A close-up of a man and woman wearing hiking boots

FAQ: How to Convert Men’s, Women’s & Kids’ Shoe Sizes

As I write this, I am wearing men’s Clearwater CNX sandals even though I identify as a woman. Clearwater sandals are also available in women’s sizing. But since these sandals have a more streamlined fit, I wanted to have a little extra wiggle room for my slightly wider forefoot. The men’s version made my feet happier, so I went with that.

Meanwhile, my KEENmate Jason really loves the new chevron print in Howser Canvas slip-ons, but they’re only available in women’s sizing. Turns out a women’s U.S. 11 fits him just right.

Shoes are largely unisex*; it’s the sizing that is gender-specific. And if your feet are small enough, you can even purchase kids’ shoes.

TLDR: Nothing is stopping you from getting the pair of shoes you want. You just need to know how to convert women’s sizes to men’s and vice versa. Here’s how to do it:

What’s your men’s shoe size?

Quick answer: Subtract 1.5 sizes.

If you wear a women’s U.S. size 9, you may want to try a men’s 7.5. The best way to know is to check out the size chart and look at the length (heel-to-toe in centimeters) and match that up in men’s sizing. For example, a women’s 10 is equal to 25.9 centimeters, and a men’s 8.5 is 25.7 centimeters. This won’t work for everyone, though. If you have small feet, there might not be a men’s equivalent for you. But you might fit into kids’ shoes!

KEEN footwear size chart for men's and women's sizing
How to measure your foot? See our tips here.

What’s your women’s shoe size?

Quick answer: Add 1.5 sizes.

If you wear a men’s U.S. size 9, you’ll want to try a women’s 10.5. As mentioned above, just match up the measurement in centimeters. This applies to all shoes, not just KEEN’s. For example, a men’s U.S. 9.5 is for 26.7cm long feet, and so is a women’s 11. If you have large feet, there might not be a women’s equivalent for you.

KEEN Tip: When your teen or tween starts to outgrow KEEN Kids shoes, they can probably fit into women’s shoes. A youth size 6 would be similar to a women’s 8 (both are for 24.1cm feet). Just follow the measurement on the size chart!

What’s your kids’ shoe size?

Quick answer: It depends if you normally wear men’s or women’s size shoes.

If you wear a small size in either one, you might be able to fit into youth sizes. To convert from women’s sizing, subtract 1.5 to 2 sizes. (A women’s U.S. size 5 equals a youth size 3, both are for a foot length of 21.6 centimeters.) To convert from men’s sizing, subtract .5. (A men’s U.S. size 7.5 equals a youth size 7, both are for a foot length of 24.8 centimeters.)

We like thinking outside the box at KEEN, and sometimes that means picking the shoes you want no matter what it says on the outside of the box.

Happy shoe shopping for all genders!

*Our shoes with a women’s-specific fit are more narrow with a smaller Achilles heel area, and our men's shoes do provide a bit more overall foot volume, since men's feet tend to be fuller/broader.

A man and woman standing next to each other wearing different shoes on their left and right feet

Back to blog