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.
Brands That Make Smaller Shoes
Of course, the real issue is finding brands that actually make smaller shoes, especially dress shoes and boots. Sneakers are a little easier, as many are sold in unisex sizes – more info on this below.
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 / Sneakers
|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
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
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!