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Why my shoes don’t fit?

Shoe guide about the jungle of shoe sizes and the endless
trouble of not finding the perfect shoe.
1/5/2112
Andre Gerdes Leathers Pvt. Ltd.
Andre Gerdes

© 2013 Andre Gerdes Leathers Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved. This material may not be
reproduced, displayed, modified or distributed without the express prior written
permission of the copyright holder. For permission, contact ag@agleathers.com
www.agleathers.com

Tables of contents:
1.

Introduction

2.

Shoe fitting – Why my shoes don’t fit? (Part 1)

3.

Shoe components – Why my shoes don’t fit? (Part 2)

4.

Shoe last – Why my shoes don’t fit? (Part 3)

5.

Shoe Insole - Why my shoes don’t fit? (Part 4)

6.

Foot problems - Why my shoes don’t fit? (Part 5)

7.

Shoe sizes - Why my shoes don’t fit? (Part 6)

8.

Mondopoint - Why my shoes don’t fit? (Part 7)

9.

Shoe width - Why my shoes don’t fit? (Part 8)

10.

Foot measurement - Why my shoes don’t fit? (Part 9)

11.

Shoe Size Conversion – Why my shoes don’t fit? (Part10)

12.

How to create a draft and measure the important points of your feet?

13.

Conversion tables

Feet-Length-Shoe-Sizes
US-Shoe-Size-Width-Length
UK-Shoe-Size-Width
European-Shoe-Size-Width
14.

Shoe Wiki

1. Introduction
This book has been written for all of you, who are asking themselves
“Why my shoes don’t fit?”
My name is Andre Gerdes and I’m a professional shoe- and leather technician from
Germany, Managing Director of Andre Gerdes Leathers Pvt. Ltd., with more than two
decades of experience.

While working with shoes for such a long time, I’ve realized, that there is a lot of
confusions when it comes to shoe sizes and fittings.
The Internet and magazines are full with the latest shoe trends and fashions. On the other
side, valid information’s about shoe fittings are much more difficult to find.
Wrong-fitted shoes can cause serious damages to your feet and I’m not talking here about
just wearing high heels, which you might enjoy wearing for few hours at a party or for a
concert, I’m talking about none-fitting shoes, which we are wearing on daily use.
We are walking in shoes, which are too small, wide, short or long - you name it. Now
why is that? There are two main reasons for it.
First, the shoe industry is not giving us enough product information about the shoes. They
are providing us with some information about the material with a sticker inside the shoe,
it looks like this one:

The label above means, that the upper material is leather, the lining is leather and the sole is
synthetic. These are only very basic information’s provided to us.
The industry tells us nothing about the kind of leather been used. Is it a kid-, sheep- or cowleather, etc.? In my opinion, the only information “its leather or it’s synthetic”, is not
sufficient. I like to know, if I’m buying a pig skin leather shoe or some plastic and it’s getting
worse, when it comes to shoe sizes.
Do you have any idea what a shoe-size means? Let’s say, you think, that you have a shoesize “8”. Now first of all, “8” in US is different to “8” in the UK. You might be aware of that
that coincidence already, but what does a size “8” stands for? Does it mean this shoe is 8
inch long or your feet should be 8 inch long to get the perfect fitting for this shoe? Sorry,
“none of that” is the correct answer.
Sometimes you’ll find information's for the shoe-width on the internet, but most of the times
it’s not even stamped into the shoe, more often you’ll be able to detect the shoe-width on the
shoe box. Why is shoe-sizes or shoe-width named after numbers and characters, which are
making no sense to the customer?
This little book is trying to bring in some light to the darkness of this numbering jungle.
Another reason is, why so many of us having trouble to find a pair of suitable shoes, because
we are having too little knowledge about our own two feet. Do you know how long your feet
are? Did you know that almost 70 % of adults are not having identical feet and that your foot
measurements are changing while aging? Don’t worry, we are not doing an examination for
every bone off your foot, but you should discover for yourself a few things about your own
foot and we need to clarify some differences with the common shoe sizing systems.
It took me quite some time to write this little book, actually much more, than I have
expected. Still, I feel it’s far away from being perfect and I had to decide, how much
information goes in and what has to be left out. May be in future, I will upgrade the book by
adding more stuff into it.
Finally, I like to mention, that this book is not a guide for shoe-making or shoe-designing.
I hope, you’ll enjoy the reading and find the answer to the question:
“Why my shoes don’t fit?”
Best wishes
Andre Gerdes

Shoe fitting – Why my shoes don’t fit? (Part 1)
"Why my shoes don't fit?" Why is shoe fitting not so easy like to choose a small, medium,
large or extra-large shoe?

Why so many people having trouble with their shoes? I'm a shoe-technician and
listening very often these questions. "My size is 8 and the shoe doesn't fit, so I go for
8 1/2 and it's not really better and if I take than a size 9 my foot slips out of the shoe".
I will try to explain why you have trouble to find the best footwear for you and why a
proper shoe fitting is important. After these articles, you should have a better idea how
to choose your shoes in future!
Let’s get started: Why my shoes don't fit? It's not so easy to answer, because there are
many reasons for it. Almost everybody believes that shoe fitting has to do with the shoe
sizes and the shoe length. Well, yes of course it has also to do with shoe sizes, but not
only and certainly it has not really much to do with the actual length of the shoe, except
if you might you have picked up a size 6 instead of a 9 size, in this case it's obvious why
your shoe can't fit.
"It's not the length?” I haven't said that, length is important, but the length of the shoes
isn't - in most cases, look like these:
Fig. 34 shows the shoe of the unfortunate Duke
Montgomery, a victim of the relentless animosity of Richelieu.
It is of black leather, with a large red heel, and
entirely covered with ornaments; tradition says it was
gathered on the scaffold. Fig. 35 represents a highly
ornamented lady's shoe of this period. Awhile Fig. 36 is a shoe worn during the Regency.
The heel is very high and not unlike a barber's wig-stand; the front, however, is rather
graceful in shape

Let's try to look at it from a different view. How would you describe to an alien: "what is
a shoe?"
Most of us would start like ... a shoe is something which has to protect your feet...A good
start, but than your shoes might look like this:

Industry, safety boot with steel-toe-cap and steel-midplate. We have developed this
boot a few years back and sold it also quite well, but I'm doubt full, that we are looking
here for these!
So, it's not about protection alone and it's not about shoe length, than what makes it a
great fit for you?
If we would like to understand and solve our footwear problems for once and all, we
need to look a little bit deeper into two important subjects:

1. What really is a shoe (and what not!) and how shoes are actually developed
2. What type of foot do you have?
In this book you find some valid information's and introductions. This article series is
for everyone, easy to understand and will hopefully give you a good feeling for quality
and fashionable shoes, as well it will help you to understand your own foot better,
which is very important for you to avoid serious diseases like bunions or Morton-toe.

Shoe components - Why my shoes don't fit? (Part 2)
In the first part of "Why my shoes don't fit", we've discussed, that if we want to
understand our footwear problems we require some better ideas of what is a shoe and
how it is related to our foot. Before we start our foot observations, we’ll have a look on
the important parts of a shoe – the shoe components.
Have a look at the picture, which shows the most important shoe components. The blue
color shoe components are not visible from outside. You really don't need to study them;
it's just for your reference.

Of course, you’ll make a good impression in a shoe store, if you talk like "I don't like the
decoration stitching in the quarter", instead of "...the stitching on the side" or "the vamp
seems to be rather short looking" instead "the front of the shoe looks..." - sometimes the
sales guys are not having a simple job to do.
Now, let's continue with the question, what is a shoe? Easy, we simply google for
"Shoe", check with Wikipedia and getting following explanation for us:
"A shoe is an item of footwear intended to protect and comfort the human foot while doing
various activities. Shoes are also used as an item of decoration. The design of shoes has
varied enormously through time and from culture to culture, with appearance originally
being tied to function. Additionally fashion has often dictated many design elements, such
as whether shoes have very high heels or flat ones...etc."
That's my be really interesting for our alien, but certainly it has no meaning to us,
because the only answer for what a shoe is and not what it is doing or looking like, is
this:
A shoe is an item, using different shoe components, where the upper part is lasted (pulled)
over a shoe last and a sole is attached/stitched to it.
Point, that's it. Was not that complicated, isn't It.?

