Monday, February 01, 2010

Bigger feet – galosh!

Traditionally the wellington boot is slightly different from Galoshes (from French: galoches), also known as gumshoes, dickersons, or overshoes. These are a type of rubber outer shoe that is slipped over shoes to keep them from getting muddy or wet. The origin of the gaulish or gallicae came from France (Gaul) in antiquity. The conquering Romans found the local people wearing a form of sabot i.e. a leather upper and a sole carved of wood, and used it as boot style to protect themselves from the inclement weather. Today galoshes and wellington boots are more or less synonymous and are now almost universally made of rubber (sometimes known as ‘rubbers’).Charles Goodyear and Leverett Candee revolutionised the gum boot industry with rubber vulcanization in 1890.
With the prospect of a winter thaw ahead, sales in wellington boots has once again soared in the UK. Hunter Wellington boots are the snow friendly galosh of choice. The practical footwear for the season have mass appeal with the classic racing green, fail-safe black and the or more bold bright pink all selling well.

Something that may come as a surprise to many buying wellies is according to a recent survey released by Debenhams womens’ shoe sizes are getting bigger. In the past five years, average ladies shoe sizes have increased from UK size 5 (US size 7) to a UK size 6 (US size 8), with larger sizes 9 and 10 also in higher demand. Appears human morphology is on the increase and as a species we are getting bigger and taller. 3 decades back the standard women's shoes size was a 4 (US 6), and sixty years ago, the average size in the UK was a 3 1/2. Experts believe a contributory factor to this apparent size spurt relates to modern diets of high density processed foods which stimulate growth hormones during puberty. Another study reported obesity in children was a leading factor in bigger feet because increased body mass could lead to the foot “pancaking” under excess weight.

Despite the increase in foot size it appears according to another survey revealed that 4 out of 10 women bought shoes knowing they do not fit; and nearly two out of 10men did the same.


Lucy said...

Great post! As an owner of not-so-small tootsies I loved your facts about our feet getting bigger - it proves we should not be ashamed of having a bit bigger feet, and just make sure we choose the right styles and fashions to suit them!

Pam Walter said...

Yay! As someone who wears a size 11, I'm hoping this trend results in more choices.

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