Shoe Sizing 101
We are here to help you find the right size shoe. Both feet and shoes come in all shapes and sizes. Shoes are made on forms called lasts and sizing increments vary between factories. Especially with hand made shoes, as found here at Diva Boutique. Sizing charts on the internet vary tremendously. Feet are three dimensional, so allowances need to be made.
Diva Boutique has taken a different approach to sizing. You will find below in our sizing charts what each shoe in our inventory measures (we round down on the calculations for safety). Simply look up your shoe size, find your measurement, double-check by measuring your feet and locate your size for each manufacturer/model/heel height. Way too much? Well, at least you have a starting point of your measurement. Don't fear, model specific charts are found on the Sizing tab of each shoe detail page, so you can double-check before you order. There you may also find multiple views of most shoes, so that you can easily identify the shape of the shoe. If a particular shoe does not have the extra views, contact us , and we will be more than happy to send them to you.
Check out our sizing tools below the sizing charts. We will show you how to:
1. Measure your feet 5. Adjust the size to accommodate your unique feet
2. Identify the shape of your feet 6. Understand heel measurements
3. Recognize the shapes of different shoes 7. Understand the geometry of a shoe as it relates to
4. Make choices suitable to your feet heel height by size and platforms
- On open toe shoes, your longest toe should go to the edge, but not over the footbed.
- Leave some room on the footbed for closed toe shoes (no one wants their toes crammed).
- Shoes should fit SNUG (not hurting) as they WILL GIVE. Different materials give more than others. Materials in order of give are: velvet, suede, soft leathers (such as kidskin), thicker leathers, leather-lined textiles and finally, patent leather. Shoes can also be stretched.
Shoe Measurement Charts
Women's International Shoe Sizing Chart
Comme il Faut
Diva 2" Heels
Sueños 2" Heels
Men's Shoe Charts
How to Measure Your Feet
Measuring your feet requires a ruler or cloth tape measure. Place the ruler or tape measure on the floor. Stand on it, making sure the end of the ruler/tape measure is aligned with the back of the heel. Look down and note the measurement of your longest toe. Repeat with your other foot. Take the longest measurement and use it to find your shoe size on the sizing charts located on the previous page and also on the Sizing Chart tab on each shoe page.
Determining Foot Shape
Feet come in all shapes and sizes, as do shoes. One shoe will fit one person perfectly while it won't work at all for another. Feet are multi-dimensional. Now that you have measured your feet, it is time to take a good look at the other characteristics of your feet.
People’s toes are aligned differently. Some have sharply angled feet, as in A and B in the chart below. Others have a more cascading form, as in C and D. Others have a more squared off form, as in E. Some people’s longest toe is not your big toe, as in A and D. And then there are multiple variations on these. Take a good look at your feet and note which characteristics they possess and the corresponding letter. These characteristics will matter in adapting the measurement of your foot to the measurement of different shapes of shoes.
Foot Width & Thickness
Feet can run from very narrow to very wide. For narrow feet, you will do best with peep toe models or closed toe shoes. This is especially true if you also have thin feet. For people with wide feet, choose band sandals or try some of our wide width shoes. It is important to notice where your feet are wide. Are they wide with squared-off toes? Are they wide pretty much horizontal? Are they wide on an angle? Also be sure to note if they are wide because of or in addition to bunions. Then you can look at the aerial view of the shoe to determine adjustments.
Here are some of the different shapes of shoes
In Shoe A, the footbed is more squared off. This makes it perfect for more squared-off or cascading toes, as in Feet C and E. Women with a long little toe will have more room at the end of their shoes for most of their toes (Feet A and D). Women with very angular feet, Foot A and B will have lots of sole space on the outsides of the shoe. Shoe B has a more rounded toebox, making it perfect for most feet, except the most angular foot, A and B. Shoe C has a tapered toe. This is perfect for Feet A and D, as there is plenty of space for that longer smaller toe. It works well for B and C, also. Women with squared off toes would have to go up a half size and have some room at the end of the footbed. Shoe D has an even more tapered toe box, but also a good width, making it good for all types. Of course, more squared off toes, Feet D and F would have to order a half size up.
