You might remember my gorgeous, model-tall friend Lydia from her amazing outfits (here and here)? She has very graciously put together this post for anyone that might have a hard time finding shoes in a size that isn’t an average size carried in stores. As an average 8 1/2 myself, I have the problem where I can’t find shoes my size because everyone and their mother has bought them already.
I hope her tips help! Don’t forget to leave Lydia some comment love! Plus, enjoy pictures of her gorgeously organized shoes! I’m having a bit of closet envy over here.
I love shoes. I have boxes and racks for each pair: about 35 pairs last count. I take a photo of each pair and put it on the box for reference because for the first time ever I have choices!
Shoes were tough for me. Like most people, in some area of their wardrobe; I have difficulty. My dilemma? I hate paying retail and I have enormous feet. Fortunately, my feet are in direct relation to my height… I’m 5’11 and wear a size 11- 12. My big feet never bother me until I need something specific, like a satin purple pair for a bridesmaid outfit. Generally, there are plenty of shoe choices even for non-Cinderella types.
Here are my tips for getting awesome shoes for feet that are not your “average” size:
1. Always shop for shoes.
These are the best options for where to find shoes:
– Online. You get the original box, the shoes aren’t beat up and you can find deals quickly. Most shoe sites offer free return shipping too. Some of my favorites are various online flash sales like Gilt Group and Ru LaLa. I have also scored on eBay, Amazon, Piper Lime, and Zappos. When I do online shoe searches, I keep a list handy of the brands I buy often. Brands like: Sam Edelman, Steve Madden, Sofft, Stuart Weizmann, Cole Hann, Delman, Coach, Tory Burch, Banana Republic, and Attilio Giusti Leombruni.
– Shop shoe stores with giant racks crammed with shoes sorted by size, and between 30 and 90% off retail. I go directly to my size and in 10 minutes or less, I’m done. My favorite shoe stores in order: The Rack, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and Ross. (I prefer online sales since shoes on the floor of a store get beat up if they are there long enough to get marked down.)
– Shop at the mall. When browsing shoes I’ll ask up front if they have any sizes in 11 or 12. It beats falling in love with shoe after shoe only to realize that nothing will fit.
2. Keep an open mind.
My main criteria is this: the shoes must fit well, be quality, new-ish, reduced price, and current style. Bonus for metallic leather, my personal vice. Generally, I’m into anything that fits and says “vero cuoio” on the bottom.
3. Take care of your shoes!!!
When you invest time and money in buying cool shoes, take care of them. Keep them organized and separated…not in a pile on the floor or in a shoe bin.
Find a cobbler or leather guy in your area. I repair my shoes until they are outdated. It costs about $30 a pair per year on pointy heels, $15 for heeled boots, and I rarely replace soles. They go out of style before I get that far. I have done this with a particularly cool pair of Coach sandals twice… The going rate for replacing soles is about $60.
I do a quick assessment at the beginning of each season and decide repair or retire. Recently, I saw replacement heel tips at Target in the shoe section… You get 2 pair for $10. It’s only $8-12 to have a professional do it. The verdict is still out on that one. I’d be interested to hear from someone who has tried them…
Happy Fashion Friday!