I've just been listening to an item on Woman's Hour on the troubles of finding shoes for large feet. This is one of my own particular bugbears. I have size 9.5 feet (43/43.5 European) and shopping for shoes on the high street is guaranteed to make me cross and upset. I tend to make a point of going into shoeshops and asking what sizes they go up to, even though I know the answer will depress me. The response tends to be along the lines of "We have the odd 42 in a few styles, but they go very quickly, have you looked at our unisex ranges?"
There is no point trying to squeeze my feet into too small shoes I will never wear and I don't want to spend my life wearing big, clumpy, masculine shoes. As one of the women interviewed in the Woman's Hour item said; "I just want a pair of frivolous shoes for once in my life!" Why can't high street shoe shops appreciate this? Grrr.
Thankfully, I live in London which means I can go to Chiltern Street, near Baker Street tube, where I now have a choice of three shops specialising in large sizes. I love the feeling of going into a shoe shop, knowing that I can try on ANY of the shoes in the shop and don't have to worry about whether they come in my size or not. Of the three, Crispin's is the longest-established. Their shoes are on the classy (and pricey) side but they're good quality and lately the range has become a little less frumpy and more fashionable. Magnus is cheaper and closer to the sort of thing you'd find in a high street shoe shop. Most of my favourite shoes come from there, including the knee high boots I never thought I'd find and my absolute favourite bright pink shoes. The newcomer is Elephant Feet. I've not been there yet, but looking at their website, they look quite similar to Magnus in terms of style and price.
I intend to visit all three on Saturday. I'm finally getting paid after a few months of unemployment and it's time to celebrate.