Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Because Size Matters: Foot Size Survey

I've been talking a lot about sock sizing of late.

When sizing socks, foot circumference is the key measurement. For the vast majority of sock designs, the length of the foot is controlled simply by working fewer or more rounds in that section- totally independent of the number of stitches you cast on.

When sizing shoes, foot length is the primary measurement. This means that all of the information out there in the world about foot size is focused on foot length.

Since foot length is remarkably unrelated to foot circumference - small feet can be wide, long feet can be narrow - telling me your shoe size tells me very little about how big your socks should be. A lot of the time, when designers are creating socks, we're guessing about how they should be sized.

With help from my friends and collaborators at Sock Summit, Knitty and Cooperative Press, I'm trying to change this. I'm launching a foot size survey, and I'm hoping you can help us out.

Send email to footsurvey@wisehildaknits.com with the following info:
  • Your shoe size: US or European size & gender (e.g. US Women’s size 8)
  • Your foot length
  • Ankle circumference around the narrowest part of your ankle
  • Foot circumference around the ball of your foot
  • Circumference around your foot at your ankle
  • Diagonal measurement around your heel, from the base of your heel up over the top of your foot
  • Circumference of your calf six inches (15cm) up from the ground

And if you can talk your friends and family into letting you measure their feet, we’d love that info too.

We'll crunch the data and come up with a set of measurements that we will publish here, through knittyblog.com and the Cooperative Press website, for all sock designers to use.

Thank you! Your reward for participation will be better sized sock patterns for everyone - and our eternal gratitude, of course!


Natural fibre girl said...

My tape measures are ready for knitting class tomorrow.
This is a terrific idea... thank you so much for re-working the numbers again...

Anonymous said...

Men's and womens? Do you need to know?

TracyKM said...

I have several sock knitting books with all this info/measurements in it; I assumed designers worked with these same "standard" measurements....
I thought I was average until I made a Cookie A pattern and my calf was WAY bigger than the largest size, but my ankle was smaller...is it even possible to have "standard" sizes? LOL. I'll take my measurements tomorrow and email them!

anachronist said...

Having probs with swelling, I will send you measurements taken in the evening, since this is, what the socks have to give in stretch, hope, this does not screw up the survey.