September 19th, 2009  |  Posted by:    |  26 Article Comments/Leave a Comment
Categorized in: Walking

The Perfect Fit: Making Dansko Work for You

Women's Dansko Professional clog

The flagship Dansko Professional from the Stapled Clog collection is a perennial, swear-by favorite for teachers, chefs, nurses, students, busy moms who spend all day on their feet, and more. (This and many other Dansko styles have earned the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association, and the soles have been certified for traction and slip-resistance.)

However, for some people a perfect fit in this unisex shoe can be baffling and elusive, for a few reasons:

1. Because each shoe is hand-stapled, there can be some variance in fit from one pair to the next in the same size.

2. Although it goes against instinct, the fit at the heel is supposed to be loose: Your heel should move up and down freely when you walk, and you should be able to fit a pinky finger in the space between your heel and the inside of the shoe.

3. The “Euro-fit” means that the forefoot is boxy and roomy, allowing plenty of space for your toes to spread out, wiggle and be comfortable, not feel cramped. For some narrower feet, however, this can feel too loose.

4. People with wider feet or high arches sometimes find that the shoe feels too snug at the padded instep collar.

It would be a shame to deprive yourself of such a treat for your feet. Don’t give up! Here are some tips to help you find a Professional pair that works for you:

Solution to problem 1: Try on several pairs, because sometimes even the slightest sizing difference between shoes can make a big difference on your foot.

Solution to problem 2: If the fit is accurate—that is, long enough and snug without being too snug—chances are good that you’ll grow accustomed to the heel moving with every step.

Solution to problem 3: If the above solution to problem 1 doesn’t help, consider trying the Professional in narrow. Yes, it’s available in a narrow width, too, although not in all leathers or colors.

Solutions to problem 4: Opt for pull-up, cabrio, box or oiled leather models over patent leather, because these will provide a more flexible fit when the shoe warms up and the leather eases slightly from the heat of your foot. If that’s not enough, hang on for a couple of months: Rumor has it that Dansko will be releasing the Professional in a wide width starting in the fall. Hooray!

One final fit tip: This shoe can run a bit short, so you may need to order a size up from your normal size. Remember, they’re labeled in Euro sizes: I wear an 8.5-9 in U.S. sizing (Euro 39), but in the Professional I wear a Euro 40.

Think of me when you’re relaxed and comfortable in your Dansko Professionals! Your feet will thank you.

By Anna Costello, affectionately called ArchAngel, owns up to having "difficult" feet. Consequently, she believes that supportive, attractive footwear is an inalienable right, and is on a mission to inform the world about her favorite, road-tested discoveries from—particularly styles that come in a range of widths or can accommodate wider feet. At home or away, everybody deserves to be comfortable! Go ahead—walk a mile in her shoes. Or ten.


  • I would like to ask if this type of shoe would help me? The job I have requires me to walk and stand for about 5 hours. I have very good shoes, but by the end of the day (especially when hot), my feet get swollen and my feet are tight in my shoes and of course my feel hurt. Would this shoe be one to try for my particular situation?


    —By Angie on September 26, 2009 at 10:23 pm
  • Dear AS
    Sorry for not getting back to you sooner! I’ve been away on vacation.

    While I can’t comment on what exactly happens to YOUR feet when you’ve been on them all day, I’ll tell you this: A couple of years ago, I bought my very first pair of Danskos (Ingrid clogs) at a huge sale. I had to stand in line for nearly two hours to pay, so I put the Ingrids on and told myself that if they were still comfortable by the time I got to the register, I’d buy them. And they were. My feet felt MUCH better than when I’d arrived at the sale, in fact.

    If you have wide feet, consider the Professional that now comes in wide – just a couple of colors. It’s new this season. Dansko has offered certain styles in narrow before, but never in wide. That way you could start out the day wearing, say, thicker socks, and as your feet grew you could switch to thin socks or no socks at all! I haven’t tried them yet myself, but plan to ASAP.

    You might also want to look at the Marcelle, the mary jane version of the closed-back Professional clog. It’s roomy to begin with, really cute, and the adjustable instep strap can accommodate both beginning-of-day feet and end-of-day feet. As adorable as they are, I’d steer clear of anything with a patent upper because they won’t stretch as much as, say, a Cabrio or Box leather will. In warm weather (or hot conditions!), the Sissy sandal (patent or leather) is GREAT for swollen feet because it’s adjustable in the forefoot and at the ankle with a super-soft footbed.

