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Indian ‘Bha’ system to replace EU/UK/US shoe sizes, introducing new standard

Wed 24 Apr 2024    
| 2 min read

Chennai: For years, Indians have struggled with discomfort, blisters, and even foot problems due to ill-fitting shoes sized by US or European standards. But a promising solution may be on the horizon with the proposal of a new shoe sizing system called ‘Bha’, developed by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI).

Named after ‘Bharat’, signifying its Indian origin, Bha is a response to a nationwide survey conducted between December 2021 and March 2022. This survey, utilizing advanced 3D foot scanning technology, studied over one lakh Indian feet across diverse locations.

The findings revealed a significant mismatch between Indian foot morphology and existing sizing systems. Indian feet are generally wider, especially among children and teenagers, leading to discomfort and long-term foot problems.

Bha aims to address this issue with eight distinct sizes catering to different age groups and genders. These sizes offer additional length and width for improved comfort. They range from infants to adults, simplifying manufacturing and potentially reducing costs for manufacturers.

Initial trials are proposed for sizes III to VIII, which would cover a large portion of the population, ensuring a better fit for about 85% of Indians.

The potential benefits of Bha implementation include enhanced comfort, improved foot health, a wider variety of shoe styles, and a boost in manufacturing efficiency. Departments recommend providing footwear manufactured according to Bha standards for trial, testing, and feedback.

While Bha is still in the proposal stage, it has garnered significant interest from the footwear industry and is expected to be implemented around 2025. If successful, it could revolutionize the Indian footwear market, providing better-fitting shoes for millions of people.

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