Clothes Maketh Man – But Shoes Maketh Woman!

In my family we have duck feet. No, not bright yellow and webbed, but feet that are definitely broad at the toes. At Clarks recently when my eldest daughter was measured for shoes she was a 2H. This is the widest fitting they do. Actually, if they went up that far, she would have been a 2I. And yes, this means she is somewhat restricted on styles. For some strange genetic reason, my younger daughter is a 12D, the narrowest fitting. From some obscure branch of the family tree she has inherited slim elegant feet. Only pure generosity of spirit prevents me from renaming her Cinderella and making her wash the dishes and scrub the floors.

I know, from repeated conversations, that many of you also have the wide foot problem and would like some advice so that you can wear comfortable shoes that don’t look like this:

A Wide Shoe.
A Wide Shoe.

So I have done some web-trawling on your behalf and come up with hope for those of us more likely to be cast as Cinderella’s sisters if our feet only were allowed into the audition.

The first step is to measure your feet so you actually know the facts. You know you have wide feet – but exactly how wide are they? Are you an E fitting, an EE fitting or an EEE fitting? The best guide to measuring I have found is this one from Ask.com. It is an American site and the measurements will show your US size, but do not despair, I’ll provide you with a translation table later.

http://shoes.about.com/od/fitcomfort/ss/measurefeet.htm

And now for the tables:

Here’s how to find your American size for length:

Inches to U.S. Women’s Shoe Size Conversion Chart

U.S. Women’s Shoe Size Inches
5 8 1116
5.5 8 1316
6 9
6.5 9 316
7 9 516
7.5 9 12
8 9 1116
8.5 9 1316
9 10″
9.5 10 316
10 10 516
10.5 10 12
11 10 1116
11.5 10 1316
12 11

And now, what those US sizes mean for UK and European shoes…

Women’s International Shoe Size Conversion Chart

US / Canada China Australia Europe Mexico Japan UK
5 35.5 5 35 21 2.5
5.5 36 5.5 35.5 21.5 3
6 37 6 36 22 3.5
6.5 37.5 7 37 22.5 4
7 38 7.5 37.5 23 4.5
7.5 39 8 38 4.5 23.5 5
8 39.5 8.5 38.5 5 24 5.5
8.5 40 9 39 5.5 24.5 6
9 41 10 40 6 25 6.5
9.5 11 41 6.5 25.5 7
10 42 12 42 7 26 7.5

And now – the bit you’ve been waiting for – the widths…

Women’s U.S Sizes / Widths

U.S. Size Narrow Average Wide X-Wide
5 2 1316 3 316 3 916 3 1516
5.5 2 1416 3 14 3 1016 4″
6 2 1516 3 516 3 1116 4 116
6.5 3″ 3 316 3 34 4 216
7 3 116 3 716 3 1316 4 316
7.5 3 216 3 12 3 1416 4 14
8 3 316 3 916 3 1516 4 516
8.5 3 14 3 1016 4″ 4 316
9 3 516 3 1116 4 116 4 716
9.5 3 316 3 34 4 216 4.5
10 3 716 3 1316 4 316 4 916
10.5 3 12 3 1416 4 14 4 1016
11 3 916 3 1516 4 516 4 1116
11.5 3 1016 4″ 4 316 4 34
12 3 1116 4 116 4 716 4 1316
12.5 3 34 4 216 4.5 4 1416
13 3 1316 4 316 4 916 4 1516
13.5 3 1416 4 14 4 1016 5″
14 3 1516 4 516 4 1116 5 116

In British terms, narrow is D, then E, EE, EEE.

Well, now that we’ve got the facts and figures to work with, who does the shoes to fit us then? And, could they possibly be attractive ones please?

Well, how about this absolutely lovely one from Hotter?

Donna from Hotter
Donna from Hotter

Rather more elegant than the standard wide fitting shoe, methinks – although, annoyingly, they also do it in purple or green suede in their standard fit!

A shop which I would not normally be recommending surprisingly came up with a wide (ha ha) selection of wide-fitting shoes and boots. New Look on the High Street. Certainly these won’t break the bank, but the quality may not be exactly what you were looking for.

I had not heard of Simply Be before I started researching for this blog. They are a company specialising in sizes 14 – 32 but have lots and lots of wide fitting shoes, boots, sandals etc. Again, you will look hard for leather but for a comfortable party shoe where style matters more than longevity, these may prove just the ticket. Oh, and by the way, they have the most amazing range of boots for curvy calves!

van dal peep - toe
Red Suede Peep Toe by Van Dal

I couldn’t resist showing you this from the Shoe Tailor. And this comes in an EEE?

Now, is that gorgeous, or what? Ah, only to me? Right. Never mind: onwards and upwards then…

Good old M&S have a selection of wide fitting shoes and boots. you can go to the website and narrow the selection down by fit – but they don’t say exactly how wide.

It’s the same with Clarks. Here’s one of theirs:

Clarks' Hamble Oak Brogue
Clarks’ Hamble Oak Brogue

Of course, you can be sure of a basic quality with Clarks and M&S, although I get very annoyed when I can’t resole the shoe. This is a common problem with mid-price shoes. If you’re paying over £100 for your shoes, however, expect to be able to resole them so they go on practically forever.

So let’s go to the ultimate shoe available in wide. Based in Australia, Shoes of Prey let you design your own shoe in your own size. They ship it free to anywhere in the world and their returns policy is incredible. The website is just a joy to play with and the only reason I have not yet ordered from them is that I just can’t make up my mind which design I love the most. Take a look at this video.

To close I am unashamedly going to steal the words of one of my fellow style bloggers, who describes herself as an “Aging Footware Fashionista”. She says “Very few women consider shoes simply protection from the elements. Instead, they are jewelry for the feet or a form of personal expression. When a woman puts on a pair of shoes in the morning, she’s making a commitment that’s going to last all day.”

So girls, it’s not quite a marriage, but when we find those perfect shoes, it can be most definitely a long-term love affair!

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