You Know What They Say About Big Feet?

Great shoes.


You know what they say about big feet? It doesn’t matter. (Who’s “they,” anyway?) Here’s what I have to say: embrace your big feet. I’m tired of reading articles instructing me on how to hide my lanky limbs. It’s time to stomp out the Bigfoot bias. Let’s come up with some positive things to say instead.

I’ll give you a visual of my situation: I’m a 5’4’’ petite female with size 10 feet. In profile, I look like a capital ‘L.’ I was on the basketball team in high school, and I trained myself to dribble a little further out than normal so that the ball wouldn’t hit my feet and roll beyond my grasp. This didn’t always work. I spent a lot of time on the bench.

Today, when I’m shopping for shoes, store clerks don’t believe that I know my own size and suggest that I measure my feet on one of those medieval devices. Once they figure it out for themselves — “By George, the girl was right!” — they spend an eternity in the back room, often failing to procure anything that fits. “Maybe you could squeeze into a 9?” they offer, as though we’re in Imperial China.

And when they aren’t ogling at my feet, they mistake me for a dude. TRUE STORY.

Up until recently, I avoided clunky shoes like clogs or rain boots. I thought Converse made me look like a clown. Platforms were out of the question and Uggs were…ugh. I stuck to heels and even bought shoes that were half a size too small for me. Eventually, my big toes popped through the front of my size 8 Supergas and then I really looked like a clown. I realize now that what matters most is getting from A to B comfortably, and at least bigger feet got me there faster.

You know who else has big feet? Oprah. She is a size 11. Jacqueline Kennedy was a size 10 and Audrey Hepburn was a 10.5. So, if there’s one thing we can say about big feet, it’s that they’re attached to badass women. Big feet do also, in fact, mean big socks. But other than that, the stereotypes are all moot.

Here’s what they should say about big feet:

1. Big brains
2. Big doormat
3. Big bell bottoms
4. Big(ger) balance
5. Big toe rings
6. Big skis
7. Big surfboard
8. Big rollerblades
9. Big nails
10. Big Dr. Scholls

Haters gonna hate, and now that you don’t feel so bad about being a Notorious B.I.G. F.O.O.T, here are some shoes that flaunt those flippers…

Now. Be honest. How big are your feet?

Image by Charlotte Fassler, shoe via The Cut, background via Gothamist.

  • Then there are people on the opposite side of the spectrum. Like women with size 10 feet, those of us who’re barely size 5s get weird looks from salespeople. And no, we can’t shop in the girl’s section because the styles just aren’t “right.” We want to wear WOMEN’S SHOES, not something for a 9 year old! Besides, isn’t it INSULTING to imply that we’re merely children?

    Interesting that you posted about shoe size because *I* just wrote about attending an event where I didn’t expecdt any of the shoes to fit! )

  • Absolutely a Big Brain Girl like you. And loving it!

    • Sam

      I have the exact same situation with hats! I don’t even bother with the women’s section. Sunglasses are similarly problematic: I usually have to go for men’s (and NEVER plastic rimmed women’s).

      • Yeah. 🙂
        I own 2 pairs of sunglasses: 1 with diopter (oh and my regular glasses are of course men’s) – by miracle stretchy and big enough – and 1 men’s and those I really love, also because this is a rare example of me doing the partner look 🙂

        Being so big in so many ways 🙂 there are quite a few things where the esthetics of men’s products is much more pleasing to my eye – you too? Like, since you know dainty, thiny, flowery etc. stuff just won’t fit or look good, you prefer to look at bolder lines, real colors. elegenat forms … which mostly means men’s products.

        • Sam

          Oh yeah, totally! Not sure if its the fact that I spend so much time in the men’s section, or that it just makes sense proportionally – but I do love me some menswear style looks. Dainty would be just about the last word to describe my look 🙂

  • ee_by_cc

    Has anyone out there watched the first episode of Candidly Nicole on VH1? The hilarity of this article reminds me of her “struggles” as a short person. I laughed equally as hard at this post.

    • Amelia Diamond

      no but i want to watch this. she’s so funny

    • Whitney V

      You just wake me go and watch it! 😉

  • Mia

    Great post!!! I love my big feet and my big personality too!! lol

    • Emilia Petrarca

      Big personality should definitely be added to the list!

