What does size c mean in shoes?

November 14, 2023

What does size c mean in shoes?

Diving into the world of shoe shopping, we often stumble upon mysterious shoe labels that make us scratch our heads. You've probably heard of shoe sizes in numbers, but what's with all the letters? (This isn’t algebra!) And what about length? Width? 

Let’s help you decode it all and help you find shoes that fit.

Most of us waltz into a shoe store, eyeing that perfect pair, rarely paying attention to the width. But did you know that the overlooked letter on a shoe box can be the difference between a jaunty walk in the park and a hobble of discomfort? 

Let’s demystify the elusive size C. It's not just a dimension. It’s a width wonder, and we're zooming in to get the full picture.

Why is shoe width important?

Shoe width is pivotal. Just like you wouldn't squeeze into jeans two sizes too small, you wouldn’t want to cramp your feet into shoes that aren’t the right width. 

Some sneaky issues from wearing the wrong width include:

  • Toe overhang: When your foot width exceeds the shoe base, it can lead to uncomfortable hanging toes.
  • Side pressures: Ever felt your foot being hugged a bit too tight? That's a width issue.
  • Arch discomfort: A misfit in width can mess with the support your arch feels.

Keep this in mind: The right width can elevate your shoe game and dramatically improve the level of comfort you feel in your shoes. Neglecting this could have you wanting to free your feet from your restrictive shoes at the first chance.

What are the different types of shoe widths?

Imagine shoe widths as a kind of secret code in the footwear world. It's a niche language known only to the shoe-savvy but oh-so-crucial to understand if you want happy feet. 

You see, shoe width sizes are like those inside jokes you share with your BFF—cryptic to outsiders but crystal clear to those in the know.

When it comes to width, alphabets are the name of the game. While they might seem random at first, they've got a logic to them.

  • Narrow widths: AAA, AA, A. This is the runway model of shoe widths. Think sleek and slender.
  • Medium widths: B, M (for women) and D, M (for men). Think of these as the every-person width. They're usually a safe bet that will fit most people.
  • Wide Widths: C, D, E (for women) and E, EE, EEE (for men). Stepping into expansive territory, these are for feet that need a little extra room to breathe.

Now, next time you're shoe shopping and stumble upon these width codes, you know how to make smart shoe choices for happier feet!

What does C mean in shoe sizes?

Wading deeper into the shoe pool, you meet size C. Now, we've got to be real here—shoe sizes can be, like, super personalized and customized. 

Similarly, size C isn't your everyday size. It's got its quirks and qualities.

  • For the ladies, a C width is akin to taking that liberating deep breath after a long day. It offers more room than the Bs and Ms, ensuring your feet aren't crying out for mercy at the end of the day. But it's not as expansive as a D or E, keeping things snug without crossing into squeeze territory.
  • As for the gents, size C pulls a chameleon act. It translates to a narrower fit, striking a balance for those who find the standard D a tad roomy. It's that perfect middle ground between the tight embrace of a B and the freer space of a D.

How do you find your shoe width?

Knowing your shoe width is as important as knowing your numerical size. Here's how you can correctly identify your shoe width and join the shoe-savvy:

DIY measuring

Don’t underestimate the power of simple tools! You can ballpark your shoe width with just a ruler and a piece of paper. Lay your foot down on the paper, give it a quick trace, and then measure the width at its widest point. It’s easy-peasy and super handy for those spontaneous online shoe-shopping sprees.

Professional fittings

There's something magical about the old-school method. With their trusty Brannock device, a shoe professional will give you the most accurate measure. If you invest in a quality pair of shoes, why not ensure they fit perfectly from heel to toe and side to side?

The brand shuffle

Here's where things can get a tad tricky. Different brands, especially those from other regions, might interpret sizes in their unique way. 

Remember when you excitedly unboxed shoes from that European brand only to find they weren’t quite right? Brands each dance to their own tune when it comes to sizing, so it’s worth peeking at their charts before clicking buy.

