Is Japan Shoe Size In Cm?A Complete Guide to Understanding Japanese Footwear Sizing

Japan shoe sizes are indeed measured in centimeters. If you’ve ever wondered about the sizing system for footwear in Japan, this article will provide you with a straightforward answer.

In this brief introduction, we’ll explore the Japanese shoe size measurement and explain why it is different from other countries’ sizing systems.

So if you’re planning to buy shoes in Japan or simply curious about their unique approach to sizing, read on to find out more!

Understanding Japanese Shoe Sizes

When it comes to understanding Japanese shoe sizes, there are a few key points to keep in mind. Below are some important factors to consider:

  1. Measurement in Centimeters: In Japan, shoe sizes are typically measured in centimeters rather than the traditional sizing systems used in other countries such as the United States or Europe.
  2. Different Sizing System: The Japanese shoe size system is unique and may differ from what you’re accustomed to. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with this system before buying shoes or trying to convert sizes.
  3. Unisex Sizing: In Japan, both men’s and women’s shoes often use the same measurement scale for simplicity and convenience. However, it’s worth noting that some brands might have separate sizing charts for men and women.
  4. Narrow-Fit Shoes: Keep in mind that many Japanese shoe brands tend to produce narrow-fit shoes compared to Western styles. If you have wider feet, it may be necessary to look for specific brands or models that offer a wider fit option.

To help you understand how Japanese shoe sizes correspond with centimeters, refer to the table below:

JP SizeFoot Length (cm)
2113 – 13.5
2213.6 – 14
2615 – 15.5

Please note that this table provides a general guideline, but individual brand variations may exist.

Remember that accurate measurements of your foot length will ensure finding the right size when shopping for footwear online or while visiting Japan specifically.

The Difference Between Western and Japanese Shoe Sizing Systems

Understanding these differences can help you find the perfect fit when shopping for shoes in Japan or ordering online.

Here are some key points to consider:

Measurement Units:

  • In Western countries, shoe sizes are typically measured using a scale based on inches (in) or centimeters (cm).
  • In Japan, shoe sizes are primarily measured in centimeters (cm).

Sizing Chart Variations:

  • The sizing charts used in Western countries may vary depending on the region or brand.
  • Similarly, Japan has its own unique sizing chart that is different from those used in other countries.

Numbering System:

  • Western shoe sizes usually follow a numerical progression system where each size represents an increment of length.
  • On the other hand, Japanese shoe sizes often use half-size increments instead of full numbers for greater precision.

Gender Differences:

  • In many Western countries, men’s and women’s shoe sizes tend to have separate scales.
  • However, Japanese shoe sizes generally follow a unisex system where both men and women share the same scale.

Conversion Challenges:

  • Converting between Western and Japanese shoe sizes can be somewhat challenging due to variations in measurement units and scaling methods.
  • It is advisable to refer to specific conversion charts provided by manufacturers or retailers when attempting conversions.
  • To ensure a proper fit when purchasing shoes internationally or online from Japan, it is recommended to measure your foot length accurately using centimeters as reference before consulting relevant conversion charts if necessary.

Converting Japan Shoe Size to Centimeters: A Step-by-Step Guide

To convert Japan shoe sizes to centimeters, follow these simple steps:

  1. Understand the Japanese shoe sizing system: Before converting the sizes, it’s important to familiarize yourself with how Japanese shoe sizes are structured. In Japan, shoe sizes are measured in centimeters (cm) rather than relying on a specific numerical value.
  2. Take accurate foot measurements: To convert your own or someone else’s shoe size from Japan to centimeters accurately, start by measuring the length of the foot in centimeters. You can do this by placing a ruler or tape measure along the bottom of your foot and recording the measurement.
  3. Use a conversion chart: Once you have obtained the foot measurement in centimeters, refer to a reliable conversion chart specifically designed for converting Japanese shoe sizes into their corresponding centimeter values. These charts can be found online or at specialized footwear stores catering to international customers.
  4. Match your measurement with the corresponding size: Locate your recorded foot measurement on the conversion chart and identify its corresponding Japan shoe size listed alongside it in cm.
  5. Consider rounding up if unsure: If your exact measurement falls between two consecutive sizes on the conversion chart, it is generally recommended to round up rather than down when selecting shoes. This will ensure a more comfortable fit since shoes that are too small can cause discomfort and potential health issues.
  6. Try before you buy: After determining your converted Japanese shoe size in centimeters, it is always advisable to try on different pairs of shoes within that size range before making any purchases—especially if buying online—to account for variations among different brands and styles.

By following these step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to confidently convert any given Japan shoe size into its equivalent length in centimeters and make informed decisions when purchasing footwear from Japanese retailers or websites catering to Japanese sizes.

Common Misconceptions About Japanese Shoe Sizes

When it comes to Japanese shoe sizes, there are several common misconceptions that can lead to confusion. Let’s debunk some of these myths:

  1. Japanese Shoe Sizes Are the Same as European or American Sizes: This is a widespread misconception. While Japan does use its own sizing system, it doesn’t directly correspond to European or American sizes. It’s important to note that different countries have their own unique measurements and conversions.
  2. Japanese Shoe Sizes Are Always Measured in Centimeters (cm): Although shoe sizes in Japan are often measured in centimeters, they can also be indicated using other units such as millimeters (mm). It’s essential to pay attention to the unit specified when determining your Japanese shoe size.
  3. Conversion Charts Give Accurate Measurements: While conversion charts can provide a general guideline for converting between different shoe size systems, they may not always provide precise results due to variations between brands and individual preferences regarding fit and comfort. It’s advisable to try on shoes whenever possible rather than solely relying on conversion charts.
  4. Japanese Shoes Run Smaller or Larger Than Western Shoes: Another misconception is that all Japanese shoes run either smaller or larger than Western shoes uniformly across all brands and styles. However, like any other country, Japan produces footwear in various fits and styles with differences among manufacturers and designs.
  5. One Size Fits All: Just like anywhere else in the world, one-size-fits-all shoes don’t exist in Japan either! Each person has unique foot characteristics such as width, arch height, and overall shape which affect their ideal shoe size regardless of nationality or geographic location.

