Last updated on November 16th, 2023 at 10:31 am
Yorkshire is the home of Yorkshire puddings, Dublin is the place to be for a pint of the black stuff, and Edinburgh is well-known for its vibrant Festival Fringe. But where in the UK and Ireland do people have the biggest feet?
We’ve combed through sales data from more than 500 shoezone stores – and made some fascinating discoveries about shoe sizes. Along the way we’ve learned that the average men’s shoe size in the UK is a 9 and the most popular women’s size is a 6. But our research has uncovered much more interesting insights than this.
Read on to discover where all the big-foots are hiding out, and where you’ll find the smallest tootsies.
Men in Hull walk all over Oxford
Nearly 7% of all men’s shoe sales in Hull is for size 12 footwear, while almost 10% in Oxford is for size 6
Oxford might be home to the smartest academics, but Hull rules the roost when it comes to shoe size. The proportion of men who buy size 12 shoes compared to other sizes is greater in Hull than in any other location in the UK and Ireland (6.89%).
At the other end of the scale is Oxford. Around one in 10 men in Oxford have a shoe size of 6 or below (9.82%) – that’s twice as much as Hull (5%).
It just goes to show that while Oxford may be home to one of the world’s most prestigious universities, the best brains don’t necessarily have the biggest feet.
Northern men step it up when it comes to shoe size
Men in the north are 7% more likely to have size 11 or 12 feet than men in the south
From cheap pints to chips with gravy, there are a few cultural quirks that make men in the north immensely proud. And now they have another.
Our research shows that men in northern locations buy more size 11 and 12 shoes than their counterparts in the south, suggesting they have bigger feet. In fact, men in the north are 7% more likely to have a size 11 or 12 feet than men in the south.
Will this settle the north v south debate once and for all? We’re guessing not.
Ladies in Milton Keynes put their best foot forward
15% of women in Milton Keynes are at least a size 8, while one in four women in Bradford are a size 4
While men like to brag about having big feet, women tend to be the opposite – hoping for smaller, daintier feet over battleships.
However, ladies with larger feet are the norm over in Milton Keynes, where over 15% of women’s shoe sales are size 8 or above. The story couldn’t be more different in Bradford. Here, around one-quarter of women (24.9%) take a size 4 or below.
Only time will tell if Bradford is to become better known for this fact, rather than as the home city of One Direction’s Zayn Malik.
Edinburgh can stride with pride next to Glasgow
6.7% of Edinburgh men buy size 12’s – compared with 5% of men in Glasgow
People from Glasgow and Edinburgh have been arguing over which city is better since the beginning of time – but now we know which city is bigger, at least in terms of shoe size. Edinburgh’s just edged it, selling around 2% more men’s size 12’s than Glasgow.
Edinburgh is also Top of the Scots when it comes to the lassies, with 4.2% of women’s shoe sales a size 9 – compared to just 2.1% in Glasgow.
Perhaps that’s why it feels like such a squeeze walking down the Royal Mile…
Scottish men give the Irish the boot
Over 15% of Scottish men’s shoes sold are size 11 or 12’s
Scotland and Ireland may only be separated by the Irish Sea, but there are oceans between them when it comes to shoe size. A whopping 10% of Scotland’s men’s shoe sales are size 11’s, and a further 5.89% size 12’s.
According to our data, Ireland’s men buy the smallest shoes. Our Irish stores sell more small sizes and fewer large sizes than anywhere in the UK. Furthermore, 7.16% of men’s shoe sales in Ireland are for size 6 footwear, and 14.27% for a size 7 – several sizes below the average for UK men.
English women put their foot in it
4% of women’s shoe sales in England is for size 9 shoes, while 8% in Ireland is for size 3’s
English women have the biggest feet in the UK. That’s what our research suggests – 4.4% of our shoe sales in England are for size 9 footwear, more than anywhere else in the UK and Ireland. Meanwhile, Ireland’s women have tinier tootsies than anyone – 8.6% of sales are for size 3’s.
While shoe size remains a peculiar cultural interest in the UK and Ireland, size doesn’t matter to us. You won’t find our staff bragging about how big their feet are – depending on where they’re from, of course.