Heel measurements have mystified women for years. This is mainly due to how different people or manufacturers take their measurements. The chart at the left shows how we here at Diva Boutique show heel measurements. When our measurements are reported in inches, the measurement is taken from the very back of the heel. When in centimeters, it is taken from the center stem. In all actuality, the center stem measurement is the most relevant measurement, as it more closely measures the lift the heel gives your entire body. For over a decade, Diva Boutique has been measuring these shoes from the very back of the heel, in inches. This was done to accommodate women who wanted the highest measurement. We will continue to report the heel heights in this manner. This will explain why the two are not the same exact conversion.
Shoes are geometrical. What designers are most concerned about is the angle of the foot. They need to make sure that a size 4 has the same or significantly similar angle of the foot as a size 11. So, they have to have incrementally taller heels to accommodate the longer lengths of a foot. Think of it as a triangle. If you stretch the length, you will need to alter the height to achieve the correct angle. So, a size 4 shoe would need a much lower heel for the angle than a size 11. On the right, above, is a lineup of different size shoes with the "same" heel height. You can see that the heel heights are different, but so are the distances from the heel, indicating increased footbed length. So, of course, the heels need to be higher to maintain the correct angle. We are reporting heel heights for the median group of size 7. If you would like the exact heel height measurements, please contact us and we will be happy to give you stem and/or back heel measurements in your size.
Several of Tara Shoes and some Comme il Faut street shoes come with platforms. These platforms are created with cork. They also have the comfy memory foam lining. Initially, they are comfortable and a little flexible. But, as you wear them, they conform to the shape of your foot and become very flexible and the ultimate in comfort. Many women swear by them. The cons to them is that the feel of the floor is slightly compromised. They are fabulous for workshops and long festival weekends, as well as a shopping trip to the mall, or on a night out on the town.
The platform shoes have a higher heel, but this is because of the basic structure of a shoe. If you put a 1/2" platform on the toe box, you must raise the heel for it to be in balance. For instance, La Luna is available in both regular and platform. The regular version has a 3" heel. The platform version has a 3 1/2" heel, but they are made on the same last (form) and have the exact same angle of the foot. So, with a platform, a 3 1/2" heel feels just like a 3" heel, only with a platform. The example above shows this relationship.
Comme il Faut
Band sandal shoes fit a normal or wider foot well. They are wonderful for spreading your toes and gripping the ground, providing optimum balance and power. They do not do well for narrow feet and definitely not for thin feet, as your feet will slide through. Other good models for wider feet have the wrap, tab and v-cut toe boxes. These are also especially good choices for women with bunions. We also occasionally have Wide Production shoes. An example of a Wide Production shoe is 8 Wide, which takes a size 8 shoe, heel cage, heel, sole and places a size 9 pattern on the toe box, making it wider. For the narrow foot, Peep toe shoes fit beautifully, especially the models with closed sides, like Raquel, Marilyn and Evita and, of course, closed toe shoes, but Comme il Faut rarely makes them. If you have a normal width foot, you will most likely have to go up a size, or stretch your shoes with these models.
All enclosed heel cages fit most feet well. and are secure. People with very narrow heels would benefit from installing moleskin padding to the heel cage to fill in the space their narrow heels don’t occupy. This should alleviate the heel lifting out of the shoe. The thick sling strap is amazingly stable, due to Comme il Faut’s unique design. It holds you in exactly the right places. The only exception to this is if you have a very narrow heel - the sling straps normally won’t work for you
Comme il Faut is not only famous for their sexy stiletto heels, but they are famous for their unique heel design that also makes them VERY comfortable and STABLE. Most women are amazed when they try on a shoe with a heel they never thought they could wear and find they feel fabulous. This is because your heel is centered directly in the middle of the shoe’s heel and it does not push you forward, or worse, push you back. You are erect, with energy forward, which is the perfect tango posture. Comme il Faut makes stilettos in 7 cm, 8 cm and 9 cm. They also make ultra low 3.5 cm heels and 6 cm heels. We are happy to offer you a nice selecion of all of these shoes. Please see the section on heel measurements for more info.
