• STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Agonizing over 1/2 size when buying shoes - - Pointless?

jdbob

Senior Member
Joined
May 31, 2008
Messages
118
Reaction score
1
I bought a few pairs of shoes this week and, as I often find myself doing, I agonize over 1/2 sizes. One is slightly more snug, but will give and break in, the other will be slightly looser. I can never make a choice that I am 100% happy with. I always wonder if I should have gotten the other.

Given how small the difference probably is, should I just get over it, pick one and be happy? or is it worth the agony, frustration, second guessing in order to find the *right* pair?

I guess the question is - How important is a half size?
 
  • Like
Reactions: AMH

Manton

RINO
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Apr 20, 2002
Messages
41,583
Reaction score
2,875
A half size can be the difference between comfort and agony.

I prefer a new shoe to be slightly snug rather than slightly loose. Slightly snug will break in and give a little.
 

Drydis Greis

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
330
Reaction score
2
For me, a half size to large shoe will cause heel slippage, and I really hate that. I agree with Manton that it's better to have a slightly snug shoe vice loose as the shoe will "give" a little with wear.
 

alliswell

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
3,992
Reaction score
16
You can stretch a shoe - at least in width - but you can't shrink one. Choose the smaller size.
 

HRoi

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
22,262
Reaction score
11,887
Originally Posted by Drydis Greis
For me, a half size to large shoe will cause heel slippage, and I really hate that. I agree with Manton that it's better to have a slightly snug shoe vice loose as the shoe will "give" a little with wear.

yes, a half size makes all the difference in the world. half a size smaller than "just right" is way too tight, and half a size bigger is way too loose. what I hate is shoes that somehow feel a half size big, but when you go half a size down, they're too tight
 

agavilanes

Distinguished Member
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
1,099
Reaction score
0
Originally Posted by letmebefell
You can stretch a shoe - at least in width - but you can't shrink one. Choose the smaller size.

In my experience, if the width is the problem, I prefer a snug shoe (not so much, off course). But if the lenght is the problem, I'll go with the larger size. A half size in length can be corrected in a variety of ways: heelk pads, tongue pads, insole, etc.
 

Wes Bourne

Distinguished Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2008
Messages
3,865
Reaction score
152
Originally Posted by Manton
A half size can be the difference between comfort and agony.

Words of wisdom.

Originally Posted by HRoi
what I hate is shoes that somehow feel a half size big, but when you go half a size down, they're too tight


Been there as well, I share your frustration.
 

Mild Mannered

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
627
Reaction score
4
I go half size larger. I hate snug shoes. Makes my feet sweat even more. And a half size larger (depending on the shoes ofcourse) gives a touch of breathing room. If your feet are sliding in the shoes that seems like some shoe last that doesn't work for your foot shape.
 

Dewey

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2007
Messages
3,485
Reaction score
42
I will dissent -- I think it is more important to "agonize" over lasts and shoe styles rather than 1/2 sizes.

My feet are different sizes, in slightly different ways, and they measure much longer in the arch than they do at the end of the toes. I have slim ankles for someone with my foot length. This sort of thing is typical: few people have perfect & symmetrical feet. My feet also get bigger toward the end of the day. Odds are your feet are somewhat deformed and different from one another and slowly changing shape over the hours or the years too.

To tweak the fit of a shoe, I can adjust sock thickness or wear a 3/4 length arch support, or not, or use tongue cushions or scaphoid pads. I can wear a shoe laced tight or loose. Fit is subjective. One half-size might fit slightly better than another, but the main factor is for sure the shape of the last and the degree to which the shoe's shape matches up with the shape of my foot. A last that fits me well will fit me, more or less, in two or three half-sizes. One half-size might be best, but usually another half-size near it fits acceptably well.

Style also matters. I think bluchers are better for people with moderate to high arches, and balmorals are better for people with low to moderate arches. Some people will get better fits from loafers; others need tie shoes.

And the material matters. Some leathers will predictably stretch more, with normal use, than others.

Good luck. In the end, there is no substitute for careful trial and error. Eventually you will find what works for you, and be happy about that.
 

bigbris1

Distinguished Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2007
Messages
7,343
Reaction score
13
Half a size is the reason for the sale of the shoes in my sig. .5 size bigger would have been perfect.
 

well-kept

Senior Member
Joined
May 30, 2006
Messages
908
Reaction score
40
I own and wear shoes in a range of sizes, sometimes the exact shoe on the exact last in different sizes or widths. Don't know about you guys but my feet are not a static size and shape. The shoe that fits well at 7AM will feel uncomfortably tight by 4PM. My feet feel larger in warm weather etc. Agonizing over a half size???
 

fuji

Distinguished Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2008
Messages
7,062
Reaction score
1,436
I can go down about half a size and I don't particularly mind. They gradually stretch and eventually you won't notice anymore. I won't go up half a size though, I hate the look of space next to your heel. Even worse then that is when the shoe creases on top of your toes because the last doesn't fit you very well.
 

rkw5000

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2007
Messages
203
Reaction score
1
Agonize away. I have shoes 1/2 size too big and they are too sloppy, 1/2 size too small and they are too tight and can hurt after prolonged wearing. So for me size, width and last are all important.
 

Politely

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2008
Messages
65
Reaction score
1
Originally Posted by jdbob
I bought a few pairs of shoes this week and, as I often find myself doing, I agonize over 1/2 sizes. One is slightly more snug, but will give and break in, the other will be slightly looser.

This drives me bonkers, particularly when it's a new shoemaker or last, because I won't know whether I've made the right decision until it's too late to return the shoe. And the more expensive the shoe, the more time spent agonizing. The only reason it's not completely maddening is that there are fixes to make the shoe wearable - the only exception being if the shoe really does turn out to be too small.

It doesn't help that one of my feet is bigger than the other...
 
  • Like
Reactions: AMH

Prince of Paisley

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Messages
4,502
Reaction score
4,178
I think it also depends on the type of shoe to some degree. Lace-ups and monks are more forgiving than loafers as you can adjust the lacing/strap on the former two.

Really though, it sounds like your shoe assistant isn't on his game - if he knows his product and measures your foot he should be able to give you good advice about which size is the best for you.
 

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

Threads of Apollo Leather Jackets: Which 2-tone colourway do you like the best?

  • Blue

  • Red

  • Gold

  • All of the Above

  • None of the Above


Results are only viewable after voting.

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
460,035
Messages
9,982,442
Members
207,881
Latest member
Davsug
Top