    Remember, chefs, nurses and teachers all love Danskos because of their “standability.” Would I go on a dedicated walk in them? Like, several miles? Nah. But for a combination of walking and standing, they work for me. Hope this helps, and good luck!

    Your sole sister,

    —By ArchAngel on October 9, 2009 at 9:25 am
  • Was I upset with the purchase of my new Dansko shoes. I removed them after my first day of wear to find they had been made in China! When did this happen?

    —By doris on November 23, 2009 at 6:39 pm
  • I have big feet….42 professional dansko’s are tight but I still love them. I just got a size 43 pair and they are loose. 43 is long enough so my toes don’t touch the front, but my feet slip around in them. Which should I really wear?

    —By Parrot Pastor on January 22, 2010 at 3:50 pm
  • parrot pastor:
    you should wear the 42 professionals in wide. they came out in the fall and are WONDERFUL!

    —By bambi82 on July 7, 2010 at 10:47 am
  • I got 2 pair of dansko one says 40 R and the other says 40 R+
    is the R+ a wide?
    ( BTWthe 40 R feel more suitable to my foot width wise; swim a bit in the R+)
    or maybe i just need to try another pair
    (i work @ 2 different hospitals so am getting a pair to leave @ each place)
    thanks for your help as can’t find an answer to this burning question
    (OK so it’s not world peace but hey…..)

    —By storkchick on June 12, 2011 at 6:48 pm
  • I wear a size 8. I have a narrow ankle, but long toes so I need the wide toe box. I bought 39 in Professional Tooled and find the right foot to be OK with socks, but the left is loose say a middle finger fit in back. I have troubled large toes so unsure.

    Should I return them and get a 38-bought online.

    —By emmy on October 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm
  • I couldn’t think you are more right

    —By men streetwear on October 15, 2011 at 3:08 am
  • I bought the size 40 Euro about 10 yrs ago and they lasted me all 10 yrs. I finally decided to replace them so I bought the exact same size online. However, this pair does not fit the same as my current pair. It feels very loose around my heel and is constantly slipping off. I am surprised because it is the same size as the pair I currently own. Should I exchange them for 40 narrow? I wear a size 9-9.5 in US shoes

    —By chgirl on March 28, 2012 at 8:17 pm
  • Thanks for the comments. I wasn’t sure about the loose heel and the snug fit in the toes. Your answers to previous question was a big help in deciding if I should keep or return my first pair of Dansko’s.

    —By linda4376 on April 18, 2012 at 10:30 am
  • WOW!!!! you have no idea how much your review helped me decide to keep the Dansko shoe. I was questioning the heel fit and you answered it perfectly. I have no doubt I WILL GET USED TO IT! Thanks so much

    —By Monyka on July 20, 2012 at 9:13 pm
  • Oh wow. Thanks so much for the article! I’m a hairstylist and Im on my feet sometimes 12 hours a day. I just received my Danskos today and I was confused why they slipped off my heel. You answered my question and then some!
    Definitely keeping my new Danskos!

    —By Dane on January 18, 2013 at 8:03 pm
  • Are they supposed to be painful? I’ve tried on many pairs and styles because I keep hearing how comfortable they are, but they are way too painful to take more than a step or two in. I don’t have this problem with any other brand of shoe – even just standing in them hurts quite a bit to the point where I have to sit down. Is this something you get used to along with the heel, or does it go away with time? I hate to spend that kind of fortune on shoes if they’re going to keep hurting. I don’t have any foot problems other than tired and sore sometimes when I’m running around a lot.

    —By Dontgetit on April 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm
  • I just recieved my Dansko’s (oiled). If the fit feels good right now, once they are ‘warmed up’ will they stretch too much and be too loose then? I ordered the narrow’s and the fit feels good brand new. I’m just afraid they will feel too loose once they are warn in?

    —By Ashley on June 7, 2013 at 1:06 pm
  • Just bought my first pair of Dansko’s and have a question about the fit. I bought a size 42 (Reg, width) and they feel great without socks, however, feel very tight at the collar with socks. Will they stretch a bit, or do I need to wear with thinner socks, or do I need a wide width? Thanks for your help/advice!