The lower heeled shoes are slightly longer than the 3” heels, so please make sure you double check your measurements.
Our Divina shoes with customizable arch supports create the ultimate fit with COMFORT and SUPPORT. Plus, the arch support is color coordinated with the shoe, so it makes the shoe even prettier. However, all that padding takes up a lot of space in the shoe, so please be sure to order a half size up.
Our Divina line was originally created with the orthotic supports pre-installed inside the shoe. We still have some of these shoes in stock. These were created with high arches and more firm support.
Some of our shoes have them half-installed so that you can customize the arch supports with the included arch supplements before permanently installing them with the included glue and brush (instructions included) This was done with our more exotic leathers for color coordination.
We are now making Divina shoes without the arch supports and are including two sets of customizable arch supports - one with the metatarsal lift and arch support and one with the arch support only, along with the arch supplements, glue and, of course, instructions. You can choose which pair works best for you and return the other pair in the provided postage-paid envelope. If you choose to keep both pairs, the second pair is $40. If you decide they are not for you, return both pair in the envelope and we’ll refund $40 upon receipt, These customizable arch support systems are now available in Diva Essentials to install on any of your shoes. We also now have separate metatarsal lifts in case you need it positioned differently. Just contact us and we’ll mail them out to you.
Some special models
Estela, which is made on a VERY wide last. She is perfect for the super wide foot, or a wide foot with the orthotic inserts.
Delia, which is designed and cut to accommodate bunions. She works well with regular feet, too,
Camina, who has an ultra low heel and is perfect for leading ladies.
Most Tara Shoes were made in Montevideo, Uruguay, in a small, family-run factory. They were, as most of our shoes, made the old-fashioned way, by hand. All of their lasts, or forms, for these shoes were also hand made. They were made to be generous vertically in the toe box, giving more room for the toes. Each heel height has it’s own last. Some of the sizing increments vary between lasts. This is especially so in the 2” heel lasts, most specifically 2“ platforms. For instance, if you take a size 9 in the 3” heel version of a platform shoe, in the 2" heel, you may take an unbelievable 7 1/2 or 8, so you can see how important it is to check the footbed measurements. So, be sure to consult the shoe measurement chart tab located on each shoe detail page. This variance is not present in all shoe sizes. Also, be sure to check the overhead view for form or taper of the footbed and adjust according to your foot shape.
Cubana, Clio and Volante
These Tara Shoes were made in a small factory in Buenos Aires. They have a different fit than the other Tara Shoes. Also, they do not have true half sizing. A size 7 1/2, for instance, is a size 7 shoe, sole, heel cage, heel, with a size 8 pattern on the toebox, giving it more room and making it a bit wider. So, really, a size 7 1/2 is in fact a size 7W.
Several of Tara Shoes are also available with platforms. These platforms are created with cork. They also have the comfy memory foam lining. Initially, they are comfortable and a little flexible. But, as you wear them, they conform to the shape of your foot and become very flexible and the ultimate in comfort. Many women swear by them. They are also good for beginners, as the cork platform creates a stable surface and you won’t wobble so much. The cons to them is that the feel of the floor is slightly compromised. They are fabulous for workshops and long festival weekends, as well as a shopping trip to the mall.
The platform shoes have a higher heel, but this is because of the basic structure of a shoe. If you put a 1/2“ platform on the toe box, you must raise the heel for it to be in balance. For instance, La Luna is available in both regular and platform. The regular version has a 3” heel. The platform version has a 3 1/2” heel, but they are made on the same last and have the exact same angle of the foot. So, with a platform, a 3 1/2” heel feels just like a 3” heel, only with a platform. For more heel height information, see the Heel Measurements page.
GretaFlora uses many different shapes of footbeds, including one that is cut angularly. If you have more squared off feet, check the overhead view of the shoes. Many of the models come with cristals and flowers. On some models, you have the choice of where you want the flower placed. We have flowers available separately in Diva Essentials, that you (or your husband/boyfriend/cobbler) can rivet in place on any shoe you would like.