Okay, we have not spoken about a shoe last yet, but no problem, this is how a shoe last
looks like.

Now what a shoe last is and why it has such an important role for shoe making we will
leave for the next part.

Shoe last - Why my shoes don't fit? (Part 3)
In Part 2 of this series, we have concluded that a shoe is an item, where the upper part
is lasted (pulled) over a shoe last and a sole is attached/stitched to it.

It seems, that there is lot of importance for a shoe last in shoe making, so let's try it
again and google for shoe last, we go again to Wikipedia and let's see what comes up
this time:
"A last is a form in the approximate shape of a human foot, used by shoemakers and
cordwainers in the manufacture and repair of shoes. Lasts typically come in pairs, and
throughout their history have been made from many materials, including hardwoods, cast
iron, and, more recently, high density plastics...etc."
Not bad, at least better than the shoe explanation, except for "Lasts typically come in
pairs", well explained, we need a right and a left one! Okay, let's come over this, but
what is here of more importance to us is this:
"...a form in the approximate shape of a human foot..."
Now if we look at our picture above, can you see the approximate shape of a human foot?
With lots of fantasy may be, anyhow the description "approximate" is quite stretch-able
like 10%, 40% or 80% looks like a human foot - sounds a bit strange to me.
I prefer this definition for shoe last:
A shoe last is an item, which gives a shoe its shape, form and represents certain
measurements of a human foot.
This means, if the measurement points from the last, which have been used for your
shoe, don't represent the same measurements like from your foot, your shoe won't fit.
Now, if this sounds a bit strange to you, may be you just have in mind that so far nobody
from your favorite brand hasn’t spoken to you about your feet keep on reading, we
come to this later. Fact is, if the measurement points are not representing your foot, the
shoe can't fit.

To make this a little bit simpler, let's have a look at this picture:

Three points on top of the last have to represent the measurement from your feet. This
three points are called: 1.) Instep 2.) Waist and 3.) Joint; and here they are on your foot:

J = Joint Measurement, I = Waist Measurement and H = Instep Measurement (you can
call it also short Heel). For completion of this picture A = Ankle- and C = Calf
Measurements, which are important for boots only and we are leaving at site for now.
These three points, Instep, Waist and Joint have to be identical on your foot and
from the shoe last.
Now there is something more to come and that is the bottom of the last which
represents the surface of your foot on the insole of your shoe.

Shoe Insole - Why my shoes don't fit? (Part 4)
The shoe insole must represent certain points on the foot surface.
In the previous part, we have learned that the shoe last has to represent three certain
measurement points - joint, waist and instep - from your foot, only than a shoe can
comfortably fit on your foot.
These three points are representing parts of the volume from your foot, but the shoe
insole is presenting the width and length of your feet. Let’s have a close look to the
bottom profile of the shoe last.

The blue line is our shoe insole and the vertical purple lines are representing important
points of the insole. Before I'll explain this, let's put some spice into this theory; let’s
have a look at the next picture below, we are adding here our foot profile as well.

For our right foot we have taken the outer line (in green) and the foot surface of our
foot (dotted line) and I have inserted another line in red, the joint-line.
I don't want to be too technical at this point, like why is been done something and how?
Still we can do some simple observations.
First, if you remember in the first part of the series, I have told you, that the actual
length of the shoe is not really important for the fitting and here you can see why.
On every shoe last some extra allowance is been added on the toe. How much, that
depends on the style and design of the shoe - in this case it's almost 25 mm. The
minimum allowance to a shoe should be at least 10 mm. Now, lets asume this shoe
would have only a toe allowance of 10 mm, the toe shape would look certainly different,
but the shoe would still fit. But, if your foot is too long or too short, than all the
important lines of the insole profile would lie on the wrong positions and will not
match with your foot - the shoe can't fit under any circumstances.
Let's have a look at the inside and outside joints of the foot. (For clarification, these are
the big bones on our foot, just behind the toes. In this picture the outside joint is not so
prominent, don't mind it. ) The outside line of the foot is of no concern to us here, but
it's the inside line, the surface of the foot (the dotted line), which matters here most.

As you can see, the insole (blue line) is touching the joints exactly, inside and outside,
demonstrated by the new line I have added, the joint-line. Now this is very important
for our shoe fitting.
The joint-line must connect the inside and outside joints of our foot.
If the joint-line would be too long and the joints would be outside of the insole, it would
compress our foot into the shoe. On the other hand, would the joint-line be too short
and wouldn't touch the insole, the foot would slip forwards and the toes would bend for
grip, which would give a very uncomfortable feeling while walking.
Finally, lets have a look at the mid- toe- line. It's very crucial for a comfortable shoe fit,
that the big toe is located inside of the insole. The reason for this is, while walking, you
are pressing your weight to the front surface of your foot and the big toe will bend to
the outside by an average of 3-4 mm - with high heels even more. If there is no space in
the shoe for the big toe to expend, it will get compressed to the inside of the shoe and
this again will course lots of stress for the foot.
In our picture above, I'm not too happy with the insole shape; it should leave some
more extra room for the big toe.
Waist and instep are important measurements too, but we are leaving them here out of
the discussion for a moment. Only so much, they need to fit your shoe as well, if you feel
any pressure or the shoe is loose at these points, please don't go for it - it's not meant to
be yours!

Foot problems - Why my shoes don't fit? (Part 5)
Shoe fitting is also about protecting your foot skeleton from harm and long term
damages. Fashion is fashion, but wrongly fitted shoes are a serious long term danger
and cause foot problems.
In the previous article "Why my shoes don't fit? (Part 4)", we have concluded, that for a
perfect shoe fitting, the shoe last has to match at certain mecherment points with our
foot skeleton.
Your shoes are fitting, if the width of the joints (which are the widest part of your foot) and
the volume of the shoe last, which incluedes instep, waist and short heel, are identical to
your foot skeleton. The shoe last length has not such an importance; it just has to provide
enough room and space for the toes, but one shoe size up or down in length is not that
important to the shoe fitting like it would have for the shoe width.
We have discussed lots about shoes and shoe lasts, it's time to have a closer look at our
foot.
1. Everybody walks an average of about 70 million steps in his life
2. The foot is the most complex bone structure in our body.
3. The foot skeleton is arranged by 26 bones alone
4. With about 70% adults, the left and right foot skeleton is showing mayor differences
5. With 30% the second toe is longer than the big toe
6. And the most growing business of the shoe industry, in the last decade, is the
orthopedic sector
You can find thousands of shoe care tips in the Internet, but hardly anybody cares about
shoe fitting and the consequences could be disastrous food problems.

Just have a look at some pictures:

The skeleton above shows a normal shaped foot. Below you see the position for a weekflattened foot.
One main reason of such a disease is too short and narrow shoes.
In this dramatic case a surgery would be unavoidable.
In the next picture you can see a footprint of a flat- and a normal foot:

Another common foot problem is the "Morton-Toe". A weakening transverse arch could
displace the joints:

This could have happened through excessive wearing of high heels. By excessive I
mean, daily walking (not sitting) on high heels, with more than of two inch height, for
more than 2-3 hours.
The reason is, that all weight is been put on the front of the foot, the muscular structure
on the longitudinal arch is getting weaker and the inside joint is getting misplaced.
Also narrow and short footwear could cause this kind of problem.
Attention Ladies! Here you see an x-ray of a foot in a sexy high heel. No words required.

For a good shoe fitting, it's absolutely essential, that everybody starts to observe their foot.
What is the actual length of my foot? Are they having the same width? What type of foot do
I have? I will explain later more about some simple methods how to measure and observe
our foot.
There is some bad news for you, even if you're aware of all critical aspects of your foot you know now your length, the width etc., there is no way that you can find out, if these
measurements are corresponding with your shoe. On a finished shoe you can't check
these measurements - no way! Now the good news is, that the shoe industry is of course
aware of this problem and they are giving us some information's about the shoe. How
we can use these information's, I will explain to you in the next article.

