It has been a little while since my last post but the gloomy world news of the past few weeks centered on Coronavirus have been quite distracting and unconducive to fashion blogging, at least in my case. However, while withdrawal and procrastination are the natural compulsions in times like these, I have finally decided to shake off the feeling of inertia and, instead, focus my attention on lighter and more uplifting subjects. Shoe shopping, anyone…?

Having spent the past two weeks in self-isolation, I could not help but engage in some online retail therapy, especially with so many fantastic sales around. But even as I managed to bag a couple of shoe bargains, the process has brought back the same dilemmas that I have always been facing when ordering footwear online, namely sizing and fit. In this case, I decided to splash out on pairs from brands which I have not tried before. After trawling through numerous sites and YouTube channels, and gathering only limited information on sizing, eventually I had no choice but to rely on sheer potluck. Unsurprisingly, only one of the two pairs bought had the right fit.

It is not the first time I have been through these motions. But this experience, combined with all the extra time on my hands, have given me a good incentive to write this post and share with you thoughts on sizing of the high-end shoes in my collection. While I cannot guarantee that all of you would agree with my assessment, hopefully the commentary will be helpful to some, especially over the next few weeks when the Internet is likely to become the primary retail channel for most of us 😊. So here goes…

Alexander Wang

I have a couple of pairs of Amelia mules. The studded mules were a big deal a few years ago but you can still pick them up on some shopping websites like Farfetch or Outnet at a discount. Personally, I still like the style and the quality is fantastic so I will not be parting with them any time soon (even though they may no longer be the hot fashion item). To me Amelia mules run true to size but, as with any mules, you can probably get away with going half a size up if you prefer a more relaxed look.

Alice and Olivia

The Abbey velvet slip on mules are the only Alice and Olivia style currently in my collection. I have them in size 37.5 and they fit like a true 37.5. Strangely, I have seen them on shopping websites described as running small, not sure why…

Aquazzura

I only own one pair of Aquazzurras, the Montaigne Moccasin, which I managed to pick up on sale. To me, this style runs quite large, at least half a size. I bought them in my usual size 37.5 but I can only wear them with leather shoe insoles because otherwise they are too loose and my foot slips out. Unfortunately, they were the last pair so I could not exchange them for a smaller size. I have not tried any of Aquazzura heels yet so I am not sure if the same applies to other designs such as sandals or pumps.

Bally

I own a pair of beautifully made calf leather loafers, or leather slippers, from Bally and they fit true to size. Unfortunately, I do not remember the name of this style but it is every similar to Janelle except that instead of the large buckle it has a more subtle chain detail.

Boss by Hugo Boss

All my shoes from Boss, which include heels, sandals, round and open toe flats, run large. I have them all in size 37 which is ½ up on my standard fit. However, some of their pointy ballerinas fit quite narrow in the toe area so I would recommend always trying them on before buying to determine the correct size.

Celine

I have a couple of pairs of Celine stilettos (pointy toe and round toe) and both styles seem to run true to size. Unfortunately, I have not kept boxes so I am not sure of the names of these specific styles.

Chanel ballerinas

Chanel

My collection of Chanel shoes is quite substantial and, overall, I find them running true to size. I own many pairs of ballerinas, moccasins and other iterations of flats, and all of these are in my standard size 37.5. When it comes to pumps, I tend to opt for width “C” which is the most comfortable Chanel fit for me but, again, in my usual size 37.5. I own one pair of of platform pumps in width B and which are still perfectly wearable and not overly narrow but my personal preference is width C.

The only type of Chanel shoes where I go ½ size larger, up to 38, are their famous espadrilles which run small (for a comprehensive review, please click here).

Charlotte Olympia

I am a huge fan of Charlotte Olympia Kitty Flats (review here) in the velvet finish and I have them in many different colours, both the round toe as well as the pointy toe version. All of them run true to size, in my case 37.5.

I also own a couple of pairs of Charlotte Olympia shoes in size 38 but only because I was very keen on adding those styles to my collection and my usual size was unavailable at the time. One of them are the round toe Kitty Mules, which turned out to be perfectly wearable in size 38 without looking overly large or being too loose. I also own a pair of the Zodiac flats in size 38. They are definitely on the larger side and I would prefer my standard fit but they are still wearable with a leather insole.

