Friday, April 11, 2014

Your Feets Too Big

Ok, I don't have a shoe fetish but if I told you that I bought 6 pairs of shoes when I went to Delaware last month, you might give me a sideways look, roll your eyes and say, "Sure Sluggy, suuuuure you don't have a shoe problem."

But really I have always hated shoes and shopping for them, since my mother use to drag me out to the shoe store when I was a kid.
You see, along with other non-standard physical attributes I have, in this world we live in, I've also had to put up with my feet being difficult to fit.
I have and have always had a wide foot so shoes and I have always been mortal enemies.

No, not a  "oh, you have a wide foot, don't you?" wide foot, but a "Holy Crap!  Your pedal extremities are really obnoxious!" wide foot.
Even as a young child, a young skinny child, my feet were ridiculously wide.

I remember going with my mother into more than one shoe store as a child, and also as a young adult by myself, presenting my foot to be measured and then being told, "We really don't have anything that would fit on your foot."
Who else has ever gone into a shoe store and had the staff tell you, you should just leave because you can't fit into ANY pair of shoes in the whole store?

Do you realize how demoralizing to one's self-esteem it is to be told that?

A few times, the clerk would go into the stock room and try to find something....anything I could squeeze my foot into.....but would always return with nothing in their hands.

My father, ever the helpful one, at one point told me I should find a shoemaker for a husband when I grew up.

Thanks dad!

It's been a battle I've waged with my feet my whole life.
Even as a pre-teen kid, I wore old lady shoes or boy's shoes(since boy's/men's shoes are cut wider).
If you don't suffer from non-standard feet, you are very lucky!
Feel blessed.

I have a double wide foot....bordering on triple wide.

Even before I had kankles, I had monstrously wide feet.

People like me are the ones who need to have shoes custom made for them.
Unfortunately for most people with my type of feet, this is a VERY expensive undertaking.
Finding a custom cobbler being the first hurdle, then paying for this service, the cost of having custom lasts made(forms for making shoes), then the actual cost of the shoe materials and the cost of manufacturing each pair.  Who in this day and age can afford $400 each for a pair of "just walking around" shoes?

With the advent of the internet, the price of a "custom made" shoe has come down but it's still hard to find one with enough support and the right fit, even at $200 a pair. (And actually the ones advertised on the internet aren't REALLY custom made, because they don't cast your feet and make lasts, they just use a wide last, so it's not a custom fit too your foot shoe.)
 Still it is easier to find so called custom-made MEN'S shoes and I hear that the Women's custom-made shoes are pretty flimsy and not as comfortable as they could be.
And alot of them still look like old lady shoes......

Until the 1980's it was difficult to find a wide in a shoe, let alone a double wide.
Luckily as a college student it wasn't so out of place for a girl to wear sneakers at all times.
Before I hit 30 and had kids I was able to squeeze my foot into boy's/men's shoes.  I wore a 7 until I was in my 20's so I could get away wearing a boy's 5 or 6.  That was quite limiting since that was either a sneaker/running shoe because it would have looked very odd sporting a men's dress shoe.
No cool little strappy sandals or stylish heels for me....ever!

Then with pregnancy(3 of 'em)my feet began to relax and spread.  Luckily some of that spread also meant my feet got longer as well as wider.
I now wear either a 9.5 or 10 double wide shoe.  (If the width is not true to size I usually have to go up to a 10 to compensate, as a 10 is cut wider than a 9.5)

Because of my history with shoes I bear no love for them.  I have never tried to squeeze into a shoe because it was stylish and I had to be "all that".  My squeezing was done because it was the widest shoe I could find and society frowns upon going around shoeless(unless you are at the beach or in your home).

The day I found Easy Spirit brand shoes, the skies opened up and the angels sang.
They carry some of their styles in a double wide AND they are comfortable.
And some of them are even stylish.
They are also still pricey.....well, pricey for me, a lifelong Frugalista.

Go on their website and you'll see, unless something is on clearance or they are running some big sale, you'll shell out $75 easy for a pair of shoes.
And most people need a minimum of 3-4 pair of shoes depending on type.

