'Bha' Can Be India's Own Shoe Sizing System: Check The Proposed Chart For Males, Females & Kids


Mohul Ghosh

Mohul Ghosh

Apr 23, 2024


India, with its diverse population and burgeoning footwear market, has long struggled with standardized sizing systems for shoes. In a recent development, the South Indian Organised Retailers Association (ORA) spearheaded a pan-India survey to address this issue and pave the way for the introduction of a revolutionary footwear sizing system named ‘Bha’ (भ), aimed at enhancing user experience and streamlining manufacturing processes.

'Bha' Can Be India's Own Shoe Sizing System: Check The Proposed Chart For Males, Females & Kids

Survey Findings and Insights: The extensive survey, conducted between December 2021 and March 2022, encompassed over 1,01,880 individuals across 79 locations, providing invaluable insights into the foot sizes and dimensions of Indians. Contrary to initial hypotheses, the survey revealed that Indians have wider feet compared to Europeans or Americans, necessitating a departure from existing UK/European/US sizing systems. Furthermore, it highlighted the detrimental effects of ill-fitted footwear on foot health, particularly among elderly women and individuals with medical conditions such as diabetes.

Need for an Indian Sizing System: Historically, India has relied on imported sizing systems, such as the UK sizes introduced during the colonial era, which inadequately catered to the diverse foot sizes and dimensions of the Indian populace. With the burgeoning footwear market and increasing online purchases, there arose a pressing need for a standardized Indian sizing system that would not only ensure optimal comfort and fit for users but also streamline manufacturing processes for footwear manufacturers.

Here is the proposed shoe sizing chart:

SizeAge Range
IInfants (0 to 1 year)
IIBabies (1 to 3 years)
IIISmall Children (4 to 6 years)
IVChildren (7 to 11 years)
VGirls (12 to 13 years)
VIBoys (12 to 14 years)
VIIWomen (14 years and above)
VIIIMen (15 years and above)

The Bha Initiative: Proposed as a comprehensive solution to the longstanding challenges associated with footwear sizing in India, the Bha initiative aims to introduce a standardized sizing system tailored to the unique foot sizes and dimensions of Indians. The proposed system comprises eight footwear sizes, ranging from infants to adults, with provisions for half-sizes eliminated to simplify manufacturing processes. Additionally, the system incorporates wider girth measurements to accommodate the broader dimensions of Indian feet.

Implementation and Future Outlook: Following the submission of survey findings and recommendations to relevant government bodies, including the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the implementation of the Bha sizing system is underway. Footwear manufacturers are anticipated to receive prototypes for trial and testing, with the system expected to be fully implemented by 2025


Mohul Ghosh
Mohul Ghosh
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