As we’ve mentioned before, sizing is complicated. There’s no real standard in the fashion industry, and it often ends up that though we may be a size 0 in one store, we’re a size 6 in another. Not to mention that most people’s measurements change a lot throughout our lives. Whether it’s a few extra pounds gained in winter months, or muscle built from a new workout plan—we don’t really expect our bodies to stay exactly the same for our entire lives.
Yet for some reason, most people assume their shoe size will never change. Just like the rest of our bodies, says Elle, people’s feet are constantly changing in small ways. But because so many of us never consider this a possibility, many women are wearing shoes that are too small. This is not only extremely uncomfortable, it also can cause serious damage to feet.
Elle also notes that in general, people’s feet are bigger than they were 40 years ago:
In general, the average shoe size has gone up two sizes since the 1970s, and designers and retailers are feeling the effects. Stuart Weitzman told The Wall Street Journal that his company’s average size used to be a 7, but has crept up to an 8, and he now makes shoes that go up to size 12 due to increased demand.
Yet despite this fact, many women are still caught up in the Cinderella complex, feeling that their femininity and beauty are somehow tied to having small, dainty feet. But body positivity applies below the ankles, too. And just because your feet were a size 7 in college, just because you maybe spent too much money on shoes that are a size 7, that doesn’t mean you should still be wearing a size 7. Measure your feet. Try on a few different sizes. Make sure your shoes actually fit. How are you going to run the world with pinched toes, after all?
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