Men with smaller feet often have trouble finding shoes in their size. If you’re wondering where to buy shoes for small feet, this guide is for you.
Most major men’s shoe manufacturers make shoes down to size 7 or 8 (US). Many brands don’t make anything smaller than 8D, which is too big for lots of guys.
Not to mention, many contemporary brands run large, especially in dress shoes, which is why they often recommend sizing down a half size or more.
What’s considered “small” for men’s feet?
If your feet are smaller than average, it can be hard to find high quality, stylish shoes that actually fit. What’s considered “small” for men’s feet?
For the sake of this guide, we’ll define “small” as anything below size 8 (US). Since we’re going to cover brands with different sizing systems, here’s a handy conversion table:
Shoe Size Conversion Table
|US (Men)||US (Women)||UK (Men)||Euro|
Keep in mind, there aren’t any universal standards with shoe sizing, so you should always check with an individual brand to see if their shoes run big or small, compared to other manufacturers.
Know Your Actual Foot Size
It’s helpful to know your actual size, according to the Brannock Device (the metal foot size apparatus you’ll find in every shoe store).
It’s also really helpful to know your best size for at least one major shoe brand. For example, I wear a size 7D in Allen Edmonds’ popular Park Avenue model.
Since Allen Edmonds is so popular, most shoe companies can guess my best size based on which Allen Edmonds size fits my foot.
Printable Shoe Size Chart for Men
If you’re not sure what size your actual feet are, and you don’t have access to a Brannock device, you can use this handy printable shoe size chart instead:
Just download this chart, print it out (make sure it’s scaled to 100%), and you’ll have an accurate size in no time.
Brands That Make Smaller Shoes
Of course, the real issue is finding brands that actually make smaller shoes, especially dress shoes and boots.
But small men’s dress shoes are tough to find. In general, you’ll find that brands based in the UK, Italy and Spain tend to carry smaller sizes. They also tend to fit more snugly than American brands.
For your convenience, here’s a list of shoe companies that make small men’s dress shoes and boots (size 7 or smaller) and sell their shoes online:
Dress Shoes / Boots
|Brand||Smallest Size (US)||Smallest Size (UK)|
|Red Wing (US)||5||4.5|
|Herring Shoes (UK)||5.5||5|
|Jay Butler (US)||4||3.5|
|Grant Stone (US)||6||5.5|
|Thursday Boot Co. (US)||6||5.5|
|Thursday Boot Co. (US)||6||5.5|
|Allen Edmonds (US)||6.5||6|
|Crockett & Jones (UK)||6.5||6|
Casual Shoes /
|Nike||Down to size 3.5|
|Converse||Down to size 3|
|Vans||Down to 3.5 (in "boys" section)|
|Common Projects||Down to size 6|
|Adidas||Down to size 4.5|
|Balenciaga||Down to size 6|
|New Balance||Down to size 4|
|Toms||Down to size 6|
|Onitsuka||Down to size 4|
While the brands listed above should have you covered for all of your shoe needs, you do have some other options when looking for smaller footwear.
Here are some ideas for you…
Buy Unisex Shoes
Many shoes are sold in unisex sizes. Some, like the Clarks Desert Boot, Vans for J. Crew (Sold out) and Onitsuka Tiger are actually marketed and sold as unisex shoes.
On the product page, you’ll see a sizing continuum that crosses from “women’s sizes” to “men’s sizes” (an arbitrary distinction in the case of unisex footwear).
Unisex shoes are great options for guys who need smaller sizes, as these shoes typically go down to men’s size 4.
Buy Women’s Shoes
Other popular shoes, like the Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots or Common Projects Achilles Low (Sold out), aren’t marketed as unisex, but the women’s version is virtually identical to the men’s version.
For example, the only difference between the men’s and women’s 1000 Mile Boots is the number of eyelets:
Otherwise, it’s the same exact boot, but the women’s line is available in smaller sizes.
For the ever popular CP Achilles Low, the women’s versions are the same as the men’s versions, other than a couple of superficial details (the shape, last and width is the same).
While some men can’t get over the idea of buying women’s shoes, it’s really not a big deal. But if you are embarrassed about it, that’s understandable and totally okay.
Nowadays, it’s not like you have to wander into the women’s section of the department store. You can make a more discreet purchase online, often with free shipping and returns.
Just remember: shop the fit, not the label.
Buy Boys’ Shoes
Similarly, you can shop in the boys’ (or young men’s) department for smaller sizes shoes. Other than sizing, a major benefit of shopping in the kids’ department is the prices. You’ll save at least 20-30% on shoes, if not more.
