When the shoe does not fit, it’s time to rethink size measures! And that’s what is happening in India. There may soon be a new sizing system called ‘Bha’ to measure footwear for Indians. Currently Indians use Europeans standards to gauge sizes. The need for a local system for shoe sizes has arisen given the differences in the Indian population’s foot shape and size.

Indian feet are flatter and wider. This was uncovered by a study conducted by The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI) that surveyed over a lakh of people in 79 locations on the size, structure and dimension of an average Indian Foot. The survey found that most Indians wear a size larger since European footwear measures are narrower. The proposed ‘Bha’ system — that is likely to be out by 2025 — is being spearheaded by the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The expectation is that Indians will get better fitting footwear with the ‘Bha’ sizing.