Italian shoes are some of the highest quality in the world – filled to the brim with high-quality leather and ancestral style techniques. The excellence of these shoes is globally recognized. However, are you wondering how the Italian shoe size compares to the U.S. size?
E.U. and Italian Shoe Sizes
First off, a brief note on Italian shoe sizes vs. those throughout the European Union in places like Spain and Germany. Even though many countries have their own shoe sizes that are not shared with others, the European Union actually has unified shoe sizes.
This means that once you’ve understood Italian shoe sizes, you’ll have understood shoe sizes throughout the E.U.– for the most part. Some French shoe sizes do differ, though typically not substantially. You can find more information on that here.
Italian Shoe Size to the U.S. – Shoe Size Conversion Chart
Size conversion charts vary significantly between men’s, women’s, and children’s shoe sizes.
For example, a size 40 Italian women’s shoe is 25.1 cm long, which is the same as a size 9 women’s U.S. shoe. But a size 40 Italian men’s shoe is shorter, 24.3 cm long, equivalent to a size 7 men’s U.S. shoe.
A size 40 Italian women’s shoe is halfway between U.S. men’s sizes 7.5 and 8, while the size 40 Italian men’s shoe is halfway between U.S. women’s sizes 8 and 8.5.
In short, it’s complicated! But the tables below should help to make the matter a lot clearer.
Women’s Italian to U.S. Shoe Size Conversion Chart
Here is the women’s shoe size conversion chart:
|Italy||US||UK||Length in centimeters||Length in inches|
We’ve also added U.K. sizes for reference if those interest you, as well.
Men’s Italian to U.S. Shoe Size Conversion Chart
Here is the men’s shoe size conversion chart:
|Italy||US||UK||Length in centimeters||Length in inches|
As above, we have included the UK numbers here if those interest you.
Children’s Italian to U.S. Shoe Size Conversion
Here is the children’s shoe size conversion chart:
|Italy/EU Size||US Size||UK Size||Typical age||Length (in)||Length (cm)|
|27||10.5 C||9.5||Small Kid||6.625||16.8|
|28||11 C||10||Small Kid||6.75||17.1|
|29||11.5 C||10.5||Small Kid||7||17.8|
|30||12 C||11||Small Kid||7.125||18.1|
|30||12.5 C||11.5||Small Kid||7.25||18.4|
|31||13 C||12||Small Kid||7.5||19.1|
|31||13.5 C||12.5||Small Kid||7.625||19.4|
|32||1 Y||13||Small Kid||5.75||19.7|
|33||1.5 Y||14||Small Kid||8||20.3|
|33||2 Y||1||Small Kid||8.125||20.6|
|34||2.5 Y||1.5||Small Kid||8.25||21|
|34||3 Y||2||Small Kid||8.5||21.6|
|35||3.5 Y||2.5||Big Kid||8.625||21.9|
|36||4 Y||3||Big Kid||8.75||22.2|
|36||4.5 Y||3.5||Big Kid||9||22.9|
|37||5 Y||4||Big Kid||9.125||23.2|
|37||5.5 Y||4.5||Big Kid||9.25||23.5|
|38||6 Y||5||Big Kid||9.5||24.1|
|38||6.5 Y||5||Big Kid||9.625||24.4|
|39||7 Y||6||Big Kid||9.75||24.8|
What’s the Difference between Italian and U.S. Shoes?
There’s no intrinsic difference between Italian and U.S. shoes beyond sizing, though there are design trends that differ between the two. Also, Italian shoemakers have access to certain styles and techniques that U.S. shoemakers typically do not.
First and foremost, the kinds of fit vary significantly between the two cultures. Italian shoes tend to have a narrower, longer fit than U.S.-made ones, creating a feeling of sharp and elegant style.
They also differ when it comes to their weights and kinds of stitching. High-quality U.S. shoes tend to be heavier and make use of the Goodyear welting technique, while high-quality Italian shoes run lighter and use Blake stitching.
The most distinct thing about Italian shoes is their leather – Italian shoemakers are famous for the unique and time-honored traditions of leather making. Because these processes of leather making are so steeped in culture, tradition, and locationally-tied materials, it’s very rare to find genuine Italian leather in shoes made by non-Italian manufacturers.
Read Also: Shoe Width Letters Chart
What are Some of the Best Italian Shoe Brands?
To buy the best quality Italian shoes, you need to know the best Italian shoemakers on the market. There are many different shoemakers who are based out of Italy or informed by Italian styles, but only a few that are truly the best in the business.
Gucci is one of the most famous, recognizable Italian design manufacturers out there. While their brand encompasses more than footwear, their shoes are a key feature of their lineup, and they are widely respected for their quality.