Some brands (like Vans, for example) simply have one continuous size spectrum, but they draw an arbitrary line between men’s and boys sizes (in this case, after size 6.5).
Of course, boys’ shoes aren’t usually built to last like men’s shoes are. Boys grow out of their shoes relatively quickly, so their shoes aren’t manufactured for durability.
Keep in mind, your mileage will vary drastically with different brands. And again, if you don’t want to go to the store and deal with a salesperson, just buy your shoes online.
Wear Thicker Socks
Sometimes you need a 6 or 6.5 but can only find a 7. In this case, it’s possible to wear thick, cushioned socks that will fill that extra space between your foot and the shoe.
This works great with boots during fall and winter since you probably want the extra insulation anyway. Look for socks with “full cushion” or “extra padding” in the product name or description.
Even with no show socks, some brands have more padding than others. You can read my no show socks guide for more info.
Of course, you can’t do this with all shoes. Some shoes, like boat shoes or driving mocs, are really meant to be worn with socks, so this isn’t the best year-round solution.
Use Shoe Inserts
You can buy various types of inserts to make your shoes fit better. For example, if the heel is too wide for your foot, and you feel your heel slipping around, you can buy a heel insert.
This is helpful with loafers or any shoes that can’t be tightened with laces.
If the shoe is too tall for your foot (often the case for people with low arches or flat feet), you can put an orthopedic insole in your shoe.
I’ve had good experiences with Superfeet insoles, especially when wearing loafers that are slightly too roomy.
Sometimes even a thin insert will take up just enough room for a snug, comfortable fit, but it will take some experimentation to find a pair that works fro your specific situation.
Buy Bespoke Shoes
If you enough time and money, and you really can’t find anything shoes that fit properly, you should consider going custom.
From online made-to-measure to full bespoke, there are many options for custom footwear these days.
Here’s a list of custom shoemakers you can check out:
Where to Buy Bespoke Men’s Shoes
If you search Google for “bespoke men’s shoes” you’ll mostly find made-to-order brands posing as full bespoke.
Don’t get me wrong, custom (or made-to-order) shoes like are cool (see our Undandy review), but MTO doesn’t solve the sizing problem.
These brands, on the other hand, will make your shoes from scratch to perfectly fit your feet:
Remember: any sort of custom shoe creation takes time. MTM might take a few weeks, while bespoke might take a few months.
So if you really need shoes quickly, say for an upcoming event, custom isn’t an option.
If you’re a guy with smaller feet, shoe shopping can be frustrating. But if you stick with the brands recommended in this guide, you should be able to find shoes for small feet in pretty much every style.
Don’t be afraid to check the boys department and women’s section, and remember that many brands offer unisex sizing (even if they don’t market it that way).
Sometimes a thicker sock or shoe insert is all you need. But if all else fails, save up some money and go custom. It’s way more affordable these days than it used to be!
If you have any suggestions of your own, leave a comment below!
Hi Brock, you didn’t specify whether emails are posted publicly or not.
I strongly doubt you’ll have heard of anyone like me. See, I’m female, yet have been futilely seeking men’s or youth shoes, because i have Short ExtraWide feet LOADED with problems (right left above below fore & aft) as set forth further down.
Why am i seeking “mens”? Because, although my narrow-heels may not be compatible with mens shoes, still, i’ve found that men & youth footwear are wider and better constructed. Not just that, but little boys 8-9 socks fit me – whereas womens socks are too big. And the shoes which were most comfy on me years ago (after spending many hours at Payless) were YOUTH-SIZE “SMARTFIT” BRAND FISHERMENS SANDALS, SIZE 4.5, which I use as house slippers, after snipping the strap.
Problem is, after browsing your chart – then clicking on the RunRepeat site – I got nowhere when I sought VERY-SMALL-MENS Nike and NewBalance. Either the yield resulted in mostly “womens” shoes, despite having clicked MEN in their specs. Or else the ones that were “normal” for me, did not have such good ratings, or else were not in Mens Size 5-to-6.
I most prefer black-leather. The long-ago NewBalance 574 were so normal, though these days i’d need them to be in wide-size. Nowadays, they’ve begun narrowing the toes, and widening the ankles. Their ignoring of our needs is disgusting.
I am unsure what Mens Size+Width to seek. I’m over age 60, and per NewBalance Size-Guide, my width straddles 9.2cm & 9.3cm. I’m Womens 6.5 XWide per NewBalance Size-Guide. But in Saucony & ASICS i’m Size 7 (or 7.5), as those brands run smaller. But those are SNUG, so I’d be better off with XtraWide. But hardly any of them come in XtraWide! And many are junkified production (i.e. I believe they cut corners with the quality of womens shoes way more than mens, because they know that men accrue lotsa wear & tear.)