I found, when we moved here almost 14 years ago, there was an Easy Spirit Shoe Outlet down in Reading, PA.  Since about 2005, when the money/income around here loosened up a bit, I've worn almost exclusively Easy Spirit shoes bought on discount at the Outlet.
The problem I have now is that I find a shoe or sandal I like and that makes my foot happy and then they discontinue it.
So given the problems I have finding good fitting shoes, I have taken up the habit of when I find a shoe at a good price that fits me well, I buy multiples of it.....because if I like it, it WILL be discontinued, you can bet on that! lolz

Since Hubs and I have been taking a little Fall time trip to Ocean City MD we had stopped in Rehoboth Beach DE on the way looking for shoes for me at the Easy Spirit Outlet in that town.
That store isn't as large and just doesn't have as large an inventory and in 6 years I have yet to find a single pair of shoes(sneaker or sandal)in my size there.

That all changed last month.
I had some time to kill on Sunday, before I left town to come home, waiting for the liquor store to open(hey, non-religious alcoholics like to buy booze Sunday morning, ok?)so I bopped into the Easy Spirit store to browse.
And I found LOTS of shoes in my size to buy....woohoo!

The only reason I can figure out why they had shoes in my size this trip was because every other trip was made in the Fall, after the summer hoards of vacationers had gone home and depleted their stock.
This time I visited in the Spring, before the Summer tourists descended like locusts!

Every pair I chose were $59.99.
Online you pay $69.99 & Up for these shoes.
Even better, there was a "Buy 1 Get 1 50% off" sale going on too, I my shoes cost $89.99 for 2 pair.
PLUS if you spent over $100(so easy to do at these prices), you got an additional 20% off.

So my 6 pairs of that fit mind you!....cost me a total of $191.95.
Sounds like a huge sum of money until you figure that comes out to $32.00 a pair and I saved $167.99 or more over buying them online.
So I saved about 46.50% on this purchase.

I think I did fairly well, considering it's something I HAVE TO have and they actually fit.



  1. Oh THAT'S what you meant by your FB post! It's always a good deal when you find something that doesn't hurt your feet. When you find them, grab them! Good job.

  2. Your fellow big-footed friend, checking in here.

  3. I have never had trouble finding a size for me. I just hate shoes except for strappy sandals. I hate anything that wraps itself around my foot and holds me in an embrace that squeezes the life out of my foot. I have never needed a wide shoe. I wore 7 when I got married and 8.5 to 10 now, depending on the shoe.

    However, I am the shoe version of the Princess and the Pea. The last pair of shoes I took back because a little bit of glue under the lining was annoying me. They thought I was nuts. Seams bother me. I can only wear leather. NOW, the back and knee put their own demands on the type shoe I can wear.

    I bought 7 pair of a favorite shoe that was being discontinued. I still have several ratty pair of those around the house. I love them.

    Let's just say, "I understand."

    Twenty-five miles North of me is a store that carries very wide, very narrow shoes where a friends goes. She says they are cute shoes.

  4. Ouch. And I thought I had issues when I couldnt fit into the standard Catholic school girl "older girl" shoes because my feet were still fitting in my younger sister's shoes (younger by 6-8 years!). They didnt make "older girl" shoes without the strap on size 5... but the "young girl" shoes werent bad at all, just different to all the other girls.

    I have Easy Spirit shoes! One of my favorite pair is by them, red flats. They're small of course, size 6, but SOO comfy. They last a ridiculously long time too. The top wears off before the bottom, and that's to say a lot! (Mine were on clearance though, ha)

    And you're a teaser. No photos of the actual shoes... :(

  5. The seven pair I bought were Easy Spirit, T straps. So cute!

  6. I feel ya! DD has extremely narrow feet and we have a horrible time finding shoes that she won't flip out of. Plus she is a size 8 extra narrow so she tends to stick to shoes like toms and sneakers when she can but we have to get sneakers it is a mess!

    I would have stocked up to!!

  7. When I was younger, I was a size 5 and always had a hard time finding shoes. Now I'm a 6 and it's a little better. My 19 year old daughter, however is only a 4 and has to buy in the kids dept or from Chinese sellers on ebay.

  8. I've owned a lot of shoes over the years, kind of a collection. During the OJ trial, when there was a question about a rare shoe leaving prints, I realized that I owned a pair, that matched the foot prints. Any more, shoes are strictly about comfort. I wear running shoes most of the time. I keep a couple of pairs of comfortable dress shoes in the office for the rare times anyone is going to see my shoes.

  9. I don't wear fancy shoes either. I keep New Balance in business, as I wear sneakers for just about everything.

  10. I think you did awesome! And I too, have had my share of shoe problems. My feet were extra skinny as a child so we had to go all over to find shoes. The only thing great about having kids was the fact that my foot got wider and I was able to get normal shoes. We won't talk about the stretch marks. LOL


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