Shoe sizing systems - Why my shoes don't fit ? (Part 6)
Shoe sizes are suppose to help us to find our perfect shoe fitting, but
unfortunately they are creating lots of confusion.
In the previous chapter "Why my shoes don't fit? (Foot Problems)", we have discussed,
what could happen to our feet and health, if we continuously wearing wrong-fitting
footwear.
Now, obviously shoes are marked by shoe sizes. What is not so obviously, what all these
different shoe sizing systems actual mean or stand for? If you're looking into your
sports shoes for example, you will see that shoe sizes are classified in different, regional
shoe sizing systems. The most important ones are the US, UK and Europe systems, but
also Mexican or Japanese.
These entire different shoe sizing systems creating more confusion to us than giving
valuable information's about the shoes! These shoe sizing systems and classifications
having their roots back to the first century of the Roman times! No joke!
The British and USA are using the barleycorn unit as measurement unit. 1 barley(corn) is 1/3
inch long. It seems that genetically modified foot processing was already at those times from
importance!
However, somehow around 1300, they have decided that the largest shoe size (not foot) is a
size 13 and 13 inch long. From here it's been counted backwards, in barleycorn units, to the
next shoe size, for example: size "8" for adults is 11 inch long. Don't believe me? Try it out,
start counting – it’s shear madness.
The Americans seemed to be not too happy with this shoe sizing system and decided
that nothing can start from zero, like the British system does, it has to start from 1, with
the result: the US size is one size up to the British. A size "9" in UK is a size "9.5" in US.
Unfortunately this "simple" system differ in gender for American women shoes, here
the difference is 2.5 sizes up to the British system. For example a size 10 in America
would be a size 7.5 in Britain. Most likely this is all not too helpful for the customer, but
that's how it is.
Europe, of course without the British again, is following the measurement system of
Paris Point. Never heard of it? Well, we've got already the impression from UK and
America, that shoe sizing systems are not meant to be customer friendly - no surprise
here as well.
Anyhow, one Paris Point is equal to 2/3 of a centimeter or 6.6 mm long. To find out the
last length for each size with Paris Point you start with the largest size for gents, which
is size 50 and 335 mm long and start counting backwards, for each size 6.6 mm.

For ladies, I would suggest to start with a small size, like 32 which is 215 mm long and
start counting forward.
But what is really too bad about all these different systems, is that they are all all about
shoe last length and not about our foot, apart from that the fact, that really nobody understands what is the meaning of shoes sizes.
A shoe varies in length according to the design and it's wrong to assume, if a shoe last is
of length x and than the shoe size should be size y. It's so obvious, look at this:

Left you see a pointed toe shoe; it has a long toe allowance of approximate 25 mm or
even more, the moccasin has a rounded toe with an allowance of approximate 10 mm
and the sandal has short toe allowance of approximate 5 mm only and nowhere you can
find the information how long the shoe last is, which is been used for these three shoes.
Remember the barleycorn shoe sizing system is based on the fact that the longest shoe
is 13 inch long for a size 13. I guarantee you, that for all these three shoes, if marked
with shoe size "13", the length of the shoe last would not be 13 inches long.
Now the industry has tried to help out this fix, they came up with the conversion tables.
The whole Internet is full with them. We've been asked us to measure our foot, use a
conversion table and see what shoe size we have. Now let's have a look, here are two
different conversion tables for shoe sizes:

Let's assume our feet is 27.3 cm long, we can see, that there are differences in the two
tables for the UK size as well for the European size, even though they are not big. The
fact remains, that there is nothing like the one and only standard.
Its get even worse: many manufacturers over the time build up their on shoe sizing system with the intention that their footwear would fit with their customers better. Well
thought, but standards are working not like that!
The industry is building shoe lasts with a standard-last-length system, but there is no
standard for foot length vs last length, this depends entirely on the shoe design and its
features. Still there are last lengths in conversion tables published, while at least 80% of
all footwear is not following this so called "standard-last-length".
Of course the industry is aware of this problem and came out with their final shoe sizing system: Mondopoint.

Mondopoint - Why my shoes don't fit ? (Part 7)
The Mondopoint shoe-system is the latest shoe size system discovery of the
industry.
In the previous part of the series "Why my shoes don't fit (Part 6)", we have talked
about the difference about shoe sizing systems and for what they are standing for or
better, what not for? All these different and regional shoe sizing systems are most
confusing, because they are assuming that shoe sizes are related to shoe lasts and not to
the human foot. Mondopoint should change this.
I've shown you in an example, with three different shoe types, that it is not correct to
assume, if a shoe last has a length off "x" than the shoe size has to be "y", because each
shoe is been designed to it's own specifications. You can't compare a ski boot with a
sandal and saying: it's all about the same length. That's what the industry is forced to do,
because there is no other system in place. A conversion table, which includes the length
of out foot, is the only help we have, but a shoe size chart (conversion table) can be used
only as a kind of indication, it can give us only an idea about our shoe size. We see later
why that is.

The shoe industry realized that it can't go on with this confusion of different conversion
tables or regional differences. Shoe sizes has to be related to the foot-length not the
shoe last (well thought!) and they came up with a metric system, called
the Mondopoint.
Mondopoint works very simple, measure the length of your foot and measure the width
at the widest part of your foot - at the joints. These two figures are the Mondopoint. For
example: your foot is 280 mm long and on the widest part of your foot it's 110 mm, the
Mondopoint is 280/110.

In 2004 the Swedish Handicap Institute came out with a report, recommending that all
suppliers of orthopedic shoes should follow the Mondopoint system, which is been used
by the Swedish army and the NATO as well. The Swedish Institute demands too, that
more consumer information's has to be declared by the manufactures; like last length,
how they've been measured etc., to minimize errors and misunderstandings about the
shoe fitting. The reason for the shift to Mondopoint was, when they came up with a
project, where they have tested 5 different shoes from 3 different suppliers and they got
the (shocking) result, that all the shoes had a different length! For shoe size 43 they got
the following shoe lengths (in mm): 275, 281, 282, 288 and 291.
Of course this was unacceptable to the Institute: 16 mm tolerances between the
smallest and the longest shoe. The conclusion: it has to be Mondopoint.
Well, the good thing about Mondopoint is that, for the first time, the length of the foot
and not of a shoe last is been taking in consideration. But not so good is what the
Swedish Institute has concluded:
“If a person’s length of the foot is 280 mm and the width of the foot is 110 mm, then the
shoe size most appropriate in Mondopoint is 280/110. All shoes marked with 280/110
should fit this person’s foot, without having to try them on!"
My conclusion is, that you'll better try them on, because the mondopoint system looks
to me, that somebody, in some administrative office, has started the work and in the
middle of the job he either gave up or got retired and just before that, he submitted his
project.
Where is the volume been taking in consideration of this system? A foot can be slim,
strong or even normal and they all can have the same measurements in the length and
the width isn't it? That's simple as that. A foot is three dimensional and not two.
Mondopoint is now the ISO Standard and been used by the NATO! Of course, this
revolutionary system has it not made to the ordinary shoe shops, it's been only
privileged used by the NATO and its allies - poor soldiers.
We require a new metric system, which would make more sense to the customers. For
example, if my foot is 28 cm long, my shoe size should be "28" - no conversion table is
required. The shoe-width could also been taken in consideration, like "25" and finally a
shoe could be marked like: "28/25", which means the shoe is for people with 28 cm
long feet and 25 cm width around the joints.
Instead of numbers like size "11", we could name shoes sizes after a color, like "my
shoe-size is blue or pink" - it would equally make no sense to me. For everything we
need a conversion table. It's simply not customer friendly.

If we buy a T-Shirt, here at least we get an idea about sizing. "Medium" or "Large" or
“L”and “XL”. As long I could push my tummy in a “M” size one and I feel, that it looks fine
(which certainly wouldn't be the case), than it's still not a problem as long I'm somehow able
to breath. With a wrong shoes size, that's certainly not such a small issue, like you've seen
the x-ray pictures in the previous article and considering, that almost 50% of all foot
problems are the result of wrong fitted footwear and shoe sizes.

