If you're a woman and you've ever shopped for shoes, then you know at least one thing to be true: There is seemingly no continuity when it comes to how shoes fit your feet. A size eight at Zara is almost guaranteed not to fit like a size eight at ASOS, and it's an absolutely frustrating experience, especially if (like us) you do the vast majority of your shopping online.
The editors over at Racked, knowing the universality of this experience, did an awesome investigation into why different shoe brands fit so differently. They chatted with a number of shoe experts from DSW to Zappos on the subject, who shed some light on the real reason shoes always fit so differently: because the factories where they're produced all use different sizing guides.
"Sizing usually has to do with factories that are used for each brand," Mercedes Mincks, a buyer from Zappos, told Racked. "Some brands will run more narrow and others more wide, and again, this normally has to do with the factories that are being used to produce the shoes."
To illustrate this point, Racked even put together a very helpful chart of different brands' shoe sizes, and how they compare.
So there you have it: The reason your shoes from Topshop fit you differently than your Loeffler Randalls is because the source from which they came probably use vastly different sizing guides. The best solution to this problem? Unless you've worn a brand for a really long time, you should try on shoes before you buy them. It's really the only way to ensure a proper fit.
Head to Racked to read the rest of the fascinating report, and keep scrolling here to shop 17 stylish shoes for this season!
Isabel Marant Amelia Suede and Leather Sandals ($965)