Jan 14, 2011

Shoe Sizes

Did you ever wonder why some shoes of the same size fit different? A size 10, can be 8, 9, 27, or 42, depending on where you live in the world.

Shoe sizes were devised in England by King Edward II in 1364, who declared that the diameter of one barleycorn, approximately one third of an inch, would represent one shoe size. The measurement is still used today in the UK and US, but some other ways of measuring shoes are used in different parts of the world.

The Paris point equals to ⅔ centimeters (6.6 mm or about 0.26 in). Usually, only full sizes are made, resulting in an increment of ⅔ centimeter. This unit is commonly used in Continental Europe.

Metric measurements in centimeters (cm) or millimeters (mm) are used. The increment is usually between the step size of the Parisian and the English system. It is used with the international Mondopoint system and with the Asian system.

The A-E width indicators used by some US and UK shoe manufacturers and range from narrow to wide - 4A to 6E. Interestingly, the male shoe size in Australia is based on the female shoe size in the US.