Hey Garnerstyle: Big Shoes Blues

I get questions all the time.  A lot of them are the same kinds of questions.  I love y'all and I am thoroughly appreciative for your support and questions, but you can imagine how it feels to answer the same question over and over to different people.  A fellow blogger from Wardrobe Oxygen has an awesome questions & answer posts, so I have decided to take cue from her and answer a question from reader.  Hopefully this will help in the sense that we both have reference guides to go back and forth too.   

Oh, I remember these days.  I've been a true size 11 since the age of 11 years old and finding cute shoes that match both your personality and your shoe size can be a pain in the butt.  I know that it's hard to find shoes in an size 11, so anything larger than that is even harder.  Fortunately I pretty awesome at finding large size shoes.  My best friend and ex-roommate played college basketball and stand 6'1 and a great many of her teammates would come visit us.  Some as tall as 6'5 and wearing a size 12 shoe.   As the "fashion friend" and  and fellow "big footer" I would always lend out advice on where to snag cute party shoes in size 11+.  

Finding shoes over a size 11.

Finding shoes over a size 11

Finding shoes over a size 11


Here are some tips for finding larger size shoes:
  • My go-to stores are Ninewest, Nordstrom & Nordstrom Rack ~ They make searching easy and generally have a large shoe sections for even the size 11s and above.  If you are fortunate to live near outlets, Ninewest Outlets have a great selection of size 12s.  
  • Try and different brands and so you can familarize yourself with how they fit.  I never have a hope of wearing Manolos, Jimmy Choo or Christian Loubitins, because they run narrow and small, even in a size 12 I can't wear those shoes.  My feet resemble those of Fred Flintstone (thanks Mom!).  I can, however, wear Valentino, they run fairly normal in size.  
  • When you see it, buy it.  I've always had a snatch and grab theory when it comes to shoes.  They are so hard to find that when find a pair that is perfect for you then buy it.  I promise it won't be there later. 
  • Plus size retailers like Torrid, Lane Bryant, an often do carry shoes in larger sizes and in wider widths, so make sure you are always looking at those places just in case something fabulous comes along.
  • Repair, repair, repair.  Like a good man, size 11+ fabulous shoes are hard to find.   Instead of tossing your favorite pair of shoes that become damaged, get them repaired.  Better yet, do a little preventative care on your shoes so that they will last longer.   You can have the soles reinforced for a small fee.  
  • eBay!!! Fabulous & unique shoes are sold on eBay all the time in size 11s or larger.  
  • Just like plus size clothing, these retailers are starting to realize that there is a large market of women who wear a size 11+, so they are starting to cater to that girl.  Get your google search on periodically to just see who's carrying those size 11s, 12s, & 13s. 
  • Finally, know that you are going to be on the hunt.  You want fabulous shoes they are not just going to jump up and say, "Here I am!"  Don't get discouraged when you don't find what you want, just keep looking.  Persistence will pay off, I promise!
If you have any suggestion on finding larger size shoes please share with a comment.  Got a question that you would like to be answered, send it to my message box at the Garnerstyle Facebook Page.  I can't guarantee that everyone's question will be featured, but you know I will try.  

5 comments

  1. Thank you for this post. I wear 12w and have hardest time finding shoes that fit properly. I usually go to my "Go To" store which is Payless but you have open m eyes to different shoe sources that offer larger sizes. Thanks!!!

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  2. Barefoot tess is pretty good too. I wear 13 w standing at 6 feet tall and being plus sized, hard to find, and now I have become a shoe hoarder ...

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  3. I have had big feet all my life now i am wearing size 12.
    I noticed that EVANS store in the U.K carry very fashionable shoes in big sizes
    I live in Canada so i order from there websites instead
    If i am desperate i buy from payless

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  4. Ok this suggestion is going to sound outrageaous but it's something I have suggested to many clients and it worked for them. I have pretty small narrow feet, shoes are the only thing I have an easy time buying (trying being a short plus size girl who is apple shaped with enormous boobs, scrawny arms and legs and very narrow shoulders). I have quite a few clients that wear 11,12, and 13. I also used to hang out with a few drag queens who always had fabulous shoes. So about 15 years ago (before we could find everything on the internet) I suggested to a client that she try heading up to San Francisco and checking out the stores that the queens bought thier shoes at. Not only will you find shoes to fit longer feet, if you also have wide feet this is a great solution. Plus who has nicer shoes than drag queens, seriously. One of my clients still drives up to SF every few months to hit the shops. If you live in a big city, you should be able to find a store that caters.

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  5. ww.barefoottess.com is my go to store and I am 6'3 and wear a size 14. I have been shopping here for many years, and they never disappoint:)

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