Women and shoe sizes

The other day, my Brazilian roommate started commenting on how big my feet are.

Now, you’re probably thinking that I’m a size 10 or 11.

I’m only a size 9.5.

Since when is a size 9-9.5 considered huge for a woman?

She then commented, " you American women have such huge feet! In Brazil, the biggest shoe size I’ve seen was equivalent to a size 7 US!"


We had a discussion about this back in one of my cultural studies classes in college, about how different cultures consider certain shoe sizes to be huge, while in other cultures they don’t.


People are getting taller and bigger all the time. My grandmother is ashamed of her size 9 feet. I couldn’t care less about mine.

I guess the U.S. does have a lot of Germanic blood floating around, which would be less prevalent in Brazil… and I’ve observed that Germanic heritage tends to come with big bones, ankles, wrists, feet, and hands. I had an African boyfriend once, who was taller than me, but I could circle his ankles with my thumb and forefinger. My husband is about 75% German and I can barely get around his ankles with both thumbs and both forefingers. Different people are built differently.

I’d also like to say that this b*** totally would have rubbed me the wrong way. Sounds like more “oh you stupid fat Americans, in my country we’re so much better” BS.

PS: Brazil is kind of notorious for body vanity. Brazilian waxes, astronomical C-section rates, etc.

I totally get what you’re saying.

This is probably my main issue with her. She’s probably the most “fit” person I’ve ever seen, and she’s pretty arrogant about it. I’m not what most would consider fat (I’m 5’7" and 150), but she’s always calling me a “porker”. I get so annoyed by that.

My feet are 8.5 - 9, and I’ve always considered myself to have big feet. Most women I know (back when i was younger and cared about it) were 7.5 or smaller, so I consider size 9 or above to be big, and that’s been about fifty years now.

Which standard of shoe sizing is used in Brazil? A USA size 9.5 would be a 6.5 in Mexico, 7 in UK, and an 11 in Australia.


What a sweetheart. What do they consider to be a big, fat mouth in Brazil?

Just anecdotally it seems to me that more women in America have shoe sizes in the 8 to 10 range. I was 5’9’’ and a size 8 back in the 70s and always felt really big, but lots of girls in my daughters high school class are taller and have bigger feet.

Purely anecdotally, based on when I was working as a cobbler…

Size 8-9 are pretty common in the US, especially among the younger women. In addition, a LOT of women, particularly older, wear shoes that are too small. It was nothing unusual for someone to bring in a size 7 and ask if we could stretch it 1 to 2 sizes… which means they’re actually a 9.

Smaller women of course have smaller feet. Women from prior generations were smaller on average, but in addition, societal hang-ups about feet and their size lead many to wear shoes too small for them.


In my experience, whether or woman has had children is a better predictor of her shoe size than her body weight. So assuming your roomate hasn’t had children yet but one day wants to have them, I’d remind of her this fact whenever she starts ragging on you.

I don’t know what you can say in response to the porker comments. But women like that just LOVE having giant spiders in their bed. Just in case her birthday’s coming up and you want to surprise her.

On googling average women’s shoe size in U.S. I found several sites that answered size 8, and one (dated 2010) that mentioned that the average size has increased from 7½ to 8½ over the last 30 years, and one (dated 2007) that said about 2/3 of American women’s sizes are between 6½ and 9½. So your 9-9½ is above average, but not by much.

Your roommate sounds awful.

Still, it’s interesting you speculated we’d assume you’re a 10 or 11. According to some Web site I checked, the difference between your size and a 10 is only 1/3 inch. So you’re actually really close to your own idea of a big foot, apparently.

Personally I would definitely consider a size 9.5 big but not huge. Admittedly I haven’t dated a representative cross-section of American women, but there can’t possibly be a really wide range in common sizes can there? It seems like something that’s fairly tightly distributed.

I think every woman I’ve been with has been a 5 - 7, therefore 9.5 seems fairly large to me. Anything much bigger than that would be huge and not something I’d expect to see often.

I worked as a shoe salesman while going to school. I am a bit out of practice, but I used to be able to tell women’s shoe sizes by sight…+/- a half size. I would see them checking out a style as I was headed into the stock room, and do the Carnac thing whin I came out. If I was a half size off, I would claim that the style ran a little small/large…often as not they fit.

Anyway, US 7-9 will probably cover the first SD of American women. Beyond that, they will be notably tall or short. A case of 20 pair would normally only have one size 10 and one size 5, probably two 6s and 9.5s and even spread in the middle. Very tall heels would skew smaller, flats would skew larger.

Eh, 9.5 does sound like what I would classify as “big feet” for a woman who’s only 5’7". Not grossly huge but probably big.

Fifty years ago my sister was a shoe model. Her feet were size 6. She got the job because her feet fit the salesmen’s samples (which logically would be small, but still large enough to show detail), not because a size 6 was “average.”

Your Feets Too Big


Mine is one of the most common shoe sizes in Spain. I’m a 36, the common sizes go from 36 to 39. The sizes used for samples are 36 to 38.

In the US and at a 3 1/2, I buy from the children’s section…

Remind her that Brazil lost to Germany by a score of 7-1. And everyone in Brazil cried. Especially the men. Ask her what the most popular size of skirt the guys in brazil wear.

:smiley: That’s funny.

I’m 5’7", skinny and wear a size 9.5 or 10 shoe. I’m aware that I have big feet, but it’s never been an impediment* to…well, anything, in my life, ever. And I agree that your roomie sounds a bit of a bitch.

*Except I don’t look good in those cute ballet flats, dammit.

I know some pretty disparaging insults in Portuguese if you need them.

Just as I hit reply, it occurred to me that “Big Shoe” (I can’t spell it, but its “sapaton” roughly) is a very nasty insult indeed. I’d punch her in the throat.

That is what they call the Transvestite Prostitutes :eek:

So you’re the woman with the shoe lights flashing off and on.

Snakes work too. Perhaps a surprise ‘Brazilian’ with an Epilady, just so she doesn’t miss home so much.