My Feet Are(n't) Too Big

I teetered on six inches of heel and 1 inch of platform as I dragged the slightly too big, studded lattice sandal/boots along the clearance aisle wishing they were just half a size smaller. Had they fit the teetering would have stopped and the buying would have started. I tore through the clearance racks hoping against hope for a size 10 1/2. No dice.

"Those are incredible!" said a women also trying on shoes in my aisle.
"Thanks," I replied. "I want them, but they're a little big."
"I wish I could wear shoes like that." she said. "My feet are too big for big shoes. I wear a 10."
"I wear a 10 1/2 or 11. I love statement shoes!" I responded.

She isn't the first woman I've met who said the size of her feet required her to find dainty looking shoes. Big feet means no "big" shoes for a lot of women. I read several tweets about this during the Twitter party we hosted last month. Many women never even pick a shoe up because they think their feet will look too big.

My mom and I have the same size feet, and my mom rarely lets the size of her feet stop her from wearing fun shoes. In fact, Mom and I usually celebrate if a crazy shoe actually comes in anything larger than a 10. Because of my mom's shoe fetish, I've never had a problem buying "big" shoes. (Side note: My mom is short so big shoes on big feet don't only work for tall women.)

I will concede that some shoes may take on clown proportions on larger feet. Super pointy flats make any foot several inches longer, which means my feet look boat-like. And, yes, some comfort shoes with thick soles and overly-rounded, deep toe-boxes look like clown shoes. I would argue they look like clown shoes even on little feet, but I'll admit bigger feet make those particular kind of shoes a little worse. (Another side note: Many of the women I meet who complain about their feet looking big are wearing Crocs of Uggs. Anyone wearing those shoes is not allowed to complain.)

Lattice sandals, glittery pumps, studded boots, gladiators, and sky high heels with platforms all look great on my big feet. The length of my feet actually makes it possible for me to comfortably wear higher heels than many of my small-footed friends. (Yet another side note: The higher the heel + the longer the pants = the smaller my foot looks). I'd love to bet most women with large feet would be surprised by bold shoes if they'd only give them a chance. Often a big shoes work better on a larger foot because it doesn't overwhelm the foot. I think there is usually a nice balance there.

Does your foot size (large or small) dictate the kinds of shoes you buy or try? In what ways?


Sarah Dee said…
Im on the opposite side of the spectrum, size 4.5 to 5 and if its any bigger than its too bad so sad, its sucks though because most stores start at size 6 and that really limits my shoe addiction

Cyndle said…
I too have large feet--usually a 10.5 but my shoes run from 10 to 11, depending on the brand. I LOVE bold accessories and shoes, and have never even considered not buying a shoe that I liked if it fit me properly. I am quite tall though (5'10") so I think it's all long. Often a bold shoe can actually minimize the length of feet anyway. I say rock on in the big shoes, no matter your foot size!
Someone said…
It is so true that my size 5.5-6's can't wear super sky-highs, 'cause the pitch can be way too steep.

I have always been slightly annoyed that though a shoe comes in different sizes they have the same height heel.
ElyseEleanor said…
yeah, i can almost never find good heels in a 5 or 5 1/2. It's so frustrating. I can wear flats in a 6 but never heels. I bought a pair of adorable Vince Camuto brown leather lace up booties that have like, a 4 or 4 1/2 inch heel, and they're size 4, but I have no idea why i thought it would be a good idea to buy them. I can't walk in them at all because the slope is just too high. It makes me so sad!
Jael Paris said…
I'm with you ladies on high heels for small feet. You'd think they'd scale it.
rachel said…
I think shoes should be built to scale no matter the size. A shoe that has a cute buckle going across the toe box might look fabulous in a size 7. Go down to a 5 (if the manufacturer is willing to make a last that small) and bam! There's too much buckle and too little shoe. Go to a 10 and the shoe overwhelms the cuteness. Textures, adornments, heels, and everything else should all be the right scale for the shoe size. Unfortunately, there are only a few (expensive of course) brands that consider that.

Also, I'll totally wear "big" shoes on my size 12 feet, even if they put me at 6'4", so long as they fit and are comfy.
nessa5207 said…
i wear a size 10 as well and im so embarrassed by it..i hate going and buying shoes..the ones i like they dont have in my size because all they carry are smalls and i don't like asking for a size 10..i normally end up in shoes that do not flatter my feet.. i wear nike shocks and a size 10 in those really make things look worse. i ordered some shoes cause they didn't have my size and the guy said what size do you wear?ummm a 9 1/2 yeah i paid $120 for shoes that are to small yes it sounds horrible!! i dont wear heels it would be cool i guess have to say never tryed it but i don't have the confidence either. I am 5'6 26 years old with an average body size and everyone says im beautiful but not with huge wide feet.i never know what to buy :(
becca said…

Try brands that make comfy shoes for larger feet like Naturalizer, Fitzwell, Clarks, Aerosoles, and such. Buy them online because you're right about stores not carrying larger sizes. And start by ordering from Zappos because the shipping is free and you can afford to order shoes just to try them on and learn your size.

And heels can make your feet look smaller if that is a concern for you. Just go for round or almond toes (never pointy-it makes the foot longer) and a slim heel or wedge. Avoid clunky if you want petite looking feet. Also, wear long pants with heels so just your toe peeks out (but makes sure the shoes have cute toes). You'll have petite looking feet in no time.

Also, be proud! I'm 5'7" with size 11 feet so yours are pretty proportional to your height. Have fun, and don't care what others think of your foot size.

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