  • Esther Levy

    but also the leg up (ha) big footed girls have to normal sized footed girls at sample sales

    • Charlotte Fassler

      I know, my exact thoughts. I have the most normal sized foot (7.5) and find myself wishing I was a 5 or a 10 when at sample sales…

      • You DO NOT want to be size 5. That barely exists anymore. I don’t know where you live, but where I’m from (Toronto), there’s barely any to choose from – they’re usually gone before the first markdown, probably because we have a slightly-than-larger population with smaller feet (lots of East Asians in T.O.).

      • I’m a 7.5, too, and it sucks because it’s the most common shoe size among women. If there’s ever a sale, we’re lucky to even have any shoes to choose from at a discounted price, and everyone is just cruisin’ their options

        • MippysMom

          I’m also a7.5, but wide. Options are really limited. Even if the shoe doesn’t make my toes bunch over each other, the sides bow out like 10 pounds of potatoes in a 5 pound sack. Birks and Danskos, currently, are most of the shoe wardrobe.

  • Brittany

    I’m 5’5” on a good day. My left foot is between a 10-10.5 and my right foot is pretty much an 11. My feet are also wide, the right wider due to a four wheeling accident that left me with some sweet scar tissue right below my big toe.

    Shoes have always been the bain of my existence because neither department stores nor boutiques carry an 11, pretty much ever. Anytime I go to one particular department store and ask for a shoe in my size they don’t even look for a shoe, they just say no. That’s actually very disheartening to me as I love shopping. Then I get stuck with online shopping and cross my fingers that I get the right size. I have been guilty of ordering two different sizes and sending one back. 🙁

    I hope it’s not as frustrating for the other big foot ladies out there!

    • I do sometimes buy men’s shoes … but only for outdoor purposes & Co. And I still (at 40+) wear Docs in winter, so no problem there.
      But yes, on the whole, the width is also a problem. That and the fact I can often wear 10 or 10.5 but it depends on the model and the time of the year (Big Feet in the Summer vs. Smaller Feet in the Winter). Meaning I shouldn’t be shopping online for shoes at all, which I always do, with different results … Meh.

      • Brittany

        It really is impossible sometimes. Pointed toe shoes (flats, boots, and pumps) are always out. I just had to buy nike tennis shoes in a size 12! I have to wear heels at work and it has been a pain to find them as I had been wearing flats at my previous job. I’m either torturing myself or falling out of shoes. I have a few go to brands but even now I’m noticing they fit slightly different depending on the season.

        • Since I did that today (yes, my real life and MR posts coincide from time to time :-), I may as well tell you about it: bevor giving them away, I ripped out the insoles from a pair of nice brown shoes with a bit of heel (British size 7,5). I replaced the insoles with a pair of very thin ones containing silver and meant to prevent … you know. Smell.
          That way, I gained some space (though not length, obv) and now they fit. Jep. And this was not the first time I did that: even some elegant shoes nowadays come with comfortable, thick insoles (feet cushions :-). As far as I am concerned, that’s great and I’d never take them out of outdoor shoes, but if I need more space in pumps & CO., I rip them out and put in the thin ones – it works.

        • Eleanor Anukam
    • You are so not alone! I’m a size bigger than most shoes go to, ie a 12 or a 42 depending on where you are. It gets me really down because I love shopping and I care about what I wear. It’s sooo frustrating because there’s nothing you can do about your shoe size.

  • GapToothedGirl

    A size 10 in Italy is difficult to find, but it’s easy to find a bargain during the sale period, so come here!!
    XOX, Gap

  • Stephanella

    Mine are a size 10 but then I am 5’10”. Anything smaller and I feel I may not be able to stand. Regardless, I always think… if you have it, flaunt it. Go and get yourself a pair of Loubous.

  • Big feet, big soul. SEE WHAT I DID THERE?

  • Sarah Hale

    I am 5’6″ with size UK 3 feet..they look kinda ridiculous tbh!

  • I feel you! Mine are a size TWELVE ie nobody makes my shoe size. Plus my feet are wide as boats. At least it means I’m amazing at walking in 5 inch heels. And I’ll probably just swallow my pride and get a bad-ass pair of men’s loafers in the autumn

  • Emma

    Size 12… But in Europe it is not so difficult to buy this size via internet. Maybe many of these big sizes are bought by transvestites and transexuals?

