shoe sizes - European and English shoe size converter
|Australia & NZ|
Enter a shoe size or foot length into the right box and press tab or enter or click on another box.
This is a way to make the country of origin label more useful and interesting; a style to copy on web pages and swing tags maybe.
This chart is based on library & web research, as well as some thought about the internal logic of the systems.
The English system is thirds of an inch, starting roughly at four or eight inches for children or adults. Four and eight inches used to be called one hand or two hands, with four inches being width of a hand and an inch the length between the end of your thumb and the middle crease. A hand or hand-width was the common measure for horses, so it was convenient to use it for shoes as well.
Thirds of an inch used to be called barley corns, after the corns you can make porridge out of.
At this point the system becomes more hi-tec, because cobblers would use a bit of stick, more or less designed for the purpose of measuring shoes rather than feet. A shoe should be about one size larger then the foot it surrounds, so the measuring stick would be marked with a child's size one one hand and a third of an inch, rather than the round number of one hand or four inches exactly.
This "starting roughly" was altered at some point by colonists in the USA - of which more below.
The system measures foot length and is unisex, but womens' shoes tend to be narrower at the heel than mens'. A man wearing women's shoes would be well advised to try a few pairs on first (transvestite mail-order is a difficult business as court shoes are traditionally worn tight) and likewise a woman wearing a boy's shoe might find it more comfortable with a couple of pads glued-in to the sides. For some loose-fitting styles, unisex designs are possible and work well.
I don't understand the internal logic of the american system, but it may be related to the different foot widths that people of different nationalities have: north Europeans have particularly wide feet for a given length; south Europeans and Asians have narrower feet. It may also be that the first mass-production of shoes coincided with a great increase in gender differences; that it was inconceivable to the suppliers that a man would wear a womens' shoe or vica versa. Whatever the cause, people in the USA ended-up with two length measurements - one for women, one for men, and neither the same as the unisex starting point in the UK.
If anyone would like to help me clarify the different systems better - particularly by adding logic to the size systems to make them memorable, please get in touch.
Suzanne writes " In Australia, women's shoes have been 2 sizes higher than the men's shoe for shoes of equal length for at least the last 30 years (my lifetime). My mother says they changed sometime in the 60s or 70s.
So a man's size 5 is the same length as a woman's size 7. I have never seen shoes sold in a retail environment that weren't sized this way, with the exception of Doc marten's, which of course are a British sized shoe. "
European countries use a metric system. Because the centimetre is larger than the difference you would want between two sizes of shoe, the system is to use two thirds of a centre metre. This is sometimes called a Paris Point.
People have been frustrated by shoe sizes for many years. In the Soviet Union there was an attempt to introduce ordinary centimetres instead of Paris Points, but, as centimetres are too big to come to round numbers on shoe sizes, shoes tend to have both size systems stamped on them. In Japan the idea has caught-on better: people simply give their foot length in centimetres. In Australia, standards organisations attempted the same thing, recommending millimetre lengths described as "Mondopoint" meaning world point, and in the UK the British Standards Institution has followed. These measurements tend only to be used for more technical shoes. There are several reasons for difficulties:
- Most of the first translation tables on the internet are written by Americans. North America is unique in having different size systems for men and women, but, because women's feet are particularly narrow at the heel, it's often true that a woman takes a slightly smaller unisex shoe unless she wants to add some pads. Tables are published taking this into account, and Americans assume that there are two separate length systems in the UK. Likewise, because South European shoes are made for narrower feet than North European, Americans tend to assume that there are different length systems.
- Reference documents are hard to find, and, when presented, tend to be a summery without mention of the internal logic that would make them memorable and prevent translation errors. For example the British Standards Institution now agrees with the European Standard of simply using the foot length in millimetres, which is called the Mondopoint system. Neither the British nor Australian standards institutions now have a definitive document describing the shoe sizes the people usually use, while the British Footwear Association avoids the subject. In the USA there is some difference between the trade association - formerly the Footwear Industries of America (FIA) and the "common" scale which is about half a size different. Australians nominally use the Commonwealth or English system, but tend to add two sizes for womens' shoes.
