# Shoe size calculator

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by niklasnordin, Mar 5, 2013.

1. ### niklasnordinSenior Member

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I have an idea that I want to put out here. If its bad feel free to flame me or suggest improvements.

I want to try and build a shoe size calculator for making it easier to buy shoes online.

In order to do that I am going to need the help of this community though.

The idea is that you do some measurements on your feet and put in the numbers in a web application

and it will tell you which size and width you have for different brands and lasts.

If you all put in what numbers you have together with the size and width you have for the different shoe brands I can build a model around that and create a simple web interface.

Posting the data here will also make the data public and free for all to use so others can use it as well.

So here's how to do it. Place your foot on a paper and, holding the pen as straight up as possible, draw the contour of your feet.

Next take a measuring tape and measure the circumference around the widest area close to your toes.

Next measure the circumference around the highest position on your instep.

and last measure the length of your foot from the heel to your toes

This will give you 3 numbers, toes, instep and length. Write them down together with your size.

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So here is my data

toes: 24 cm

instep 26 cm
length: 26 cm

C & J lasts

325E: UK 6.5
337E: UK 6.5
341E: UK 6.5
348E: UK 6.5
365E: UK 6.5

EG lasts

888: UK 7

Carmina lasts
Rain: UK 7

G & G lasts

2. ### chogallDistinguished Member

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There's already some shoe size calculators out in the wild for standard sizes, not brand specific. Unless you can get the brand specific measurements in detail this will not be accurate.

3. ### gaseousclayDistinguished Member

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I think it would be far more helpful to have a site where you enter the size & last you wear and it draws on other user's data to recommend sizing for shoes you don't own.

for example, I wear a 9D on the Alden Hampton last and a UK8F on the Alfred Sargent 724 last. I would like to own shoes by EG, G&G, Carmina, etc., but since there are no physical stores nearby where I can try these shoes on the site would draw on other users' data that wear the same sizes and make recommendations. It might recommend something like a UK8.5E on the EG 82 last or a UK8 on the Carmina Simpson last. just my two cents

4. ### niklasnordinSenior Member

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What would make it accurate?

And I think the accuracy will come from the statistics.

5. ### niklasnordinSenior Member

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Yes, that is an idea that I also thought of, but what if you dont have any shoes to compare with.
It will also be possible to create this type of converter if I get enough statistics/data, since I think the correlations are pretty linear.

6. ### gaseousclayDistinguished Member

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

that's the catch. you need enough user driven data to provide shoe make/last/sizing info to make the information accurate. I think some of the confusion with sizing, at least with those of us from the US, comes from the letter designations from different shoe companies. some companies use F and some use E to denote a US D width. But again, if you have enough users supplying the data you need I suspect it will give you sizing that's a pretty close approximation. I was lamenting about this 2 weeks ago and was wondering why no one has released a book on shoe lasts from the various shoe makers around the world. a website would be better since the flow of information is constant

7. ### chogallDistinguished Member

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SizeAdvisor (if I remember the name corectly) do offer user generated feedback a and data to determine best fitting shoes for your measurement.

Downside is, as with all socially generated data, junk in junk out. Everyone measures a bit differently and prefers different fit. So some shoes might be marked as 1 stars by me but 5 stars by someone else even when we have virtually the same feet measurements.

8. ### ClausSenior Member

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The site is now called Sizeadvisors (with an 's' at the end). We just reached 1.500 ratings a few days ago.

There are two different mechanisms: One is based on feet measurements (to help beginners get started), another is based on similarity (if one has found a well fitting last, already).

Concerning some of the issues raised:

Some people indeed prefer a different fit. This doesn't affect recommendations based on similarity. The site just analyses other people's ratings and notes differences in ratings and sizes. The disadvantages here is only that a conversion from EU to UK/US (and visa versa) is not possible. Also, since these sizes are calculated, some may not be available. However, you need to know your sizes in the more popular lasts.

For those who haven't tried any lasts yet, it's not a bad thing to get them used to an average fit. I think this is an advantage. (Or will turn out to be the more ratings come in). Given enough data, it's theoretically also possible to use a variable catching those preferences.

Most problems usually come from the variety of supply of the shoes companies. For instance, C&J offers UK and US-sized shoes. Also, Vass apparently uses UK and EU. Alden also is a problem, since people can't agree if they want to use single designations (D, E,…) or double designations (B/D, C/E) for the width. Some people don't know which model they bought, others rated models too old to figure out the correct last.

However, it's getting better rating by rating.

9. ### chogallDistinguished Member

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Thanks Claus for the update and clarification.

It's a great site for people getting started in real shoes.

10. ### ClausSenior Member

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Thanks, chogall!

It might be worth noting that other sites are also trying to fix the problem with shoes sizes, although they specialize in other areas (as far as I know):

Shoefitr currently seems to specialize in sneakers and sport shoes. They use fancy 3D measurement devises if I remember correctly. They also have lots of money and support from the big brands.

Feetlot seems to specialize in Upper to Upper comparisons, so it probably works good for brands like Sebago, RedWing, and the likes. I also saw Allen Edmonds, though. Those interested in shoes without last information may like to check out.

11. ### niklasnordinSenior Member

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thanks, this looks very much like what Im after

I'll enter my data when I get home from work and see how it works.

12. ### ZaubererMember

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Why all the calculus? Knowing your shoe size doesn't require a medieval alchemist, an occultist of the black arts and Stephen Hawking. Is there anyone with serious doubts about what size to try when buying shoes? For yourselves?

Instead of solving for x, go to a shoe store, plop your dogs down on one of those metal slide-rule gizmos they have and get your numbers. That's as close as you're going to get for ready made shoes. It's a starting point for when you are (wait for it) trying on shoes. There are already converter guides for European sizes etc.. Buying shoes isn't like ordering Chinese delivery. Go to where the shoes are and try some on.

If you order shoes online, no clever method, no complex math, no sorcery will ever make them fit when they arrive in the mail - ever.

Go to where the shoes are. Know your size. If your size doesn't fit, the shoe guy will go to the back and bring out two or three different boxes. Try on different pairs. A pair you like will fit. If they dont have the pair you want in your size, you can have THEM order your size or go to a different store.

I've never not once in my life bought a pair of shoes that don't fit and I think it's because I don't put too much thought into it. Also, I wouldn't buy shoes over the internet any more than I would have an online appendectomy.

I know all of this seems obvious, but I've seen lots of threads about non-fitting shoes and it's mind boggling. The thought of buying shoes that don't fit is an alien concept to me.

13. ### chogallDistinguished Member

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Not everyone lives around where they could try on the shoes they want to buy. Thus the gamble.

14. ### ClausSenior Member

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

By using this method, you may end up buying shoes that don't fit, striktly speaking. Usually, one pays for the match in volume with a mismatch in shoe length.

I'd also be careful playing the technology pundit:

• “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” – Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899
• “I think there’s a world market for about 5 computers.” – Thomas J. Watson, Chairman of the Board, IBM, circa 1948
• “It would appear that we have reached the limits of what it is possible to achieve with computer technology.” – John Von Neumann, circa 1949
• “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.” – Ken Olson, President, Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977
• “Windows NT addresses 2 Gigabytes of RAM, which is more than any application will ever need.” - Microsoft, on the development of Windows NT, 1992
• “The Internet? We are not interested in it” – Bill Gates, 1993

Last edited: Mar 6, 2013

15. ### niklasnordinSenior Member

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cudos to Claus for the sizeadvisors site. I like it.

the recommendations I get though is not what I expected