Indeed, one of the most popular varieties of high-end shoe was first created by Gucci – the horsebit loafer, also known as the bit loafer or Gucci loafer.
The company was founded in 1921 by designer Guccio Gucci, making it one of the oldest continuous Italian fashion brands. Today, it is run by Alessandro Michele, who is Gucci’s creative director.
Giuseppe Zanotti is not a historic brand, like Gucci – rather, it is the brainchild of the brilliant Italian shoe designer by the same name. Zanotti himself says that he is in love with footwear – shoes bring all sorts of different creative possibilities to the forefront.
Zanotti is especially known for their high heels. They were instrumental in popularizing the style initially, and now continue to push the envelope when it comes to heel design. Giuseppe Zanotti, the designer at the brand’s head, often designs his heels from the inspiration of a particularly emotional moment of a piece of art.
They are also well known in the celebrity world, having partnered frequently with names like Beyonce, Adele, and Lady Gaga.
Ace Marks is one of the newest brands on this list, but that doesn’t make them any less extraordinary. They were founded in 2016 via Kickstarter by long-time experts in the Italian fashion industry who wanted to shake things up a little bit.
Specifically, they had an idea: they wanted to minimize middlemen to offer their high-end shoes at the lowest possible prices without compromising quality. This business strategy has clearly worked well for them, as they’ve become one of the most popular and well-respected shoemakers in the market.
Ace Marks offers unique shoes that boast the high quality of genuine Italian leather and style without the extreme prices of some of the other brands on our list here. That said, they lack the history that others like Gucci or Zegna bring to the table.
Ermenegildo Zegna is one of the most prominent menswear-specific Italian footwear brands. Zegna has been in operation since 1910, animated consistently by a desire for innovation and, more recently, to “(re)tailor the modern man”
Zegna is in operation globally, especially in Milan and Shanghai. Nevertheless, they claim their heart always lies in Piemonte, the northern Italian Alps. There, the brand’s founder Ermenegildo Zegna created what is today a 100 km2 nature park for all to enjoy called Oasi Zegna.
Salvatore Ferragamo is another old, traditional, and highly respected Italian-made brand. In 1915, the company’s founder (after whom it is named) moved from Italy to the U.S, to study anatomy in California to specialize his understanding of the human foot and prepare him to the best shoes he possibly could.
And he certainly did do that – his business grew alongside Hollywood and he began to design shoes for the biggest Hollywood films and stars. In 1926, he moved back to Italy and founded what is today the Salvatore Ferragamo brand.
The company still holds the respect of the whole world in its products – they’ve since expanded to offer handbags, scarves, and many other accessories, but shoes remain the core of the brand. You won’t go wrong with a Salvatore Ferragamo.
Do Italian Shoes Run Small?
Yes, Italian shoes are smaller in size compared to US shoe sizes. European shoe sizes are all a bit smaller, so even though a US size 8 is an Italian shoe size 38.5 size, it might not be the perfect fit. That’s why it’s important to measure your feet and follow the length measurements in the charts above.
Why Are Italian Shoes More Expensive?
Italian shoes are more expensive because they use high-quality, handcrafted leather. The tanners who make the leather have been doing it for a long time, and they have a lot of tradition and passion behind their work.
In addition, there are three different stitching techniques that make Italian shoes so special: Rapid stitching, Goodyear, and Blake stitching. They’re all durable and flexible, which is why they’re so popular. Because of all of these steps, the shoes can be quite expensive but they will last you a long time. So take it as an investment.
Are Italian Shoes the Best?
People all around the world know that Italian fashion is some of the best. This includes the shoes, which are known for their high-quality stitching, handcrafted leather, and elegance.
A lot of Italian shoes are Blake-stitched. They do the stitches on the inside and you can’t see it on the outside of the shoe.
The shoes are more flexible because of that which make them more comfortable. Italian shoes are also crafted with high-quality leather which makes the shoes last longer so they do have a reputation of being one of the best shoes.
Should I Buy Italian Shoes?
That really depends! If you’re looking for the cheapest shoes you can find, you probably shouldn’t buy Italian shoes – but if you’re looking for high-quality, long-lasting ones, they may be worth the price.
As we’ve covered, the biggest thing that sets Italian shoes apart is the leather that’s used to make them. The strength, flexibility, and durability of Italian leather is recognized all over the world, and you won’t find the same quality in U.S.-made shoes.
You might also really enjoy the stylistic distinctions of an Italian shoe, whether because you love the unique look of a Gucci or a Zanotti, or because you just love the Blake stitching method.
Italian Shoe Sizes in Brief
In short, Italian shoes are excellent. You certainly want to consult a sizing chart before purchasing one if you’re not used to their sizing structure – they size items very differently. But the extra hassle of sizing is worth it if you want to invest in quality Italian shoes.