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Men's Shoe Fitting Guide

Men’s Shoe Fitting Guide

Well-fitting shoes can make the difference between a good day and a bad day – getting the most out of your shoes means you need them to fit perfectly or they run the risk of being left in the back of the wardrobe.

Whether you’re thinking about splashing out on a new pair of dress shoes or buying a pair of men's shoes for everyday wear, it’s equally important that both pairs fit perfectly.

Your shoes should ideally leave half an inch between your toe and the leather (or other outer material), this allows for socks and swelling of the foot over the period of the day. When you stand up, your foot moves forward, so you need space to allow your foot to move as well.

The importance of taking some extra time to find shoes that fit correctly is essential to not only the comfort of your shoes but the health of your feet, shoes that are too small worn continuously can cause all sorts of nasty foot problems, such as bunions and callouses.

Cleaning Men's Shoes

How Should Men’s Shoes Fit?

First and foremost, they should be comfortable. This sounds an obvious statement to make, yet some people will religiously stick to one size if they assume this is the right size, and yet they don’t feel comfortable. If you have to go down or up half or a whole size more than you usually take to get a better fit in a certain style of shoe, then do so.

It’s important to remember that European, US and UK sizes are different, and as there is no definitive translation between the sizes, you may differ between brand to brand as to what size you need. To determine what size is right for you, check our men's shoe size guide.

Buying online can save the stress and hassle of going into a shoe shop and using a valuable afternoon up, if you want to buy online then there are a few things you can do to ensure that you buy the correct size even though you can’t try them on.

Tips for buying shoes online:

  • Measure your feet at home. Take a look at our men's shoe size guide which covers how to do this.
  • Check the brands sizing guidelines: You may find a brand will differ in its sizes, even though they are labelled as the same. Check their guidelines before you buy.
  • If you can, order a pair of shoes in two sizes – especially if you are unsure.
  • If you are not sure which size will be best, go for a half size up: shoes are more comfortable if they’re half a size too big rather than half a size too small.

If you do decide to buy shoes in store, it’s worth getting your feet measured every now and then – weight loss and age can all affect what size shoe you are, even if you’re well past your growth spurts!

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Wide And Large Men’s Shoes

Wide And Large Men’s Shoes

Men’s shoes can vary in width, although most high street shops tend to offer a standard width size for men’s shoes.

If you need wider shoes, there are shops that cater for this, online is an especially good place to find wider fit shoes. Here at shoezone we stock a wide fitting size should you need it.

Research has shown that since the 1970’s, our species has grown taller and therefore our feet as a whole have grown. On average, we have feet that are 2 sizes bigger than they were 40 years ago.

We stock up to a size thirteen in our men’s footwear range, which caters for the majority of men’s footwear needs. The average men’s shoe size in 9-12.

Men’s Shoes For Swollen Feet

Men’s Shoes For Swollen Feet

There are some medical conditions which can leave the feet and ankles swollen, obviously affecting the fit of your shoes.

Conditions that result in stiff, swollen or aching feet or ankles can be helped with wide fitting shoes specifically designed for men with swollen feet. Dress shoes might pose a real problem to you if you have any of the above conditions, however, there are solutions.

It helps the foot by wearing shoes that gently cover the foot and can be adjusted. For example, easy fasten or lace up shoes might offer a practical and comfortable option. Wearing wide fitting slippers around the house might be better for your feet than wearing proper shoes at home.

It might be worth speaking to a foot care professional such as a podiatrist if you need more expert advice on what shoes to wear if you’re suffering foot problems.

Amending the Fit of Your Shoes

Amending the Fit of Your Shoes

If you do end up with the wrong sized shoes, and you can’t return them – there’s often no need to throw them out, you can amend most shoes to up to half a size.

Gel inserts to the bottom of your shoes offer extra comfort and a tighter fit within your shoe. If the shoe is a little too loose you can also try a full insole or a heel grip to get the right fit for you.

In our guide on how to care for men's shoes, we offered advice on how to stretch shoes, you may be able to stretch your shoes a little by heating them up and wearing them and repeating the process until the leather has softened and is more supple. A more extreme alternative is investing in shoe stretchers, although try the previous mentioned method before as this may not be necessary.

Gel inserts and cushions are widely available and can make a world of difference to the comfort and fit in your shoes for a fraction of the cost of buying a new pair.



If you do your research and take a little extra time finding out what size shoes you need, you’ll prolong the life and wearability of your shoes, and improve and maintain the health of your feet.

As much as we can advise you on foot care and sizes, it’s always best to try shoes on to ensure you buy the best fit for your feet.

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