Size and Fit Guide

Our Fit Specialist loves getting emails and replies within one business day. She is always glad to take care of general questions and inquiries:

Getting Fitted

Our feet can change from year to year, so we suggest you get fitted every now and then to keep track of any changes. We hope you will visit our store in San Francisco to be seen by one of our sales professionals, but your local boutique shoe salon or department store should have what you need: the Brannock device. Used almost universally by the shoe industry, this tool will reveal your current size and width.



AAAA (4A, SS ) = super slim, very narrow

AA (2A, N) = slim, narrow

B (M) = medium

C (W) = wide

D (WW) = extra wide


B (N)= narrow

D (M)= medium

2E (W)= wide

3E (WW)= extra wide

Measurements (and why we don’t like to measure shoes for you)

We receive emails every once in a while asking for the length and width measurement of a specific shoe to compare against the measurements of a foot. Buying shoes based on these alone is a bad idea because external measurements, and even internal measurements, don’t tell you about how the designer created the fit. For example, toe shape can greatly effect length measurements in different styles of the same size. Instead, please reference the size chart we link to every item: it has a more trust worthy conversion for your foot’s length.

Measuring your foot

If you don’t know your size and want to use inches or centimeters to find out instead of visiting a store with a Brannock device, please follow these steps to ensure your measurements are accurate. You’ll need a ruler, piece of paper and an assistant. And please make sure you measure your longer foot as most of us have one foot that’s bigger than the other.

Place the ruler on the paper, lining up the edge of the paper with the zero mark on the ruler. Stand on the ruler, making sure the back edge of your heel is lined up with the edge of the paper and the zero mark on the ruler. Stand up straight. Have your assistant mark the longest part of your foot, usually the tip of the first or second toe.

Fit Tips

Using a Critical Eye

Some of us have feet with special needs. Pairing your personal shopping and fitting experience with a discerning eye, you can learn quite a bit about whether or not a shoe will work for you just by looking at it. Toe shape, vamp height, heel height and leather type tell a lot about how a shoe would fit you. Other features like buckles and elastic gores are especially helpful. If you have a high instep, pull-on boots might be difficult for you to get on without gores. If you have bunions, you may have a hard time finding a comfortable pointed toe shoe with a low vamp that doesn’t apply painful pressure. If you have a pinched nerve or bone splinters, single-soled leather shoes could be tricky but a slight platform with a memory foam insole is all you need. Below are a few quick tips.

Bunions: higher vamps, softer materials like suede and nappa

Narrow heels: sling-backs and Mary-Janes, shoes made on combination lasts

High instep/arch: lower vamps, boots with zippers, sandals with elastic over the instep

Low instep/arch: built-in arch support, sandals with elastic over the instep

Bone splinters: memory foam, cork/latex, or rubber insoles, thicker ultra-lightweight outsoles, roomy toe area

Diabetes or circulation issues: thicker soled shoes with rubber outsoles and soft uppers, adjustable features like buckles and laces. Try ordering a half or a full size larger and wear with thick but soft socks to allow for swelling.

How to use alternate widths to your advantage

It’s rare to be a one-size-fits-all. It’s in our nature here at Arthur Beren Shoes to get as many width options as possible from the designers we carry. If your usual size 9B is a little loose but the length is good, try the 9AA instead. If that pointed toe shoe you love is too short in your usual 7C but the width feels perfect, try the 7.5B. Our Customer Service is always happy to help you choose the right size.

Alterations and repairs

This section includes a list of alterations any skilled cobbler can make to your shoes. Please keep in mind that altered shoes cannot be returned for refund or exchange.

Topy soles: a thin, rubber outsole that is applied to a leather sole for traction.

Stretching: wooden or metal stretchers are used to relax the leather for shoes that are just barely too tight, usually in the toe area.

Bunion Stretching: ball stretchers are used to stretch out the section of the shoes around your bunions.

Collar rolling: used for edges that are cutting in, usually around the heel or near the toes. Be careful with rolling: make sure the shoe is the correct size and not simply too small before committing to rolling its edges.

Boot tailoring: most skilled cobblers can take the shaft of a boot in if it’s too large or add elastic panels if the shaft is too tight. Adding panels is more difficult and whether or not your cobbler feels comfortable will depend on his or her skill, the boot and your leg.

Replace a lost or worn down heel cap

Help in removing stains when possible

Re-soling for worn out soles

Handbag repair

European Sizing

There is no universal standard for sizing in shoes, more like guidelines for what lengths should be what size. But since shoe style, shape, and material can all change how a shoe fits, many of us need to buy outside of our “usual” size from time to time.

Our designers offer their shoes in two main sizing systems, the European and the American. Where the American system uses the digits 8, 9, 10, etc, the European system uses 38, 39, 40, etc. The American sizing system has about ¼” difference in length between half sizes, but the European system uses 1/2cm (roughly 1/5”). This means that a US size 4 will fit very much like a European size 34. But, because the space between sizes is less for the European system, as we get into the larger sizes we see more of a difference. Usually wear a US size 10.5? We’d suggest a European size 42 if you had a wider foot or higher instep, 41.5 if you are more narrow.

European sized shoes, just like the American sized, vary between designers and styles. It may take a try or two to get the right one in a new designer or last. We provide size charts linked to every item to help you decide what size is best. Our Customer Service is very knowledgeable and happy to help you choose the right size if you’re not sure.