India Introduces New 'Bha' Shoe Sizing System for Better Fit Across Age Groups

India to introduce new 'Bha' footwear sizing system by 2025, tailored to Indian foot dimensions, aiming to enhance comfort and streamline manufacturing for the world's largest consumer base.

Dil Bar Irshad
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India Introduces New 'Bha' Shoe Sizing System for Better Fit Across Age Groups

India Introduces New 'Bha' Shoe Sizing System for Better Fit Across Age Groups

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is set to introduce a new footwear sizing system called 'Bha' (भ) by 2025, aiming to replace the current reliance on UK/European and US sizing standards. The 'Bha' system, based on a comprehensive pan-India survey measuring foot sizes across various age groups, will incorporate both foot length and width to ensure a more comfortable fit for Indian consumers.

Unlike the existing Indian Standard IS 1638:1969, which aligns with European and French standards, 'Bha' will feature eight simplified sizes tailored to fit different age groups. The new system is anticipated to enhance the fit for an estimated 85% of the Indian population and streamline footwear manufacturing by eliminating half-sizes and offering wider dimensions with an extra 5mm allowance for foot length.

The impetus for developing 'Bha' comes from a survey conducted by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), which found that Indian feet are generally wider than European or American feet. The survey also revealed that the average Indian foot size grows until age 11 for women and 15 or 16 for men.

Why this matters: The implementation of 'Bha' could transform the Indian footwear market by enhancing comfort, improving foot health, encouraging a wider variety of shoe styles, and streamlining manufacturing processes. As the largest footwear consumer base in the world, a localized sizing system catering to Indian foot dimensions has significant implications for both consumers and the industry.

The 'Bha' system is scheduled for implementation by 2025 and will undergo rigorous user trials involving approximately 10,000 participants aged between 5 and 55 over the course of a year. "The goal of the 'Bha' system is to transform the Indian footwear industry and cater to the needs of the largest population in the world," stated a CLRI spokesperson. The new sizes will be certified by the BIS to ensure quality control and testing, setting the stage for a more comfortable and healthier footwear experience for Indians across all age groups.

Key Takeaways

  • BIS to introduce new 'Bha' footwear sizing system by 2025 to replace UK/EU and US standards.
  • 'Bha' based on pan-India survey, incorporates foot length and width for better fit for 85% Indians.
  • 'Bha' to have 8 simplified sizes tailored for different age groups, eliminating half-sizes.
  • Survey found Indian feet generally wider than European/American, grow until 11 for women, 15-16 for men.
  • 'Bha' aims to transform Indian footwear market, enhance comfort and foot health, streamline manufacturing.