Size: 12| Age: 19| Mississippi, USA
If I ask almost any girl of today’s world what their shopping addiction consists of, the answer will most likely be makeup, clothes, and/or shoes. For girls with larger feet like me, the third category is not an option. At 19 years old and standing at 5’9″, my feet have reached a women’s size 12. This makes shopping for shoes just as much a dreaded task as doing homework. Majority of shoe stores carry sizes up to women’s size 10. There is a very select few that go above, and even then, the sizes stop at 11. I’ve come across maybe a total of 3 stores (online and in-store) that carry a women’s size 12. Even then, it’s still not that simple. Either the shoes are stylish but not my size, my size but not cute, my size and cute but extremely expensive, or my size, cute, and cheap but so cheap that they tear up after six months. There’s no happy medium. Now, this problem isn’t new to me in the least. I have had big feet my whole life. I can remember when I was back-to-school shopping for my first year of middle school with my aunt, I was in a women’s size 10 then. I can also recall a time when I wanted a pair of hot pink Vans from Journey’s that I had to get in a men’s 10.5. Yeah, Lacienega Boulevardez from the Proud Family was definitely my spirit animal. However, unlike her, I couldn’t stuff my feet into smaller sized shoes and thankfully, my body is proportionate to my feet. From then until now, my tall height and thick body type balanced out my feet. Due to this, I didn’t necessarily have to endure a lot of teasing. However, I was still very shy about my shoe size. When I played basketball in middle and high school, I would tell my coach my shoe size in private versus in front of my team because I didn’t want to get made fun of. And as far as the dream of my boyfriend surprising me with a pair of new shoes? That wasn’t even in the question because I definitely wasn’t sharing my size with him.
However, as in most situations, there is always a silver lining somewhere. The stores I have found may be few and far in between but they are still better than nothing. I’ve shopped at Payless, Shoe Department, and Shoe Show. I have found my size in Torrid as well, but I have never actually purchased shoes from them before. I have grown more confident in my shoe size as I got older because I discovered that my problem was more common in women than I originally thought. Struggling with the embarrassment of my size is no longer a reality for me. Now, the challenge I face is finding shoes that parallel with the new style I am trying to have for myself. At the end of the day, I am learning to love ME, all of me. That’s the key ingredient.