I’ve always been a tall girl- the tallest girl in the class, the tallest on the soccer team, the tallest in the family. By 3rd grade I wore a size 7 shoe, so I’d steal my aunt’s shoes and wear them to school- the cutest platform sandals ever, that no 3rd grader should be wearing, let alone to run around the playground. My battle with big feet has been a life-long challenge, but I’m here to tell you that if you’re also on #TeamBigFeet, finding cute shoes in your size is possible!
At 5 feet 10 inches (yep, I’m almost six feet tall!), I wear a size 12 shoe. Of my 4 sisters who all teeter around 5 feet 7 inches, most of them wear a size 10 shoe. My mom, who’s 5 feet 8, wears a 10 wide, and my dad wears a men’s 12 at 5 feet 9, so the big feet curse is certainly hereditary. (My husband is also tall with big feet, so while Narayan isn’t even 2 years old yet, he wears a size 8.5 shoe, which is the average shoe size of a 4 year old)!
Junior high was rough. I remember going back to school shopping and not being able to find any size 11’s, so I would squeeze my feet into size 10’s and have trouble walking around campus. By the time P.E. rolled around midday, I was relieved to take off my shoes and walk around the gym barefoot for the few minutes I had before putting on sneakers that were also at least a size too small. After spraining both feet from stuffing them into shoes that didn’t fit, I saw a podiatrist who warned me that if I didn’t stop squishing my feet into shoes, I would develop hammer toe and much worse. At that moment, I made it my mission to find shoes that fit, and it was HARD, so say the least.
By High School my foot was a true 12, but I could stand to wear an 11, so I was happy with Sketchers and cute flats and sandals I’d find at Payless, along with a couple UK brands I found in San Francisco at some of the upscale boutiques. Until I found Steve Madden, I really didn’t have any hope of ever wearing shoes that were cute and actually fit comfortably. During college I lived in flip-flops, so shoes that fit properly weren’t that important, but once I entered the working world, I needed shoes appropriate for the office. Thankfully, Nordstrom came to the rescue with a few brands that exceeded size 11, which today has grown into a long list of brands that carry some amazing styles in my size 12 and beyond. From that point on, I found countless brands that carried 12’s and my shoe closet continues to grow, sometimes with the same shoe in multiple colors!
Online Shopping Tips
Always Filter by Size – It saves time browsing the entire site and shows you only what’s available in your specific size, preventing epic let downs when something cute isn’t available in your size!
Follow the Size Chart – All sizes aren’t created equal, so it can be worth trying different sizes in different brands. Sizing varies depending on where shoes are made. (Shoes made in Spain and Italy tend to run a half to full size smaller than shoes made in other countries).
Read the Reviews – Reviews written by fellow consumers can can make or break your choice to buy, saving you time, money and return shipping costs.
Contact Customer Service or Live Chat – If you have questions about sizing or wonder whether a sold out style is available in store, don’t be afraid to ask!
Here’s a list of my go-to sites and brands that carry amazing shoes over size 10 (wide widths are noted):
Zappos (up to size 20, including Wide)
Nordstrom (up to 14, including Wide)
Nordstrom Rack (up to 14, including Wide)
Sam Edelman (up to 13)
Dillard’s (up to 13, including Wide)
Long Tall Sally (up to 15)
Asos (up to 12)
Torrid (up to 13 Wide)
Nine West (up to 12)
Eloquii (up to 12 Wide)
Lane Bryant (up to 12 Wide)
Old Navy (up to 11)
Sole Society (up to 11)
Target (up to 11)