I’m in pain & breakdown mode due to info-difficulty finding shoes for complex feet & environment. I spent futile months in quest to find a thorough shoe-info site. Not for running – but (due to lack of car) – I do lots of walking to grocery a few blocks away. Weather ranges from 20-fahrenheit to 90-fahrenheit. Sometimes on slippery-ice, and amid pebbles, uneven turf, steep hills, & ill-maintained sidewalks.
Even the Runrepeat site overlooks the below needed-categories:
**Non-intrusive arch? (my arch spasms, mimicking severe toe-cramps). That’s why Ryka Intrigue were awful, because its arches poked my sensitive arches, akin to being poked in eye. I assume Hoka’s arches are just as awful? It’s untrue i can “break-in” shoes.
**Non-biting, non-itchy upper, & roomy-clearance? ( i have sensitive varicose on uppers). Due to that, I’m like Semi vehicles needing “tunnel-clearance”
**Non-wide at ankle? Wide-ankle is bad for me. See, while my feet need X-wide toe-box – yet heels slip out of wide ankles. An example is NewBalance 577 – too-wide ankles
Criteria – I have multiple issues. As follows:
Right=due to overpronation, tailors bunion at pinkyToe and below it. Also low-anklebone.
Left=arch which spasms, thus need shallow-soft “neutral” arch (not hard-hump despite overpronating). Why the heck they call those hard-humps “arch-support” is beyond my comprehension.
Front=Size wide or xw toebox (plus bunions). Also sore/tingly toes (non-diabetic neuropathy)
Back=narrow-ankle which slips out if rear is wide. (Note: Stick-ons are awful.
Front-to-Back=Size 6.5 (Wide or XW is not always available in 6.5. Or skips from 6 to 7
Overhead=sensitive varicose veins (need zero shoe-bite, non-itchy stitching)
Underneath=podiatrists said i have plantar fasciitis, tarsal-tunnel
Ankle=swelled & discolored right ankle (caused by Ace-band which years-ago podiatrist insisted on wrapping my ankle in, and which I couldn’t remove on bus-trip home, due to crowded bus.
Perhaps i’d like NewBalance 857 v3 in black-leather for family occasions in inclement-weather, but would my heels slip out of those the way they do with NewBalance 577? And is the toebox wide enough? It’s hard to know, because ordering online is a nightmare regarding return-shipping when one lacks a car in a location with poor transit system plus poor-conveniences. Having to keep ordering shoes online takes a huge toll insofar as packing/shipping-costs and wearing me out.
I’ve just retired from work and I had a size 6 men’s work boots with thick motorcycle socks which I wore all day 10/12 hours a day my feet were always painful at the end of the day and since my retirement I wanted to get my correct size shoes and wear a normal socks and I’m unfortunately a size 5 which has proved a massive problem for me and my wife to find a men’s shoe size 5 my wife suggested that I have a look at women’s shoes such as unisex shoes but I have struggled to find them I did find a pair of shoes that were ok for me and looked more like a mans shoe but as this was the only shoe size that I could find out of god knows how many we looked at I ended up buying 4 x pairs of the same shoes. At least I have got shoes for a while until the next shoe shop trip. Any tips on my next visit to the shoe shop.
Mario Benavides says
I really like the Danish brand Duck Feet. They have unisex sizing but best of all their shoes tend to be wide. Many times when you get down to the lady’s typical sizing shoes narrow too much. As the name implies they are also waterproof.
Nia Lorre says
This is excellent. I have a couple pair of size 7 shoes that I love but have had a hell of a time finding more. This list will come in very handy.
I have to face this every time I want to buy shoes. I normally say screw it and buy it in boy’s sizes, but I can’t afford to replace those every year. I’m a very small man; and since I’m small, my feet are small (shortness runs in my family. In this sense, it’s a genetic curse.) So I recently bought a pair of hiking boots. And I pretty much had to swallow my pride and get it in the ladies size… but, those boots don’t look feminine at all (in all honesty, they’re very unisex.), and they’re quite comfortable. I’m a casual sort of guy, so I don’t fret too much over this. But sometimes when I need to buy a new pair of shoes, it’s a nightmare. But that’s some very good advice right there! If only the world acknowledged that there are just as many guys with small feet problems as there are ladies with big feet problems. If only one day people find out that having small feet isn’t easy… but the world probably won’t care until I’m either dead, or so old that I’m grateful I can still eat without assistance!
