A shoe size is a code made up of letters and numbers. This code corresponds to a particular fitting measurement. Usually, this type of alphanumerical code deals with foot length alone. However, some cobblers do provide width measurements as well. Throughout the world, there are different standards for shoe sizes. This means that your shoe size in Britain will be different than your shoe size in the United States, and so on.
Few countries assign shoe sizes based on width measurements. Instead, they calculate these sizes based on foot length, according to the units of measurement used in their specific nations. There may be variations in footwear for particular types of footwear. For example, sport shoes may have different standardized sizing measurements than dress shoes or steel-toed work shoes.
Shoe Sizing System
The most common international sizing system for footwear is known as the Mondopoint system. This system calculates the specific foot length and width for which a particular type of footwear is suitable. Recorded in millimeters, this international standard is used to ensure that many different types of footwear fit as well as possible.
By taking width into account, users of the popular Mondopoint system go the extra mile to offer consumers access to footwear that is very comfortable to wear. For high-performance sports footwear, such as ski boots, or rugged footwear, such as military combat boots, the Mondopoint system is preferred.
Determination of the Shoe Size
Length calculations for footwear sizes are based on a simple formula. The distance between two parallel lines that run perpendicular to the foot (and in contact with the biggest toes and biggest part of the heel) are defined, and a size rating is then assigned. Usually, a subject will be measured without shoes or socks, in order to get a truly accurate measurement. While being measured, the subject will be asked to stand still, so that weight is correctly and evenly distributed.
The sizes of the left and right feet are often slightly different. This is why both feet should be measured individually. Purchasers of mass-produced shoes are advised to select a shoe size based upon the larger foot’s measurements. When this suggestion is followed, one foot may not have perfect fit. However, it’s always better to go for the larger size, as cramping the bigger foot into a too-small shoe may lead to serious discomfort (such as blisters, soreness, and muscle cramps).
Every shoe size will work for a limited interval of foot length measurements. For an ideal fitting, the inside of the shoe should offer 15 to 20 millimeters of extra space, so that the toes have room to move without being cramped. However, shoe styles vary widely, so some will feature different ideal fit specifications. For example, designer high heels for women, which are not created for comfort or function, may not have the same toe room as orthopedic shoes that are meant to support good foot health.
Therefore, every pair of shoes will provide a unique fit. If possible, finding a shoe that offers 15-20 mm of space at the toe will be best. There are many types of footwear that do offer this extra space. If you can’t find these millimeters of extra space when shopping for shoes, it may be wise to go up a half size. Since every shoe fits in its own way, trying out different sizes will allow you to find an ideal match.
Getting Measured by a Professional
Now that you know more about shoe size standards, formulas and related information, you’ll be ready to find out your true shoe size. Sometimes, men, women and children wear the wrong size of footwear, simply because they’ve never been properly measured. Wearing the wrong size of shoes may lead to blisters, corns, bunions, and other common foot health issues. In particular, children should have their feet measured by professionals, in order to find footwear that supports good foot health, proper posture, and a full range of mobility.
Many orthopedic shoe experts offer their clientele access to detailed measurements, as well as access to custom-fitted footwear. If you’ve struggled to enjoy comfort and performance when buying mass-produced shoes off the rack, you may be an ideal candidate for orthopedic or custom-made shoes that fit your feet to perfection. These types of shoes may cost more, but they will be worth it.