In this post we explain how to accurately convert heel heights from millimetres to inches (or vice versa).
The simple fact is that there are no tricks to converting heel heights! It is just simple mathematics, with the key formulas being that 10mm = 1 cm and 2.54cm = 1 inch. In reverse, 1mm =0.039 of an inch.
The need to convert arises because European manufacturers will usually use millimetres or centimetres to refer to the height whereas Americans will typically use inches. But then almost all online retailers go by inches meaning that they convert from mm even where the heels are European.
Generally, heel heights are rounded approximately when they are converted. For an example of the conversion, we will use Christian Louboutin’s popular 100mm (ie 10cm) Pigalle heels. These heels are advertised by Louboutin with the height in mm not in inches.
Converting 100mm to inches gives a height of 3.94 inches. However, these calculations are almost always rounded so the 100mm Pigalle is generally referred to as the 4 inch version of the pump.
In a similar way, a 4 inch pump converts to 101.6mm but would ordinarily be referred to as a 100mm (10cm) heel.
An approximate conversion guide for common heel heights is as follows:
3 inch heels = 75mm
4 inch heels = 100mm
5 inch heels = 125mm
6 inch heels= 150mm
Sometimes errors in the conversion come because the high heel heights have not been measured correctly. You may find it helpful to read our post on measuring high heel heights too.