Friday, August 10, 2007

Anatomy of a shoe search

I have a pretty small shoe size. And apparently many designers and stores don't feel that it is worth making or carrying shoes in a size 5 or 5.5 because many times when I see a pair of shoes that I like they don't start until size 6. Ugh! Many times I'll go into a store and keep picking up shoes and putting them down. I'm sure the employees think it's because of the price but mostly its because they usually put the smallest size out and there are none in my size!

And I know there are plenty of people who have this same size because you keep buying my shoes!

So it's really hard to find shoes in my size. Not that you would believe it by looking in my closet. Maybe its all a part of nature's system of checks and balances and what keeps me to a tolerable level. My only justification is that when I see a pair of shoes I like/want and it's in my size, I get it. I also admit I'm a little compulsive... and stubborn. I just can't believe I can't get what I want and can't find those shoes somewhere. When I can't just jump online and get them, I have to go on the hunt.

Take these Nine West Harmon platforms in nude patent.

I spied these in Lucky's (If I remember correctly). When I first saw them they weren't available. Then I went right to the Nine West site. No luck. They had them but starting at size 6, which is actually unusual because they often carry 5s. So I called customer service. I was told they actually would not be making these shoes in my size. What the heck! Nothing online, nothing in their stores, nothing in a Macy's etc.


Finally, I went to my fallback -, of course. Now remember, Nine West themselves, told me they were absolutely not making this shoe in smaller than a size 6. Guess what I found on Zappos?

That's right, those babies right my size. Ha! I win!

Another search went on for the red Pedro Garcia's I showed in my outfit of the day. Saw them on Shoewawa (my crack), couldn't find them online. I actually emailed the corporate buyer (in Spain) and they pointed me to a store in Texas that had them. Whoo hoo! These beauties are worth a little effort, don't you think?

Now, my friends sometimes overhear these "research" efforts and think I'm nuts. But, the moral is: never take "No" for an answer. Those perfect shoes are out there somewhere... probably...unless I got to them first.


Lisa said...

Do you have any tips for shopping in brick-and-mortar stores for cute shoes in size 5? I know about Payless and Target, but that's it. I'm wary about buying shoes online, since I can't try them on.

Princess Poochie said...

Good question, and one I get asked often because I buy online... a LOT!

One, it helps to try one shoes and get to know your size in your favorite brands.

But your best bet is to go to They typically do free shipping to you and free return shipping. And the turnaround can be next day many times. People also give reviews on there for how the shoes are fitting so you can get a warning if it's running small or big.

If you still are unsure, buy the shoe in a few sizes. You can return the ones that don't fit and it will be credited to your card right away. They are awesome.

A few other sites like Piperlime and Endless are trying to jump on the bandwagon with these same services, often adding discounts too.

Don't be afraid to try them out. I promise you'll never look back.

Anonymous said...

My foot is a size 5 to 5.5 E (D sometimes)! Yes, E . It's not my fault I was born with neanderthal feet, but I love shoes. After 40 years of cramming them into size B shoes, I've been searching for sensible, simple shoes that are fairly at a good price. The only ones I have been able to find even on zappos are orthopedic or ugly beyond description. Do you have any advice or tips on finding shoes for a very stylish fashionista cursed with wide feet?

Princess Poochie said...

Hi there,
That's another good question. I did a quick look around and found a few sites that may help. has a lot of nice styles and many of them are coming in wider sizes. However, they are only in the UK. If you are in the US, they may help you find some brands and styles.

I did a quick search on by width and some nice options came up. The brands that had wider widths that didn't look orthopedic were: Annie, Naturalizer (check out too), Sudini, Fitzwell (cute styles), Gabriella Rocha (very stylish heels), rsvp, Type Z, Stuart Weitzman (some sexy styles like "Fever"). There were a lot of clunkers, but these had styles I would wear.

Womens Shoes plus( has some options, but you'll have to look through them - some seem to have a chunky heel that I feel may be a bit too chunky.

I would look at some of the flats for kids at Target. I've bought a few pairs. They're really cute and inexpensive and because they're for kids, they are usually not pinch-y.

And last but not least - Duo Shoes and boots! You get to customize widths and, for boots, even calf widths. and

Hope this helps. Let me know how you do.

Ruth said...

Oh my god, why, why did you have to post those shoes!!!!! I guess I'm glad, for once I have a big foot!ju

Anonymous said...

I'm a huge fan of Duo stuff. The boots I've bought from Duo really do fit like a glove - (style: Malmo - perfect for my job where I get to spend all day on my feet, oh JOY!) and with skinny sparrow-shaped legs and thick ankles, I had spent a long time looking for boots on the high street. Duo sell shoes for wider feet on their sister site. Heres the link: I was terrified of buying boots over the internet (you have to pay for postage on duo's site) but it all turned out well in the end.