Size Counts

Is there such a thing as a standard size? Well, as much as we would like to tell you yes, regrettably the answer is no. Why? There are actually several different shoe-size systems used worldwide, and they differ in what they actually measure.

Would you believe that the UK measuring system is based on the length of the last measured in barleycorn ???

Then of course there is the fact that the foot is not two dimensional like a ruler. It is three dimensional.

So what we have done to make your buying easier is to provide you with a women's shoe conversion chart. We also recommend that you read the description of a shoe you are interested in carefully. We will always insert our sage words of advice to let you know if a particular shoe runs large or narrow or wide etc.


Want to measure up ?

If you feel like measuring your feet with a ruler, make sure you are standing straight, with weight evenly balanced on both feet. Wear a sock, stocking or be barefoot - however you think you are going to wear the shoe. Then measure the length from the longest toe to the heel. You might need a friend to help!


Figuring in the stretch ...

In our most humble opinion, leather does stretch. Cow friendly materials (such as PU) are not likely to give much. Satin shoes can give a little, particularly if the lining is leather.

If the shoe fits properly it should not expand significantly. Also, how much and where they will give depends on quite a few different factors including the type of leather used, how the shoe is constructed, the number and placement of seams, how much pressure is being put on the leather, how the shoe is being worn/walked in.

If a shoe has stretched, our best tip is to "fill" your shoe with some goodies from Scholl. Our favourite items are the Scholl Gel Cushions and the Scholl Heel Shields. They really make a difference.


Still unsure ?

You can also give us a call on +61 8 9721 1031 and have a chat, or send us an email with your questions.


Want to know more ?

Wikipedia explains it in incredible and indelible detail ! But being the sort of girl I am, I decided to summarize for you. MUST tell you I found it amazingly interesting. All of this for a shoe .... SO worth it!!


Different Lengths, Different Sizes

So we start off with the fact that a size is not a size is not a size. There are actually three types of lengths to measure

And because they are all different measurements, you end of up with three different lengths of a shoe for the same shoe size.


Different Units, Different Sizes

But wait ... there's more. Yup sizing also differs because of what unit of measurement they use to measure that length. Could it GET any more complicated ???? But some part of me is truly fascinated ...

Of course this also means that there are different increments in measurement, and voil full and half sizes.

Right, so let's look at some length units that are used today ... get your maths head out ...

Exactly ... shoe size = 3/2 x length of foot (cm)
So, we start with the smallest size which is a child's size zero (0) = a hand, or 12 barley corns. I am not making this up. The largest child's size is 13 1/2 (8 1/2 " or 21.59 cm). An adult size one (1) is then the next size up or 8 2/3 " or 22.01 cm) and each size up progresses up in barley corns, or approx 1/3 of an inch.

Exactly (UK) ... adult shoe size = 3 x last length in inches - 25

Want a bit more barley corn? Well, the US system is similar to the English sizes, but they start counting at a child's size one (1) instead of a child's size zero (0). Just because. So here is their exact calculation:

Exactly (US) ... adult shoe size = 3 x last length in inches - 21
  • Metric measurements - finally, 'someone' uses metric measurements, with measures in centimetres (cm) or millimetres (mm). The increment is usually 05 cm (5 mm or approx 0.20 ") which is smack in between the step size of the Parisian and the English system. It is used with the international Mondopoint system (ISO) which is used by NATO and other military services. Also used throughout Asia


Women are from Venus ...

Ok, you guessed it right? There is a difference between women and men's sizing as well. Because all of the sizes start from the shortest length deemed practical, you can well imagine that a women's shoe size 8 is different to a men's size 8 - because the shortest foot of a woman is shorter than the shortest foot of a man.


Length isn't everything

As well we know! Some systems also take into consideration the width of a foot. No standards here ladies, but we have all seen the following examples, starting with the narrowest width:

A, B, C, D, E, EE, EEE, EEEE, F, G
4A, 3A, 2A, A, B, C, D, E, 2E, 3E, 4E, 5E, 6E

These can vary significantly. Big time. But the A-E width indicators that are used in the UK, US and also out of Germany are typically based on the width of the foot and common step sizes are 6 mm or 5 mm.


In summation

... now you know why size varies so much, and why there is no such thing as a one to one match between all the different types of sizes.

If you are a chart chick, check out the below ... just for fun ... as you do ...

Adult Shoe Sizing