Specialized VS Shimano Shoe Sizing: 3 Simple Steps to Finding the Perfect Fit

Last updated on August 27th, 2023 at 04:23 am

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I’ll admit I’ve had more than one disastrous ride just because my shoes didn’t fit well.

Am I such a sensitive diva? I don’t think so!

Right after adjusting your bike to perfection, getting a pair of shoes that fits nice and snug is probably THE most important element in having a smooth ride.

In this post we’ll get into the nitty gritty by comparing Specialized vs Shimano shoe sizing. 

By following a couple of simple steps, you’ll be able to find just the shoes you need.

How to determine your Specialized vs Shimano shoe sizing: 3 simple steps

Now, this may seem like a hassle, but we promise you it will be worth your while.

Here we’ll show you how to accurately measure your feet. This will go a long way in determining the right pair of shoes for you.

Step 1: Determine your foot’s length

Determine your foot’s length

For this step, you’ll need a blank sheet of A4 paper and a pen or pencil

It’s also recommended that you wear cycling socks, for a more accurate measurement.

  • Place the sheet of paper with the narrow end against a wall.

  • Then, place your foot on the sheet of paper, aligning your heel against the wall.

  • Now, run the pen along the point where you foot is the longest – it’s usually your big toe or your second toe.

  • Finally, determine your foot’s length by measuring from the edge of the paper until the point you noted down with the pen.

Step 2: Determine your foot’s width 

Determine your foot’s width

For this step, too, you’ll use the same sheet of A4 paper and a pen or pencil.

You need to find out the width of your foot in relation to its length – this will allow you to determine whether you’ve got a medium, a wide, or an extra-wide foot.

  • On the same sheet of paper, mark your foot on both sides at the widest part with a pencil

  • Measure the distance between the two points you have marked on the sheet of paper – this is the width of your foot.

Step 3: Check a sizing chart 

Consult a sizing chart (such as the ones below) and check your foot’s length together with your foot’s width – now you know whether you have a narrow (N), a standard (S) or wide (W) foot.

We’ve compiled below charts to make it easy for you to determine your foot length & width – but keep in mind that most cycling shoes have European sizing numbers!

Men’s cycling shoe sizing chart

Length of foot (in inches)US SizeWidth
9 1/363.3″3.5″3.7″
9 1/26.53.3″3.6″3.8″
9 2/373.4″3.6″3.8″
9 4/57.53.4″3.7″3.9″
10 1/68.53.6″3.8″4.0″
10 1/393.6″3.9″4.1″
10 1/29.53.7″3.9″4.1″
10 2/3103.8″4.0″4.2″
10 5/610.53.8″4.1″4.3″
11 1/611.53.9″4.2″4.4″
11 1/3124.0″4.3″4.4″
11 1/212.54.1″4.3″4.5″
11 2/3134.1″4.4″4.6″

Women’s cycling shoe sizing chart

Length of footUS SizeWidth
8 1/252.6″2.8″3.0″
8 2/35.52.7″2.9″3.1″
8 5/662.8″2.9″3.1″
9 1/1672.9″3.1″3.3″
9 1/37.52.9″3.1″3.3″
9 1/283.0″3.2″3.4″
9 2/38.53.1″3.3″3.4″
9 5/1693.1″3.3″3.5″
10 1/6103.3″3.4″3.6″
10 1/310.53.3″3.5″3.7″

Specialized vs Shimano shoe sizing: do they run true to size?

specialized vs shimano shoe sizing do they run true to size

Whether you’re giving it your all going uphill, or pushing yourself trying to sprint faster than your buddy, when you’re cycling, there are huge forces putting pressure on your feet.

That’s why it’s key to get the right size for your cycling shoes. If you don’t, not only will you be cycling less efficiently, you are likely to feel the painful consequences sooner rather than later.

This is also why, in general, cycling shoes run pretty true to size

Let’s take a closer look at both Specialized and Shimano shoe sizing.

Specialized shoe sizing

specialized shoe sizing

I’ve gone through a fair amount of cycling shoes and Specialized has never failed to impress me with their spot-on sizing.

It’s true that different models may vary in wideness, so you can actually fine tune your fit to the width of your feet by picking the right Specialized model.

For example, Specialized’s S-Works 7 is probably the right pick when your feet are on the wider side.

In terms of length, however, you can be confident that with Specialized shoes you’re picking a very true-to-size pair.

Nevertheless, remember that feet come in many shapes and sizes – so it could be that your feet are the exception to the general rule.

We do recommend you always try the shoes on, and preferably also get a professionally done measurement of your feet.

So in conclusion: are Specialized shoes true to size? 

Yes, in general, Specialized shoes are true to size. Still, it’s important to try the cycling shoes on to make sure they fit your feet perfectly.

Shimano shoe sizing

shimano shoe sizing

Shimano is building a solid reputation for engineering some of the top cycling shoes on the market.

While my own experience with Shimano shoes is limited, I’ve got many friends that won’t even consider switching to another shoe brand.

At the same time, I do frequently hear that some Shimano shoes run small – it depends on the model.

The brand itself indeed recommends that you size up when you’re in between sizes, which would support the notion that they’re on the small side.

Plus, users on a range of cycling forums do follow the rule that with Shimano, it’s generally recommended to move up a half or whole size. 

So, let’s wrap it up: are shimano shoes true to size?

Shimano shoes tend to run a bit small. It’s always best to try shoes on to get the best fit, but with Shimano shoes it’s likely that you need to order up a half or a whole size.


Hugo has been cycling for as long as he can remember, and, being from the Netherlands, he’s used to his bike being his primary mode of transport. Plus, as a lawyer, jumping on his bike is his main form of escaping from his desk duties.

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