By Joseph Stuto, DPM
March 30, 2017
Category: Foot Facts
Tags: feet size  

These days, it seems like people have bigger feet and are taller than in the past.  I don’t know about you, but teens seem so much taller now than I remember them to be when I was growing up.  Is it the hormones in the milk?  The various preservatives in our food?  It’s hard to tell, but something is definitely different in adolescents now than in the 1970’s with average heights of teens out there, and their seemingly larger feet!

            So, is there a relation between height and shoe size in adolescents?  Shoe size generally is proportional to height, so it’s used in many height-predicting formulas out there.  A lot of the time, these formulas take into account the parents’ height, as well.  However, the results are usually far from reliable.

            Prior to puberty, many kids haven’t had a major growth spurt yet.  In the years following puberty, growth of 3-5 inches each year is common!   A sudden increase in your son’s shoe size at puberty can be indicative of a growth spurt that’s about to happen.  However, shoe size, itself is not a good predictor of your teen’s ultimate height, according to the InteliHealth article “Can We Predict Height?” by Dr. Robert H. Shmerling of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.  In fact, there’s no reliable way to predict a teen’s ultimate height with any precision, according to Shmerling. 

            So, while shoe size is a poor predictor of ultimate height, there is a relationship that exists between the two.  There is a stronger relationship between shoe size and height when you consider girls and boys in separate categories, according to the “Edexcel GCSE Mathematics” textbook by Keith Pledger and Associates.  The formula for boys is height in centimeters equals 4.5 times shoe size plus 140.  Divide your answer by 2.54 to convert it to inches.  You can use this formula to calculate a teen’s existing height based on shoe size or shoe size based on existing height.  Such numbers are estimations, notes Pledger. 

            It’s fun to look at a teen’s shoe size and try to estimate how tall they will be. But truly, nothing but time will really tell.  One thing is definitely true, our feet are super important- big or small! They are often overlooked, until they hurt or itch or get a wart… When these things happen, it’s good to know that skilled podiatrists are out there to help us!  Dr. Joseph Stuto has two convenient Brooklyn locations available for his patients.  Call him if you need him!

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