The Human Race's Feet Just Keep Getting Bigger

By Gerald Lynch on at

A new study from the UK's College of Podiatry has revealed that the average shoe size has grown two whole sizes since the 1970s. Shoe shops are now selling far more extended-size shoes to large-footed clients, with the US sizes 12 and 13 now among the most popular. "We've all gotten taller and we need big feet to hold us up," Emma Supple, a consulting podiatrist for the College of Podiatry, told the Wall Street Journal. Though the study was carried out in the UK, Supple is convinced the findings would be mirrored across the globe, with humanity's shoe size growing in relation to our overall larger bodies.

But whether its embarrassment at having feet perceived to be oversized, or simply a knock-on effect of shopper's increasing reliance on online channels, many people are wearing shoes far too small for them. As well as an overall average increase in shoe sizes across the globe, our own individual feet change and grow over the course of our lives, meaning you should get your feet measured every time you buy a new pair of shoes -- especially considering the many differences between materials and designs each different shoe has. The study of 2,000 adults in the UK revealed that more than a third of men and almost half of women have bought ill-fitting shoes. It seems we're keeping chiropodists in the job practically by our fashion choices alone. [WSJ]

Image Credit: A pair of well-groomed feet from Shutterstock