SSL Sole Spotlight| Merin D.
Age: 21|Size: 10| Arkansas, USA
When I can, I squeeze into a 9 ½, but most days, I wear a size 10 shoe. Bunions on both feet add width to my already long feet, making finding a pair of comfortable shoes almost impossible. For certain shoes, such as running shoes, I simply buy men’s sizes, which actually have ranges of widths to choose from instead of “daintily narrow female” across the board.
It can be even harder to find my size in Europe. I studied abroad in Madrid two years ago and had high hope of supplementing my wardrobe with fashionable European shoes. My size 10 translated to a 34 in the European system, but I was lucky if the store carried a 32. There are shoe stores almost on every corner in Madrid, but most only stock up to size 30. I caved one day after trying to find a pair of high heels in four different stores before buying a size 30. I only wore them one night. The shoes caused bruising under my big toenails and numbed several of my toes for the rest of the week. I had better success finding shoes in my size at the store Primark, an Irish clothing chain, but overall, finding larger shoe sizes for women in Europe is a bit of a challenge.