It has been more than seven decades since independence. India – the country that accommodates one-seventh of humanity, does not have its own footwear sizing system. The country still largely follows the sizing system of the United Kingdom – a small country with just 6.5 crore people less than the state of Rajasthan – just because they had colonised this great civilisation once.
The country of 140 crore people, whose people are very different (in physique, skin tone, and many other human features) from that of the United Kingdom, was following the footwear sizing system of the former colonial empire because, in the last seven decades, no government made efforts to design India’s own system of shoe size.
Even the small country of Canada, with a population less than that of the United Kingdom, which was also a former colony, designed its own footwear sizing system, but India did not. When the MNCs made an entry in India, they came up with a sizing system of their respective countries or regions (the United States system or European Union system), and the people of India, with their colonised mindset, now have to adjust as per all three popular systems (the UK, US, and EU) because it does not have its own footwear sizing system.
Seven decades after the independence, the Modi government is all set to give India its own shoe sizing system. Central Leather Research Institute, a unit of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, is conducting a nationwide survey. The data from the survey will be used to come up with an Indian footwear size standard.
Md Sadiq, the Chief Scientist at CSIR-CLRI, said, “The time has come to educate Indian consumers not only about footwear sizes, but also about right fits and comfort for good health.”
The leather institute will conduct the survey in 94 districts of India including Agra, Ahmedabad, Coimbatore, Chennai, Jodhpur, Jorhat, Jalandhar, Kanpur, Kolkata, Mumbai, Patna, and Shillong which has been estimated to cost around Rs 11 crore.
India needs its own footwear size system because the feet of Indians are broader near the toes, and this forces them to purchase a size bigger than required on the scale of the UK size. However, its own footwear sizing system would eradicate these anomalies, and make India set the standard of South Asia as well as the wider Asia region.
India is the second-largest manufacturer of footwear in the world after China and exports in countries like the UK, followed by Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. Having its own footwear sizing system would ensure that the Indian manufacturers force the Britishers to adhere to their standards instead of continuing to adhere to theirs.