Today, let's complain about sizes. Oh, not the usual bit about how a size 12 dress isn't what it used to be, and size 000 is the new vanity waif size.
No, shoe sizes. Back in the day, like before I had that child of mine, I wore a size 10 shoe. I became resigned to the fact that it was impossible to buy shoes on sale, because they stocked fewer of the big (and tiny) sizes so by the time shoes were on sale, only the mid range, common sizes were left. Gradually, my feet crept up in size (thank you pregnancy and old age), and now they're a comfortable 11. Happily, I'm not the only one, so where it used to be that shoes ran up to size 10 and stopped, it's pretty common to find an 11 these days.
But a couple of weeks ago, I put on my size 11, purchased after childbirth, barely worn, Keen hiking boots, and groaned. Too small, toes hitting the end of the shoe. Not at all good, given that I need them for our upcoming vacation.
I looked carefully at the label, and noticed that they're marked US-W 11 / Euro 42. Huh, I thought, my Danskos are a 43 - I thought Euro 43 was US-W 11. So I started looking online for boots in a Euro 43, and ended up ordering two pairs from Zappos (free return shipping FTW).
The first pair is marked US-W 11 / US-M 10 / Euro 43:
The second pair is marked US-M 10 / Euro 44:
So - the three pairs of boots marked with three different Euro sizes, but two are the "same" women's size, and two are the "same" men's size.
In other words, there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to shoe sizes either. WHY IS THAT? WHY CAN'T THINGS BE STANDARDIZED? An inch is an inch, a kilogram is a kilogram. How hard would it be to standardize shoe and clothing sizes?
Oh, and I ended up with the Merrell boots - in a men's size 10. My next pair of hiking boots are going to be from the clown shoe department. My 10 year daughter is already wearing a woman's 7 or 7 1/2 shoe; I told her that she was going to be shopping for shoes in the drag queen department when she's full grown.
I hope I haven't scarred her for life.