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Size Chart, Fit Tips & Parts of a Shoe

Men’s/Women’s Size Conversion Chart

Use the size conversion chart below to either convert a women's size to a men's size or men's size to a women's size. For example: A women's size 9 would wear a men's size 7.

* These charts are intended to be used as a guide. Sizes may vary among brands.

UK Size Conversion

Use the size conversion chart below to convert a US men’s or US women’s size to a UK size. For example: A US men’s size 9 is a UK size 8 and a US women’s size 9 is a UK size 7.

* These charts are intended to be used as a guide. Sizes may vary among brands.

10 Footwear Fitting Tips

By: National Shoe Retailers Association, Prescription Footwear Association & American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society Public Information Office

  1. Sizes very among shoe brands and styles. Don't select shoes by the size marked inside the shoe. Judge the shoe by how it fits.
  2. Select a shoe that conforms as nearly as possible to the shape of your foot.
  3. Have your feet measured regularly. The size of your feet changes as you age.
  4. Have BOTH feet measured. Most people have one foot larger than the other. Fit to the largest/widest foot.
  5. If possible fit at the end of the day when your feet are largest.
  6. Stand during the fitting process and check that there is adequate space (3/8 inch to 1/2 inch) for your longest toe at the end of each shoe.
  7. Make sure the ball of your foot fits snugly into the widest part of the shoe.
  8. Don't purchase shoes that feel too tight and expect them to "stretch" to fit. This is especially true with the toe of a safety shoe - as they do not stretch.
  9. Your heel should fit comfortably in the shoe with a minimum amount of slippage. Also consider that slip-on or pull-on styles will always have slippage because they cannot be laced up for a more secure fit.
  10. Walk in the shoe to make sure it fits and feels right. When trying on safety shoes, Vanderloop Shoes suggests moving in positions that you normally would be in during work (ex. kneeling). Make sure that your toes are not rubbing against the safety toe.

Frequently Asked Questions (About Safety Footwear)

Q. What is the difference in length between a men's size 10 and a men's size 10.5?
A. The difference between a half size is about a sixth of an inch. It may not sound like a lot, but it could be the difference between toes rubbing against a safety toe or fitting comfortably.

Q. It's okay to wear my safety shoes outside of work for everyday use... right?
A. It is recommended that footwear "rest" between uses. This "rest" allows built-in cushion to get some of it's spring back... which means your footwear will feel better for longer. The "rest" also allows moisture to dry creating a healthier environment for your feet. Plus, the more hours you wear the shoe, the shorter the life of the product. To get the most out of your safety footwear we suggest wearing them at work only.

Q. Can my shoe size really change? I've worn a men's size 12 my entire life!
A. Yes. Shoe size can change over time because your feet can change (due to injury, weight gain/loss, pregnancy). It is also important to keep in mind that different brands or styles fit different. We recommend trying on footwear and walking around the store (or safety footwear truck) before you make a purchase. You can also wear the product at home on a clean surface to assure for proper fit before wearing the product to work or outdoors.

Q. Can I add an insole on top of what is already in my shoe? A. Adding an insole for cushion or support can lengthen the life of any footwear, but you should always remove the current insole before you add a new one. Putting two insoles on top of each other will compromise the fit and support of your footwear. It can also raise the heel significantly, which will push the foot toward the front of the shoe and into the safety toe.

Footwear Technology Definitions

Parts Of A Boot/Shoe

  • Upper – the combination of materials that cover and support the top of the foot (depending on the style of footwear it could be leather or a synthetic upper or both).

  • Eyelets/Top Hooks – enhances and protects the lacing capabilities of the footwear.

  • Linings – the materials inside the boot that come in direct contact with the foot.

  • Footbed – the shock-absorbing layer next to the foot (most of the time removable).

  • Insole – the supportive layer directly under the footbed.

  • Shank – provides structural and rigid support to the footwear. Made up of steel, fiberglass, or aluminum.

  • Midsole – provides cushioning and stability.

  • Outsole/Sole – provides grip, traction, stability and protection.

Soft Toe Footwear
Footwear that does not have a protective reinforcement in the toe.

Safety Toe Footwear
Footwear that has a protective reinforcement in the toe which protects the foot from falling objects or compression.

          Types of Safety Toe’s

  • Steel - this type of safety toe is made of heavy duty steel that provides protection in environments where safety is important. It meets the ASTM Standards for compression and impact rating of I-75/C-75.