Shoe width - Why my shoes don't fit? (Part 8)
The shoe width is one of the most crucial measurement point for shoe fitting.
In the part "Why my shoes don't fit? (Part 7)" we have talked about the Mondopoint-System
and that it's the only system, which is taken the foot length and not the shoe-last length in
consideration. In my opinion, even a simpler metric system would be helpful. At the moment
we still need conversion tables to detect our shoe size and shoe width.
Very important of course is the shoe width for a good shoe fitting. The shoe width is been
measured around the joints and marked in characters like "C","D"or"E",etc. In the US
today many vendors are measuring only the surface of the feet, similar to Mondopoint.
More precise would be, to measure all around the joints. Always the smallest character
stands for the slime width, like "F" is slimmer than "G".
These are information's the shoe industry is providing to us about their products. Not too
much isn't it? A size system which needs a conversation table and the shoe width or volume
of the shoe, which is in 99% of all cases not marked on/in the shoe. Mostly we can find it
somewhere printed on the shoe box. Many Online-shops have started now to mention the
shoe width in the product descriptions. Still often enough you can read with them " ...shoe
fitting is tight, please order one size up". I will certainly not order such a shoe at all, but
what else choice do they have? They are facing the same problems like you. On the other
hand, the shoe industry is also in a fix. There are no absolute standards; conversions from
Barley-system to Paris Point are complicated and last lengths are also not an infinite
indication.
Now what to do? This is all not sounding too promising, but with detecting your feet length
and width you have gathered very important information and I will show you how to make
the most of it.
We have discussed, that shoe sizes and shoe width are related to the shoe lasts and now in the
end of this series, I will explain to you, how you can relate your feet measurements to shoe
lasts. We will most likely find out, that the shoe size you think is yours, most likely is not the
best for you.
My advice, for an better understanding why shoes don't always fit as we expect them to do,
let's stop talking about the shoe size we have, instead we should talk about the shoe size we
use.

Foot measurement - Why my shoes don't fit? (Part 9)
Everybody should do a proper foot measurement. This is helping you to observe your feet
and gives you valuable information's about your foot length and width.
In the previous article we have discussed about shoe sizes and shoe width. We require
conversion tables to detect our shoe size and width.
Shoe size conversion tables are all about standard last length, the foot length is only
secondary. We need to do our foot measurement and follow the conversion tables. This is not
exact enough for me, I would even say: it's wrong! As I have explained before, different
types and styles of footwear require different last lengths - a sandal has a different last length
than a pointed-toe pump or a trainer. On the other hand, it wouldn't be practical to create for
every shoe type a conversion table – there would be too many. As long there is no other and
more customer friendly metric system in place, some kind of system like I have suggested,
we are left with no other choice, than to continue and using standard-last-length conversion
tables. But I like to show you now a different method of foot measurement, instead the
traditional method of just measuring your foot length, from heel to toe and following the
conversion table.
It's not difficult at all, we only need to understand, that shoe lasts are designed in a particular
system. The entire length of the shoe last is only one part of it. There are other
measurement as well, which are parametric calculated and this leads us to other points of the
last, which has to present your feet. We have discussed this in the third part of "Why my
shoes don't fit? Part 3)" and now we are making use of it. We begin with our foot
measurement:

Here you see again a right foot, which you have seen already previous.
The length of the foot is 271 mm long.
We always do the feet measurement form the center of the heel, through the second toe up to
the parallel line of the highest point of the foot.
In this case it's the length of the big toe, which presents the highest point of the foot, but in
many cases it's the second toe itself which is the longest.
Every foot is like a finger print and almost never both the feet are identical, if so, you can
find this only with young children.
Adult feet are changing with the age - also through wrong footwear!
Now, let's continue "building" our last. We are adding the important joint-line:

As you can see, our joint line is 96 mm long, which is not important for the moment.
What is very important is the length from the heel center to the middle of our joint line.
Here it shows a length of 186 mm.
Now, why is this so important for us? Because, the joint positions from the shoe last and
the joints from the foot need to have the same positions. The length of the joint line is
again an individual choice in the design (in our case here 96 mm would suit us perfectly), but
the positions of the joints are fixed for each shoe size following the standard last length
of the conversion tables.
The formula for the length, from heel to joint, is 2/3 of the length for a standard last.

In our first picture above, we remember that our foot length was 271 mm and if we look into
our conversion table, we would assume Euro size 43 would be our right choice for us.
US
Sizes
Sizes
9.5
10
10.5
11

Euro
Sizes
Sizes
42-43
43
43-44
44

UK
Sizes
Sizes
9
9.5
10
10.5

Foot
Length
in cm
10.4375" 26.7
10.5625" 27
10.75" 27.3
10.9375" 27.9
Inches

For 270 mm we find the US size “10” and for UK size “9.5”.
But now let's come back to the 2/3 length of my foot - from heel to joint-line. We need to
calculate now the full length of our foot (186 : 2)*3 and we are getting: 279 mm!
If we look again in our conversation table, we are getting a new result:
Euro size: 44; US size 11 and UK size 10.5
This is what I call a "calculated shoe-size". It's important to understand, that the shoe length
is not that important to you. If your shoe is a little bit longer, in this example 8 mm, it doesn't
matter at all. Look at your scale, what are 8 mm more, if you already have 12-15 mm or even
more air and space in the toe part of your shoe? Now you might have 20 mm and that's still
not a problem at all, but the most important points of the foot, the joints are in the perfect
position and at the joints a few millimeters up and down are making a very big difference for
your shoe fitting. You might have doubts, because simply choosing a bigger shoe size can't
really solve your problem? Let me tell you, when you do your foot measurement and you
calculate your shoe size, the result could be as well, that your shoe size is may be one size
smaller or the same. One reason for the variations is, that your toes could be smaller or
bigger than the norm, but there could be others as well, like your foot type. For example
a flat foot is longer than the same one before it got deformed. Still, we are not finished
yet, now we need to take care of our foot-width as well.

Shoe size conversion - Why my shoes don't fit? (Part 10)
For a shoe size conversion we need to take the foot length as well the feet width
into consideration.
Previous, I've shown you a different way of calculating the foot length. We are measuring the
distance from heel to joint-line, along the line from heel to second toe, assuming this length
is 2/3 from our standard last length and calculating it into full length (length heel to joint-line
in mm or cm : 2 x 3). Very often, the results would be different compare to our actual foot
length, but for determining your best fitting shoe size and width - the shoe size conversion –
this is the best way how to do it.
As I have mentioned it before, we should start thinking of using or wearing a shoe size,
instead of having a shoe size.
Shoe manufactures are providing us also with the information of the shoe width. It's
most of times not stamped in the shoe itself, but usually we can find this information on
the shoe box itself or in the online description. Qualified stuff in the stores should have
this information as well for you.
The shoe width has to be measured around the joints. With the meausrements of the
shoe width and length of our feet, we can complete the shoe size conversion.
Foot measurement is easier to do with a partner, but you can do this also on your own.
You can measure your foot width with a measurement tape or if you don't have one,
simply cut a 10 mm stripe from a normal printing paper. Cut horizontal along at the
edge of the paper, which gives you a stripe of approximate 300 mm length.

Put your tape under your foot, so that it's along with your joint-line. (See picture above).
Remember, the joint-line is from the inside of the big bone to the prominent bone on the
outside of your foot, which is actually the widest part of your foot. Now you just wrap
the tape over the joints and where the two ends of your tape are overlapping, mark it
with a pencil. Don't pull the paper tape too strong, put it firmly, you should feel the tape
around your foot - too loose is not correct either. Think how you would like to fit your
shoe around the joints - not loose or too tight.
Important: If you're doing the foot measurement yourself, you need either to stand in a
relaxed position or sit on a chair – put the body weight on the heel part of your feet.
Otherwise you would put too much pressure on the toes and your joints would extend
too much and this would not give us the appropriate measurement. You can try it out
for yourself and see the difference: pressure on/pressure off the foot. Sometimes the
difference is about 10 mm more with weight pressure on the foot.

