The sneaker customer base has grown exponentially in the last decade, and with that growth comes an endless assortment of products and extended confusion over sizing and fit.
For women, this is especially difficult as we tend to overlap into Youth and Men’s sizing in a puzzling and unpredictable fashion. It’s not uncommon for sneakers to release in a jumble of combinations, whether it’s Men’s and Women’s, Men’s and Youth, or all three. It’s no surprise that many women are left confused and unsure. Let’s not forget that with sneakers becoming increasingly limited, there is little room for error when picking a size because it’s not as simple or straightforward as exchanging for your correct size.
With an increasing number of releases extending into smaller sizes and Women’s releases attracting more male consumers than ever, those who wear Men’s sizes also find themselves needing to do some size conversion.
As a result, we’ve compiled a guide to help you find your correct size. Keep in mind that this is to be used as a baseline and will vary across brands and models.
How to Choose Your Size:
We know how challenging it is to find your perfect fit without the option to try things on, especially for high heat releases that require you to decide quickly. Brands are attempting to implement a unisex approach, providing both Men’s and Women’s sizing on their labels, but the default tends to be men’s sizing in conversation and in cart.
A good rule of thumb to follow is subtracting 1.5 from your Women’s shoe size to calculate your Men’s size. This is a good baseline to follow but does not apply across the board, and will vary based on the brand and model of the shoe.
Men’s sizing is equivalent to Grade School (GS) or Youth sizing.
You’ll notice that many women include their men’s, Women’s, and GS shoe size when asked, just to avoid any potential mix-ups.
Size Conversions by Brand:
Nike, Reebok, and Asics:
Women’s to Men’s – subtract 1.5 from your women’s size
- Women’s 10 → Men’s 8.5
- Women’s 7.5 → Men’s 6
adidas and New Balance:
Women’s to Men’s – subtract 1 from your women’s size
- Women’s 10 → Men’s 9
- Women’s 7.5 → Men’s 6.5
Women’s to Men’s – subtract 2 from your women’s size
- Women’s 10 → Men 8
- Women’s 7.5 → Men 5.5
Once again, this is simply a baseline and you will learn more as you go. You’ll also see the term TTS (true to size) being used. This refers to the size of your foot as measured by a Brannock device.
If you are able to fit into GS sizes, you may be tempted to purchase from the kid’s section to save a little bit of money. The primary reason for this is because youth sneakers are often lacking the same technology and quality materials as the Men’s or Women’s version.
We recommend getting the adult version especially if it is a performance shoe (ie. running, training, basketball). Proper fit is very important in these cases, which can cause discomfort, or worse, injury.
Before purchasing we encourage you to research the best size for you and read the product description to get a better idea of how the shoe fits. Keep in mind that most limited sneaker releases are final sale.
With the limited nature of many sneakers, time is a huge factor. Knowing your size beforehand is one less thing to think about at checkout.
You can also lean on your SoleSavy community leaders and community members to share their insights as there is bound to be somebody who has experience with the fit.