Christian Louboutin

I own several pairs of Louboutins, predominantly high heels  in styles such as Pigalle, Simple Pump, Piou Piou, Decolettes, to name a few, but also some kitten and small block heels. To me, Louboutins have always run true to size, although I am aware that opinions on the fit in this brand differ. Even though some of their styles are known to be quite tight, especially the pointy toe designs, I have never felt the need to upsize in them.

In my collection there are only three pairs of Louboutins where I went ½ size up. One of them are ankle boots because these need to be worn with socks and and Loubs tend to have a narrow fit so they are more comfortable in a larger size. I also own a pair of 12cm Mira Bella peep toe sandals (from a couple of years back) in size 38 but only because I did not want my toes to stick out too much through the peep holes 😉.  Lastly, I have a pair of closed-toe, ankle strap sandals where I went larger but only because it was the last pair available. These are still ok but need to be worn with leather insoles, otherwise they feel a bit loose

Dolce & Gabbana

It has been a while since I bought the last pair of Dolce & Gabbana shoes so I am not sure if anything has recently changes in terms of sizing. However, all the older pairs which are still in my possession (all of which are pointy toe high heel stiletto pumps) run true to size.

Gianvito Rossi

One of my favourite shoe brands of all time! I own a few pairs of Gianvito Rossi suede pointy toe pumps in high and mid heel (105 and 85) which are sexy, feminine, fabulously comfortable and run true to size. I also have a pair of the Marcel round toe loafers, which are fantastic too and they also fit true to size.

Gina shoes

Gina

Gina shoes come my way only sporadically and all pieces in my collection tend to be courts, rather than their famous glitzy sandals. Irrespective of that, I have always found Gina shoes running true to size, exceptionally comfortable and well made.

Gucci

I have been buying Gucci shoes for many, many years and believe that in terms of quality and comfort they are difficult to match. As for the fit, there is definitely a degree of inconsistency. To me Gucci sneakers, including the famous Ace sneakers, run large so I usually opt for size 37 which is ½ size smaller to what I usually buy. With regard to heels, I find the sizing quite tricky so I would always recommend trying them on before buying. I have in my collection Gucci courts and sandals sized 37, 37.5 and 38, all of which fit well. For boots, there is less irregularity. All my Gucci boots, including the classic flat Jordaan boots as well as knee height and high heel ankle boots, run true to size and I have them all in my standard 37.5 fit. In the ever so popular Princetown mules, I have variants both in my usual size 37.5 and size 38 but I think they fit a bit better if you go ½ size up.

Jil Sander

There is only one pair of Jil Sander shoes in my collection, the slip-on mules with almond toe and a small buckle detailing (I am afraid I do not remember the name of this style). To me, they run slightly small.  I have them in size 38, which is ½ size up from my standard fit in most brands.

Jimmy Choo Lancer

Jimmy Choo

I find most of Jimmy Choos, including the classic Romy style, running true to size, irrespective of their heel height. However, I also own a pair of Abel suede court shoes where I went half a size smaller because I was advised by the shop assistant that their suede had a tendency for stretching. I am glad I did! In the famous Lancer style, I opted for ½ size larger fit i.e. 38 because my standard size 37.5 felt quite tight in the toe area. Even though size 38 felt a bit loose at first, I bought half insoles for the front of the foot/toe area and now I find wearing Lancers very comfortable despite the killer heel.

Max Mara

For some reason, I ended up with only one pair of Max Mara shoes, even though I have nothing against their designs. The shoes in my possession are  round toe ballet flats, and these fit true to size.

Missoni

While I am a huge fan of Missoni clothing, especially their dresses and beachwear, when it comes to shoes, somehow, I have not been charmed into buying more than just one pair. The sole Missoni shoes in my collection are the round toe ballerinas and I have them in size 38 which is ½ larger than my standard fit. They are also a bit on the wider side but this may be due to the fact that the leather from which they are made is extremely soft and buttery, and so it does not provide much support. On the flip side, they are extremely comfortable!

No. 21

I have only recently added the first pair of No.21 heels to my collection (why did it take me so long…?!) and they were a great bargain too. The style is called Raso Satin Knotted Kitten Heels and I went up half a size to 38 because the front toe cap is quite narrow in these mules. No.21 shoes are like the work of art, absolutely beautiful, perfectly balanced and very comfortable.

