What shoe size are you? Most of us will answer in an eye blink. But that answer may well be geographically defined. The UK's shoe size regime is ever so slightly different from that of the US, while EU sizing is another animal completely. The reasons aren't particularly complicated but equally it's important broadly to understand them - and even more important to work out where you feet fit in these various systems. Put your best foot forward and we'll begin.
It all comes down to how feet are measured. Historically, sizes used in the UK are based on the length of the shoe last, rather than of the foot itself and based on barleycorns, which is an Old English measurement. This of course is confusing since most of us don't have such a last available, let alone a barleycorn. The US adopts what amounts to UK sizing, but starting the count at one rather than at zero. That's why all US shoe sizes are a size larger than UK sizes.
Clear so far? Fear not, a chart follows. But first a quick explanation of EU shoe sizes. They're also based on shoe lasts, but expressed in what are known as Paris Points, each such point being equal to two thirds of a centimetre. The system was first used by shoemakers in France in the 18th century. Luckily, there's no quiz at any Continental shoe store to test you know this.
Our simple men's shoe sizing guide is designed to help you to navigate these choppy shoe size waters with ease. A quick note on how to measure your foot: put your heel against a wall and a ruler under your foot. What you're looking for is the length from the back of your heel to the tip of your longest toe. Take the measurement in millimetres or inches and then choose the corresponding size. If you have one foot longer than the other, or if you're between sizes, always go up a size.