Understand and convert foot sizes easily
The current numbering of shoe sizes was introduced between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century as the machine manufacturing developed in order to produce large quantities of shoes of different sizes in a short time.
The first industry that produced quality shoes of fixed sizes and always the same and with mechanized processes was, in 1892, the English Mansfield Shoe company.
In the continental system the measure is expressed in French points, each one equal to 6.6 millimeters, whereas in the British system the English point is used, corresponding to 8.4 millimeters.
When you read a post here on Themalefeet you will often find the shoe size of the model indicated. I use US sizes for simplicity. But with this article you will get all the indications to understand the exact foot size of a guy comparing it with the system used in your country. Let’s start by seeing how many foot measurement systems exist in the world.
Wikipedia has an official and very detailed page about the different shoe size systems in the world. On this page I will try to be more schematic and easy to understand.
What shoe size systems exist in the world?
As with clothing, there is no internationally valid system for determining shoe size. Worldwide we can find four different measuring systems: EU sizes, UK sizes, USA sizes and Mondopoint sizes. As I told you before, when you’ll see a foot size in a post, it will be the USA size.
EU sizes: shoe sizes in Europe are based on the “French point”, a unit of measurement used by shoemakers that originated in France in 1800. In order to calculate the number of shoes it is used the effective measure of the foot increased of 10 or 15mm and it is divided for 0,667 (corresponding to the French point, that is 2/3 of a centimeter). Another simpler method is to multiply the “increased” foot size by 1.5.
In concrete terms this means that 27.5 cm of “increased” foot length results in a European shoe size of 41.25 (27.5 x 1.5 = 41.25 or 27.5 x 0.667 = 41.25). But since only half sizes are provided in Europe, you round up to get a 41.5. Occasionally you may find numbers like 41 and 1/3 or 41 and 2/3, the result of converting UK or US sizes.
British (UK) sizes: In Great Britain and North America, the unit of measurement for shoes is the “Barleycorn” (literally grain of barley), which corresponds to 1/3 of an inch.
Unlike the Mondopoint or European system, there are different “zero points” for both children’s and adult sizes. Size 0 indicates the minimum length of the shoe last (i.e. foot length + 10 or 15mm) for the smallest size for men, women and children.
Adult shoe size in the UK is calculated by starting with the length of the shoe last in inches, multiplying it by 3 and subtracting 25 from it.
In short: the formula is [(shoe length in cm : 2.54) x 3 ] – 25 = UK size
The American measures (USA): in North America the game gets a bit complicated because there are two valid measuring methods and at the same time also “zero points” set differently for women, men and children. Also the starting point in calculating the measurement can vary as some manufacturers use the length of the foot, while others use the length of the shoe last (foot length + 10 or 15mm).
A detailed list of all calculation formulas would be beyond the scope of this overview. The shoe sizes of American brands in our shop can be estimated with the help of the tables you will find in the individual product sheets.
Mondopoint (MP) measures: in this system, length and width of the foot are the starting dimensions, always indicated in centimeters or millimeters. Mondopoint measures are mainly used in ski boots: length is indicated in cm with fixed increments of 0,5cm while width is not considered. A foot with an absolute length of 27.5 centimeters is therefore equivalent to the MP measurement 27.5.
How to easily convert guys’ foot size?
Now that we’ve seen in detail how many shoe measurement systems exist we can focus on figuring out how to convert a measurement between the American system, the one I use when I have to describe a man’s feet, and the system used in your country. As you continue to read the posts here on Themalefeet you’ll soon get used to the American system too, I’m sure. But if your curiosity drives you to get an exact value right away to imagine how big the feet of the guy you like are then you can check the table below and it will be clearer to you.
In the first column you will find the male foot measurements in the American system. If in an article you find indicated a foot size, that belongs to this system of measurement. Now it’s easy to convert it to the system of your choice. You will also find the corresponding measure expressed in inches or centimeters. Since like me you love men’s feet, now you have one more tool to get to know better the guys you’ll find here on Themalefeet.