    —By Dee on August 1, 2013 at 7:07 am
  • Thank you for the feedback, I’ve forwarded this on to our customer service department. They should be contacting you shortly with more information.

    —By on August 2, 2013 at 10:32 am
  • Hello,
    I take a 39 B. Love plenty of toe room but seem to swim in them around the ankle. Need a suggestion as to next purchase.

    —By Fran on January 25, 2014 at 7:01 am
  • I’ve recently started looking at Dansko Stapled Clogs again and am finding that I am buying several sizes up from my measured foot size because the arch support creates pressure under my metatarsal and lifts the ball of my foot off the sole of the shoe.

    My measured foot size is a US7, but I consistently am buying shoes (not just Dansko) in US sizes 9-10 because of this trend in the arch support. I am finding that my feet hurt less in the larger shoes and I don’t have trouble with the shoes staying on because the depth typically doesn’t change much between sizes.

    My fitter tells me that Dansko recommends allowing room to fit a pinky finger between the foot and the back of the shoe, but I fit to my arch and worry less about the length.

    Are there any shoes that offer the support with a shorter heel length? My favorite part of the Dansko Clogs is the firm sole, which feels like being barefoot without the strain of being barefoot, so I’d like a shoe that mimics that and the look of the Clog.

    —By Lostchyld on January 30, 2014 at 5:14 pm
  • I’ve had dansko professionals for years and love them. I want to try something different so tried the opal. How is it supposed to fit? Should I be able to get a finger in the heel?

    —By mary on January 31, 2014 at 4:08 am
  • Everyone says dansko is so comfortable. Just give it tine to break in
    I wear a size 9 I purchased size 40 in the XP after one day of wear they were so loose I almost turned my ankle I can fit my index finger behind my heel
    When I walk I’m them I’m clunking down the halls. That’s been going on for six months. So I bought a pair of regular dansko in size 39. They fit better. No clunking
    However after a couple hrs my foot is going numb and bid toe starts rubbing the top. I paid a lot for these shoes and back feels better in them. Feet not so much
    Any suggestions on how to make these work or different style?
    First pair were pro XP groove 6months
    Second pair were called professional silver opal

    —By Zapprjr on May 12, 2014 at 8:00 pm
  • I wear a 10-10.5 mens shoe so I purchased the size 43. It felt good at first but as I walked around my little toes start hitting the front of the shoe as my foot was sliding up in the shoe. I have plenty of space in the back when this happens. Does this mean I should go to a 42 or up to a 44??

    —By footsore on June 10, 2014 at 8:20 pm
  • Hello-
    I want to make sure you get the correct informaiton, so I’ve asked our customer service department to send you an email. If you’d prefer, you can also give them a quick call at 1.800.786.3141.

    —By Perry H on June 11, 2014 at 9:40 am
  • I just bought a pair of dankso I live them but they are a size to small and I do t have my receipt and they are killing my little toe but fine every where else anything I can do!!? Please help!! I got 38 not knowing much about them and idk what to do I want them but I don’t think I can return with no receipt!!!

    —By Lorissan89 on September 12, 2014 at 6:23 pm
  • Hello-
    I’ve asked our Customer Service folks to look up your order and see if there is anything we can do to get you into the right size. We document every sale, so it shouldn’t be a problem as long as the Danskos are still in new condition and you have their original box. Thanks!

    —By Perry H on September 15, 2014 at 1:41 pm
  • I just purchased my first pair of Dansko Pro XP Anaconda size 37. I loved them because of the arch support but after just one day of wearing them my feet hurt extremely bad. It’s mainly just the bone beside my pinky toe on both feet. I have to keep taking them off because the pain is excruciating … I don’t know why they’re doing this because they felt really good in the store where I purchased them. Any suggestions? These were quite pricey….

    —By Hsmith73 on October 8, 2014 at 3:17 pm
  • I love my dansko professional clogs because I think they reduce my lower back pain. Are there any riding style boots that will give the same effect? Don’t really want to spend $200 on the one model that dansko has. Any other brands that have a cute calf height boot with short or flat heel?

    —By Kgreen on November 25, 2014 at 6:29 pm

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