Why finding larger shoes is a big feat

None of us are average – whether we’re tall, short, curvy or straight, we all have something about us which means we can never just walk into a shop and find what we want straight away! My producer, Natalie, who is nearly 6 foot and blessed with size nine feet shares some of her tips to find shoes that actually fit.

I’m not the girliest girl but I do love shoes. Unfortunately shoes have not always loved me.

I’m 5’11 (and a half) and have size 9 feet.

When I was younger I was plagued with a lack of self confidence about my height and my shoe size.

For many years I walked with a slump which I thought made me look dainty. It was interpreted as me being a moody teenager when actually I was just trying to fit in with everyone who hadn’t yet reached their full height.

It isn’t easy when you’re at school and the only shoes that are available to you are trainers or men’s brogues, which ironically have come back into fashion and I am a regular brogue wearer now. If only they had been considered fashionable then!

Shoe companies have got better with their sizes but you still have to look a bit harder to find shoes in a size larger than an 8.

I have noticed that a lot of shoes in my size have enormous heels which would be fine if I wanted to look like an Amazonian princess who’s an admirer of skyscrapers, but I’ve never possessed the ability to walk in heels without looking like I’m starring in a one woman version of Bambi on ice.

I refuse to wear shoes that cause me pain no matter how pretty or graceful I’m told they make me look by an over eager shop assistant. I don’t think I’ll look either of those things if every step feels like someone’s rubbing a cheese grater on my feet. They’ll just end up looking pretty and graceful whilst gathering dust in my wardrobe.

Big shoes on the high street

New Look – nude pastel stripe raffia low wedgesThe companies I’m going to mention do have larger shoes but it’s quite rare for them to stock them instore so I find it best to order online.

Starting with the high street — if you’re on a budget then a good place to begin is New Look. Some of the bigger stores do stock larger sizes. I’ve bought some great boots that I’ve had to reheel but have lasted for several years. They also have a really nice collection of low-heeled wedge sandals at the moment.

Next is also very good for shoes and a quick glance at their website reveals that most styles do go up to a size 9. So whatever heel height, style or colour you desire you will probably find it here. It is however very rare to find them instore so you’ll need to order your shoes online.

I’ve just discovered Dorothy Perkins now do shoes in my size. I haven’t managed to track any down yet instore but the website carries a good selection of shoes and boots for reasonable prices. They seem to have regular sales on their shoe collections so it’s worth checking the website regularly if the shoes you fancy are currently out of your price range.

If you’re looking to spend a little bit more money and invest in some good quality footwear then an excellent website is I buy all my ballet flats from here — they are so soft and do not rub or blister your feet.
Tallgirls has a fantastic selection of shoes and boots for every occasion. And if you’re tall as well then their clothing range is also excellent.

A friend suggested that I try Russell & Bromley. They have a good range of shoes in size 9. Most of them are over £100 but they will be incredibly well made and a good investment.
I’ve put together a very attractive wish list on the site and, although I haven’t purchased any yet, I am enjoying staring at them when I feel a shoe craving.

And then there’s Long Tall Sally. Again, it’s probably best to go online. There are a few shops around but they tend to be ’boutique’ — the fashionable word, I believe, for the smaller-sized venue. They have a good range of slightly more expensive styles but they are excellent quality.

Shoe shopping used to be hell on earth for me. I’d rather have booked in a dentist appointment followed by an afternoon watching some paint dry than try and locate some suitable footwear. Now however there are so many more options available. I feel my love for shoes is being finally being reciprocated.

[Picture credit: Next and New Look]