What Does C Mean In Shoe Size? (Explained!)

When it comes to picking the right shoe size, what do we consider mostly? We will think about our feet length and match it with the shoe length. While this is perfectly well, there’s a trick that we all miss, if not all; it is the width of the shoe.

In fact, the majority of people don’t know about shoe width as a relevant requirement even. So, when they see letters like A, AA, B, or C in a shoebox, it perplexes them. Thus, many people ask, “What does C mean in shoe size?

“C” in the shoe size category refers to a narrow shoe for men and a wider shoe for women. It is the average shoe width for most men.

Along with C, there are 8 different shoe width categories to help men and women find their best fit. We will discuss them briefly to have a fair idea about shoe width and how it works for your comfy and snug fit.

What Does C Mean In Shoe Size

The Scale to Measure Shoe Width

The shoe width scale has nine categories to identify and represent the entire shoe width version for both men and women. The list includes EEE, EE, E, D, C, B, A, AA, and AAA, where EEE refers to the widest shoe, and AAA stands for the narrowest shoes.

Since it follows an alphabetical pattern, it is easy to remember the scale. You can recognize it from AAA as the narrowest shoe width, and with each chronological alphabet, the shoe width will increase.

However, at times these width categories for shoes have different representations, making them difficult to understand. For instance, B stands for a narrow shoe for men and average medium-width for most women. But in reality, the medium-wide shoes for women are referred to as “M” or “BM.”

Similarly, double AA is abbreviated as 2a, and many people also abbreviate EEE as 3e. So, it makes the shoe width scale pretty misguiding, and people find it hard to understand. Also, an average American man or woman hardly knows their feet width and fails to pick the right footwear width.

So, here’s our suggestion for them-

An average American man will mostly wear C or D-sized shoe width. But for women, it won’t be a common size. Women will mostly find B or M, which is medium-wide, as a good fit for their feet.

What Does C Mean In Shoe Size?

C refers to the average width for American’s men shoes. Also, it talks about a wider shoe for an average woman.  Since most women will find B or M as a medium and standard wide for their feet, C-sized shoes are one size wider than their standard fitting.

But this answer is pretty misleading and superficial. For instance, the C width for the shoe is different for men and women. Also, you need to understand the meaning of the numbers before the shoe width letters.

For example, 8C shoe means the shoe has 8 sized lengths and an average wide for men. Similarly, 7AAA refers to the narrowest shoe width and 7-size in the US.

1. C Shoe Width for Men

Men’s feet are generally wider than women’s.  So, C width for men’s shoes refers to an average width for them. It is considered a narrow shape for an average man. Also, the C width for shoes is the entry-level wide for men’s shoes.

You will hardly find men’s shoes having a ‘B’ or ‘A’ wide rating since men’s, in general, don’t have such narrow feet.

However, you need to understand that even ‘C’ isn’t the most common shoe width for men. In general, average American men wear D-width shoes. If a man needs a C-width shoe, they have narrower feet than an average man in the US.

Thus, when you go to a nearby shoe store to buy a pair of work boots or formal shoes, you should keep an eye on the shoe width along with its length. When both the shoe length and width match your feet, you will get a comfortable feel. Plus, it will offer you a tailored fit to enhance your workability and productivity.

2. C Shoe Width for Women

Although both C and D shoe widths are for men and women, women will not wear a D-sized shoe mostly. But, you can find many women with C-width shoes on their feet.

It happens because women’s feet are normally narrower than men’s feet. So, for the same shoe width scale, women have wider feet than men. It means that C stands for a wider shoe, more than the medium width, for women.

And D stands as the widest shoe width category in the women’s footwear industry. Also, you will find a woman wearing a D wide shoe rarely. Also, C wide is less common among women than men.

The following points will help you understand the women’s shoe width category better-

  • AA is the common entry-level width for women’s shoes. However, you may even see AAA-rated shoe width for men. But both these footwear width scales are rare among men.
  • B or M refers to the medium or average wide for women’s shoes. More than 50% of American women wear B-width or M shoe sizes.
  • C and D refer to a wider shoe scale for men. However, these two categories are considered as narrow and average wide for men’s footwear. More than 50% of American men wear C and D width shoes.
  • E talks about extra wide footwear for women, but it refers to wide footwear for men. Women with an E-category shoe will have extra wide feet.

3. C Shoe Width for Kids and juniors

In the US, kids and junior shoes also have an independent shoe length and width scaling. It follows the same rule as women’s footwear. So, here goes the answer for children’s shoe measurement-

  • AAA and AA are the narrowest shoes for children.
  • B stands for an average wide for toddlers and juniors.
  • Kids wearing C or D have wide feet.
  • E width category for children talks about extra wide feet.

Also, you must know that shoe lengths in the US and UK are almost similar for kids and junior’s section, with one exception. US shoe length is one step up than the UK shoe length. For example, 10C shoe size in the US will be equivalent to 9C size in the UK.

Tips on Measuring Shoe Width:

You must have the right width and length of the shoe to have a custom fit. If your shoe width and length don’t match your feet, you will experience deformed toe or foot aches. Also, with the proper width and length, your footwear will get enhanced durability.

But how do you measure shoe width? Well, you can follow these tips-

  1. You can use a soft measure for the purpose. Wrap the tape snuggly around your foot across the widest part. Make sure you haven’t wrapped the tape too tightly; instead, it should be snug.
  2. Next, distribute the weight of your feet, even on the ground. You don’t need to over-pressurize the foot. Instead, just put your feet smoothly on the ground and stand comfortably.
  3. When the soft measure tape completes one round, mark the meeting point. You can use a pencil or marker pen for it.
  4. The measurement will be in millimeters (mm). You can then use a standard shoe measurement chart to find your width.
  5. When you visit a shoe store, the seller can complete the job for you. They can perform the shoe width measurement task in a few seconds. So, you better allow them to do it for you instead of doing it at home.

FAQ about What Does C Mean In Shoe Size

What is the average shoe width for men and women?

For men, C and D are the two average shoe widths. And women will generally wear medium-wide shoes referring to “B” or “M” in the shoe chart.

How do I know if I need a wider shoe?

When you wear a shoe and find bulging on the exterior of the footwear, it is a clear sign that your shoe is too narrow. The front of the footwear will stretch if it is too narrow for your feet. Thus, it would help if you upgraded the shoe width for a better fit.

Can my foot size change?

Although it might seem unrealistic, shoe size changes over time. If you have diabetics, your feet will become wider. Also, during pregnancy time, women’s feet tend to grow wider and slightly bigger. Finally, obesity works as the main cause of shoe width and length change.

Our verdict on What Does C Mean In Shoe Size

C width category refers to average narrowness for men but wider feet for women. Also, men’s average wide is D in America.

The next time you go to any shoe store for your work boot or formal shoe, make sure you get a custom fit, including shoe length and shoe width. It will save you from any discomfort and prevent foot ache even after wearing the pair of shoes for a long time.

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