Best foot forward: Will local sizes help?

To replace a size system we inherited from the British Raj, Bha proposes eight footwear sizes, covering infants to adults.
To replace a size system we inherited from the British Raj, Bha proposes eight footwear sizes, covering infants to adults.

Summary

  • An Indian shoe size system has been developed by researchers after a pan-India survey that involved taking 3D scans of Indians' feet to study how they are typically shaped. Are we going to get better shoe comfort if it’s adopted?

As India strives for more locally made stuff, here’s one more thing that could join the list: a shoe size system. Christened Bha, it has been developed by researchers at the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research–Central Leather Research Institute (CSIR–CLRI), which works under the ministry of commerce, after a pan-India survey of 101,880 individuals that involved taking 3D scans of their feet to study how Indian feet are typically shaped. 

They were found to be wider than Western ones. To replace a size system we inherited from the British Raj, Bha proposes eight footwear sizes, covering infants to adults. The British system has 10 sizes, but is wasn’t made with the rest of the world’s feet in mind. Footwear designed for Indians based on Bha can be expected to offer greater comfort. 

This is part of the pitch for a switchover by India’s footwear industry. CSIR-CLRI has submitted its recommendations to the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, also under the ministry of commerce, which has reportedly forwarded them to the Bureau of Indian Standards for approval. Shoppers, of course, would be curious to see what difference it makes.

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