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Shoe Sizing 101

Heel Measurements

Heel measurements have mystified women for years.  This is mainly due to how different people or manufacturers take their measurements.  The chart at the left shows how we here at Diva Boutique show heel measurements.  When our measurements are reported in inches, the measurement is taken from the very back of the heel.  When in centimeters, it is taken from the center stem.  In all actuality, the center stem measurement is the most relevant measurement, as it more closely measures the lift the heel gives your entire body. For over a decade, Diva Boutique has been measuring these shoes from the very back of the heel, in inches.  This was done to accommodate women who wanted the highest measurement.  We will continue to report the heel heights in this manner.  This will explain why the two are not the same exact conversion. 

Heel Measurement                           Heel Height by Size Photo

 

Shoes are geometrical.  What designers are most concerned about is the angle of the foot.  They need to make sure that a size 4 has the same or significantly similar angle of the foot as a size 11.  So, they have to have incrementally taller heels to accommodate the longer lengths of a foot.  Think of it as a triangle.  If you stretch the length, you will need to alter the height to achieve the correct angle.  So, a size 4 shoe would need a much lower heel for the angle than a size 11.  On the right, above, is a lineup of different size shoes with the "same" heel height.  You can see that the heel heights are different, but so are the distances from the heel, indicating increased footbed length.  So, of course, the heels need to be higher to maintain the correct angle.  We are reporting heel heights for the median group of size 7.  If you would like the exact heel height measurements, please contact us and we will be happy to give you stem and/or back heel measurements in your size.

Platforms

Several of Tara Shoes and some Comme il Faut street shoes come with platforms.  These platforms are created with cork.  They also have the comfy memory foam lining.  Initially, they are comfortable and a little flexible.  But, as you wear them, they conform to the shape of your foot and become very flexible and the ultimate in comfort.  Many women swear by them.  The cons to them is that the feel of the floor is slightly compromised.  They are fabulous for workshops and long festival weekends, as well as a shopping trip to the mall, or on a night out on the town.

 Platformss  Heels

The platform shoes have a higher heel, but this is because of the basic structure of a shoe.  If you put a 1/2" platform on the toe box, you must raise the heel for it to be in balance.  For instance, La Luna is available in both regular and platform.  The regular version has a 3" heel.  The platform version has a 3 1/2" heel, but they are made on the same last (form) and have the exact same angle of the foot.  So, with a platform, a 3 1/2" heel feels just like a 3" heel, only with a platform.  The example above shows this relationship.