Prada loafer

Prada

Over the years, I have purchased several pairs of Prada Bow ballerinas, both the round toe and the pointy toe variety, and to me these run true to size. However, my journey with Prada shoes has taught me that some styles are made of very soft leather (non-patent) which I found stretching quite quickly. Therefore, if you are planning on making Prada Bow flats your high rotation shoes, it might be worth considering a fit which is half a size smaller than your usual size. This is exactly what I have been doing, ever since my first pair of pointy toe Prada ballerinas stretched out so much after a few months’ regular use that it was literally slipping from my feet when walking. Having said that, I would like to emphasise that the tendency for stretching will be dependent on type of leather from which the Prada shoes are made. For example, I own one pair of Prada moccasins in ostrich leather which is quite sturdy and tough, and these are less susceptible to becoming loose over time.

Ralph Lauren

There are quite a few pairs of Ralph Lauren shoes in my collection and to me they exemplify the perfect day-to-day comfort footwear. In terms of fit, all the pumps, wedged espadrilles, high heel sandals and moccasins, which I currently own are in the US size 7B. I am not sure what the letter “B” stands for here (maybe width?), but it appears that size 7B in this brand is commensurate with the standard European size 37.5 and 4.5 in the UK.

Robert Clergerie

I own only one pair of shoes from this brand, the Lula pointy ballet flats, which are the fruit of the collaboration between Robert Clergerie and Self-Portret. In my view, this specific design runs small because of the relatively narrow pointy toe box, so it is best to go ½ size up.

Roger Vivier

Only two pairs of shoes from Roger Vivier made their way into my shoe collection, both of which are open toe high heel sandals, and both run true to size.

Rupert Sanderson

I have always loved the soft and supple leather of Rupert Sanderson shoes but I find their sizing somewhat inconsistent. For instance, in the iconic Tina slingbacks I had to go up ½ a size to 38 because they run small whereas in high heel pumps, like the Malone court, I had to go down to size 37 because they fit large.  

Saint Laurent stiletto

Saint Laurent

I own only one pair of Saint Laurent high heel pointed toe pumps which I bought a while back and they seem to fit large so I had to go down ½ size to 37.

Salvatore Ferragamo

Ferragamo shoes are beautiful and classic. The one style of Ferragamos which I cannot get enough of, and I keep adding to my collection in different colours, are the iconic Varina ballerinas. From my experience, these run true to size but the initial fit is quite tight in the toe box area. I usually buy mine in width C but feel they always need to be stretched before they achieve the perfect level of comfort.

Sergio Rossi

Without exaggeration, Sergio Rossi pumps are one of the most comfortable high heel shoes out there. They are also one of the most underrated shoe brands, in my opinion. Apart from being fabulously well made and superbly balanced so they can be worn for hours, they also run true to size. I own a few pairs of calf leather pointed toe heels and I cannot get enough of them.

Sophia Webster

Sophia Webster shoes are one of my great regrets. I have always dreamt of adding the adorable butterfly sandals to my collection but, unfortunately, they are not a good fit for my foot shape. The only pair of Sophia Webster shoes which I own are the Royalty sneakers which I managed to pick up on sale. These are probably one of the most comfortable sneakers I have ever had and I would definitely recommend them. However, these shoes run really small so I had to go for size 39 even though I normally buy shoes in the European size 37.5 (and sometimes 38 in trainers).

Tory Burch

All Tory Burch shoes in my possession are in the US size 7.5. I own a couple of pairs of Sally wedges in 7.5 and they seem a good fit for someone who usually wears EU size 37.5 or UK 4.5. The same applies to Tory Burch espadrilles. However, I also own a pair of Tory Burch Jolie ankle boots in size 7.5 and these seem to run large, so I wear them with a leather insole for comfort.

Valentino Rockstud heels

Valentino Garavani

I have been enchanted with Valentio shoes for a long time, not only due to their aesthetic value but also because the fashion house has found the perfect formula for creating high heels which are actually comfortable. In terms of fit, I own several pairs of ankle strap Valentino Rockstuds in different heel heights, namely 100, 65 as well as the flats, and all of them run true to size.  I cannot comment on the non-strapped Rockstud variety, like the pumps and the pointy toe flats, because I have not tried them yet. I also own other Valentino styles, among others a pair of pointy toe mules as well as high heel bow sandals and these fit true to size too.

I hope you  found the above useful. There may be some brands which I have missed so I intend to review and supplement the list in due course, and also as my shoe collection grows further 😊. Of course, if you have experiences with shoe sizing in the above brands which differ from mine, please do not hesitate to share them in the comments. For now, stay safe everyone!

Photos by Unwrapped.Fashion

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