Shimano seems to have some contradictory sizing information for their cycling shoes. Their EU/US sizing corresponds differently from shoe to shoe, and also with some industry "norms" (if that's really a thing).

Here are some examples from actual shoes:

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So which is it Shimano, does EU47 = US12.5 or does it equal US11.8? That's a significant variation. (Plus I've never heard of an US size which is not a multiple of ½?)

Wikipedia agrees with the first one, FWIW.

It took a little hunting to find a Shimano size chart. On "Which Shimano Kicks Are Right For You?" it says "...Shimano offers a useful size guide..." but actually doesn't seem to include that. But I did find one on their product pages:

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(From here, then click "adaptive size spec" - seems to be generic, not only pertinent to the specific product at this link?)

This chart seems to be consistent with the second tag.

All in all, I'm confused. What to make of all this? Am I more likely to get a good fit assuming the US or EU size is accurate?

Note - obviously the ideal would be to visit a good store and try stuff on; if it fit the number doesn't matter. But given Covid and maybe limited local availability it would be great to be able to order online with some confidence that a good fit is possible vs. being a waste of time & money.

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    Shoe sizing is unreliable and inconsistent across brands. Different factories making the same thing will vary, and even models in the same brand vary. The only safe option is to try shoes on before buying - ordering things on-line is a crap-shoot and can only be okay if you're reordering exactly what you used to have. Even then a gap of time can cause drift.
    – Criggie
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 3:11
  • Shimano shoe fits vary from one “last” to another. I don’t know why it’s called a last. Basically all their road shoes, for example, are built using the same shape form for all models in a given size. Some models are also available in a wide version. My understanding is that as long as two models are on the same last, size, and width (wide or standard), they should have a similar fit. So if you’re ordering shoes, you should try on shoes in the same category or ensure they’re the same last. Mountain touring shoes like the mt20d are built on a different last than XC mountain shoes like M161G
    – Pisco
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 5:34
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    @Pisco from etymonline.com: "from Old English læste "shoemaker's last," earlier last "track, footprint, footstep, trace," from Proto-Germanic *laisti- (source also of Old Norse leistr "the foot," Middle Dutch, Dutch leest "form, model, last," Old High German leist "track, footprint," German Leisten "last," Gothic laistjan "to follow")"
    – ojs
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 6:12
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    @pisco that's an answer, not a comment. And in my experience it's completely wrong.
    – ojs
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 6:24
  • @ojs you’re probably right, just because Shimano seems to privilege euro size numbers over US sizing doesn’t necessarily make it a more reliable comparison. Deleted.
    – Pisco
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 6:31

1 Answer 1


EU sizing is generally more inconsistent than US and UK sizes. For example, my shoes are all labeled 10 or 10.5US, but the EU size labels vary between 42 to 45. The size 45s are Shimano SPD shoes so yes, for the same EU size Shimano shoes are the smallest.

It is interesting that centimeter sizes are almost as inconsistent as EU sizes, even though it should be easy to take exact measurement of the shoe. Some brands are also inconsistent between models, so when shopping online it's worth it to read reviews and comments. Finally, to get an idea how the shoe could fit, find a photo taken from the top and compare the shape against shoes you have. The outline of the sole does not tell how the foot fits inside.

  • My experience is "generally" the opposite. I guess it matters more where the shoe was actually designed. When I lived in Europe (and esp. before everything came to be made in China), my size was always 42.5 to 43. But if the shoe was designed to be US10, conversion will invariably add variance (on top of a significant variance of sizing itself: after all, the minimal US or UK ½ step is larger than the EU½). Sort of like metric parts will be more "consistent" when designed in a metric country. Incidentally, my Shimano SPD shoes I'm about to put on are EU 45 - the biggest EU size I ever had.
    – Zeus
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 9:17
  • It might help if you think EU sizes as a group standards. I think I'm 42 Finnish, 43 French, 44 Italian and 45 Shimano. Or something like that.
    – ojs
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 9:53

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