or how to order the right size shoes online…

Bulgaria is a relatively small market for the producers of goods. Therefore, some brands (especially the developing ones) do not have official stores here. And if you are looking for specialized shoes for swing dancing, the only option to buy one is to order it online or to combine your shopping with a holiday or a festival visit. When it comes to choosing shoes, however, we face a number of questions that need to be answered. The biggest one is: “Will they fit me?” or “Is this the right shoe size for me?”. I used to ask myself these questions many times. The first time I ordered shoes online, despite extensive research, I shook with nerves after pressing the “confirm order” button.

In order to prevent this feeling there’s a few things you can do to buy the right shoe-size online.

1.Measure your foot.

Everyone has one foot slightly longer that the other. Decide which is yours and act with it. Then, put a sheet of paper on a hard surface (tiles, parquet, etc.) and place your longer foot on it. It is important that the paper does not sink under pressure, i.e., avoid carpet or similar.

The next step is crucial. Grab a pencil (in my opinion it’s better than a pen) and outline your foot in the same way that you probably drew around your hand when you were younger. It is very important to keep the pencil pointing upwards (perpendicular to the ground).

It is particularly important to keep the pencil straight around the arch of your foot so as not to tuck the tip of the pencil underneath since this error may result in choosing the wrong shoe-size.

Congratulations! Now you have a “mold” of your foot.

Here comes the easy part. Take a tape measure (or ordinary ruler) and measure the length from top to bottom. I assume the top for some people will be the big toe, and for others – the second toe. The bottom should be the middle of the heel. Connect the two in a straight line and measure the distance. After you have recorded the length you are ready to look through some websites.

NB: I recommend you do this step in the evening because your feet swell during the day. We do not want our shoes to be tight at the beginning of the night, do we?

2. Add some wiggle room

Normally, you should allow for some wiggle room or free space between the tip of your toes and the front of your shoe. This will give you increased comfort, especially when it comes to dancing.

A Wiggle room between 0,5 and 1,0 cm is usual but it can vary between models (e.g. the Furry Foxes model is slightly pointed in the forefront so it allows more wiggle room compared to the Classy Foxes).

Add the preferred wiggle room to the length of your foot that you already measured and this will give you a relatively good idea of your shoe size.

3. Visit the website of the shoe brand you liked.

There is probably a link to an online store where you can buy the model. After clicking on the model, when you chose the shoe-size, there should be a size chart. Now compare the shoes size you measured with the corresponding numbering.

My recommendation is if your foot is between two numbers to choose the larger one. Of course, there are some things to note – whether the material will loosen, whether your measuring is closer to the larger or the smaller number, what socks you will wear, and so on. For me, the larger size is the safer choice. Worst case scenario your shoes will be slightly loose.

Now it is the time to say that the most common mistake is to compare the numbers between different brands and try to guess the right one. For example, “I wear number 42 of the brand “X”, then they have to be so. As they say “Yes, but no”. Each manufacturer has its own numbering, which differs slightly from model to model, the market where it’s sold, as well as the increasing average height of population, respective to our feet.

To make it clearer: 27 cm of manufacturer “X” may be equivalent to size 42 (EU), but 27 cm of manufacturer “Y” may be equivalent to 42.5 or 41.5 (EU).

Using the above 3 steps I have already successfully ordered several pairs of shoes via Internet stores, and somehow my worries are greatly reduced when clicking “pay” on the final screen.

Article by Plamen Apostolov

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