  • Composite (Non-Metallic Toe) - this type of safety toe can be made of fiberglass, plastic, carbon fiber or Kevlar to eliminate bulk and weight (when compared to a steel toe) while still providing protection. They are around 30% lighter than steel. They are also good for extreme high or low temperatures because they won’t heat up or cool down like metal would. It meets the ASTM Standards for compression and impact rating of I-75/C-75.

  • Aluminum – weighs less than steel and meets the ASTM Standards for compression and impact rating of I-75/C-75.

  • Alloy - this type of safety toe is made of alloy which is a mixture of two or more metals. It is common that alloy safety toes can include titanium or aluminum, both lightweight metals. Alloy toes are 30-50% lighter than steel, but are just as strong as steel. They are made a bit thinner which gives more room in the toe box as well. It meets the ASTM Standards for compression and impact rating of I-75/C-75.

Met Guard Footwear
Footwear that has a metatarsal guard to protect the upper foot from falling objects or compression.

          Types of Met Guard’s

  • Internal – the met guard is built into the inside of the boot/shoe

  • External – the met guard found on the outside of the boot/shoe

Extra Features That Soft, Safety or Met Guard Footwear May Have

  • Electrical Hazard (EH) - this type of footwear protects you from open circuits and electrocution by providing extra protection from accidental contact with electrically energized objects. The soles of EH shoes provide a safety barrier from open electrical currents up to 18,000 volts at 60hz for one minute without leakage.

  • Static Dissipative (SD) - this type of footwear absorbs and neutralizes static electricity by absorbing loose electrons and sending them into the floor. SD footwear regulates the accumulation of electrical charge within your body and reduces the risk of static shock.

  • Slip Resisting (SR) - this type of footwear provides traction on slick surfaces.

  • Waterproof Membrane (WP) – water-impermeable membrane keeps feet drier and delivers superior waterproof protection.

  • Water Resistant – it allows water and other liquids to run off the leather in order to keep the foot dry BUT just because the upper may be water resistant it doesn’t mean the footwear is waterproof. It needs to have a waterproof membrane in order for the footwear to be considered waterproof.

  • Puncture Resistant – standards for reducing the possibility of puncture wounds to the sole of the foot by penetrating objects.

  • Insulation – protects the body from cold by trapping the body’s own heat and preventing it from escaping. Insulation levels can range from as little as 200g to 1200g+. Sometimes insulation is also rated in degrees.

Static Dissipative (SD) Footwear Care Instructions 

Static Dissipative (SD) footwear absorbs and neutralizes static electricity by absorbing loose electrons and sending them into the floor. SD footwear regulates the accumulation of electrical charge within your body and reduces the risk of static shock. Below are some easy steps to maintain SD footwear. These steps will help the footwear test longer and may increase the life of your shoes.

To maintain proper SD performance, these shoes must be frequently maintained and routinely cleaned. The recommended weekly care and cleaning schedule is:

1. Keep the outsole very clean & free of all dirt, debris and other compounds. Scrub the outsole using a mild soap.

2. Keep the inside of the shoe clean. Remove the insole and vacuum the insole and the interior of the shoe.

3. Clean upper with damp cloth.

The insole is a critical component of the SD shoe. If you choose to replace the insole the replacing insole/orthotic needs to be SD, but in some cases even when replacing with an SD insole/orthotic, it may not test SD.

Very dry feet or socks and a dry environment may reduce the performance of the SD footwear. Humidity is essential to SD performance. Do not use shoe powders that reduce the internal humidity of the footwear.

Benefits to Using Footwear Care Products

Below is a list of popular footwear care products that can assist in extending the life of your current footwear as well as offer other benefits including: protection, waterproofing & softening leather. Vanderloop Shoes offers a variety of care products on our website, including the products listed below.

Boot Oil: Provides optimal conditioning qualities. Boot oil is designed to replenish the oils lost by leather from repeated wetting and drying. It is easy to apply with a dry cloth and works on all leather products. Boot oil is made of silicone and lanolin.

Leather Dressing: Helps condition and preserve leather. Also provides excellent water repellence and resists most acids while still allowing leather to breathe. Leather dressing is applied with a dry cloth. It is made of beeswax, pine pitch and mink oil. This product does NOT contain silicone or petroleum ingredients.

Waterproof Spray: Provides an invisible and breathable protective coating that repels water. This spray can be applied to all leather products. It can help repel water on your current footwear or can be sprayed on a waterproof product to increase the benefits. This spray works well on suede and will not darken.

All care products should be applied to clean/dry leather to maximize benefits. Care products can be applied as needed, with frequent applications providing more protection. Be sure to follow the directions listed on the back of the product for best results.

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