David Byers says
Skechers has some shoes in 6.5 and 7. I’ve got a nice pair of tan canvas casual shoes that are really comfortable, in 7.
Yes, Skechers does have some shoes in 6.5 but they are very, very limited in available styles and color, so they are of NO use to me. In fact, even the Skechers website has very little in the way of shoes in 6 to 6.5. It is very very frustrating to me when shopping for shoes of any kind!! Dress shoes in 6.5 are even harder to find so I have to order them and even then quite often the manufacturer doesn’t make them!! Custom-made dress shoes are crazy expensive!!! I’m a small man, 5 feet 2 inches tall with small feet!!
R. Roy says
Follow up on my previous post, here is another great company that makes small sizes and they also do hand made shoes with Italian and French leather in Vietnam. They ship to US as well and prices are very reasonable. Their international distribution is located in Singapore.
CNES Shoes: https://www.cnes.co/
R. Roy says
Thanks for the article. I wear size 6 and have found Mephistos, Thursday boots and Cobblers Union to have small sizes down to 5. I used to wear Eccos, but since they now make them in China, their fit and quality have gone down. I bought Ecco size 5.5 US recently and it still was big. I used to wear Ecco size 6.5 before. Best suggestion I can give you is, when you buy shoes online, it is better to buy the 2 sizes closest to what you wear so you can see which one fits better since manufacturers have no set standards. You then return the one that does not fit right. Hope this helps you all.
C Benjamin says
Clarks (UK) now seem to no longer make men’s shoes in anything under a UK size 6. Sadly. So they’ve lost my custom. Your article is therefore slightly out-of-date but nonetheless very helpful. Thank you.
Tim C. says
How were you able to purchase shoes from Clark (UK)? I went to their website to order a UK size 6 (equivalent to US size 6.5), but they would not ship to the U.S. Any tip would be helpful. Thanks
Women’s shoes are not necessarily a good direction for men with smaller feet. Women’s feet have important anatomical differences from men’s feet and this is one reason why it is not possible to find a coherent equivalent between shoe sizes. Also, women’s shoes tend to be built for a specifc “look” or to complement a clothing or body type that men just don’t have/aren’t going for.
Obviously there are many exceptions, but it’s good to keep this in mind.
I’m looking for a barefoot shoe for small men, and it’s super difficult. The ones for kids are styled very differently, and I’m really not interested in being referred to as a woman when shopping (I don’t think women would appreciate being forced to buy men’s products due to a lack of availability in their sizes either). It sort of sucks that being small automatically comes with an extra price tag.
Any brick and mortar stores that reliably stock a good selection of smaller men’s shoes (I’m usually a 6)? I have yet to find one and really really don’t like shopping online.
Ace Marks and Tomboy Toes are great places to shop for size 5-8 men’s shoes. Tomboy Toes does top out around a men’s 9, since it’s meant for women who want men’s style shoes and trans men. Ace Marks carries an entire range of men’s sizes, though. Their shoes are also amazing and well worth the cost. On par with Allen Edmond’s at least.
Kevin O. says
Hey, Brock! Thanks for posting this and addressing this topic.
I have custom ordered both Alden and Allen Edmond shoes for my size 5-1/2 (US) feet. I don’t recall there being a custom mark up for Alden, but Allen Edmond had a $75 mark up and Allen Edmond only produces my size when that size last is available, but lately it’s been a dry spell.
Hi Brock, may I know you Foot length and width? We re of the same height, but I find it hard to find my perfect size. Perhaps I could get idea from you. Thank you
Height and foot size aren’t very correlated, so us being the same height doesn’t mean our feet are the same. I recommend measuring your feet and comparing that to size charts. Comparing it to someone else’s feet won’t be useful 😉
Thanks Brock, I am bit concerned about the length of shoes, especially reaching 12 inches(outsole).
Would you mind sharing with me the length of your AE Park Avenue 7US and Thursday Scout 7US.
For I am planning to get one.
Your help is much appreciated since I’ve been picking the wrong shoes all the time.
Steve Som says
It’s a shame an adult man like me has to buy custom-made shoes because size 6 to 6.5 aren’t readily available. Custom-made shoes are insanely expensive!!! I could buy boys’ shoes because they are closer to my size, but boys’ shoes are just that-BOYS’ shoes they are styled for kids not for mature adults!!
How did you miss Alden here? I have multiple shoes from them in 6-6.5 and they can do one-off orders as low as 5 as far as I know.
Ah good call! Do you know if they charge extra for one off orders?