  • Quinn

    I have giant, flat as a board, no arch size 11 so this post makes me happy.

  • Murcattt

    Preach! I’m 5’5″ with size 10. An ex boyfriend used to joke ” Where do you get your shoes at the ship yard? Because those are boats!” -_-
    I don’t even want to talk about the distress they caused me in high school when I was bound and determined to wear Dr. Martin’s and those just make them ridiculous. Luckily I’ve gotten over any fears I used to have and def. embrace them now! Bring on the Birkenstocks.

    Also another plus: you’re usually the only person standing in the sales rack aisle of the size 10s. And lets be honest if there is another person keep an eye on them you’ll see they were only there looking for the 9 1/2’s.

  • My mom has two different sized feet- I’m talking 5 on her left foot and 7 on her right. She has to get two pairs of shoes most of the time because Nordstrom is the only place that lets her pay for one pair but get the two sizes. I’d take big feet over that any day!!!!

  • Great piece! Im a size 11. As a teenager I hated them and thought I would never get a man just because of them feet(really!) But who knows, I got to have plenty! Now, I love my big feet! Last week I found the amazing Acne silver sneaks on 80% sale – only MY size left! So, happy ending happens! And I kinda fit all of my boyfriends sneaks as well =win! Tip: if your friend has those small feet – easily fit her shoes in yours when packing a suitcase after shopping too much on vacation!

  • Emily

    Another size 10 here! I think it was worse when I was younger, but folks love to make disparaging comments about my foot size (and my flat chest – but that’s a topic for another time). Like I can help it? Well, at least I never fell over because my feet were tiny.

  • Mariana

    I’m also 5’4″ and I’m a size 9. I’ve never thought of them as big, they’re normal to me. My mom is also a size 9 and is probably 5′ (she conveniently doesn’t know exactly how tall she is)

  • Alexandra Puffer

    Spot on. I love that Audrey Hepburn worse a size 10.5 always made me feel better growing up.

    Warm regards,

  • Size 10, for the win!

  • Jas

    Ha! I have massive feet (10.5 or 11) so this speaks to me.

  • Kandeel

    Im a size 10 and 5’7″ ish. I wear whatever the hell i want and oWN my big feet. Sometimes they are the last size left in those amazing boots that are on sale and its the BEST FEELING EVER

  • I was taunted for having big feet as well, until I realized that these feet were made for walking… and giving me a bigger canvas for displaying beautifully designed shoes. Love this post!



  • tequilamockingbird

    Any advice for someone w/ smallish (usually a 6, tho it varies by brand) but upsettingly wide feet? As an ex-ballerina w/ catastrophic bunions, I’ve basically resigned myself to flip-flops in summer & wading thru a parade of boots that don’t remotely fit in the wintertime.

  • Marie

    I’m 5’9 so I suppose my size 9.5-10 feet are in proportion to my height. I do agree that the shoe choices in the women’s section are extremely limited in my size, even more so in an Asian country. I actually buy shoes from the men’s section A LOT, because thankfully I’m the kind of person who can pretty much pull off wearing anything.

  • Whitney V

    Loved this, laughed so hard and could really identify! I have big feet too and I’m even more petite than you! Always get the same s%$*, oh but that’s sooo odd, you’re so little! But it works great for me! 1. My big feet get me the best shoes for bargain prices, that’s right, those are the ones on sale and they always have my size! 2. Either way they add me extra cm when in heels as the bigger the shoes, the proportionately bigger the heel or platform so I look like a normal size person. Thank you, big feet! 😉


  • Hayley Clark

    My Birkenstocks (size 11) double as snowshoes and/or kayak paddles.

  • Thirdjoy

    I’m 5’5″ and wear a 10-10.5 and I’ve had a complex I’ve been trying to shake since 2nd grade. My feet are wide and I have a low arch. My mother used to always say “be happy you have feet.” It made my blood boil…now I think ‘there are worse problems.’ And I love fashion so even though I can’t always sport a style myself, I can admire from afar. The hunt for a suitable shoe maybe tricky but when you stumble upon a great fitting pair, it feels like a much sweeter find. But I do want to thank you for this post… and all of you for sharing your comments. Sometimes a reminder that you’re not alone is the best medicine.

  • Big feet, big personality 🙂

    — Michelle |

  • Sam

    I personally love my size 10 feet (I’m 5’8″ though, so I guess it balances out). Sadly, I do find that the size 10 section is seriously lacking in most stores.