Note down the measurement and start with the other foot. Now compare these two
measurements. Usually there will be some small difference of 2-3 mm. If your
differences are too big, like more than 5 mm, check your measurements one more time.
Anyhow I would suggest doing the measurement twice. Like the old carpenters always
said: "Measure twice, cut once".
In case you still find a big difference between both feet, than you have the same
problem like me: we are having two different width fittings and this is certainly the
problem why your shoes don't fit. In this case, you have no other choice; always fit your
shoes for the wider foot and adjust the slimmer foot in the shoe with thicker socks or
even wear double socks. The best choice of course would be to get your shoes made to
order, but still you can't get all your shoes done like that, you need to find solutions to
adjust this issue.
After having determined our foot width, we can look into the shoe-size-width tables.
You can click on the links to check your shoe width, for European-Sizes, UK-Sizes or USSizes.
Now let's assume for example, that the width of our foot would be 255 mm. We are looking
in the conversion tables (at the end of this book) and getting following results.
UK-Width: "G", European-Width: "G";

and US-Width: "D"

With the help of our calculated shoe-size we have completed now the shoe size
conversion. In this example we have detected following shoe sizes and shoe widths:
For the UK: Size 10.5/G, Europe: 44/G and US: 11/D.
Try this system for your shoe size conversion. See how it works out for you - as you
know by now, there is nothing fixed and final with shoe sizing - everything is possible.
Often times for moccassins and slippers I reduce the shoe width for myself by one size
down. In our example from above, that would mean, Europe 44/F instead of 44/G, but
certainly for boots I’m going with the calculated shoe size. In boots we are wearing
socks, in moccassins I don’t and that would make the “G” width too wide for me.
Sometimes you will figure out, that the calculated shoe size conversion works well only
for certain shoe brands. However, certainly some trial and error expierenece is required, but once you’ll get the idea, it's certainly the best shoe size conversion for you
feet.
Most important: You have gained new ideas about your feet!

I like to mention here, that for open types of footwear, like sandals or peep toes, I would
not use the calculated shoe size conversion, instead I would first try with my actual
foot-length, because sandal lasts are different build than shoe lasts, but again, nothing is
fixed, you'll need to to try it out for yourself.
Finally, some remarks about shoe size conversion and foot measurements. There are
many methods and arguments about it. First of all, for a complete foot measurement,
there are more and important measurement points than just the foot length and the
width of the joints. Unfortunately the shoe industry is not disclosing this kind of information's and that's why we don't mention them in this article series, because there are
of no use for industrial, finished shoes.
This is the end of this article series "Why my shoes don't fit?" and I hope, that you have
gained some valid information’s and enjoyed the reading.

How to create a draft and measure the important points of your feet?
First we will start to make a draft from your feet. It's not difficult at all and you need only a
plain paper and a sharp pencil. I suggest, you to take a print out the following pages as you
might like to have them next to you, while you're doing the draft.
Before we start, let me explain some basic facts about your foot and you might like to take
of your socks already, so you can do the first observations on your foot straight away.
Don't be surprised, if you will find out, that your feet are not identical, even I would say,
that's how it is!
When you are doing a draft of your foot we want to find out three measurements. 1st we
want to know the length of your foot, 2nd we like to calculate our foot-length according to
the shoe sizing system and 3rd we determine the width of your foot.
Actually there is not much skills required to make a draft, but we need to understand what
happens to your foot, once you put weight on them or take weight off. Lift your foot up and
look at the toes and joints. Now slowly release them to the floor. As soon you touch the
floor, you see that the joints are bending – the foot width increases and when you now
stand up (do it), you can see that your foot is further increasing. Now repeat, lift your foot,
but this time you look at your big toe. Put the foot on the floor and you'll see that the big
toe turns to the outside. Now lift your heel, like wearing a high heel shoe and you'll see that
the toe bends even more to the outside. When we are doing a draft, we want your foot to
be in a relaxed position, not too much weight on. In case you do the drafting on your own,
be careful, once you bend your body in front of your foot, that you not put too much weight
on the forepart; try to put more weight on the heel part of your foot, so we get a well
tracing done. You can also doing it, while sitting on a chair, which is easier in my opinium. In
case you have a partner, let him do the tracing for you, it's easier, just stand straight and
relaxed.
Let's start and print out the page with the “turned around T”, this is your marking-pattern.
(Scroll a few pages down)
TIP: In case the “t” marking is too short for you, you can simple make one on your own. Just
draw a vertical line and draw the horizontal line in 90`angle. You may like to use a bigger
paper like the “legal” format.

Place your foot on the paper (with the “turned around T”)
1.
Your heel is along the back line (see pic. below)
2.
The vertical line needs to pass your second toe (see pic. below)
3.
Now mark the longest part of your toe –usually it's the big toe, but sometimes it's the
second toe as well
4.
Take a ruler and measure the length from the back line to the marking of the front.
Now you have the length of your feet. (Not the calculated!) Note it down.
5.
Place your foot again on the paper, matching the heel-toe line.
6.
Now take a pencil and draw around your foot, holding the pencil vertical at 90' ankle
like in the next picture.
7.
Mark the widest, prominent part of your joints. Now you have completed the foot
outline.
8.
Hold the pencil now in 45' ankle and draw from the toe down to the heel area. No
need to go through the heel, just up to the bone is enough. This is the inside line of your
foot, where the plantar surface comes in contact with the sole. Don't worry too much about
the ankle of the pencil; you should only come in contact with the surface of your foot.
About the arch, don't bother at all, in case you don't come into full contact with your feet.
At this point it's really not important. As you can see in the draft below – no arch would look
like this.
9.
You have marked the widest points of your foot on the outside line, now take your
ruler and connect the joints. This will give the important joint-line.
10. Your draft should look now like something below draft, which is actually my foot. As
you can see, I have also not done a perfect job and it's not necessary also. Most important
are these points.
get your length correct
mark the widest parts of your joints
get the inside line at your joints well
don’t bother about the arch

1.
My suggestion is, do all steps together with one foot and then go for the other foot.
After doing it first time you will see the other foot will go much faster and maybe you do
your first foot one more time, which will not take too long anymore.
Now we need to determine our calculated foot-length. Measure from heel to the
joint-line (the red line, in the picture below) and note down the result. We need to calculate
now. Divide the length from heel to joint-line (the red line) by 2 and multiple it with 3. This
would give you your calculated feet-length, which you should use with a shoe-conversiontable.
2.

You don't have a shoe size, you should only use it.

3.
Take your paper stripe, firmly pull it around your joints and mark it where the two
ends of the stripes meet. With the ruler you can measure now the width of your feet.
4.
Now after you've calculated your feet-length and measured the width of your foot,
you can use now the conversion-tables to finalize your shoe-size and -width. You can choose
here between three tables for the European-Sizes (Paris-Point), the UK-Sizes and the USSizes, if you need other regional tables, you need to Google for them.
5.
In our example, we have a calculated foot length of 279 mm and decided to look out
for US -Size 11, UK-Size 10.5 and European-Size 44 and we have calculated a width of 255
mm (look at 15.). While looking in the conversion-table for the shoe-width, we would
determine a shoe-width for US-Size “D”, UK-Size “G” and European-Size “G”.
6.
That's all, you are done. Now you only need to gain some expierence, but with todays
internet options, that almost all big shoe shops are sending your shoes with “free delivery
and return”, that’s no problem anymore. Good luck!

While placing your foot on the “T” like in the first picture, you must ensure that back of your
heel is along with the “T” like in this picture above.

Conversion-Tables
Feet-Length-Shoe-Sizes

UK Shoe
Size
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
5.5
6
6.5
7
7.5
8
8.5
9
9.5
10
10.5
11
11.5
12
12.5
13

Euro
Size
35.5
36
37
37.5
38
39
39.5
40
40.5
41.5
42
42.5
43
44
44.5
45
46
46.5
47
48
49

US
US
Women'
Men's s
Size
Size
4
5
4.5
5.5
5
6
5.5
6.5
6
7
6.5
7.5
7
8
7.5
8.5
8
9
8.5
9.5
9
10
9.5
10.5
10
11
10.5
11.5
11
12
11.5
12.5
12
13
12.5
13
13.5
14

Foot
Length
in cm
21.8
22.2
22.6
23
23.5
23.9
24.3
24.7
25.2
25.6
26
26.4
26.9
27.3
27.7
28.1
28.6
29
29.4
29.8
30.3

US-Shoe-Size-Width-Length
Women’s Foot
Length
AAAA
202
206
210
214
219
223
231
236
240
244
248
252
257
261
265
269
274

Women’s Wide Shoes Girth Measurements in millimeters
(mm)
AAA
AA
A
B
C
D
E
175
181
187
194
200
206
213
178
184
191
197
203
210
216
181
187
194
200
206
213
219
184
191
197
203
210
216
222
191
197
203
210
216
222
229
194
200
206
213
219
225
232
197
203
210
216
222
229
235
200
206
213
219
225
232
238
206
213
219
225
232
238
244
210
216
222
229
235
241
248
213
219
225
232
238
244
251
216
222
229
235
241
248
254
222
229
235
241
248
254
260
225
232
238
244
251
257
264
229
235
241
248
254
260
267
232
238
244
251
257
264
270
235
241
248
254
260
267
273