Bottom line? Identifying your shoe width might feel like a chore, but with a little effort and a sprinkle of patience, it's a game-changer. Why settle for good when you can have great? After all, your feet deserve all the comfort in the world. 

Tips for buying size C shoes

Navigating the shoe store for the perfect pair is a journey. And with size C, the path could take an interesting turn.

To guide you on your journey, here are some tips:

  • Understand your need: Find out if size C is the right size for you. Familiarize yourself with the dimensions to get that snug yet comfortable fit.
  • Feel the materials: The make of a shoe can significantly affect its fit. For instance, our Women’s Madrid Eco-Knit, fashioned from recycled plastic bottles, offers stretchiness and breathability.
  • Match the occasion: Whether it's for a night out, an office day, or a brisk walk in the park, always consider the setting. Shoes tailored for specific activities can enhance the comfort and longevity of your footwear.
  • Dive into technology: Modern shoes aren’t just about design. The Lima, for example, is a wide shoe that offers a Rabbit Foam™ outsole. It pushes shoe tech to a whole other level.
  • Break them in gradually: New shoes, regardless of width, often need some breaking in. Instead of wearing them for a full day right off the bat, start with shorter intervals to allow both your feet and the shoes to adjust. It’s all about baby steps.
  • Easy entry: Some shoes, like the Men’s Athens, prioritize effortless wearing. If you’re always on the move or just like simplicity, the Athens' Cage™ hands-free design makes sliding in a breeze. 
  • Invest in quality socks: The right pair of socks can complement a shoe’s fit. Opt for those that match the shoe's purpose—thin for formal shoes, cushioned for athletic shoes.
  • Keep an open mind: Size C isn’t restricted to gender. Many of our standout shoes, from the Men’s Roamer to the Women’s Vegas, offer both men's and women's versions.
  • Mix and match: While width is crucial, consider other shoe features. The Women’s Prague is a beautiful marriage of canvas and suede, not to mention its removable insoles for those needing more customization.
  • Maintenance is key: A little shoe care can go a long way. Regularly cleaning and using protective sprays or creams can extend the life of your size C shoes and ensure they stay comfortable for a long time.

With these tips in your shoe-shopping arsenal, you're not just buying footwear, but investing in comfort, style, and foot health.

Common concerns and myths about width sizing

The realm of shoe widths is rife with myths and misconceptions. Let's debunk a few commonly held beliefs that often misguide shoe shoppers:

Feet forever static

It's a widely accepted myth that once you've sauntered into adulthood, your foot size and width are as unchangeable as a manicure. However, life events like aging, weight fluctuations, and even pregnancy can nudge foot dimensions into subtle change.

The size-up solution

There's this notion that if the width feels off, just size up in length, and voila—problem solved! In practice, this often leads to heel slippage, the awkward shuffle, and a foot that's lost in a shoe that's just too long.

Visible width needs

You know that saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover?" It's time to apply it to shoes. Just because a foot strikes a slender silhouette doesn't mean it has a spacious toe box. Comfort isn't always about how it looks, but how it feels.

Choosing the right pair of shoes is all about combining style and practical knowledge. Be sure you’re aware of how to determine the right size and width for you. 

Bottom line

At Kizik, we believe knowledge is the foundation of a great shoe experience. While the number on the shoe box tells part of your foot's story, the width dimension—be it size C or otherwise—is equally important.

With insights about width, you're now better equipped to make informed decisions that prioritize comfort, fit, and style. Because when your feet are happy, it shows in every step you take. 

How will you know if hands-free Kiziks are right for you? Your feet will tell you! Dive in here.


Incorrectly fitted footwear | PMC

Why your shoe size changes after having a baby | Genesis Healthcare System

Focus on Your Feet! | NIH News in Health

Charles Brannock | Lemelson 

Written By: Chris Fry

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