  • Kelly Bishop

    I’m 5’5′ and have a 10 . WAHH, but I’ve learned to deal with them well 🙂

  • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

    Definitely don’t be bothered by big feet. I’m sz 9 but in closed toe shoes/boots I ALWAYS order a 10, because I don’t like anything to fence in my toes. I need extreme comfort, don’t mind a little slipping around inside the shoe, and could care less how big my feet look to anyone.


    I’m a size 10 too! However, I’m 5’11” tall, so they kinda match my height.. I just found your blog, btw, and I absolutely love it!

  • Casey Cromwell

    So true! I’m 5’3 (technically 5’2 and 3/4 inch but whose counting that closely?) and have size 8 – 8 1/2. And I HATE shoe shopping! 😉

  • bbrautkleid

    it is useful for me.

  • Size 10, I hate it. For the most part the size 10’s are always the first to go.

  • mneiai

    I’m 5’4″ and a size 9 and get people telling me I have big feet for my height. I just tell them it means I have better balance lol

  • Christelle

    I’m 5’10, size 12. I own a hundred pair of shoes. One simply need to know where to shop and toss out body complex !

  • Madeline

    These guys have so many sizes! Heaven for the big fitted ladies like me!

  • cortney_joy

    I’m a size 10! I’m also 5’11” so I guess they match my body. I used to long for smaller feet but now I don’t care. They’re just part of me!

  • Trovea

    Having a big foot is also having a big personality. In fact the best way to show that is throughout a pair of extraordinary shoes! Such the sandals from Mamut collection! I love this designer! Their shoes are unique and stylish!
    Shop new designers from places you’ve never been on:

  • Bren

    Thank you! I’m 5’9 and my shoe size is 11 and you simply don’t find that size in my country.
    In fact, they say size 9 is huge.
    So to finally see (albeit my reading a bit too late) an article from a fashion blogger who talks about difficulty finding shoes her size kinda makes me feel better. Ty :)!

  • Raz

    Yeah i can feel you . I always get jealous with girls who have tiny pretty feet while im here has a big feet . I mean like i could say i have the biggest and the widest feet in my family for a female . Even my big bro has slightly smaller feet than me . And i dont even have the chance to wear heels or boots or other nice shoes and im stuck with flat shoes . Im not even tall duh , im 157cm and i think im abnormal sometimes . Anyways thanks for the post . Really makes me feels better thogh :)))))

  • Syarifah

    I’m a 13 turning 14 year old and my size is like 9-10 is that a good thing? And where should i buy shoes that fit me?

  • Alex Oxborough

    Loved this article. I have size 10s as well and this is all so true. If anybody comments on my feet these days I offer politely to let them smell them. It freaks them out beautifully and gets them out my face pronto. Quick tip for fellow large feet ladies. Check out for shopping tips for large size shoes, it’s a community generated shopping directory and great for finding new places to get shoes. Also and I could not walk tall without them.

  • Afro head

    Nice to read this post, really ^^ I feel uncomfortable about how big my feet look in proportion to the height and slimness of my body… I think I’m a size 9 and meanwhile wish I fitted into size 6 footwear but anyway. Its ok because its something I can adapt to and live with ^^

  • zoe brown

    I feel your pain!

  • Makenna

    I am a teen and I sprouted up just a couple of years ago and now I’m 5’11 with size 11-12 feet and shopping is a burden. Of course I want to embrace being tall and having big feet buts it’s hard because I don’t feel comfortable, but hearing these stories makes me feel much better

  • Chloe

    Women’s size 11

  • Erica Yerian

    I recently worked at a major department store selling women’s shoes. Here’s the thing, we only got like one 10 in. Rarely if ever did we get a size 11. And we never got anything in a size 5, either. And it sucks, because not only did I lose a commissioned sale, but the company loses business that way, too! I personally wear anywhere from a size 9 to 10; I’m basically a true 9.5. And we only got one of those in, too. Btw, I think Kate Winslet is like 5’4 and she wears a size 11 (: there is nothing wrong with big feet!! This past Christmas I had a gentleman ask me if I had a boot in a size 7, I replied saying we only had a size 10 left. He didn’t hide his shock and said women actually wear that size?!?! I’m sorry, i just couldn’t resist telling him that that was the size I wore. I’m 5’10, and pretty proportionate, he mumbled he was sorry then left. Like I said, I just couldn’t resist. I didn’t have any boots left in any size at that point anyway. Lol

