What size shoes do you wear? Seems like a simple question. But the real answer is, it depends. It depends on many factors:
· where were the shoes made?
· who made those shoes?
· where do you live?
· how old are you?
· are you male or female?
Let’s say your feet are 20 centimeters long. (At some point in your life, your feet were this size. Or if you're young, it's very likely that one day they will be 20 cm in length.)
In Asia, where many shoes are made, you would wear size 20 shoes. But to find out what size shoes to buy in other parts of the world, look at this chart if you’re a child:
You might wear any of these sizes: 31, 12 ½, 13, 1 Y, 32, 0, 1, 2, or 3.
who measured your feet and then matched them with a wooden last that he carved,
and then cut and stretched the leather to fit, before sewing it together and nailing it to the sole cut just to fit you, then a uniform system of sizing would make no difference. He could call his sizes whatever he wanted, and no one would care.
But when was the last time you went to the shoemaker?
When you order your shoes online, you want them to fit, sight unseen. One system, one size, world-wide. Think how much money people would save on returning shoes that didn’t fit! Think of all of the energy saved!
Of course, everyone would have to be honest and admit the true length of their feet. But if you're ordering online, who will know?
If everyone's shoes fit, the world would no doubt be a kinder gentler place. Sadly, it would make one of my Granddaddy Bedell's favorite expressions obsolete...
Whenever my mother complained about a grouchy salesperson, or a mean comment made by a teacher, or any other slight by a friend or acquaintance, he would respond, "Forgive him. His shoes must be too tight."