Having wide feet has been a pain for a long time. Beginning way back in school, squeezing my way into dainty ballet pumps, up until now, squeezing my feet into stiletto heels. After meeting dozens of women sharing the same trauma – too wide, too narrow, too big, too small, too long- I began thinking…
What’s wrong with women’s shoe sizes?
Often, women come to us for custom made shoes after exhausting every avenue. Why does finally finding shoes that are the right fit, and doing the right thing to keep your feet healthy, take so long? Here’s some problems the industry and consumers are facing – and what we’re doing to help.
1. You’re wearing the wrong size to begin with
Picture it; after scrolling through 37 pages to find shoes that are perfect for your birthday party, you’ve found the pair. They’ll look great with your new dress, plus you can wear them again at your friend’s birthday- basically saving yourself money, really. But wait. They only have a size 5 in stock, a whole size bigger than your usual. Do you do it?
During an official survey, the College of Podiatry (people studying feet) found that over 1/3 of 2000 people admitted to wearing the wrong shoe size. Whether they’re the last pair in stock, you can’t find, or don’t know, your actual size, so many of us do it. However, even if they are the nicest pair of nude pumps in your wardrobe- they’re damaging your feet.
‘By unnaturally shifting weight, you’re wearing out other joints, and tendons leading to the knee, hip, ankle and neck,’
Take the warning from the Society of Shoe Fitter’s Laura West. After being uncomfortable while you’re wearing them, ill fitting shoes are causing irreparable damage to your feet.
2. The industry is struggling to catch up
Before, in the 1970’s, there wasn’t much consumer variation with women’s shoe sizes. According to the College of Podiatry, the UK’s average women’s shoe size has grown from a size 4, to a size 6. As the population is stretching in height and weight so do our feet, to support all of that extra body.
When women had smaller feet, shoe retailers would stock a few size 7’s, catering for those who were above average. Now that a bigger size 6 is our national average- shouldn’t we be seeing more size 8’s and 9’s in stores?
So, one of the things that’s wrong with women’s sizes is simply, no retailers are moving with society.
3. What can technology do?
Another thing wrong with women’s sizes is that there is a gap between manufacturer and consumer. Retailers aren’t stocking the sizes people need, so people are using the next best solution. Feeding into the ‘fast fashion’ society we have today.
Using our advancing technology, we capture custom foot data for our PrecisionFit service. Offering, ‘sizeless’ shoes to customers are appealing because it cuts out painful fitting issues. After designing them yourself, they are handmade with your comfort in mind. Now there’s heels you can wear all day, without carrying spare pairs of flats.
What can I do?
After realising what’s wrong with women’s shoe sizes, that’s stocked in stores, it’s natural to think- what next? Before, made to measure shoes had the stigma of being expensive, or for extreme medical issues. Now, using our 3D designer, it’s easy to create your dream shoes, control your budget and have perfectly fitting shoes!