Relation Between Height & Shoe Size In Adolescents

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Researchers have been interested in the connections involving ratios of body proportions for centuries. Known as anthropometry, the field has practical applications in everything from clothing manufacturing to forensic investigations. The connection between height and shoe size is one of the many comparative studies that has attracted much attention. While the ratio is typically static concerning adults, determining the height and shoe size ratio in growing adolescents is another matter.

Height Growth Rates

Genetics, health, nutrition, medications and physical activity some of the factors that determine an individual's eventual height at adulthood. Girls typically physically grow the fastest between the years eight and 13. By the tine that they reach the age of 12, girls gain nearly 10 inches in height. Boys on the other hand, grow just under nine inches. In general, boys have growth spurts between the ages of 10 and 15. By the time both genders reach the age of 17 or 18, they have reached physical maturity.

Foot Growth

Natural and environmental factors also determine the eventual size of feet at maturity. At birth, an infant's foot has 22 immature bones. By the time a child enters school, this number increases to 45. Through ongoing growth and maturity, the bones fuse together until there are 26 bones in each foot. Similar to physical height, foot length typically reaches maturity at the age of 18. Feet also undergo sporadic growth spurts throughout adolescence. Parents often find that children outgrow their shoes before having a physical growth spurt. While feet must capably support the body, i is a common misconception that all tall people have big feet, and all small people have little feet.

Shoe Size

Along with foot size, shoe size continually changes during adolescence. In children and adults alike, the same person can also wear shoes in different sizes depending on the style and type of shoe worn. The size of an athletic shoe commonly differs from the size of a conventional casual or more formal shoe. Shoe size can also be misleading for other reasons. Parents often purchase shoes for children that offer additional toe room that allows for foot growth.

Correlation Between Height and Shoe Size

Using scatter plots and simple linear regression equations, researchers and statisticians assessed whether there is a consistent relationship between an adult individual's height and their shoe size. Due to the obvious physical differences in females and males, the studies were performed separately for each gender. While there is some correlation, the many variations combined with the individual uniqueness of people show that a predictable relationship only occurs 59 percent of the time at best. With the many additional unpredictable growth rate factors attributed to adolescents, it is then not possible to determine a reliable relation between height and shoe size in younger people.


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Cite this page: Nugent, Pam M.S., "Relation Between Height & Shoe Size In Adolescents," in, January 10, 2016, (accessed July 26, 2017).