If you’ve ever tried to match your sock size to your shoe size, you know that the two don’t exactly correlate.

Learning more about the similarities and differences between sock and shoe sizes can help you get a better, more comfortable fit.

Sock Size vs Shoe Size

Labeling

Sock and shoe sizes aren’t labeled in the same way. Different shoe sizes are given a number, such as 7.5 or 9, in the United States.

In the United Kingdom, the numbers are similar, but they refer to different sizes.

For example, a size 8 shoe in the United States is not the same size as an 8 in the United Kingdom. European shoe sizes are even more different, ranging from 34.5 to 50.

Socks, on the other hand, are simply measured in inches. Packages of socks often have a range of numbers on them, such as “Size 9 to 11.”

This means that the socks in the package will fit feet that are between 9 and 11 inches long.

This can make buying socks a bit challenging, as most people know what their shoe size is, but they may not know how long their foot actually is.

Socks labeled as small may also be marked with the label 8 to 9, which means they fit feet that are 8 to 9 inches long.

shoe size chart

This is usually equivalent to women’s shoes between the U.S. sizes of 4 and 6 and men’s shoes between sizes 5 and 7.

Medium socks are usually for men’s shoes between sizes 8 and 9 or women’s shoes between sizes 7 and 9, and these socks might also be labeled with the numbers 9 to 11.

This is the most common sock size, particularly for women.

Large socks are generally for men’s shoe sizes 10 to 13 and women’s shoe sizes 10 to 12. They are often labeled “11 to 12.”

Extra-large socks are mostly for men’s sizes, and cover shoe sizes 13 and up. They may also be labeled with the number 12 or higher.

It’s important to remember that, although shoe sizes are usually roughly the same size, the fit and exact size of a shoe can vary from brand to brand, and this is also true for socks.

It’s always a good idea to check the sizing chart of each particular sock brand to ensure you’re getting socks that will fit properly. If you can, try on the socks or shoes before buying them.

shoe box sizes

Snugness

When you’re considering the fit of a sock or shoe, it’s important to remember that these two items are supposed to fit differently.

Socks are designed to hug your feet, so it’s best to purchase socks as close to your size as possible.

Many people prefer shoes with a bit of wiggle room, however. This can make the shoes more comfortable and leaves open the option to wear socks of different thicknesses.

This can mean going up half a size when purchasing shoes, especially if you’re purchasing sneakers, boots, or any other shoes that might require thicker socks.

pair of blue and green socks on feet

Stretchiness

Socks are naturally stretchy, so they’ll often stretch to accommodate your foot, even if your foot is at the larger end of the size range of the socks.

This means that, in a pinch, you can guess at a sock size and usually come close enough that the socks will be comfortable. Shoes, however, only stretch a little bit, and only after long periods of wear.

For this reason, it’s best to get as close as possible to your correct shoe size and to try on the shoes whenever you purchase new footwear.

multi colored shocks with brown shoes

Compression Sock Sizes

Many people who have medical issues or stand for long stretches choose to wear compression socks, which help with blood circulation.

Unlike everyday socks, compression socks must be carefully fitted to ensure they’re tight enough to perform correctly.

It’s important to measure around your ankle, calf, and, if necessary, your thigh when choosing compression socks.

You’ll also want to measure the distance from your ankle to your knee as well as the total length of your leg.

You can then compare the measurements to the sizing chart for a particular brand to choose compression socks that fit well.

green compression socks and red running shoes

How to Find Your Shoe Size

You can find your sock size and shoe size using the same measurement. All you need to do is measure the length of your foot from the back of your heel to the tip of your longest toe.

The measurement in inches will tell you what size socks you need, and you can use a shoe size chart to use the same measurement to find your shoe size.

For example, if your foot is 9.5 inches long, your shoe size is a women’s 7.5 or a men’s 6.

It can sometimes be tricky to accurately measure your own foot, so you can put a piece of paper on the floor and mark the back of your heel and longest toe tip, or you can trace your foot.

You can then use a ruler to measure.

shoe size chart

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