Shoe Size System | History Of Shoe And Sizes Calculations Of Different Regions.

Last Updated on March 6, 2021 by Bob De Generio

Shoe, an object for protecting and comforting our foot, is also an item for fashion. The size of a shoe is a fitting size, which is an alphanumerical indication of the length, as the widths of the shoes are often standard due to economic reasons. A varied number of shoe-size systems are used across the world. The size measurement differs in regions according to the unit of measurement used and the positioning of size 0. The average shoe size for men ranges from 9″ to 12″.

This article will provide you with all the details you want to know about the different regions’ shoe size system. 

Shoe Size System

The History Of Shoe Size:

“Paris Point” was determined in the mid of 19th century in France as a standard for measuring shoe sizes. Paris Point was originated from the original stitching length of a sewing machines’ double seams, equating the 2/3rd’s of a centimeter, i.e., 6.67mm. It then spreads around Europe gradually. The system of measuring a shoe is the same as it was centuries ago. 

The only difference is that now the Paris Point is contemplated in Europe as the standard shoe size system. It is also known as the European size, EU size, German size, or the French size. The measurement makes a metric system using centimeters. Only Britain uses the measurement in inches with its own measurement system.   

The English measurement system is the oldest official system worldwide. It is based on inches, typically in Anglo-American countries, unlike that of the metric system for measuring shoes in the European region. During those times, the instruments for measurements were very expensive and were not available for everyday use. 

The measurement system was introduced by Edward II, the king of England, in 1324. He used barleycorn as the smallest unit of measurement in Britain and equalized one inch with three barleycorns placing lengthways, one inch = 2.54 centimeters in metric terms. The English measurement of shoe size is labeled as UK (for the United Kingdom) size.

The Paris Point measurement of shoe sizes was numbered uniformly. In contrast, the English method was complicated due to the distinguished sizes of children and adults.

The US system of a shoe size measurement, introduced in the mid of19th century, is based on The UK system of shoe measurement, with a difference of scale starting at 3 11/12₺, whereas Paris Point is that of 4₺, and child-size begins from 0, which is equalizes 15 of Paris Point. The US measurement of shoe size is labeled as US (for the United States) size.

Shoe Sizes Calculations Of Different Regions:

Men’s shoe size is calculated using, Shoe size = 3 x length in inches – 22 formula. Calculations differ according to the regions. Some of the measures based on its areas include the following:

1. European Union: Length in centimeter (= length of foot + 1.5 cm)/ 0.667.

2. English Shoe Size: Length in centimeter (= length of foot + 1.5 cm)/ 2.54 x 3 – 25.

3. UE Shoe Size: Length in centimeter (= length of foot + 1.5 cm)/ 2.54 x 3 – 24.

Oversized And Undersized Shoe:

Sizes that exceed the regular adult sizes are referred to as the “large sizes” or “out sizes.” In contrast, the smaller sizes below the average range are termed as “sub-sizes” or “small sizes. These sizes fall under special categories and are sold on various online platforms for making the search easier for their customers. 

The standard or the European industry standard of adult shoe sizes ranges according to the following categories:

1. Women Shoe Size range: UK 3.5/ EU 36 to UK 8.0/ EU 42.

2. Men Shoe Size range: UK 6.5/ EU 40 to UK 12/ EU 45.

An American named Robert Wadlow (1918 – 1940), who was 8.11₺ in height, wore the 37AA, the largest shoe size ever. It is still the largest feet holding in Guinness World Record. 

Presently most brands sell sizes 13 and 14, whereas the Nike and Adidas deal up to 21 and 22 sizes. However, some shoe sizes are also available up to UK 15/ EU 50 ½. 

The Following Table Shows The Largest Shoe Sizes For Men Available With The Brands: 

Table 1.1: Shoe Brands And Largest Available Size 

Brand NameLargest Size Available
ADIDAS21
Dr. MARTENS16
KEEN17
NIKE22
TIMBERLAND18
UGG18
VANS16

Checking Your Shoe Size:

You can check your shoe size by measuring feet at the end of the day, which is considered to be in its largest form. The numbers mentioned behind the shoe are the length, which is the significant parameter to figure out the shoe’s size. In contrast, some have letters mentioned behind the shoe, which indicates the width of a shoe. Below mentioned is the classification of the width:

1. Extra Narrow: A, or 2A.

2. Narrow: B.

3. Medium: D.

4. Wide: E or 2E.

5. Extra Wide: 4E.

The average width of men’s footwear is medium, determined as the letter “D.”  

