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J Foot Ankle Surg. 2011 Jul-Aug;50(4):391-4. doi: 10.1053/j.jfas.2011.04.030. Epub 2011 May 26.

Foot and shoe size mismatch in three different New York City populations.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York, NY 10003, USA.


Proper shoe size is an important element of foot health, especially in the elderly and diabetic populations. An improper fit can lead to pain, functional limitations, and falls. The aim of the present study was to determine the proportion of adults who are unaware of their own shoe size in 3 different New York City populations: a foot specialist private practice, an academic diabetic foot and ankle clinic, and a charity care center, the Bowery clinic, serving the homeless. A shoe size mismatch was defined as a difference of at least 0.5 in size between the measured foot and the shoe size. Demographic data were collected during the examination and retrospectively by chart review. A total of 235 volunteers participated in our study. A significant difference in the prevalence of the measured foot and shoe size mismatch was found between the cohort from the private practice compared with both the diabetic foot and ankle clinic and the Bowery clinic (P < .01 and P < .01, respectively). A significant difference was also detected (P < .05) between the private practice and the Bowery mission cohort when a difference of at least 1.5 sizes was present between the measured foot and the shoe size. Of those with a foot to shoe size mismatch, 60% had a difference of more than 0.5 in the shoe size between their right and left foot. In conclusion, our findings suggest that proper footwear sizing is lacking among a large proportion of our patients and that an adequate shoe size can be achieved with proper counseling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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