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What Do The Letters Mean In Shoe Sizes?

What Do The Letters Mean In Shoe Sizes?

It is easy to admit that math used to be a wonderful subject until it began involving letters. Perhaps this is the reason why individuals started to feel double-crossed when it comes to shopping for a new pair of shoes. This is particularly true when you realize that someone has felt free to add daunting letters close to the customary shoe sizes.

These alterations aren’t only confusing for most individuals but are also a gigantic bother if you don’t have the foggiest idea what they mean.

If you’re searching for shoes and realize that someone added letters to your normal shoe size, don’t worry. Such fancy letters are actually geared towards your convenience. They are meant to help you determine the width of the shoe.

What The Letters Actually Mean

Those letters you see in modern shoes indicate different widths, and they are actually a scale. Just as it’s obvious to come across small, medium, large, and extra-large when shopping for shirts, letters in shoes demonstrate how wide your foot would be in inches.

In most US shoe sizes, the size may range from about two inches to almost four inches. The letters being featured are resolved, corresponding to the actual length of the shoe. The explanation behind the variation of these letters is that some people have narrow or wider shoes than the length of their foot would easily accommodate.

When shopping for new shoes in the US, you shouldn’t just be worried about getting the correct length. For a precise fit and comfort, consider your foot width as well. What is narrow for one shoe length might be wide for another. There are many widths available, but the most common ones are as follows:

  •       AA- These letters indicate a narrow fit
  •       M/B- Shoes marketed under these letters have medium or standard widths. They show a normal fit.
  •       D- Shoes marketed under the letter D are generally wide when it comes to width.
  •       EE- These are models with extra-wide measurements.

Shoes with the letter D are considered average or medium for men, while B is considered a medium for women. Additional letters “A” are used to indicate a narrower width. EE width shoes are used to indicate extra-wide options for both men and women. To make sure you’re buying comfortable and properly fitting shoes, it’s best to get your foot width measured.

The Average Shoe Width

Around 90% of the popular shoe sizes have a normal width. That means if you’re not sure of your foot width, chances are you wear a normal width shoe. This would be a D for men and a B for women. Typically shoes will possibly note their width if they’re outside of the norm. If a particular shoe is not marked with any letter at all, it is presumably a medium width.

Nonetheless, non-standard shoes will mostly be identified on the boxes and inside the shoes on the label underneath the tongue of the shoe. If possible, you should have your feet measured at the shoe store to make sure you wear the right shoe size.

Another thing worth mentioning is that foot width can change over time. Your feet can get wider, even cease growing. This is likely to occur when you gain weight or retain abundant water. Pregnancy and diabetes can likewise influence foot size.

Foot size tends to increase with an increase in weight. That means it can decrease when you lose weight or upon elimination of your insulin resistance. Note that not all shoe brands will come with widths. Most European brands, for instance, have only standard measurements.

In the US, most brands do not offer wide or narrow width shoes. However, many manufacturers have started issuing more choices in the last few decades.

Also Read: How To Wear Running Shoes With Jeans

The Difference Between Men’s And Women’s Widths

Men generally have wider feet, and the medium width for a man’s size is indicated by the letter “D.” Women’s feet, on the other hand, are usually smaller and narrower, and their medium with measurement is indicated by the letter “B.”

Narrow shoes can lead to various foot-related problems like infected foot sores, hammertoes, foot deformities, and bunions. Other common issues include cramps and excessive sweating, which can lead to fungal or bacteria build-up.

With too wide shoes, you will not have a snug fit, and the shoe will rub against the back of your heel, causing callus and even a bone spur. Also, you won’t feel so stable while walking, and your feet will move or slide around in your shoes.

This can cause friction during movements leading to blisters and sores. Hammertoes and nail problems are also common issues with overly-wide shoes.

What About The Numerical Values?

Up and even now, shoes have always been denoted using common numerical values. These mathematical values have been enough for most people to determine whether or not a certain shoe would fit comfortably.

In general, most shoes have numerical values that are true to their sizes and are relatively consistent. However, that depends on the brand and the type of shoe, because you might end up wearing a different size than what you’re used to.

As you probably know, the best way to get the right fit is to try them on and walk around a little bit. And considering the shoe styles are now changing, people have gotten more realistic that everyone’s feet are a little bit different.

Fortunately, many shoe companies have begun to design additional sizing elements. This is exactly where letters come in when you’re shopping for a new shoe.

Bottom Line

Putting labels to indicate shoe widths is a great way for shoe companies to easily appeal to most buyers. After all, our feet are different in one way or the other. Some people have short and wide feet, while others have long and narrow feet. They are the common differences that generally exist for the vast majority. What’s more important is that we can all get something comfortable for our own feet.