When I was a kid, my feet were so huge, people would ask my mother if I was deformed. I distinctly remember sitting in the children’s section of a department store while a sales clerk, kneeling down to measure my shoe size with one of those metal Brannock devices, asked out of the side of his mouth if I had an accident or if I was born that way. “We don’t make kids’ shoes in a size 11 or 12,” I heard him say. “Maybe try the men’s department.”
Thankfully, I grew up to be 6 feet tall, so my feet go with the rest of me. And now it’s much more common for women to have larger shoe sizes. In fact, the average shoe size for women has increased to between 8.5 and 9, up from 7.5 in the 70s. Nevertheless, finding shoes is still a headache for many of us. Even in large-scale, urban shopping areas like New York City, the majority of retailers don’t carry above a size 10, or if they do, they’re always conveniently sold out in stores. In a world that can put a man on the moon, it astounds me that we can’t wrap our heads around women’s shoes.
So, while brands and retailers continue to dilly-dally, here’s a cheat sheet of online sites that carry large women’s shoes, sizes 11 and up. Bookmark away!