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Distribution of Foot Dimensions

>> Japanese

The distribution of foot sizes is related to production planning: how many and what size of shoes should be produced to satisfy the consumers.
There are wide variations in foot size, but the sizes follow a normal distribution curve. The following data are derived from two anthropometric studies: one is on foot dimensions by the Japan Leather and Leather-Goods Industry Association in 1987 (JLIA), and the other is on whole body dimensions of young adults by the Industrial Products Research Institute in 1991 and 1992 (IPRI).

In Japanese adult males (18-60 years), foot length ranges from 21.1 to 28.7 cm and foot circumference ranges from 21.9 to 30.2 cm.

Male data
SD=Standard Deviation / N=Number Sampled

In Japanese adult females (18-60 years), foot length ranges from 19.4 to 26.3 cm and foot circumference from 19.8 to 26.3 cm.

Female data
SD=Standard Deviation / N=Number Sampled

Female feet are typically narrower than male feet of the same length.

Shoe size

In the Japanese system, shoe size is determined by length and circumference. Shoe size indicates the size of the foot that fits the shoe, not the size of the shoe itself. Foot length is measured in cm.
Since foot circumference varies widely even when the foot length is the same, there are shoes of the same length with different circumferences. A shoe with average circumference is called width "E". It becomes "EE", "EEE", "EEEE", with increasing foot circumference, and becomes "D", "C", "B", "A" with decreasing foot circumference.
To accommodate the variations in foot size, shoe lengths change by 0.5 cm. Circumference of the shoe changes in 0.3 cm increments. In the JIS for shoes, the sizes range from 20A to 30G for adult males, from 19.5A to 27EEEE for adult females, and from 10.5B to 26G for children.

Foot size distribution
Size distribution in adult males

The most frequently observed foot size is 25EE in adult males and 23E in adult females. People with very large or small feet, or very wide or narrow feet may have difficulty in finding shows that fit their feet. Industrial products are expected to cover the whole range of the variation, but, in practice, it is impossible.

Size distribution age18-25,age25-60

Due to secular change, Japanese have become taller by more than 10 cm in the last 100 years. Foot size has also changed in the last 100 years. There is a inter-generational difference in foot size. In the younger generation, feet are generally longer, but narrower.