Why do shoe sizes vary from brand to brand?

Shoe sizes vary from brand to brand because every footwear requires its own Last. If you don’t know, a shoe last is a wood or plastic foot-like model used by footwear brands. Furthermore, various manufacturers have different Last, and the shape of the models can affect the widths, lengths, and fits of shoes. So to sum it up, the shoe industry doesn’t follow a specific standard across brands and that’s where it goes wrong.

The difficulty of shopping shoes online

For busy people, one of the few approaches to shop for new shoes is by ordering online. No doubt, this method is practical – you’ll gain access to different stores and choose your preferred products without having to waste time and money. However, one of the disadvantages of shopping online for your new shoes is that the footwear might end up not fitting well.

Most times, the cause of the issue isn’t because you don’t know your shoe size. Instead, it’s because shoe sizes vary from brand to brand. Let’s have a look at the difference between Nike and Vans‘ shoe sizes for men; If you fit a pair of Nike shoes in US size 10 then you should buy your Vans in a US size 9. And if you fit a Nike shoe in size US 13 then you should buy you Vans in size US 11.5. So, as you can see the difference can be quite significant.

Try the Free Online Shoe Size Calculator

If you want to find the right shoe size the easy way then try our free online shoe size calculator. Simply choose which brand you want to find a size for – Then select the brand & size of a pair of shoes you already fit – or – type in your foot length. Then the calculator will show you your correct size for the selected brand. Here are listed a few of the most popular shoe brands.

Find your shoe size for:

New Balance

Shoe last

The term Shoe Last comes from the old English – laest – meaning footprint. Most shoe brands don’t utilize the industry-standard lasts because it differs from country to country. In the rest of this post, we’ll share everything that you need to know about why shoe sizes vary from brand to brand because of “Shoe Last.” That said, without further ado, let’s dive right in.

How Much Do Shoe Sizes Differ From Brand To Brand?

As earlier mentioned, the primary factor that causes the difference in footwear sizes from brand to brand is the Shoe Last. As brands continue to use different lasts and don’t follow the same standards, there will always be a difference in shoe sizes. The primary purpose of lasts in the footwear industry is to help give shape to shoes.

Many brands have different requirements that they use when it comes to manufacturing their shoe lasts. First, they consider the type of shoes and what they are to accomplish. For instance, the shoe last utilized for running shoes is different from those used for leisure shoes.

Apart from that, they also have different standards that they often embrace. For example, one brand might decide to go for lasts with a broader toe box for their shoes. A shoe last plays a significant role in the uniqueness of every footwear brand

Apart from brand to brand, shoe sizes can also differ a bit from shoes to shoes for a single brand. The cause of that often depends on the factories where the shoes are produced. In case you don’t know, shoe lasts can vary slightly from factory to factory. And since that’s the case, you may also expect shoe sizes to vary slightly.

Will one US shoe size make a difference?

The answer to that question is yes, it can make a difference. The difference between a whole US size is typically 0.3 to 0.4 inches. The difference between half a US size is around 0.15 to 0.2 inches. So even if you think that 0.4 inches isn’t a big difference it can have a big impact, especially if you are wearing a shoe that is 0.4 inches too small.

Why Can’t All Shoe Sizes Have The Same Sizing?

As earlier mentioned, shoe sizes differ from brand to brand because of the shoe lasts used by each of them. However, it’s worth knowing that that’s not the only factor influencing the difference in footwear sizes.

Another factor that also influences why shoe sizes differ from brand to brand is our feet. How do I mean?

There’s no denying that every shoe brand uses different shoe lasts – one of the factors that define their uniqueness. As we all know, shoes are mostly mass-produced by big brands in their various factories across the world. What that means is that a generic last is what these brands uses to shape and size the shoes.

You’ll surely agree with me that one size doesn’t fit all. Since that’s the case, it’s very typical to see a size 40 UK shoe fitting well on someone with actual size UK 40 than another with the same size. Here’s where the type of shoes comes into play.

If you bring two people together with the same shoe size of US 10, there’s a big chance that one of them will have wider feet at the toes than the second. Since brands use different shoe lasts, there’s a big chance that one may embrace a larger toe box as their standard.

And if that happens, it means this brand’s shoe will fit better on the person with wider feet at the toes. The second person may find the shoes from the brand a little bit unfit, not because of the shoe size but the shoe lasts type and the standard embraces by the footwear manufacturer.

The same brand & model shoe fits in two completely different sizes; why?

As explained so far, shoe sizes differ from brand to brand because of the “footwear lasts,” sizing system, and the manufacturers’ standards. But here’s another question, why do the same brand and model shoes fit in two completely different sizes?

Well, we’ll say it’s possible to have the same shoe model from a single brand fit differently – however, this only happens rarely. This issue often surfaces for apparel, where the same model and material fits differently. Well, for shoes, we’ll say the leading cause of the problem is likely due to the type of materials used for the shoe model and the manufacturing process.

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