In 2001, we were commissioned by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health to answer this question: Do Austrian children’s shoes fit?
To find out if a shoe fits, we measure the amount of extra space it offers (for a proper fit, shoes need to be at least 12 mm longer than the length of the feet). This means we needed to measure both children’s feet and their shoes. Measuring feet is easy enough, but in 2001 there was no instrument available for reliably measuring the inside length of shoes. So we developed the plus12, a tool to measure both shoes and feet. And we called it plus12 because when measuring the foot, it automatically adds 12 mm to the length and you know right away how long a properly fitting shoe needs to be.
Originally, the plus12 was developed just to be a helpful tool for our research, but then parents discovered how useful it is.
Measuring the inside length of a shoe
Taking the foot measurement (incl. 12 mm extra space)
How the plus12 works
A 2-minute video about little feet and their shoes
The Children’s Feet – Children’s Shoes research team
Children’s Feet – Children’s Shoes is an independent team of researchers.
2001-2003: Research project “Children’s Feet – Children’s Shoes,” commissioned by the Federal Ministry
2005-2007: Research project “Kids: Healthy feet – healthy life,” commissioned by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health and the Fonds Gesundes Österreich (Fund for a Healthy Austria)
2004: plus12: Tool for measuring children’s feet and shoes
2007: plus12base: A practical accessory for the plus12, a large red plastic foot the plus12 snaps into securely; perfect for retailers
2013: plus12med: Tool for measuring feet and shoes for diabetic patients
2011: plus12fit: A practical cardboard strip for serial measurements; for feet and the inside length of shoes
2019: plus12socks: Innovative socks, perfectly straight along the big toe, developed and made in Austria
2000: KINZ, Wieland: „Kinderfüße-Kinderschuhe. Alles Wissenswerte rund um kleine Füße und Schuhe“. ISBN 3-00-005879-6
2004: KINZ, Wieland: „Kinderfüße-Kinderschuhe. Angewandte Forschung als Grundlage der Gesundheitsaufklärung“. Dissertation, University of Salzburg/ Medical University of Vienna
2014: Klein T, Kinz W, Zembsch A, Groll-Knapp E, Kundi M.: “The hallux valgus angle of the margo medialis pedis as an alternative to the measurement of the metatarsophalangeal hallux valgus angle” BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2014;15:133
2015: Kinz, W., Groll-Knapp, E. & Klein, C: “Kinder in zu kurzen Schuhen”. (Children wearing shoes of insufficient length) Pädiatrie & Podologie 3, 2015.