My 10+ year old MTB shoes are finally dying. I'm looking for replacements.

My shoe size is usually 7 UK (42 EU) for the left foot and 7.5 UK (43) for the right. I see Shimano do European half sizes (under size guide). Some shoes are available in half sizes, others not.

Does anyone find that Shimano MTB shoes in EU half-sizes make a perceptible comfort difference compared to full sizes?

  • 2
    There's really no way for someone to answer this with any level of utility; the value of half sizes is highly dependent on your feet and almost nobody will have enough time with the same shoe in the half size or non-half size to tell the difference. Enough people think they're good since they continue to make them. Get the shoes that fit you best.
    – Batman
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 0:21
  • Do you buy your normal shoes in different sizes as well ?
    – Criggie
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 8:53
  • @batman: Good point about market demand, as long as they are reacting to demand and not trying to produce it instead. ;) Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 9:49
  • 1
    @criggie If you mean do I buy one shoe in 7.5 and the other in 8, then no, that is prohibitively costly. Where available I buy half size extra shoes. However my every day walking shoes are not put under the same pressure and stresses as my cycling shoes. Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 9:52

2 Answers 2


Simple maths will show that for 50% of the population, a half-size will be closer to their “true” foot size than an integer size.

But the same maths will mean it won’t make a difference for the other 50% of the population.

We can’t tell which half of the population you’re in and whether you’d benefit.

P.s. this assumes that the sizes of human feet are a continuous rather than discrete range. This is not a trivial assumption as long-term wearing of discrete (integer) shoes may deform half-size-feet into a shape closer to integers. It also assumes the same foot size on both feet which is definitely a dangerous assumption.

Version 2 of my answer.

If we want to assume different size left and right feet we have to do more stats.

So ... assuming you have different size feet, that the shoes have to be bought in the same size, and that half sizes are available, I think the statistics would be 1- (50%*50%) = a 75% likelihood that one or both feet will be closer to a better fit when you have half sizes.

This is compared to only a 50% likelihood when using integer sizes.

There’s lots of false assumptions in v2 but the simplification (most notably the difference is size between two feet is assumed to be random) would lead to a lower likelihood and thus its likely that the actual improvement is greater than +25%.


I find a pair of well-fitting shoes is great. A perfectly-fitting pair, however, is the definition of bliss.

With cycling, getting an accurate size can make the difference between having slightly achy feet or no aches at all. I find they make a huge difference to me, being 10.5. 10s fit (kind of) but pinch too much, whereas the 11s tend to be a bit too baggy for my preference. The 10.5s are the best pair of shoes I've bought for cycling.

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