An insight into how well a shoe fits someone is an essential factor when looking to purchase a pair, especially when ordering from online. Half shoe sizes were introduced in 1880 to develop a better shoe fit for people. If you wish to establish how much bigger half size is in shoes, well let’s take a trip down memory lane. Barleycorns were initially used as measuring objects for shoe size. The Romans determined the unit of measurement where they deemed that one unit of measurement was determined by three barleycorns. It is, in turn, true to say that one unit of measurement by three barleycorns correlates to one shoe size, which was later formalized as an inch. A barleycorn measures 8.46 mm which corresponds to a third of an inch.
To answer the question to our main topic of discussion, half a shoe size would be 4.23mm, which is two-thirds of an inch.
There is still not a universally recognized standard for shoe measurements, and thus the sizing given to shoes varies worldwide. In acknowledged shoe stores, shoe sizing guides are usually put up on shoes for sale to aid buyers to make the right choice before buying. The sizing guides can also be obtained online, and they are commonly indicated in Europe, US and UK sizing.
Renowned shoe sizing system in the US and Europe
1. The US shoe sizing system
- • Size -
The ranges of shoe sizes in the US in men and women differ. Where women shoe sizes range between 4 and 12, men’s range between 6 and 16. For rare cases, there is always an exception where larger shoe sizes are developed. Another feature of women’s shoes is that they are constructed slightly narrower than men’s shoes. Men’s shoes are given a slightly wider cut during their processing. For children shoes, the sizing is distinct as they are not determined by the US shoe sizing system.
- • Width -
Shoes in the US must be available in a range of widths and need to be federally recognized. The various widths acknowledged for shoes in the US come as narrow, medium, wide and extra wide widths. The shoe size, however, does not vary. They remain as per the set standard regardless of the width.
2. The Europe shoe sizing system
- The sizing system in Europe does not vary for adults and children as it is the case for the US shoe sizing system. The size ranges from small to large where small shoe sizes are processed to be commonly worn by children and large shoe sizes designed mainly for men. In Europe, the shoe sizing system does not recognize gender in shoe size, and thus there’s no variation in length and width as is the case with the sizing system in the US. The only difference notable in the manufacturing of men and women shoes in Europe is the details and design. In Europe, the sizing only goes up in the whole numbers, and thus there are no half-size shoes.
Feet are rarely symmetrical for most of us; One foot is usually slightly larger than the other usually by half or one inch of American size. In exceptional cases, this may vary ranging from three to four-inch sizes between feet. I would advise everyone to have their feet measured by a professional to determine the precise size of each of their feet. Once this is established, it saves an individual from developing feet discomfort such as blister occurrences brought about by wearing symmetrical shoes on uneven feet.