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What Is the Average Shoe Size for Men? The Answer Might Surprise You

Have you ever wondered if you have a crazy-big or wildly small foot? For men, it’s pretty easy to determine, as there are many studies analyzing the average size of a male foot.

Shoe size generally tends to be proportional in height, though you cannot use one to predict the other. Therefore, average shoe size anecdotally can vary by age, height and location amongst other contributing factors.

Below, find everything you need to know about the average shoe size for men and how to determine your own shoe size at home.

The Average Shoe Size for Men

M. Gemi
Men’s shoes from M.Gemi.
CREDIT: Courtesy Image

In 2014, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reported that the worldwide average shoe size for men is between 9 and 12, while the American average male shoe size is 10.5. While there are research reports from certified organizations, it is also important to note, though, that there is no formal scientific data that has officially calculated the global average shoe size of the male species.

How to Determine Your Own Shoe Size

shoe size
A mother measures her son’s shoe size.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

To determine your shoe size, make sure to measure your feet at the end of the day when they’re the largest. The best method is to use a Brannock device or a ruler to determine your foot’s length and width, but every shoe has its own shape and fit that could affect the size you’ll need.

Best Foot Measuring Products:

The History of the Largest Shoe Size Available

robert wadlow
Robert Wadlow (R) sweeps with two members of the Doll family while on tour with the Ringling Brothers/Barnum & Bailey Circus, 1938.
CREDIT: Shutterstock

The largest shoe size ever was 37AA, worn by Robert Wadlow, an American who lived from 1918 to 1940; Wadlow was 8 feet 11 inches tall and still holds the Guinness World Record for largest feet ever. Born in Alton, Illinois, he earned the nicknames of Alton Giant and the Giant of Illinois. His foot size and height were also largely speculated to be due to an abnormal overgrowth of human growth hormone.

Nowadays, the largest shoe size that most brands offer for men goes up to a 13 or 14, but athletic brands like Nike or Adidas offer up to a 21 or 22. There are also specified labels that are designed to provide extended shoe sizes.

Where To Buy Shoes For Large Feet:

Smallest Shoe Size Available

paris mens fashion week mens, spring 2019, sneakers
Backstage at Sacai spring ’19.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

While there is always an option to shop kids’ shoes sizes for men with smaller feet, the smallest size most adult shoe brands offer is on average a 5. A useful alternative is to shop shoes with unisex sizing as they typically have a wider range of smaller styles to fit that of women as well.

Where To Buy Shoes For Smaller Feet:

Do Your Feet Ever Stop Growing?

gucci baby leather sneakers
A splurge-worthy Gucci leather sneaker option.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Farfetch

For most adults, your feet will stop growing a few years after you hit puberty or adolescence — for most men, specifically, that’s around age 16. Your feet may continue to go up in shoe sizes, though, due to factors including weight gain and loss of ligament and tendon mobility across a lifetime, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Other conditions can affect shoe size later in life such as bunions and hammer toes, which would affect the length or width of a foot.

It is also possible that one foot could grow to be a different size than the other, though this difference is generally small and less common to cause a complete differential split in sizes that each foot requires.

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