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WHAT'S NORMAL? USA Shoe Sizes

Arlene Presser

Posted on January 04 2024

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As I write this blog post, my pulse is racing with excitement about the upcoming season's stylishly chic shoe styles that will be available in our e-store.  

 

Like usual in tackling the buying process, our team conducted a bit of fugitive research on the topic of shoes. More specifically, we wanted to know more about the trends in women's foot sizes in the USA. What is normal today? What sizes should we carry in stock to better meet the customer's needs?

 

Below is a snapshot of what we learned:

  • Larger is the new normal! According to the National Shoe Retailer's Report, gone are the days of small foot sizes! In fact, the most common foot size for the average American female is somewhere between an 8.5 and a 9. In the 1970's, the average foot size was 7.5 

  • What is behind the trend in larger foot sizes? Americans are getting taller and heavier! This contributes to an increase of the size of an individual's feet in proportion to their bodies.

  • Albeit that trends in foot sizes are upward toward getting bigger - the MOST COMMONLY SOLD SHOE SIZE IS A SIZE 7!

  • Shoe retailers would be wise to tread carefully regarding a size 7 as the most commonly sold shoe size. According to the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, a whopping 88% of women wear the wrong shoe size!  

  • Physiologically it seems logical - but some would be surprised to know that taller women generally have larger feet than shorter women. In plain language - their bodies require additional support to balance.

  • Genetics? Environment? Yes, the shoe sizes of American's may differ based on genetics and environment. AKA - feet can expand as we age. They may even lose their elasticity.

  • Pregnancy? Menopause? The increase in foot size during pregnancy is commonly recognized. What is less recognized, however, is the relationship between foot growth and menopause. For either scenario, the subject matter experts recommend having periodic measurements, as foot size MAY CHANGE! 

  • Overwhelmingly, shoe retailers have adapted to footwear trends. They acknowledge the direction toward 'bigger. This has driven efforts among shoe designers to create larger and wider shoe sizes. 

SO --- what's your take or experience with shoe trends in building your collection?  

We want to hear from you.

 

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