First, you should know that 60% of the population have different size feet that we will pick up when measuring. Contrary to popular belief, the left foot is 80% of the time, the larger foot.  It is explained that 80% of the population is right hand dominant.  That to do any work, you can not lift with the right hand and the right foot forward.  Everything is in the same plain and unbalanced.  Instead you put your right hand forward and your left foot forward.  This creates a three legged stool or tripod and is stable for lifting.  It also exercises the foot opposite the dominant hand more, thus the slight variance in the size of the feet.


So a half size difference is very common and you will normally fit the the larger foot in oxfords. The definition of a true shoe size is that it will have one full size of length or space (3/8 of an inch) beyond the end of the toes.  So if you have a difference of a half size, you would have the full size beyond the toes of the longest foot and a size and a half, 9/16 of an inch, beyond the end of the toes of the shorter foot.  In other words, you will ignore the difference and fit the larger foot.  This is usually true for all tie shoes, strap shoes and gym shoes.  Remember, you have to convert true foot size to shoe.  How a shoe relates to the brannock measuring device will determine the correct shoe size how the that shoe fits.


In very open shoes like dress shoes, you may have to modify size of shoe.   In pumps, flats and loafers, you may have to fit the shorter foot.  This is especially true if the smaller foot is also narrower.  These shoes are open, less contact with the foot, therefore looser to begin with.  They can not be adjusted tighter as they are worn and tend to stretch and get looser with time. Therefore, you have a need to tighten the fit.  When new, slip on shoes should be tight or at least snug on the instep of the foot.  Dress shoes and slip on shoes are held on by contact with the instep of the foot as they stretch, they will only get looser.  If loose in the beginning, the heels will slip and shoes drop away from the foot as the instep stretches.  Another solution is to fit the same length and go down one width.  If the shoe is loose, one of these two changes should solve the situation.  Another minor correction is to add an innersole inside the shoe of the smaller foot.

Sizes are like a diamond.  Two lengths, two widths.  All four combinations will be close.  Some may not be able to feel the differences.  In others, two size combinations will be poor and the other two so close that you may have to make a judgment call, as both are good.  One may be slightly better, but it will be splitting hairs.


From the above explanations, we now get more complex.  For a full size difference, you fit the size between the two feet.  So you measure a 7 1/2 and a 8 1/2 on the other foot.  We will pretend the intended shoe fits true.  You would buy a size 8.  Remember, a shoe that fits true has one full size of toe room beyond the end of the toes by definition.  So a true 8 has toe room to a 9 on the measuring device.  So your 7 1/2 would have a size and a half in front of the toes and a half size in front of the toes on the larger foot. 

In widths, you may again have to add an innersole in the shoe to compensate for the lack of volume of the smaller foot.  The thickness of the innersole will depend on the difference of the two feet.  If both feet are close in length, this is a real easy fix.  However, it there is a lot of length and width differences. 


I have found that you can fit a size and a half difference without mis-mating in many patients.  However, you have to fit the larger foot a full size short.  Measure 9 put in a size 8 (If the shoes fit true - adjust the size if the shoes fit long or short).  There will be no room in front of the toes of the longer foot.  The shorter foot will have a size and a half in front of the toes.  The other possible solution is to fit the larger foot a half size short (only a half size toe room) and give the smaller foot two full sizes in front of the toes.

Occasionally, due to width differences the opposite of the length differences, I have been able to fit someone with two full sizes of foot length difference in the same shoe size.  I do not like to do it.  Mis-mates would be better for foot health and long term protection of the feet.  However, it money is a problem, the same compromise as for a size and a half difference.  The small foot will then have two full sizes of room in front of the toes.  Innersoles will almost always be demanded for the smaller foot.

Over 1 1/2 size in length difference will always indicate mis-mating the shoes as a solution.


 The number of people that have to mis-mate is very few. Most can be accommodated by fudging the fit as explained above.  You however, may have to mis-mate.  Most fitting stores will mis-mate from stock by charging for one pair and the cost of the second pair.  In branded shoes, the cost you can expect to pay for the second pair will be the actual cost of the shoe and transportation from the factory to the store.  50 to 60% of the retail shoe price, depending on if the store is on a tight or more generous mark up.  A tight mark up, would require the 60% to cover cost. Factories will not mis-mate shoes.  Currently, the only company that will mis-mate and that is by custom make up only, is P W Minor.  They charge the store the cost of a regular pair plus a $45 make up charge.  Many stores will pass on the make up charge to the consumer without an addition for profit.

The one problem with custom make up shoes is that there can not be a refund.  Once made, they are made to your order and the factory will not take them back.  Therefore you have to know the length and width of each foot and order the sizes correctly.  It also means that you have to alter the size and width by how that unique last fits.  Once the sizes are determined and fit correctly, you can get any style made on that last and will get the same fit every time.  So re-orders are easy.

This fits each foot correctly, maximizes support, fit and comfort.