I entered the shoe industry the same year that England won the World Cup! In those days I worked for a retailer that sold huge amounts of formal shoes for ladies. The term used quite often then was "Spicky" shoes, normally with a 3" to 4" stiletto heel. Most of my regular clients fitting wise were either AA, A or maybe a C at the widest! Any fit above that customers tended just to be offered the box!
How times have changed. Recently I ordered a new suit, online of course, and my mind was still in the 1990's when I was a 40" Long chest and a 38" Long Waist, well I actually finished up with a 44" Long chest and a 42" Long Waist. The fact of life is as we get older we get "larger" unless genetically we are fortunate, you know the ones I mean, don't you just despise them!
Unfortunately these days it's not just age that causes this phenomenon. Because of the food we enjoy and maybe taking a little less exercise, we are generally becoming a larger "structure". This means that to support our body our feet generally are becoming longer and wider.
Over the past 40 years, British feet have increased by 2 sizes. In 1970 the average British man's foot was a size 8 whilst that of a woman was size 4. Today the average man wears a size 10 and a woman a size 6. The same has happened to the width requirement. In a recent survey conducted by the College of Podiatry of 2,000 British adults, 48% of men said their feet had got bigger, whilst 61% said their feet had got wider!
The real problem is that of my suit analogy, I was living in the past, which clearly happens for both men and women. How often have I heard the comment in a clothing store by a lady saying, "I've always been a size 12 it's impossible I'm a 16!" If you squeeze yourself into clothes that are too tight you just feel uncomfortable or maybe have to breathe in for long periods. Perhaps leave your jacket open because the buttons simply can't be done up!
With footwear, this is something quite different. Squeezing your feet into footwear that is too tight will cause a greater risk of having foot problems in the future. Problems such as Bunions, Corns, Hammer Toe, Crossover Toe, Ingrown Toenail and for people that suffer from Diabetes, who have a lack of feeling in their feet, wearing footwear that is too tight can cause blisters and sores and lead to serious infections.
So at whatever stage in life, always make sure you love your feet. Give them the right environment and space and they, in turn, will support you forever.
Take a little look at our new Wide Fit slipper range from Cosyfeet on our website. www.theslipperbox.com