This section is from the book "The Manufacture Of Boots And Shoes: Being A Modern Treatise Of All The Processes Of Making And Manufacturing Footgear", by F. Y. Golding. Also available from Amazon: The Manufacture Of Boots And Shoes.
Measurements of the foot are taken for two purposes, either to make boots and shoes to the order of a customer who requires some individual peculiarity to be suited; or for ascertaining data for studying and arranging average proportions and relations. The method adopted for the first purpose must not only record girths and lengths, but must give provision for indicating shape that may be the cause of the required measurement. The system must also be such that it will be practicably adaptable to the various persons through whose hands it may have to pass, and should record as automatically as possible the position or location of the girth-measurements, thereby preventing any misunderstanding on the part of the makers. The test of a method is its simplicity, combined with accurate and definite information of the characteristics of the foot, that enables a faithful reproduction to be made without liability to error. The first essential to this desirable end is that uniform and correct measuring apparatus should be provided ; secondly, the same system of measuring the foot and the last should prevail; and, thirdly, the "allowances" should always be made either by the measurer or the makers, and not by both, or it may be neither.
When taking measurements, etc., for the compilation or comparison of foot statistics, minute accuracy is more desirable, and apparatus that would be tedious to employ in the measurements for ordinary bespoke may be used with advantage.
The Size-Stick, used to take the measurements of length, consists of a piece of hard wood - usually boxwood suitably shaped, and about 18 in. in length. At one end is fixed an upright, forming the beginning of the stick, and another similar upright is made to slide on the stick, which may be adjusted to the object to be measured, giving the shortest length through the body from back to front, as L in Fig. 47. In detail of construction several varieties exist, those having a brass insertion upon which is engraved the divisions (thereby preventing shrinkage to any appreciable extent), and that have a screw or spring (enabling the movable upright to be fixed when required), being among the best; while those made with joints so that they may be folded are among the least desirable. Fig. 48 gives an illustration of a standard size-stick, with English and French markings. The uprights are also marked with divisions of inches, enabling heels and "springs" of lasts to be measured. The English sizes marked on the upper edge between the uprights are one-third of an inch, and, strangely, commence notation at 41/3 in. from the fixed upright. The numbering of the sizes continues in regular order up to thirteen, when the notation begins again at one. The French sizes (Paris points) are one-third of two centimetres, but begin at the end of the scale, continuing in regular notation throughout the stick. This is a great advantage, and prevents the dual scale of one to thirteen. The inches are usually divided into one-eighths, and the centimetres into one-tenths, and 13 in. approximate 33 centimetres. The frontispiece that faces the title-page gives a full scale of inches (divided into one-ninths) side by side with English shoe sizes. It also shows centimetres and Paris points.
Tape Measures have the sizes printed on one side, and usually inches divided into one-eighths on the other. They should be of good quality, and as unstretchable as possible.* If the sub-divisions are in one-ninths instead of one-eighths, it will be more applicable to the proportions required in the industry. Size tapes and sticks should be tested with a steel standard before use, and the former occasionally during use, preventing any errors through stretching. At the complete inches the sizes are as follows :
4 inches ............... 0 size 9 inches ............ 2 size
5 ,, ............... 3 ,, 10 ,, ............ 5 ,,
6 „ ............... 6 „ 11 „ ............ 8 „
» ,, ..... ......... 9 ,, 12 ,, ............ 11 ,,
8 ,, ............... 12 ,, The Measurer should be a careful person, and have sufficient experience to be able to record the peculiarities and differences of the foot measured. The differences between the length and girths of the foot, when measured on the ground with the weight of the body on it, and when taken with the weight off the foot, should be understood. In an average adult male foot the difference in measurements of length, joint, instep, and heel girths, and width of bottom are respectively, 3/8 in., 3/8 in., 1/4 in., 3/8 in., and § in.
* Paper scales printed on good Manilla paper are desirable, and, being cheap, may be renewed often.
4 inches ............... 0 size
5 " ............... 3 „
6 » ............... 6 „
8 " 12 „
9 inches ............ 2 size
10 „ ............ 5 „
11 „ ............ 8 „
12 „ ............ 11 „
The Measurer should be a careful person, and have sufficient experience to be able to record the peculiarities and differences of the foot measured. The differences between the length and girths of the foot, when measured on the ground with the weight of the body on it, and when taken with the weight off the foot, should be understood. In an average adult male foot the difference in measurements of length, joint, instep, and heel girths, and width of bottom are respectively, § in., 3/8 in., 1/4 in., 3/8 in., and § in less than when the foot is measured with the full weight of the body on it. In the average adult female foot these differences would be, length, 3/9 in,; joint, 1/4 in.; instep, 1/4 in.; heel, 1/4 in.; bottom width, 1/4 in. The corresponding differences in a child's foot would be, length, 1/4 in.; joint, 1/4 in.; instep, 1/4 in.; heel, 1/8 in.; bottom width, 3/16 in.