US shoe sizes are metric! Sorta-ish.

December 20, 2008 at 1:48 pm Leave a comment

(Data source:
On the bottom there is the foot length in centimeters (the “Mondopoint” scale), used for ski boots and such.]
On the vertical axis you have US and Canadian size. The line on the left is kids’ sizes (note the inexplicable half-size jump); the main line is adult sizes.

From size 4 up, the shoe size is just the foot length, in centimeters, minus 18. From 4 down, the sizes count every half-centimeter. Don’t ask me why. The main reason I posted this is because we Americans, so proud of our aggravatingly unique measurement system, have been using metric every time they buy shoes. With a few random discontinuities and glitches.

After all, this is America; the land of the free and the home of the archaic, nonsensical measurement systems.


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