Sorry, Everyone, But Our Feet Are Getting Bigger
Average shoe size is up about two sizes since the '70s, study says
By Jenn Gidman, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2014 2:42 PM CDT
Our feet are getting bigger, and many of us don't wear the right-size shoe, says a UK study.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – We already knew there was an obesity epidemic, but there’s one body part that may be outpacing the rest: our feet. The average shoe size has gone up two whole sizes since the 1970s—and people are cramming their feet, big or small, into shoes that are undersized, according to a study cited in the Wall Street Journal. US shoe manufacturers and retailers are also noting bigger shoe sizes: Apparel and footwear merchant Long Tall Sally tells the Journal that 12 and 13 are its most popular US sizes. "We've all gotten taller, and we need big feet to hold us up," says a consultant for the UK’s College of Podiatry, which administered the survey.

In theory we could all just go with the foot flow and buy bigger shoes, but while manufacturers do have larger fits, the buying public may not be ready: One-third of the men and one-half of the women surveyed admitted they cram their feet into shoes that are too small. That habit can lead to bunions and hammertoes, and the damage could last forever. "It's like when your mom said, 'Don't make that face, it will stay that way'—it does actually stay that way when you put so much pressure on the toe over a long period of time," says an orthopedic surgeon.

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Showing 3 of 23 comments
Jul 20, 2014 12:05 PM CDT
Well actually I wear a size nine and one half. But a size ten feels so comfortable that I just go ahead and buy and wear a ten and one half D.
Jul 20, 2014 6:35 AM CDT
after years of pain from early life ankle surgery , a hell of wrong or shoddily made orthopedic shoes, poor blood circulation, tendonitis, sciatic pain and finally a discal hernia which bent me in two like a jackknife i finally choose to boot boots and started going barefoot. great huge improvements in all regards, aftersome adjustment period. then who cares if after 11 years my feet have grown larger by a couple of sizes :P
Jul 19, 2014 2:03 PM CDT
Feet getting bigger, people getting taller too it seems like.