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Shoes: How Many Sizes Bigger?

norcogrrl Posts: 129 Member
Hello, folks. :)

I wear Fizik Women's M5 Donna shoes on my cross bike. The problem I have is that the shoes are the size I actually wear. I have insoles and wedges inside the shoes, and as a result I can only wear very thin socks. Even with thermal toe covers and insulated booties to go over my shoes, my toes still freeze and go numb at anything below 4°C (39.2°F).

How many sizes up should I be buying my shoes to account for insoles, wedges, and thick socks?

I don't want to purchase shoes from my fitter. I buy my cleats, insoles, and wedges from him, in addition to the $50 shoe fit cost, each time I change shoes. I don't want to pay his markup on shoes, too. (He's also fit both of my good bikes for me . . . and I purchased all of the parts from him . . . I'm getting a bit stingy now).



  • TheBigYin
    TheBigYin Posts: 5,686 Member
    Can't be completely specific (as I don't have much insight into ladies shoe sizes...) but certainly in the case of my cycling shoes, I've never had to go up more than a single Continental Size for Winter Shoes/Boots on the bike - typically that's a 44 for summer and 45 for winter (if they're the same manufacturer of course...) I know that I take 44's in either Specialized or Sidi Mega's for a summer shoe - which will definitely be worn with thin/medium weight socks - but I've a pair of Specialized's in a 45 that I've "winterized" - sealed the sole vents, drenched in waterproofing spray, and applied self adhesive reflective metal-foil tape on the inside of the sole, under the insoles to hopefully reflect some heat back into the shoe - that, coupled with thicker socks and over-shoes where necessary is generally enough (for me) to keep cold-toes away down to -3°C or so for 4-5 hour rides. One important thing you need to keep your feet warm in winter is actually more "wiggle room" in the shoes, so you can "scrunch up" your toes occasionally, it just helps to keep the circulation going - your feet generally get cold because the blood isn't flowing around the extremities - so a slightly roomier fit shoe - or your normal shoes, but not cranked down as tight will definitely help.

    To be honest, Even though I've got a fair idea of the sizing I need, I'll buy online, but order 2-3 pairs, say a 45,45.5 and a 46, try them on, and send the 2 pairs which don't fit as well back under the distance selling regulations - it's generally still much cheaper than buying from a chain shop like Evans Cycles over here (and, sadly, my LBS simply don't carry Specialized or Sidi, so I can't give them my patronage on that score...)

  • HillOE
    HillOE Posts: 61 Member
    If he's going to nickel and dime you every time on every thing I'd just ask him where you should start looking for new shoes without committing to buying from him. He knows he's going to get you for the fitting anyway.

    I wear a size US10 shoe, a size US11 running shoe and I just bought size Euro 44 bike shoe, but could have gotten a 45 if I was going to add different insoles or heavier socks. I haz the big feet. I'd take your insole out of your current ones and go try a bunch on with that insole in and a pair of socks. you want room at the widest point and you want some length too (just like a running shoe). Bike shoes also tend to run smaller/narrow than other shoes (in my not so very knowledgeable) experience.
  • Bikerchickmomma
    Bikerchickmomma Posts: 99 Member
    Shoe sizes per brand vary. I have some shoes in a 41 and some in a 43. I would always go up at least a half size. The shoes have adjustable closures so you can snug them up as needed. Particularly if you use them in cold weather (or buy winter biking shoes) go up one full size for sure. If your feet are cramped, they'll feel the cold immediately.