What your Little Finger says about your Shoe Size

Updated by Janine

Did you know that the difference in length between whole shoe sizes in the UK & US is only the width of your little fingernail?

Not even the full width of your finger, just the width across your pinky nail.

We think there's a huge range of adult shoe sizes, from tiny to huge feet, when in reality the gap between shoe sizes is really small. There is only 8.46mm or ⅓ inch in length between whole UK and US shoe sizes. Plus there's even less between European shoe sizes: just 6.67mm or about ¼ inch.

Your Feet are Smaller than you Think

If you feel self-conscious about your big feet, they are not as big as you think.

Next time someone makes a clown feet joke or a shop assistant gives you THAT look, just look at your little finger.

Remember, the width of your pinky nail is all there is separating the length of whole shoe sizes. It's TINY! Even several little finger nail widths is still quite small.

So you are not some freak of nature. In fact your feet are quite close in length to everyone else's. They are just slightly larger than the mainstream. That's it.

If you wear size 11 us or 9 uk shoes , your feet are only a tiny fingernail width away from every shoe shop stocking your size. So close & yet so far! It's ridiculous that just an extra ⅓ inch shuts you out of most shoe stores.

A Small Amount makes a Big Difference

Look again at your little finger nail. It's hard to believe that such a small width could make or break whether a shoe fits. But it does.

With some clothing, sizing is more flexible and forgiving. You can wear multiple sizes depending on whether you like a tight or loose fit. But shoes need to be like Goldilocks' porridge - just right.

If you try on 2 shoe sizes, they feel quite different even though they are nearly the same length. One will feel all wrong & the other will fit like Cinderella's slipper.

Or perhaps neither is perfect & you need a half size instead. Cover one side of your pinky nail with your other thumb. Look how TEENY half the width of your nail is! But those bare few millimetres can make a world of difference to how your shoes feel.

Why Shoe Sizes vary so much

While life would be so much easier if all shoes used the same sizing, it's just not possible unfortunately.

Your little finger shows you how fine the margins are in shoemaking. Your foot width is another important factor in shoe size and there are other measurements to consider too. Tiny changes in each add up to big differences overall. Plus think of how many women's shoe styles there are - the possibilities are endless!

All the same, many brands still need to step up here. They could help a LOT by using consistent sizing across their range and making their shoes true to size, according to either the US/UK or European shoe size systems.

But shoe brands can only do so much. There can never be one shoe size chart to rule them all. Getting shoe sizing right is HARD.

Finding Shoes to suit your Feet

So next time you find shopping frustrating, just look at your little finger. Something so small shouldn't cause so much stress!

The good news is that more large size shoes are available every year. Most of these are online, so it can take some trial and error to find brands that suit your feet. Don't lose heart! Make a pinky promise to keep trying new brands and you could soon find your dream shoes.

Where to start? You'll find lots of shops stocking your size in the global big shoe store directory. If you're in the US, you can try the new big shoe search too.

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