EE
219
222
225
229
235
238
241
244
251
254
257
260
267
270
273
276
279

UK-Shoe-Size-Width

UK
Size
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
5.5
6
6.5
7
7.5
8
8.5
9
9.5
10
10.5
11
11.5
12
12.5
13
13.5
14
14.5
15
15.5

Group
s
E
20.5
20.75
21
21.25
21.5
21.75
22
22.25
22.5
22.75
23
23.25
23.5
23.75
24
24.25
24.5
24.75
25
25.25
25.5
25.75
26
26.25
26.5
26.75
27
27.25

F
21
21.25
21.5
21.75
22
22.25
22.5
22.75
23
23.25
23.5
23.75
24
24.25
24.5
24.75
25
25.25
25.5
25.75
26
26.25
26.5
26.75
27
27.25
27.5
27.75

G
21.5
21.75
22
22.25
22.5
22.75
23
23.25
23.5
23.75
24
24.25
24.5
24.75
25
25.25
25.5
25.75
26
26.25
26.5
26.75
27
27.25
27.5
27.75
28
28.25

H
22
22.25
22.5
22.75
23
23.25
23.5
23.75
24
24.25
24.5
24.75
25
25.25
25.5
25.75
26
26.25
26.5
26.75
27
27.25
27.5
27.75
28
28.25
28.5
28.75

J
22.5
22.75
23
23.25
23.5
23.75
24
24.25
24.5
24.75
25
25.25
25.5
25.75
26
26.25
26.5
26.75
27
27.25
27.5
27.75
28
28.25
28.5
28.75
29
29.25

K
23
23.25
23.5
23.75
24
24.25
24.5
24.75
25
25.25
25.5
25.75
26
26.25
26.5
26.75
27
27.25
27.5
27.75
28
28.25
28.5
28.75
29
29.25
29.5
29.75

L
23.5
23.75
24
24.25
24.5
24.75
25
25.25
25.5
25.75
26
26.25
26.5
26.75
27
27.25
27.5
27.75
28
28.25
28.5
28.75
29
29.25
29.5
29.75
30
30.25

M
24
24.25
24.5
24.75
25
25.25
25.5
25.75
26
26.25
26.5
26.75
27
27.25
27.5
27.75
28
28.25
28.5
28.75
29
29.25
29.5
29.75
30
30.25
30.5
30.75

N
24.5
24.75
25
25.25
25.5
25.75
26
26.25
26.5
26.75
27
27.25
27.5
27.75
28
28.25
28.5
28.75
29
29.25
29.5
29.75
30
30.25
30.5
30.75
31
31.25

European-Shoe-Size-Width

Size in
Paris
Point
49
48
47
46
45
44
43
42
41
40
39
38
37
36
35
34
33
32
31
30
29
28
27
26
25

Groups
C

D

E

F

G

H

J

K

L

M

N

253
249
245
241
237
233
229
225
221
217
213
209
205
201
197
193
189
185
181
177
173
169
165
161
157

258
254
250
246
242
238
234
230
226
222
218
214
210
206
202
198
194
190
186
182
178
174
170
166
162

263
259
255
251
247
243
239
235
231
227
223
219
215
211
207
203
199
195
191
187
183
179
175
171
167

268
264
260
256
252
248
244
240
236
232
228
224
220
216
212
208
204
200
196
192
188
184
180
176
172

273
269
265
261
257
253
249
245
241
237
233
229
225
221
217
213
209
205
201
197
193
189
185
181
177

278
274
270
266
262
258
254
250
246
242
238
234
230
226
222
218
214
210
206
202
198
194
190
186
182

283
279
275
271
267
263
259
255
251
247
243
239
235
231
227
223
219
215
211
207
203
199
195
191
187

288
284
280
276
272
268
264
260
256
252
248
244
240
236
232
228
224
220
216
212
208
204
200
196
192

293
289
285
281
277
273
269
265
261
257
253
249
245
241
237
233
229
225
221
217
213
209
205
201
197

298
294
290
286
282
278
274
270
266
262
258
254
250
246
242
238
234
230
226
222
218
214
210
206
202

303
299
295
291
287
283
279
275
271
267
263
259
255
251
247
243
239
235
231
227
223
219
215
211
207

Shoe Wiki
Adhesives. Mainly Latex, Dendrite, Rubber Solution and Polyenthane been used in shoe industry.
Adjustment. The fastening by which the shoe is adjusted to the foot, such as button, strap and buckle,
webbing or lacing.
Ago. Term for cemented shoes.
Anatomic. Referring to the conformity of the shoe to the natural shape of the foot.
Apron. Center shoe part of the vamp, also called plug.
Arch. The bony framework of the foot between the heel and the toes. The "broken arch" is a
settling of this part of the foot due to a yielding of the muscles and ligaments. An "arch-support" is a
mechanical contrivance placed in the shoe beneath the arch of the foot to keep it in its natural position. The
term arch is used also for the corresponding portion of the shoe bottom.
Assembling. Putting together the various parts of the shoe as they come from separate departments
of the factory.
Athletic Footwear. Sports shoes, today mostly in canvas-types of material and light weight EVA soles.
Avarka. Closed toe sandal from Spain.
Backstay or Backstrap. A strip of leather covering and strengthening the back seam of a shoe on the
outside.
Bal. An abbreviation of Balmoral, the original English name for the shoe. A front-laced shoe of medium
height, as distinguished from shoes adjusted by other fastenings, and also from other patterns of shoes, such
as Blucher or Oxford.
Ball. The fleshy part of the foot back of the toes or the corresponding part of the shoe or of the last.
Ballerina. Low heel court shoe.
Balmoral. American term for Oxford classic shoe.
Beading. Folding in the skived edges of the upper leather; or making an impression by a wheel
around the sole of the shoe above the heel. Frequently called “seat wheeling." Sometimes referring
to the beads placed on the vamps of women's slippers.
Beating Out. The term used for leveling the bottom of the shoe.
Bellows Tongue. A wide folding tongue sewed to the sides of the top for the purpose of making it water
tight, as in the case of heavy shoes for working or tracking.
Belting. That part of bark tanned cowhide used for belts or machinery belts.
Bench-Made. Applying to shoes made by hand at the cobbler's bench.
Bend. The main or best portion of a side of leather.
Bespoke Shoemaking. Term for customized shoes.

Blake sewed. Shoe construction where the sole, the upper and the insole been stitched together on the inside
part of the shoe and not through a welt or rand.
Blacking the Edge. Dyeing the edge of the sole or welt after the shoe has passed through the
making room.
Blind Eyelet. An eyelet inserted on the inner side of the eyelet facing, the hole on the outer side
being left raw-edged.
Block Heel. Square, chunky looking heel.
Blocking. The cutting of a sole into rough or approximate shape, suitable for rounding. Also
Shaping the vamp into suitable form for the use of the pattern.
Blucher. The name of a high shoe or half boot originated by Field Marshall Blucher of the Prussian Army in
the time of the first Napoleon. Its distinguishing feature is the extension of the quarters forward to lace
across the tongue.
Boat Shoe. Moccasin type with rubber sole.
Bottom Filling. The filler for the low space in the bottom, between outer and inner sole, in the fore part of
the shoe, as ground cork or tarred felt.
Bottom Finishing. The final polishing processes applied to the bottom of a completed shoe.
Bottom Scouring. Sandpapering the parts of the sole in front of the heel.
Box. A reinforcement placed in the toe of a shoe to preserve its shape, made of leather. Today mainly in
synthetics. Called also “toe box".
Braiding. Leather woven technique.
Brogan. A heavy pegged or nailed work shoe of medium height.
Brogue. Classic gents shoe with perforations and wing cap.
Broken Arch. (See Arch).
Brushing. Finishing the edge, heel, or bottom with a polishing brush.
Buckle. Shoe fastening accessory.
Buffing. Scouring off the outer or grain side of leather. See bottom scouring.
Burnishing. Glazing process for shoe finish to achieve extra shine.
Button. The use of the button as a shoe fastening.
Button Fly. The strip of leather in the front of the top of a button shoe having the button holes.
Cabaretta. A tanned sheepskin of superior quality and finish.
Calfskin. Skins of neat cattle, up to fifteen pounds weight. For trade convenience such are called
'calfskin," those weighing from fifteen to twenty-five pounds, "kips," and all above twenty-five pounds are

