Here at Duckfeet, we often receive questions about why we don't offer half sizes. The answer is rooted in our European origins and the interesting history of shoe sizing. So, let's take a closer look at the distinctions between European and American shoe sizing systems!
Duckfeet is a European brand, with its shoes designed and manufactured in Europe. As a result, we use European sizing, which inherently differs from US sizing. To understand why, we'll need to explore the historical context and measurement systems behind each approach.
The American shoe sizing system is based on a unit called a barleycorn, which measures approximately 1/3 of an inch (8.47 mm). This concept originated in England in the 10th century. It was believed that an inch could be approximated by stacking three kernels of barley, giving birth to the barleycorn as a unit of measurement.
In contrast, European sizing uses Paris points, each of which is equal to 2/3 of a centimeter or around 6.67 mm. The Paris point is derived from well—Paris and was said to be created by French shoemakers in the early 1800s.
The American system allocates three full shoe sizes per inch, resulting in a 1/3-inch difference between full sizes and a 1/6-inch difference between half sizes. European sizing, on the other hand, features four shoe sizes per inch. This means smaller increments between sizes. This effectively eliminates the need for half sizes and simplifies the sizing process.
This means the European size range is unisex, and does not require separate size ranges for men and women as in the American system. This contributes to more efficient production, reduced waste, and allows Duckfeet to be fully inclusive in our range of sizes.
To help you navigate our European sizing, we recommend using our size chart and fit guides. For those who feel their Duckfeet have a bit too much room, our Wool Insoles can provide a more snug fit. We also offer Cork insoles to take up extra space while benefiting from light arch support.
We hope this information sheds light on the reasoning behind Duckfeet's sizing approach and offers some interesting insights into the world of shoe sizes.