For those of us with gorgeous size 40+ feet, finding a shoe that fits them has, in the past, meant sticking with what’s available. In 2021, fashionable buyers are starting to make noise. As a size 42, finding the best shoes required elaborate planning, like customizing existing options or commissioning cobblers to stretch Alaïa’s archives that eventually ended up on TheRealReal. According to models and stylists in the industry, it doesn’t get any easier when you’re a star: “When I started modeling, I said to myself, ‘I’m finally going to be among other incredibly big, and I’m sure that means the most of them will have big feet like me!” recalls New York model Alexis Ruby, who discovered that wasn’t the case. tried on shoes during filming: “It’s always: ‘Are you sure it won’t go further?’ and never ‘Let me find you a bigger size.’
It’s an attitude that can leave its mark in many ways. “I still have scars from my first fashion show season,” says Hamburg-born model Sophia Ahrens. At work, “my feet were always too big,” and while she notes that putting on sample shoes was always “a real struggle,” taking them off was even more dramatic. “There were a few times where people were literally pulling the shoe off while I was holding on to a chair to take them off.” IRL, she’s always on the hunt for the perfect, non-basic heel. New York stylist Donte McGuine, often seen working (or just lounging) with the cast of Gossip Girl, also likes the high proportions. “As a closeted, curious young gay man, I admired my mother’s heels, and when she wasn’t home, I would walk into her room and close the door,” McGuine recalled. “I would force my broad, athletic teenage foot out the front of the shoe, letting the rest hang on for life.” Now he’s found options (below) that work for an 11 man.
“Like wearing a larger dress size, it’s a constant compromise of what you want versus your actual options,” says Manhattan-based model Georgia Pratt Holiber, who is launching fluid-waisted clothing this fall via Hilda Ereaut. “My shoe size has always affected that part of my personal life.” She says heels are often boring, vintage women’s options are almost completely irrelevant (“I spent hours on eBay to find a few needles in the haystack”), and you have to be careful. creativity when shopping. “For work, I’ve definitely missed jobs because my shoe size is an issue!” she says, noting that she’s often stuck in what’s available. London model Jess Cole agrees: “Not being able to find shoes that fit her was a problem,” says Cole. “I wrote an editorial about my experiences for British Vog a few years ago, highlighting the issue,” she says, noting that while she has seen clothing sizing in the fashion world become more inclusive, footwear is slowly changing. While shopping recently, Cole came across several stores that carry no more than a size 9 in the United States. have feet proportionate to my size,” she says. Also, can’t a baby have the chance to express themselves? “Why are freedom of expression, comfort and choice of style always reduced to a limited number of sizes?” Cole asks, and logically.
Until the industry as a whole starts to ride the wave of size-inclusive footwear, we’ve rounded up a range of pairs — from fashion-forward heels to casual flats and comfy slippers — that are leading the way.
When Pratt buys heels, the options “quickly narrow down to a strappy black stiletto once you get past a size 11,” and that’s not her style. Luckily, Mach & Mach’s dreamy collection of bead-strap PVC crystal options brings more than boring basics to the table in sizes up to 42.
One of the many reasons Miuccia Prada’s shoes are so popular is that the house has long offered sizes beyond size 40 and even 41. Consider it a first stop for crystal block heels. and clueless– patent worthy Mary Janes.
“Not only are Ugg shoes comfortable, they have an extended fit,” McGuine says of her options for all genders (including Telfar’s latest drop). “Working on set once with basketball legend Dennis Rodman, he needed a size 14 shoe – Ugg provided multiple styles in a size 14. It was amazing.”
Although Mcguine loves Rick Owens’ cult Chelsea boot, he admits he “feels like he’s walking on stilts”. Still, the brand “just extended the size on this year’s drop,” which includes a Birkenstock collab that offers a more grounded option.
At the moment, Gucci’s classic leather heels go up to size 42. In the future, one would expect Alessandro Michele’s push for freedom of expression to create even more expansive offerings. .
Note that the large sizes of JW Anderson’s lace-up ballet flats and chain-adorned slippers are selling out fast on platforms like Net-a-Porter and Ssense. Based on our experts’ hunt for originality, it’s a simple calculation.