called hides. Calfskin makes a strong pliable leather highly susceptible to polish leather finish.
California. Shoe construction where the upper and insole edges are seamed together and a mudguard is been
overlaid. Very light and flexible construction.
Carton. The pasteboard box in which each pair of shoes is packed.
Channel. A slanting cut around the edge of the sole for convenience in stitching the top to the bottom of the
shoe. The lip of the channel or the raised portion is cemented down after the stitching so as to reserve the
stitch from immediate wear. Channeling means preparing the channel for the stitch.
Channel- Stitched. The soles fastened to the uppers by stitches which are concealed in the channel.
Channel -Turning. Raising the lip of sole leather, or channel, so that the stitching can be done beneath it.
Chelsea boot. Ankle boot with big elastic quarter.
Chrome-tanned. Tanned by the use of bichromate of potash and muriatic acid.
Chukka boot. Other term for Desert boot.
Clicking. Cutting the uppers of shoes by a machine with clicking knives, bended to upper-components
shape.
Closing On. Stitching the lining and outside together at the top, wrong side out, also called “stitchandturn”.
Collar. A narrow strip of leather stitched around the outside of the shoe at the top-line, padded with (collarfoam).
Colonial. A woman's low shoe with wide tongue and ornamental buckle.
Combination Last. One having an instep of different width from that of the ball. Also a last that will allow
both low and high shoes to be made upon it.
Congress Gaiter. A shoe having rubber goring for adjustment at the ankles.
Counter. The stiffening in the back or heel part of a shoe to support the heel and prevent the shoe from
running over, usually made of leather, leatherboard or synthetics.
Creasing Vamp. Making hollow grooves or wrinkles across the front of the vamp.
Cowboy Boot. Full leather boot with decoration stitching in the leg part. Today mainly fashion boot.
Crampons. Metal spikes used in ice and snow.
Crimping. Shaping any part of the upper to conform to the last.
Cushion Sole. An elastic or padded inner sole.
Custom-Made. Made by hand to special order and measurement.
Cut-off Vamp. One cut off at the tip and stitched to the toe cap, not extending under the tip beyond the tip
stitching.
Cut-out. Perforated leather with holes.
Cutting. Cutting by hand the different shoe components.

Desert boot. Ankle high and lacing shoe.
Derby. The classic shoe. The quarters are stitched on the vamp with the derby-lock stitch.
Diabetic. Special soft and protected shoe for diabetic patients.
Dicing or Dinking. Cutting soles or other parts of the shoe with machine and die.
Direct Injection. Shoe construction where shoe upper is been directly injected into shoe sole machine.
Dom Pedro. A heavy single-buckle shoe with bellows tongue, usually of a cheap grade.
Dressing. A process for restoring the finish of the upper. Also used for the materials for cleaning and
polishing the shoe.
Driver. Moccasin type with special high rubber taps at the heel.
Edge Setting. Finishing and polishing the edge of the shoe.
Edge Trimming. Cutting the edge of the shoe smoothly to conform to the shape of the last.
Elastic. Stretch material to fasten or giving comfort at instep.
Embossing. Stamping or carving figures and trademarks on leather.
Espadrille. Soft, light weight shoe with the typical jute woven sole.
Eyelet. A small ring of metal set in the lacing hole.
Fabric. A general term for the cloths used in shoemaking, like “Inner-Linings”.
Facing. The leather used around the top of the shoe and down the eyelet row, inside.
Fair Stitch. The stitching sometimes run around the edge of the sole to give the McKay the appearance
of the welt.
Feather. The bottom line of the last, where the upper part meets the sole surface.
Filler. Filling materials like cork or synthetics have been used for filling between lasted upper and insole.
Also in the shoe-finish. Applying a shoe-finish “filler” to the upper leather.
Flats. Term for low heel shoes, usually sandals or ballerinas.
Flexible. Shoe construction, where the upper is stretched towards the sole edge and been stitched together
with insole and sole. Usually the sole is been channeled.
Flip-Flops. Open strap sandal, today mainly in synthetics with EVA sole.
Findings. The small parts or accessories of a shoe, practically everything except leather and lining, such as
laces, polishes, cement, nails, brushes, thread, and numerous other incidental articles used in the making and
care of shoes. Also called “Grinderies”.
Finish. Polishing, buffing, or other final treatment of the soles of shoes.

Fisherman Sandals. Gents sandals with heavy leather and made with big cutting straps.
Fitting. The selection and adjustment of readymade shoes to the foot of the wearer.
Foams. Used for padding of upper parts or insole.
Footbed. Anatomic formed insole.
Foxing. That part of the upper extending from the sole to the lacing or adjustment in front, and
to about the height of the counter in the back, being the full length of the upper. More simply,
the lower part of the quarter.
French Size. Shoe size system used mainly in Europe, also called Paris Point. One PP is 6mm long.
Geta. Japanese wooden clog.
Goodyear Welt. The method of stitching the upper with a leather strap called welt to the insole, forming a
channel which is been filled up. After the sole is been attached to insole plus welt and been sewed together.
Usually the sole is been channeled before.
Gore-Tex. Synthetic material (membrane) to prevent water penetration into the shoe.
Grading. The sorting of leathers for uniform, thickness and qualities.
Haferl. Shoe from south Germany with famous side lacing in the quarters.
Half-Sole. Half of a complete sole used under the front part of the out sole.
Hammering. Treating shoe with hammer for flattening purpose.
Heat-Blowing. Removing of small wrinkles with hot air.
Heat-Setting. Running lasted uppers through heat chamber to stabilize shape of the last.
Heel. The leather or other material attached to the back part of the sole to give a desired height above the
ground. The chief varieties are named after their style or shape. Heels are made in layers or lifts of leather,
wood or in synthetics like abs.
Heel-breast. The heel is its front face.
Heel-Cover. In women's shoes heels are often covered with the same material as the upper.
Heel-pitch. Height of shoe last under the foot seat.
Heel -Scouring. Sandpapering the outside surface of the heel.
Heel -Seat. The rounded part of the sole on which the heel is fastened. Heel seat nailing consists
in nailing this part of the sole; heel seat trimming, smoothing this part.
Heel- Shaving. Shaping the heel by shaving off the surplus leather.
High-Heels. Heels over 5 inch are considered as high heels.
Hiking Boots. Heavy footwear for tracking.

Huarache. Famous sandal from Mexico. Mostly leather woven and hand-stitched.
Inner linings. Today mainly used from woven cotton materials, to strengthen the upper leather and
preventing it from over stretch.
Insole. The inner sole of a shoe, which is first placed upon the last. The inner soles are attached to both the
upper and the out sole.
Inspecting. Examining shoes for imperfections.
Instep. High (instep) point of shoe.
Ironing Uppers. Smoothing the upper with a hot iron.
Jelly. Shoes made from PVC.
Joint. Girth at the joints. The shoe width depends on this measurement.
Klompen. Dutch term for wood clog.
Lace. A string of leather or fabric used in adjusting and holding the shoe to the foot.
Lace Stay. A strip of leather reinforcing the eyelet holes.
Last. The wooden, metal or plastic form upon which the shoe is constructed, and which gives the shoe its
distinctive shape.
Lasting. Stretching the upper tightly over and making it conform to the last. Assembling and pulling over
the parts of the upper on the last.
Lift. A single thickness of the material used as the final part of the heel.
Lining. The inside part of the upper, made of fabric (for boots) or of thin, light-weight leather.
Loafer. Other term for Slippers. Shoe without laces.
Louis Heel. Named after King Louis XIV.
Low-cut. A general term applying to such low shoes as pump slipper or moccasin.
Main Form. Last copy taken in two dimensional forms.
Marking. Upper parts been marked for stitching guidance.
McKay Sewed. A mode of shoemaking named after the inventor. After the upper is lasted upon the inner
sole the last is removed and the outer sole is attached by a thread passing directly through the upper and
inner sole. The out sole is generally channeled and the lining is put over the inner seam, on the inside of the
shoe.
Measurement. Taking the dimensions of the foot for custom made shoes. The chief points of measurement
are, the ball of the foot-joints, the waist, the instep, short-and long-heel, ankle and knee , as well the total
length.
Mid-Sole: Sole layer between insole and sole.

