What Is the Average Shoe Size for Women? It’s Bigger Than You Might Think

Did you know that you can estimate a person’s height based on their foot size? If you wore a size women’s 5, you would be approximately 4-feet-9. But how big, on average, is a woman’s foot size?

best-rain-shoes-women rubber sneakers rubber converse
best-rain-shoes-women rubber sneakers rubber converse

Average Shoe Size for Women

The most common foot size for the average American female is somewhere between 8.5 and a 9, which might surprise some people since in the 1970s the average foot size used to be 7.5 until only recently.

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According to a report done by the National Shoe Retailers in 2012, the average woman’s foot has grown by more than a size over the last three decades.

So, why are our feet getting bigger?

On average, Americans are getting taller and heavier, which causes an increase of the size of their feet in proportion to their bodies. Taller women in general seem to have larger feet than shorter women, since their bodies require additional support to balance.

A lot of our shoe sizes differ based on genetics and environment. Our feet can expand as we age and they begin to lose their elasticity. Women’s shoe sizes can also switch during pregnancy or menopause. It is recommended you measure your feet occasionally even if you think you know your shoe size as it may change.

Average Shoe Size Worldwide

While the average women’s shoe size in the United States is about 9, that is on the higher end of the global average. Across the globe, women have an average shoe size of 7 to 9. Each country ranges slightly with its own mean. Asian countries have been found to have smaller sizes, like China, with 5.5 to 6.5.

A woman's feet being measured.
A woman's feet being measured.

Pregnancy Feet

One of the main events during which a woman might notice a change in her shoe size is during her pregnancy. The extra fluid and pressure in the uterus can cause swelling in the ankles and feet. As the nine-month period continues, the foot can gradually get bigger and increase up to half or a full shoe size.

Measuring Your Shoe Size

According to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, 88% of women wear the wrong shoe size. This is likely due to improper fitting, lack of knowing their real shoe size and settling for a shoe that fits “well enough.”

To determine your own shoe size, it’s best to measure your feet at the end of the day after you’ve been walking because walking can slightly increase the size of your feet. It’s suggested that you measure your feet wearing the socks or stockings that you will wear in the shoes you plan to purchase.

Best Foot Measuring Products:

Most Commonly Sold Shoe Size

Even though on average women’s feet are between 8.5 and 9, the most commonly sold shoe size is a 7, but just because this is the size that most women purchase does not mean that they are wearing the correct size.

While women may have felt ashamed of their larger foot sizes in the past, recent footwear trends have grown to embrace bigger feet. In fact, some big celebrity names have large feet, including Kate Winslet (shoe size 11) and Rhianna (size 9).

Many shoe retailers have accommodated to the increase in foot size, switching to designing larger and wider shoe sizes.

Where to buy shoes for large feet:

Smallest Shoe Size Available

Jyoti Amge
Smallest Woman Alive: Jyoti AmgeCourtesy of Guinness World Records

Currently, the smallest woman alive is Indian Actress Jyoti Amge. Amge stands at only 2 feet and three-quarters inches and her feet only measure 3.72-inches long, which is a toddler size 2 in the U.S. She was officially declared the world’s smallest woman by the Guinness World Records in 2011. Amge has starred in both “American Horror Story” and the Indian television show “Bigg Boss 6.”

Where to Buy Shoes For Small Feet:

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