# Why are men and women shoe sizes diffrent?

Asked by aisyna (963) August 9th, 2008
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

Because women have smaller feet.

winblowzxp (498)

Because everything else isn’t complicated enough.

Randy (11214)

@windblow- that wouldnt make sense B/C then women would just wear the smaller size

aisyna (963)

We don’t know. I have this on no less an authority than MIT professor Eduardo Kausel, who writes: ”...for reasons now lost to history, there exist different sizes for men, women, and children, although the latter do use the same number for any given size, whether boy or girl.¨

Here, though, is his explanation of how American sizes are calculated: “The American size of the shoe is three times the heel-to-toe length of the foot, measured in inches, minus a constant (what for?), so each half size increment is 1/6 of an inch (4.23 mm). The subtractive constant is 22 for men, 21 for women (or is it 20.5?), and 9.75 for children (9.67?), but the latter only up to size 13 1/2, after which another constant is used! For instance, a man’s foot that is 10.5” long requires an American shoe size 3×10.5 – 22 = 9.5.”

Harp (19166)

that is a really good question, It is really annoying to be looking at shoes somewhere—
say at a yard sale or something and then you look at the size but have to wonder if it’s a male or female shoe? especially today with unisex looking shoes/boots/...

although it makes me feel good to shop in the little boy’s section for work boots!

truffles (89)

so when a guy goes to pick out his shoes and likes one pair asks for them in his size he realizes that their womans shoes without anyone saying anything… just noticing the show is way too small? haha i do not know

jamzzy (885)

truffles, it’s the same thing when you go ice skating or to the bowling alley. I never know what size to ask for. some places you’re supposed to say the size in men’s sizes, and other places have women’s sizes. I’ve gotten it wrong so many times. How are you supposed to know?

i guess that they can’t add a letter either, as W is already taken for wide!

truffles (89)

General rule for women’s size shoes are men+2.

winblowzxp (498)

Women’s feet are shaped very differently from men’s. Narrower from side to side, thinner from top to bottom, different heel to ball ratio, etc. Women’s shoes are not just smaller than men’s but differently shaped, as well. While either sex can wear the other’s shoes, the fit is usually not quite right. To make a long story short(er) shoemakers are starting with a completely different set of design standards for each gender.

augustlan (47715)

or