Death of Shoe Sizes

As a small business owner with limited start up capital (or no start-up capital for that matter) I don’t like to have a lot of inventory on hand. I look at it and get angry because those shoes aren’t making me any money. Selfish? Yes. but I would rather have the tiniest profit than a bunch of product on hand. Part of this dilemma comes from the entire shoe making industry, how their shoes fit, and those metal shoe sizer thingys at your local running store.

Now luckily I know the brands that I sell well enough now to figure out what size in Altra translates to what size in Salomon, but not without some trial and error. However, I’ve been getting frustrated with this complete disregard for sizing that is occurring. At first I just thought I was lucky and picked 3 different brands with 3 completely different sizing charts, but I recently went to the store to get shoes for my kids.

We visited our local Nordstrom to see what they had. Now before you think I am some elitist for going here, please know it was thier semi-annual sale and they have the best customer service (besides me) out there. We arrive and get our two girls sized up. The almost 6 yr old gets measured at a 11.5 and the 4 yr old gets measured at a 10. After about 30 minutes of trial and error, we leave with the 6 yr old in 13’s and the 4 year old in 11s. Now as someone who knows his way around shoes and fitting them, this was not a case of my kids just having sausage feet, but a case where the length was completely wrong.

It just raises the question, why have such a structured shoe fitting system if they aren’t right? Measure the kid’s length (in inches or CM) and “size” your shoe accordingly. Such as this “This shoe fits a foot that measures 10inches long.” Now before you reply to this blog and say that’s how sizing works, no you are wrong. I wouldn’t have typed 350 words about something that wasn’t true.

Anyway, if you care to know what my kids ended up with, you can see below.

Keen Newport H2 for the 4 year old
Very happy my 6 year old understands going minimal is good
Very happy my 6 year old understands going minimal is good

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