I'm about a 9 in athletic, 7.5 in dress shoes and 8 in Boots.
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Sometimes for a woman, an option is to try on men's shoes. When I wanted a pair of hiking boots, I ended up buying a pair of men's since they didn't have a style I wanted in the women's sizes. Works for me, for sneakers or trainers or boots. No so much, for "dress" shoes hehe.
I don't think the standard sizes have really changed; I saw a thing on Rachel Ray yesterday that talked about people's foot shapes and how square toed shoes are better for people with feet shaped a certain way, etc. And I think maybe that's where the difference lies-- a squarer toe or pointier toe or rounder toe, would fit better depending on your foot shape. So what I see and "like" in a shoe, isn't necessarily the shape that would fit my foot best.
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I can't speak specifically for your situation, but I generally wear a size 7-7.5 in street shoes, but an 8 1/2 for running shoe. It isn't uncommon to go up a half to a full size in athletic shoes as your foot tends to swell and the toes splaying.
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Had my feet measured today at Dick Sporting Goods for Cross Trainers. I was measured size 9B. What happened! My big feet didn't even fit into the largest size they carry which is a 11 ! I tried a few different brands before giving up. I returned shoes I ordered from the internet for the same reasons, only to wait months for the money to be placed back into my debit account. Are shoes going the way of clothing, no standard sizing?? I was so frustrated I wanted to go to Coldstone and eat the largest ice cream bowl ever, of course I didn't.
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