Moccasin. Traditionally worn by the native Indians. Today fashion shoe, where the upper leather is directly
on the sole without insole and on top of the moccasin the vamp and plug are stitched by hand.
Mondopoint. Shoe size system, taking the actual shoe length and width of the joints in consideration.
Monk. Shoe with strap across the facings.
Milled. Soft leather with crimpled look.
Mudguard. Leather strap used for upper rand.
Mule. Other term for clog.
Mukluk. Warm boot, traditionally warn in Antarctica, today fashion boot.
Molding. Shaping the sole to conform to the bottom of the last.
Nappa. Soft and smooth upper leather, usually of finest quality.
Needle. Shoe needles been used for machines as well for hand stitching.
Nubuk. Full grain leather with fine nap and touch.
Opanka. Shoe construction where the shoe upper is directly stitched to the outer sole.
Orthoses. Medical term for footbed.
Oxford. A low-cut lacing shoe. This style is said to have been first worn in Oxford, England, over three
hundred years ago.
Pasting. Applying glue to upper and/or sole.
Pattens. Wood sandals from the mid age in Europe.
Pattern. Metal or cardboard model or form by which any part of the shoe upper is cut.
Pegging. Attaching the outer sole with wood pegs.
Perforating. Making decorative holes around upper parts.
Paduka. Indian wood sandal with platform and toe knob.
Platform. Elevated sole design. Often times only at the toe section of the shoe – the platform shoe.
Pointe Shoe. Classical ballet shoe, doesn’t have insole and only a soft suede sole.
Pressing. Applying a flat-press to heels and soles.
Pulling Lasts. Removing lasts from shoes.
Pulling Over. Drawing the upper over the last and tacking it into position.
Pump or Court Shoe. A shoe cut below the instep and having no fastening.
Quarter. The rear part of the upper when a full vamp is not used, the side part of the shoe.

Rand. A strip of sole leather made thin on one edge and placed around between the heel and
sole, to fill empty space and balance the heel.
Re-lasting. Putting lasts in shoes from which the original lasts have been drawn.
Repairing. Any cobbling work.
Rolling. Passing leather between rolls to make it firm and durable. Also, polishing shoe bottoms
on a roll bearing a brush.
Rubber Cement. A powerful, quick-drying solution of rubber, often used in leather shoemaking and
shoe repairing.
Rubber Shoes. Footwear in considerable variety from the sandal to the hip length boot.
San Crispino. Shoe construction, where the upper is directly stitched to the insole on the outside of the last.
Sabot. Or called Clog. Front closed and back open sandal-type.
Sacceto. Shoe construction where the lining forms a sack (sacceto) and the upper is pulled over a last,
similar to a moccasin and the upper leather is lasted like in a ago construction.
Safety Shoe. Shoe with steel toe-cap and steel mid-plate for protection.
Sample. In the shoe trade a single shoe to show the character of an entire lot. As a rule samples
are made up by factories twice a year, in the spring and fall, and carried by the traveling salesmen
on their routes. Shoes are then made in the factory from the orders received upon each sample.
Sandal. An open shoe on the toes and heel.
Scoring. Roughing the leather for increasing the paste bounding.
Shank. A strip of metal or other material used between the inner and outer sole, between the heel and the
ball, to stiffen the sole of the shoe.
Shanking Out. Thinning and smoothing the shank part of the shoe, if the shank is in leather.
Shoe laces. Available in different cottons or in leather.
Size. The length measure of the shoe on standard widths. The length is expressed by numbers the widths by
letters. American and English sizes vary by one-third of an inch. The American size system runs from to 13
1, and then starts over again at 1. The infants' size runs from to 5; children's from 5 to 11; misses', from 11 J
to 13J and then to 2 in the second series; women's, from 2| to 8; little men's, from 8 to 13§; youths', from 1 to
2; boys', from 2J to 5J, and men's from 6 to 12.
Skiving. Cutting sole leather to a uniform thickness. Shaving upper leather, especially, to a thin
edge, in the cutting or stitching department. Uppers been skived to following edges: raw-, folding- underlayer edges.
Slingback. Sandal with back strap fastening.
Slip-on boot. Boot without openings like zipper or laces.
Slipper. A name for low cut footwear without special means of fastening to the foot.

Slugging. Driving slugs, or short nails, in heels.
Spikes. Accessory for sticking with sole to ground for better gripe.
Splitting: Splitting of thick leather to a more thin substance.
Sneaker. A rubber-soled canvas or leather shoe for out-door wear.
Sock Lining. The lining which covers the insole.
Soft Tips. Having no box toe under the tip.
Soles. Polyethane, Rubber, EVA and leather are mainly been used in today’s shoe industry.
Sole Leather. The pieces of heavy leather, mainly, from neat animals and used in the soles of shoes.
Sole Laying. The preliminary process of attaching the out-sole in position for stitching or pressing.
Sole Marking. Marking the edge of the sole on the upper for scoring guideline.
Sorting. The process of arranging out-soles or upper leather by grades.
Split. A layer of a hide which has been cut into thicknesses and the grain side been removed.
Spring. The deviation from a straight line at the toe or arch of a shoe.
Stamping. Putting size and width on the inside of the shoe, or the name on the bottom.
Stay. A piece of leather used to strengthen a part or seam.
Strobel. Shoe construction, where upper and insole are stitched together with Strobel machine. Almost all
types of athletic footwear is been produced with this method.
Stitch down. Other term for San Crispino.
Stitching. By machine or by hand.
Stitch Separating. Marking indentations between stitches to make the stitching conspicuous.
Stud. Shoe Accessories.
Style. The shape, model, or material determined by standards in use or in fashion, or by forms which
manufacturers desire to put upon the market. A particular pattern or design, applying to the shoe as a whole
or to any part which may be given special distinction.
Suede. Splitt leather with hairy surface.
Tanning. Converting hides and skins into leather.
Tap. An outer half-sole.
Tassel. Leather decoration accessories.
Tempering. Softening leather in water.

Thread. Shoe threads are usually of following widths: 20/3, 40/3 and 60/2. For hand stitching F6, F8 and
F10 are most common. Smaller number indicates thicker threat.
Tip. The toe piece stitched to the outside of the vamp.
Tongue. A narrow piece of leather placed beneath the lacing or other fastening of a shoe.
Top. The part of the upper above the vamp.
Top Facing. The leather or band of cloth around the inside of the shoe top.
Top Lift. The outer piece of leather in the heel.
Top Line. The top part of the quarter. A top line can be raw edge, folded, seemed or binded.
Trainer. Athletic shoes.
Treeing. Shaping the shoe with a shoe-tree.
Trimming Cutting. Cutting stays, facings, and other small parts of the shoe upper.
Turned Shoe. Fine shoe with flexible sole, where the upper is stitched to the sole wrong side
out, the shoe being then turned right side out.
Uggs. Australian and New Zealand sheepskin warm boots.
Upper. A collective term for the parts above the sole and heel of a shoe.
Vamp. The front or lower part of the upper. A "cut-off" vamp extends only to the tip. A "whole vamp"
extends to heel without a seam. The vamp is the most important part of the upper and should be made of the
best leather.
Vamping. Sewing the vamps to the top.
Veldschoen. Turn shoe where the shoe upper is been lasted to the outside and directly stitched to the insole.
Vulcanized. Shoe upper is directly vulcanized with rubber sole.
Waist. Volume measurement point, located at half distance between the joints and the instep.
Wedge. Triangle shaped heel.
Wedges. Shoes with wedge heel.
Welt. A narrow strip of leather sewed or attached to the upper and insole, having the edge of the welt
extending outward so that the outsole can be attached or sewed on it.
Welt Beating. Flattening out the welt, after sewing.
Wheeling. Running a corrugated wheel around the edge or bottom of a shoe, to give finish or to imitate
stitching or does marking for stitching.
Width. More properly called the girth of the ball, waist and instep of the foot or last. Widths vary in
the series of sizes.