- Size charts differ in their comparison of US mens, womens and UK sizes: all quote US sizes as larger than UK ones - one size for boys and one and a half ortwo for girls. There is a logic to this strangeness: US women buying British shoes might not mind the one sixth of an inch difference in length that is a half size. UK factories might very much mind the cost of moulds and stock that are involved in making more sizes.
If anyone spots any mistakes on this table or has any ideas to simplify, please let me know on shop t veganline dot com. A discussion of how shoe shop's tables vary is here, and a collection of other measuring systems is here. If you are interested in economics league tables see the appropriate pages. http://veg-buildlog.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_25.html is a temporary page for a bit of economic history written for people in the UK in 1984.
|girls & youth
dresses & coats
|British & Continental||1||2||5||7||9||10||12|
|stockings||American & British||8||8½||9||9½||10||10½||11|
|American & British||34||36||38||40||42||44||46|
|Shirts||American & British||14||14½||15||15½||16||16½||17|
|Socks||American & British||9½||10||10½||11||11½||12||12½|
why people wear vegan shoes / shoes for vegans
Animal welfare - slaughterhouses are a cut-throat business in more ways than one, because the blood has to be drained from the carcass while the heart is still beating. All but Hall slaughterhouses would claim that the animal is stunned while this is done, but in a competitive third world industry animal pain is inevitable. There is a list of welfare problems in every part of the industry and are best solved by simply not eating meat Health - there is a widening range of breathable, comfortable footwear and low-fat, healthy cooking available. Maybe the question should be put the other way: why is it still quite fashionable to wear leather shoes & eat meat? Was it something to do with social status a few generations ago? Ecology - farmland is wasted if it is used for animal feed.
EU_32.6_UK__1.0 EU_34.0_UK__2.0 EU_35.0_UK__2.75 EU_35.3_UK__3.0 EU_36.0_UK__3.5 EU_36.6_UK__4.0 EU_37.0_UK__4.25 EU_38.0_UK__5.0 EU_39.0_UK__5.75 EU_39.3_UK__6.0 EU_40.0_UK__6.5 EU_40.6_UK__7.0 EU_41.0_UK__7.25 EU_42.0_UK__8.0 EU_43.0_UK__8.75 EU_43.3_UK__9.0 EU_44.0_UK__9.5 EU_44.6_UK_10.0 EU_45.0_UK_10.25 EU_46.0_UK_11.0 EU_47.0_UK_11.75 EU_48.0_UK_12.5 EU_49.0_UK_13.25 EU_50.0_UK_14.0 EU_51.0_UK_14.75 EU_51.3_UK_15.0 Plain text conversion guide in columns - UK to EU shoe sizes and EU to UK shoe sizes EU 34 UK 2.0 EU 35 UK 2.75 EU 36 UK 3.5 EU 37 UK 4.25 EU 38 UK 5.0 EU 39 UK 5.75 EU 40 UK 6.5 EU 41 UK 7.25 EU 42 UK 8.0 EU 43 UK 8.75 EU 44 UK 9.5 EU 45 UK 10.25 EU 46 UK 11.0 EU 47 UK 11.75 EU 48 UK 12.5 EU 49 UK 13.25 EU 50 UK 14.0 Add one to UK sizes to get US mens UK 2 EU 34.0 UK 3 EU 35.3 UK 4 EU 36.6 UK 5 EU 40.0 UK 6 EU 39.3 UK 7 EU 40.6 UK 8 EU 42.0 UK 9 EU 43.3 UK 10 EU 44.6 UK 11 EU 46.0 UK 12 EU 47.3 UK 13 EU 48.6 UK 14 EU 50.0 UK 15 EU 51.3