By dispelling these misconceptions about Japanese shoe sizes, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the shopping experience confidently when looking for footwear from Japan.

Tips for Buying Shoes in Japan

Here are some handy pointers:

  1. Measure Your Feet: Before heading out to shop, measure your feet using centimeters (cm) as this is the standard unit of measurement for shoe sizes in Japan.
  2. Convert Shoe Sizes: While Japanese shoe sizes are typically measured in centimeters, it can be helpful to convert them into your local size if you’re more familiar with that system. You can find online conversion charts or use the following formula: [Your Local Size] = [Japanese Size in cm] – 21.
  3. Try Them On: It’s always recommended to try on shoes before making a purchase, especially when shopping abroad. Different brands and styles may have slight variations in sizing, so testing them out will help you find the most comfortable fit.
  4. Consider Width Options: In addition to length measurements, Japanese shoe sizes also offer width options labeled as “AA,” “A,” “B,” “C,” and so on. If you have wider or narrower feet than average, paying attention to these width options will help you find shoes that accommodate your foot shape properly.
  5. Shop at Multiple Stores: To increase your chances of finding the perfect pair of shoes and exploring different styles and price ranges, consider visiting multiple stores during your shoe-shopping adventure.
  6. Ask for Assistance: Don’t hesitate to ask store staff for assistance if needed! They can provide guidance on fitting techniques or recommend suitable styles based on your preferences and requirements.

Remember these tips when purchasing shoes in Japan to make sure you get both comfort and style without any sizing mishaps!

Japanese Foot Measurements: How to Get the Perfect Fit

  1. Measure your feet accurately: Before you start shopping for shoes, measure both of your feet using a ruler or measuring tape. Make sure to measure from the back of your heel to the tip of your longest toe. It’s common for one foot to be slightly larger than the other, so always go with the measurements of your larger foot.
  2. Convert your measurements: In Japan, shoe sizes are typically measured in centimeters (cm). To convert your usual shoe size into Japanese sizing, use an online conversion chart or follow this simple formula:
  • Subtract 21 from the length of each foot in centimeters.
  • Divide that number by 0.5.
  • Round up if necessary.
  1. Consider width as well: While length is important, don’t forget about width! Japanese shoe brands often offer different width options (usually labeled as A/B/C/D) for a more personalized fit. If you have wider feet or specific arch support needs, consider looking for shoes that cater to those requirements.
  2. Try before you buy: Whenever possible, try on shoes before making a purchase—especially if you’re unfamiliar with a particular brand’s sizing system. Remember that every brand may have slight variations in their sizing standards.
  3. Consult customer reviews: If you’re purchasing shoes online and can’t try them on beforehand, reading customer reviews can provide valuable insights into how certain brands or models fit compared to others.

Here’s an example table showcasing approximate conversions between US shoe sizes and their corresponding Japanese sizes:

US SizeJapan Size

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions people have about Japan shoe sizes:

Is Japan shoe size in cm?

  • Yes, Japan shoe sizes are typically measured in centimeters (cm). Unlike other countries that often use different measurement systems such as EU or US sizing, Japanese shoe sizes primarily rely on the length of the foot in centimeters for accurate fitting.

How do I convert my usual shoe size to a Japanese size?

  • To convert your regular shoe size to a Japanese size, you can refer to conversion charts available online. These charts usually provide comparisons between various international sizing standards and their corresponding Japanese measurements. Keep in mind that these conversions may not be exact due to slight variations among brands and styles.

Are there any differences between men’s and women’s shoe sizes in Japan?

  • Yes, just like in many other regions, there is a distinction between men’s and women’s shoes sizes in Japan. Women’s shoes generally have smaller ranges compared to men’s shoes. It is essential to pay attention to the specified gender when purchasing footwear.

Do children follow the same sizing system as adults?

  • No, children’s shoe sizes differ from adult sizes both internationally and within Japan itself. Children’s footwear typically follows its own specific grading system based on age or foot length range.

What should I do if my size falls between two available options?

  • If you find yourself between two available options, it is advisable to choose the larger one rather than opting for a smaller size as it might result in discomfort or tightness.

Can I return or exchange shoes if they don’t fit properly?

  • Return policies vary depending on where you purchase your shoes from; however, most stores allow returns or exchanges within a certain timeframe if the product has not been worn outside and is in its original condition. To ensure a hassle-free experience, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the store’s return policy before making a purchase.

Remember that shoe sizes can vary among brands and styles, so it’s always best to refer to specific measurements provided by the manufacturer or retailer for accurate sizing.


This standardized system ensures accuracy and consistency in determining the right fit for individuals. By using centimeters as a reference point, it becomes easier for both locals and foreigners to find their ideal shoe size while shopping in Japan.

Understanding the Japanese shoe sizing system can be particularly helpful for travelers or online shoppers looking to purchase shoes from Japanese brands. It eliminates confusion and allows them to make informed choices without worrying about discrepancies between different countries’ sizing conventions.

Although converting your usual shoe size into centimeters may require a bit of calculation initially, once you get accustomed to this system, finding the perfect fit will become second nature.

So whether you’re planning a trip to Japan or simply curious about their footwear measurements, rest assured that Japanese shoe sizes are indeed expressed in centimeters – an efficient and reliable way of ensuring comfort and style go hand-in-hand.

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