Many measuring devices and products are available to check the foot length and width, which include the following: 

1. Brannock devise.  

2. Footer Foot Measuring Tool.

3. NBC Practical Foot Measuring Device.

4. Ritz Stick Foot Measuring Device.

5. Squatchy Foot Measuring Device.

The shoe size also differs in brands. The prominent brands have distinct measurements for foot length. Each brand has its own charts and guides for shoe sizes. Hence, it is required to check the brand’s sizing chart before buying a pair of shoe. It will help in determining the right size that fits your feet.

Connection Between Height And Foot Length:

The human body’s base is the feet, as it helps maintain the balance of the body. Taller individuals need extra support for keeping the balance and managing the weight of their bodies. Hence, taller individuals’ feet size is bigger. These individuals’ height-to-foot ratio is roughly considered 6.6:1, i.e., a man with a 6.6″ height will have a foot length of 1-inch.

Our feet expand and grow with age, which affects the size of the shoe. Some factors contributing to larger shoe sizes are weight gain and loss of elasticity in ligaments and tendons.

Average Shoe Size – Men:

Men’s shoe size can be determined quickly due to the various studies that analyzed the average shoe size for men. However, there is no official shoe size for a man. The size of shoe for every man differs due to the physique. The standard metrics of shoe sizes used commonly are EU, UK, US, and Japan.

The reports of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in 2014 showed that the average size of men’s shoe ranges between 9 and 12 worldwide. In contrast, the average size for men shoe in America is 10.5. The difference between each size is about an inch. The new size number labeled for men in shoe size number 10 is now size 8. 

The shoe size also varies according to the region. As instanced by the US, the shoe sizes range from 32 – 50, equalizing shoe sizes 0.5 – 15.5. Hence, the average shoe size for men in Europe falls between 42 – 43, i.e., shoe size 10 in the US.

In the UK, the average shoe size for men is 9, which was eight a few years ago. This change is due to the rise in Obesity among individuals. Several experts in the Medical sector claim that hormones present in foods result in larger hands and feet. 

The table below indicates the shoe sizes according to the length of the foot:

Table 1.2: Shoe Sizes As Per Foot Length.

S.NoFoot Size(Inches / Centimeter)Shoe Size
19.5 inch (24.1 cm)6
29.6 inch (24.4 cm)6.5
39.8 inch (24.8 cm)7
410 inch (25.4 cm)7.5
510.1 inch (25.7 cm)8
610.2 inch (26.0 cm)8.5
710.5 inch (26.7 cm)9
810.6 inch (27.0 cm)9.5
910.7 inch (27.3 cm)10
1011 inch (27.9 cm)10.5


The table below indicates the shoe sizes according to the height of men:

Table 1.3: Shoe Sizes As Per Height Of Men.

S.NoHeight Of Men (Feet / Centimeter)Average Shoe Size
15 feet 5 inch (165 cm)5
25 feet 6.1 inch (168 cm)8
35 feet 6.9 inch (170 cm)7
45 feet 8.1 inch (173 cm)9
55 feet 8.9 inch (175 cm)9.5
65 feet 10.9 inch (180 cm)10.5
76 feet 1.2 inch (186 cm)11
86 feet 4 inch (193 cm)11

Conclusion:

It is significant to go through the shoe size metrics and guides to choose the right one for yourself as the sizes of the shoe might not apply universally due to the varied measurements set by brands.  Selecting the correct shoe size is essential for your feet as it boosts up your comfort and helps prevent developing blisters or shoe bites. Choosing a shoe similar to your foot shape, and fits perfectly would be the best option. Go ahead and buy your next pair of Shoes!

FAQs:

Q1. What Are The Average Sizes Of Men’s Shoes In The UK And The US?

Ans: The average size of men’s shoes in the US is 10, and in the UK its size 9, that was eight a few years ago.

Q2. How Is The Shoe Size Labeled In Europe, The United Kingdom, And In The United States?

Ans: The shoe size in Europe is labeled as the EU, the United States’ the US and the United Kingdom’s shoe size is labeled as the UK.

Q3. What Is The Best Time To Measure Foot Length?

Ans: The best time to measure the foot length is at the end of the day when the foot’s size is at its largest.

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