Anne Notations

Friday, November 03, 2006

Dem big-shoe blues

Will it come to this - slippers as high fashion footwear?

Until my pregnancy in 1992, I wore a women's size 10 shoe. That's a big foot, all right, and one I came by honestly: Mom wore a 10; Dad was a 13. But worse was in the offing.

After Kevin was born, I discovered my feet had grown a half-size ... permanently. I gave away all but my sandals and began to search for shoes that fit. That's when I learned that my new size - 10.5 medium - does not exist. At least not in the inventories of department stores and moderate-priced shoe stores.

Some salespeople have told me that shoes aren't made in my size. They lie. But finding an actual 10.5 women's shoe can take you on a byzantine chase that rivals the plot of The DaVinci Code, minus the self-flagellation.

While I do own shoes, very few of them are 10.5s, and my feet are often uncomfortable. I have size 10s that run big or are open-backed or open-toed. I have 11s stuffed with Dr. Scholl insole pads to make them fit smaller. I have two pairs of Naturalizer pumps in 10.5 that fit pretty well but aren't made for walking. I have a couple of pricey shoes in European sizes - my size 41 Joseph Seibel oxfords, my size 42 Ecco clogs. At upwards of $100 a pair, I have to ration such purchases.

This fall I tried on every shoe I owned and ditched all the 11s that slipped off my heels, all the 10s that rubbed and pinched. Then I hit the Internet.

Out of six pairs of shoes I bought on eBay and in the past two weeks, one fits really well. It's a scrumptious pair of shearling house slippers. Talk about happy feet! So I've been wondering: Can I create an edgy fashion statement at the office with my cozy slippers? No ... I didn't think so. The Internet is great, but for someone who must try on every pair of shoes to check for fit and comfort, it's a cumbersome shopping solution. All those boxes to mail back!

Why can't I cruise through Marshall's like my friends and buy shoes off the racks? Why can't I shop for shoes at Macy's when they have amazing sales? You bet I am singin' dem big-shoe blues, mama.

Note to stores and manufacturers: There is no reason, none, why women's feet should come in whole and half sizes but not in TEN AND A HALF. So how about making and selling shoes for me and my big-foot sisters? We have feet and we have money. I think you need us.


  • Just a thought, Anne -have you tried It's fabulous - free shipping, free returns, and you can search by size, style, price, etc. I checked out of curiousity, and they seemed to have lots of 10.5s. Good luck!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Nov 03, 05:11:00 PM EST  

  • Thanks, Anonymous. I have ordered from Zappos -- that may be where I got my 10.5 Naturalizers. Often the 10.5's on Zappos and similar sites are in very pricey brands, though. But I'll keep an eye on 'em! I just wish brick-and-mortar stores carried 10.5s so I could actually try them on without hauling shoeboxes to the post office. - Anne

    By Blogger AnneD, at Fri Nov 03, 10:29:00 PM EST  

  • Oy vey, I hear you. My Nan has the same problem. One of her feet is a half-size smaller than the other as well, so that makes finding shoes near-impossible.

    By Blogger BrideOfPorkins, at Sat Nov 04, 01:18:00 AM EST  

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