoes and boots. The same size of boots that you have chosen might render your feet trouble due to space constraints in the same-sized shoes.

4.) The method used for stitching:

There are different ways of stitching adopted in making boots and shoes. A few to name are the Blake construction, the Stitchdown method, and the Goodyear welt stitching. 

In the Blake method of stitching, the outsole is directly stitched with midsole and upper sole while for the stitchdown method the upper part is put on either side of the midsoles and all the parts are stitched together.


For Goodyear welt stitches a strip of material runs through the upper which is stitched to the mid and outsoles.

For the first two, the toe area is more than the third. Blake way is primarily used for shoes for dresses. Stitchdown construction is primarily adopted for work boots. Stitichdown leaves more space for the foot inside the footwear.

The difference in the stitching can give you variations in sizes.

How can I find the correct boot or shoe size?

Whether shoes or boots, the first thing you need to do is measure your foot to know the size. I am going to tell you the most used and proven method to find your foot size.

Before jumping into the process let me first share some tips to be followed as a part of it.

Make sure to do the measuring in the afternoon for it is known that foot size can go up half or one by the end of the day. Might seem a little weird, but this is in fact true.

Do not forget to add a finger extra while measuring the top and side of the foot for this can help you get the right size while wearing socks or any other padding.

trace the shape of your foot

Use big cardboard bigger than a normal white paper to trace the shape of your foot so that you do not face the issue of going beyond the paper while tracing.

Remember you are measuring to find a shoe or boots that are one size bigger than your measured foot size.

Use cm or inch to gauge the foot size depending upon what is commonly used in your country.

Now let’s see how it gets done!

1.) Place cardboard on the floor and place your foot flatly on it.

2.) Now with a pen or marker trace the outline. Hold the pen perpendicular so that you do not make the mistake of marking the size smaller than it is.

3.) After tracing, move your foot away and put a finger above the big toe marked on the cardboard and the right side of the traced foot (a little below the fifth toe) and mark to add space for socks or additional padding that comes inside the shoes or boots. This way the size you measure will be slightly bigger than your actual foot size. 

4.) Draw a line above and on the sides along with the marks so that the lines meet making a corner. 

5.) Now using a tape measure the length from the marks to the opposite side and note it down.

For a better understanding, you can refer to the video given below.

What will happen if I wear the wrong sized shoe?

Wearing the wrong sized shoe can give you discomfort. But, that is just the tip of the mountain. 

If the boots or shoes you are using are too tight then the health problems that can arise in the short and the long-term are numerous.

From small blisters to serious health issues like deformities you are risking your mental and physical peace by opting for the wrong sized boots.

When the boots are too tight, irritation to the skin is pretty much what will happen. This can lead to blisters or your skin getting chapped. 

In the long term using the same wrong sizes of boots can even lead to hammertoes, tiny fractures, or conditions like neuropathy or plantar fasciitis in extreme cases.

When you have them too loose your mobility gets affected. Your gait gets affected and the risk of falling is high. You lose out on other things because you will constantly get distracted by loose footwear.

Hence, make sure you choose the ones that fit you properly.

How to know the boots I have chosen give me the best fit?

Online shopping can be quite tricky here. Unless you know the correct size for the boots or shoes that the particular brand uses, you won’t know whether the chosen footwear is your best fit or not.

Always, trying out the boots is the best option. This way, you ensure that the chosen ones are made to suit your feet.

Once you understand the size of a particular company note the sizes for shoes and boots separately. Jotting down the sizes can help you choose the boots or shoes of the same brand easily in the future. 

While trying, ensure that the footwear fits your feet properly and take a few steps to establish the same. Make sure that your toes are not too congested or there aren’t any gaps on either side of the foot.

To Conclude

Boots or shoes, all you need to know is the size that your foot is for the type you choose. Remember not to go for the same size with either type even when they are of the same brand.

Due to the difference in purpose and structure, each type has its own size chart. So keep a note of that and enjoy shopping!

Wanna see more such amazing blogs? Then do check out my latest works!

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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