s Thoughts from the Physics Chick: A long, completely self-centered post about shoes

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A long, completely self-centered post about shoes

I really like tasteful, elegant black knee-length skirts. So much, in fact, that I have six of them. To put that into perspective, I only have three skirts which are not tasteful, elegant black knee-length skirts. (And one of them is dark grey, so it may not count.)

Melyngoch is aware of my habit of filling my wardrobe with almost identical items of clothing, and consequently forbade me to buy any more tasteful, elegant black knee-length skirts until I’d bought at least one other of a different color. (But it could still be tasteful, elegant and knee-length.) As I am ever one to be motivated by arbitrary rules, last week I bought a tasteful, elegant knee-length skirt in the color of . . . navy blue. (With light blue flowers appliquéd on the front and light blue piping on the waist. It’s really quite lovely.)

One of the advantages of a monochromatic wardrobe is that it’s very easy to coordinate and accessorize. My black dress shoes go with all of my tasteful, elegant black knee-length skirts, plus the dark grey one. However, my black dress shoes do not go with my newly acquired tasteful, elegant navy blue knee-length skirt. (It’s entirely possible that there exists some group of 3rd degree black belt fashionistas who can make black and navy blue work together, but I am a fashion yellow belt, at most, and had best stick to the few fashion “rules” I can grasp.) I don’t have any other dress shoes, so it’s time to hunt around for another pair that I can wear with the navy blue skirt.

I hate shoe shopping with a passion, because it’s so hard to find shoes that fit. I have these extraordinarily wide feet, and there aren’t many shoes made in my size. To explain, “B” width is average, “A” is narrow, “AA” is more narrow, “C” is wide and “D” is more wide. I wear an 8D. (This means that an average-sized foot is only as wide as my first four toes.)

It’s not that such wide shoes are impossible to find, and I pity the people whose feet are so malformed that they have genuine trouble buying shoes at all. Also, it’s not as if having wide feet is socially stigmatized; certainly I’d rather have wide feet than be obese or have a noticeable deformity. However, (and I did say from the outset that this post was self-centered) it is well nigh unto impossible to find cute shoes in my size. Everything I can find looks like it was designed for the geriatric set, or for those still stuck in the 80s. (See for yourself, and bear in mind that I can only wear half of those shoes, anyway.)

Having wide feet is associated with having a wide body generally, and while I think that I am proof that there are exceptions to that rule, the fashion industry generally refuses to manufacture wide shoes, in the same vein that many designers refuse to create clothing for the larger woman. (And it’s not just that the designers don’t provide a large range of shoe widths generally, because many of them supply shoes in narrow or even extra narrow widths.)

So I was very excited to see that Nine West carries some shoes in wide, although I was a little apprehensive that the size was listed simply as “wide,” since both C and D widths are considered “wide,” but I can only wear the latter. (Yes, I know that Nine West shoes are rather expensive. Pretty much all of my shoes are that expensive, ’cause I can never find anything on sale.) Alas, when I finally got around to ordering a pair, I could barely squeeze my feet into them, and not at all comfortably. (Had they been B width, I would not have been able to fit my feet into them at all.) I did have the bright idea to send them back and order a pair a half size larger – I guess I figured that the larger size might give me enough width to work with. Ordering the 8.5s did give me enough width, but then they were a bit too long. (I had about a finger’s worth of room between the back of my heel and the back of the shoe.) They were somewhat hard to walk in because my heel kept coming out of the back of my shoe. In the end, though, I figured that was acceptable for dress shoes, which aren’t supposed to be particularly conducive to walking in the first place. (I wish I could find a long-term solution by padding the heel, or something. On the bright side, I’m pretty much good to go with slides or mules and maybe even slingbacks.)


At July 18, 2006 7:25 PM, Blogger feetman78 said...

I have not really considered the problem of wide female feet. Surely there must be a place to get good shoes. What does Nordstrom's carry?

At July 19, 2006 8:53 AM, Blogger Lindsay said...

I have a similar problem finding pants that are long enough...if they're long enough, they're too big in the waist, I can't wear the "tall" sizes because I'm not tall enough, but wearing "regulars" makes me look like I'm still living in the 80s. It's an on-going battle I fight. So, while it's not shoe widths I'm dealing with, I feel your pain.

At July 19, 2006 9:04 AM, Blogger Miss Hass said...

My problem is that the regulars are much too long and the shorts make people say things like, "Hey Miss Hass, Noah called and he wants his pants back."

At July 19, 2006 9:42 AM, Blogger Katya said...

feetman - Nordstrom carries wide shoes, but they're mostly "C," not "D." The two "D" brands that I know of are New Balance and Dyeables. New Balance makes sneakers and Dyables makes bridal and prom footwear. Both are useful (I love my New Balance shoes) but neither helps in this particular case.

At July 19, 2006 1:42 PM, Blogger Melyngoch said...

I kind of like the idea of you getting some prom shoes to go with your new tasteful navy blue knee-length skirt, though.

(Incidentally, mems when we found those boots you actually liked on Ebay? I bet they'd go with this skirt.)

At July 19, 2006 5:29 PM, Blogger Katya said...

Actually, no. I don't remember those boots. Were they really wide enough?


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