Our feet are getting bigger, increasing by an average of two sizes over the past four decades, according to the College of Podiatry. The average men’s shoe size 30 years ago was a 9.5 – it’s now a 10.5. The difference between a size 9.5 and size 10.5 is not very dramatic, approximately 8-10mm in length, but you also gain a bit more width with each size as well – maybe 5mm in overall volume.
A size 14 men’s shoe once marked a man out as a giant. Not anymore. Most high street and designer shoe retailers only stock up to a size 12 (EU 45), but many savvy specialty shoe retailers now see the potential for stocking large shoe sizes like 13, 14 and 15 as way to cater to a more global clientele.
There is no solid evolutionary reason or survival advantage for having bigger feet in the 21st century. To put it bluntly, we are just better fed and as our bodies are evolving into a larger species, our feet will grow to accommodate our larger frames.
The main issue here is that most people try to squeeze into the same size shoe for their entire adult lives. The concept of keeping a pair of shoes for 10 or 20 years still baffles us here at Martel+Ram. We prefer to evolve and change with the times and therefore specialise in large shoe sizes for men.
Fun Fact: most people also have two different size feet. In fact, it is rare for someone to have two feet of the same size – so err on the side of your larger foot when shopping for new shoes and you will appreciate the extra length and width.