Mondopoint – Why my shoes don’t fit ? (Part 7)

The Mondopoint is the only shoe sizing system which combines the foot-length plus the foot width.

How to determine your Mondopoint shoe size?

a) measure your foot length for example 280 mm
b) measure your foot width for example 100 mm
= your appropriate Mondopoint size: 280/100



The Mondopoint is the measurements of the foot-length plus the foot-width, but for some footwear types like Ski-Boots the Mondopoint is determined only for the foot length.

You can determine your Mondopoint foot length by using the calculators below:


In the previous post of the series “Why my shoes don’t fit (Shoe Sizes)”, we have talked about the different shoe sizing systems and what are they standing for or better, what not for?

Mondopoint is not about the shoe last length – it’s about your foot length

All the different and regional shoe sizing systems are most confusing, because they are assuming that shoe sizes are related to shoe lasts and not to the human foot. Mondopoint should all change this.

Unfortunately many shoe retailers are already canceling the width tag of the Mondopoint. They are focusing in their product descriptions only focusing on length and not considering the foot length anymore, for example:  Mondopoint “280” instead “280/100”.

In our previous posts we’ve discussed about three different shoe types and that it is not correct to assume, if a shoe last has a length off “x” than the shoe size has to be “y”, because each shoe is been designed to its own specifications.

You can’t compare a ski boot with a sandal and say: it’s all about the same length. That’s what the industry is forced to do because there is no other system in place. A conversion table, which includes the length of out foot, is the only help we have, but a shoe size chart (conversion table) can be used only as a kind of indication, it can give us only an idea about our shoe size. We see later why that is.

The shoe industry realized that it can’t go on with this confusion of different conversion tables or regional differences. Shoe sizes have to be related to the foot-length not the shoe last (well thought!) and they came up with a metric system: the Mondopoint.

In 2004 the Swedish Handicap Institute came out with a report, recommending that all suppliers of orthopedic shoes should follow the Mondopoint system, which is been used by the Swedish army and the NATO as well. The Swedish Institute demands too, that more consumer information’s has to be declared by the manufacturers; like shoe-last length, how they’ve been measured etc., to minimize errors and misunderstandings about the shoe fitting. The reason for the shift to Mondopoint was when they came up with a project, where they have tested 5 different shoes from 3 different suppliers and they got the (shocking) result, that all the shoes had a different length! For shoe size 43 they got the following shoe lengths (in mm): 275, 281, 282, 288 and 291.

Of course, this was unacceptable to the Institute:  16 mm tolerances between the smallest and the longest shoe. The conclusion (you guess it right): it has to be Mondopoint.

Well, the good thing about Mondopoint is that, for the first time, the length of the foot and not of a shoe last is been taking in consideration. But not so good is what the Swedish Institute has concluded:

“If a person’s length of the foot is 280 mm and the width of the foot is 110 mm, then the shoe size most appropriate in Mondopoint is 280/110. All shoes marked with 280/110 should fit this person’s foot, without having to try them on!”

My conclusion is that you’ll better try them on, because the Mondopoint system looks to me, that somebody, in some administrative office, has started the work and in the middle of the job he either gave up or got retired and just before that, he submitted his project.

Where is the volume of the foot been taking in consideration in this system? A foot can be slim, strong or even normal formed and they all can have the same measurements in the length and the width isn’t it? That’s simple as that. A foot is three-dimensional and not two. Mondopoint is now the ISO Standard and been used by the NATO and its allies – poor soldiers.

Anyhow, in comparison to the other major shoe sizing systems, the Mondopoint is certainly more user-friendly and has certainly its cons:

  • No more conversion tables are required to determine the appropriate shoe size
  • Shoes using Mondopoint system are often been offered in different variations
  • Customers are getting a better understanding about their feet, as a foot measurement is unavoidable

In my opinion we require a new metric system, which would make more sense to the customers.

For example, if my foot is 28 cm long, my shoe size should be “28”. The shoe width like “25” for 25 cm girth volume all around the joints and finally a shoe could be marked like: “28/25”. Simple and plain, but this may not sound so sophisticated like “Mondopoint”.

At the moment, we could mark and name shoe sizes also after colors, like “my shoe-size is blue or pink” – it would equally make no sense to any consumer. For everything, we need a conversion table. It’s simply not customer friendly.

If we buy a T-Shirt, we are getting at least a fair idea about its sizing. “Medium” or “Large” or “L”and “XL”. As long I can press my tummy in an “M” size and feel, that it looks fine (which is certainly doubtful) it’s certainly not a problem at all, provided I’m somehow able to breathe.

With a wrong shoe size, that’s certainly not such a small issue, like you’ve seen the x-ray pictures in the previous article and considering, that almost 50% of all foot problems are the result of wrong fitted footwear and shoe sizes.

In the next post we will discuss about the shoe width. The width of a shoe is absolute essential for a good shoe fit.

Please feel free to comment, ask or leave a reply or you can download the free shoe guide  with measurement instructions

Andre Gerdes (the new shoe-size inventor)


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