  • Laura

    Wow. I can relate to almost all of that. I am only 5’2, I am only a little over a foot taller than I was in kindergarten. I attribute it to a ‘growth’ problem I had as a child, now wearing a size 11W shoe. I have NEVER seen a woman as short as me with such a huge foot. I was even called “Big Foot” at one of the many part time jobs that I’ve had in my years. Most store clerks say “well, I can give you a man’s shoe”. Well…A man’s shoe is just that, a ‘man’s shoe’. It doesn’t resemble a woman’s shoe at all!

  • ImNotAlone

    Wow I’m rathered educated on this subject now because I didn’t know petite women could have larger feet! I also got teased in school! I’m just under 5’11” and when I finally decided to buy a size 12 in highschool all the girls there just kept saying ”You have BIG FEET!” so the whole dam class could hear. Needless to say, I threw them away(brand new, my dad’s hard earned money), and squeezed my feet back into my size 10 & 11 women’s nike shoes for the rest of my school time. Come to find out my feet are actually a size 13 in women or a size 12W. I’m not there yet totally embrassing my big feet but I do like the feeling of having comfortable shoes on. I recently met a teenager while I was in payless shopping in the size 13 women section. She was only 13 and her feet were size 12/13 also. But her and her mom said she would squeeze her feet into a size 11 or 12 if she really liked them. She was about 5’7”. I laughed because I could completely relate how back in school I did the exact same thing. I remember my junior year wearing this incredibly cool looking pair of nike female running shoes and squeezing my feet into those size 11’s. Heck, one of the popular girls even complimented me on how cool my shoes look! And by her doing that, so did her entourage. You could really tell my feet didn’t feet them because it looked like 2 mountain peak tops where my big toe and index toe went. I didn’t care tho. Thru pain and stife I ran those shoes thru track, gym, regular days of shcool! I wonder what ever happend to them. Maybe it came to my senses that I didn’t need to torture my feet like that. I’m not so happily proud of my big size 13 feet that can sometimes fit a 13w! But i was told my height evens them out. I don’t even think super models have as big as feet as I do, thats 1 reason I never tried out to be one. But now if someone said anything about my big size 13w-12w feet i’d tell them to shove it. And finish on with my business. Who the hell are you to judge? Plus they make cute shoes in larger sizes now and I’ve even seen size 14 and 15 on I ordered both sizes. They were will look good on the women who they are meant to fit, and that’s all that counts! Talking to a sales rep at Payless she told me she could hardly find shoes in her size which is a size 6. She looked pretty petite too. She said she wishes she could wear size 10 because they had all the cutest shoes she’d like to wear. From wedges with floral designs and just alot of cute shoes! My perfect size shoe would probly be an 11 if I could go down any size, or actually a 10 lol since that seems to be where they’re making all the cutest shoes in now. But I have some girly shoes I can wear with my dresses and if anybody wants to stare or say something i’ll just let them. And end with the comment, ”they look good on my feet dont they?” 🙂

  • Black Lace

    I’m a size 11. Here’s a hack: Go to plus size stores like Avenue and Torrid. I’m a fluffy woman, but I always see my slimmer sisters with large feet shopping for shoes at those places.

  • Kiesha Milak

    I know I have a big shoe size but I never really know what is really my shoe size. I got these new Jordan’s and they are size 10 but I can’t fit them they are flight plate Jordan’s and I can’t fit them in females I wear shoe size 9,10 I use to where 8 but I can’t fit that than but know I can I used to fit 11 perfectly but know I am avery small shoe size tell me how and why

  • Joy Villa

    Me and Oprah: ??????? 11 forever baby!!!!!!!

  • Rama

    Hahaha 😀 So freaking hilarious. made my day. usually I have a tough time to find my shoe ! So I shop shoes whenever I find my size 😛 … But yeah all are so true :D. there are days when I tell me dad to open a shoe company because it is hard to find one for my size and he is totally responsible :D…

    I do get lot of stares from men and women for my height and my foot size. So when I see them staring my shoe I would usually tell them ‘Yeah, I have a man’s feet . Feel free to stare till you are done analyzing’ 😀