For most of my adolescence, I had precisely three pairs of shoes: gym shoes for gym, gym shoes for life and sensible black dress shoes for special occasions. As my friends amassed cute shoes for various barely-distinct events, I would wander forlornly down the aisles of DSW looking for the elusive bright yellow size 12 sticker, occasionally stumbling upon a pair of work boots or supportive mules.
Now that we live in the golden age of internet shopping, there are definitely more options for the ample-footed among us, but I still wouldn’t say shoe shopping is easy. If you, like me, are the proud owner of a pair of very large cloppers, perhaps you’re feeling a similar sense of dread about the annual spring/summer shoe transition. Cute, bright and spring-friendly shoes can be hard to track down above a size 10. That’s not to say they don’t exist, though.
To help take the stress out of your spring shoe hunt, I’ve put together a mix of my tried-and-true favorite places to shop for size 11+ shoes, as well as a few up-and-comers that have caught my eye. Take a scroll and then tell me what I missed in the comments.
My OG large-sized shoe shop is Nordstrom (or Nordstroms/Nordis if you’re nasty), which carries women’s shoes all the way up to a size 15. I was wearing size 10s by fifth grade, so Nordstrom kept me in cute (mom-approved) shoes all the way through high school. As a comfort-over-everything shoe buyer now, I’m very into these almost-denim/almost-Crocs Munro Oxfords. I predict I will tower over the dance floor of at least one wedding in these rust suede Clarks platforms. Plus these Gucci flats are practically begging to be paired with a caftan.
Pro tip: I buy all my sneakers almost exclusively from Nordstrom Rack, which carries up to a women’s size 13 and tends to have great deals.
I feel admittedly silly every time I have to say the name out loud, but Long Tall Sally has a great selection of shoes in sizes 10–15. These polka dot heels really appeal to the part of me that spent a year thinking I might like to swing dance. These floral sneakers appeal to the part of me that wants to look summery and fun but also chooses to walk home because the subway platforms are already a million degrees.
Bonus round: Check out these bug flats that may not be in season but are on sale and wow do I love them.
If you’ve ever watched wistfully from the sidelines as yet another line of gorgeous, well-made, too-small flats launched, Margaux is here to make all your dreams come true. Like the teenage dreamboat extending a hand to the wallflower at the senior prom, Margaux’s flats, heels and loafers will pull you under the disco ball and give you your time to shine. You can order shoes in standard sizes (up to a Euro 45 and a US 14) or have them custom fit to your very own feet. What luxury. I am OBSESSED with these bordeaux heels because I think Cyril Woodcock would wear them if she loosened up just a bit — and these saffron flats are basically summer style perfection.
While I try to think of buying shoes as a long-term investment and take most of mine to the cobbler or clean them to prolong their lives, I tend to buy at least one pair each spring that I know isn’t going to make it through summer. Usually white or pink and pretty comfortable, I know I’ll wear the hell out of them, fast. Luckily, ASOS has great inexpensive choices for one-summer wears. With options like these $19 white sneakers and these $35 leopard sandals, ASOS is one of my go-tos for love-‘em-and-leave-‘em shoes or getting out of a “help! I need some shoes that match this one wedding outfit that I may not wear again!” bind.
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Thandos makes the perfect park shoes: bright, patterned and easy to slip off if you want to give your toes some grass time. They’re also foldable, so you can toss them in your tote in case you need to make a post-work/post-beach costume change. But the perfection doesn’t end there: They’re also machine washable and go up to a size 15. I’m very into the colorway on the Akonmi Retro and am waiting patiently for the Hunter Canvases to be back in stock.
If your style leans Scandinavian hypebeast, Eytys has your back. It offers a variety of streetwear-friendly sneakers that go up to a women’s size 13 in most styles. I’ve been gazing longingly at anything in this seafoam color these days, so 10/10 would buy. While Eytys shoes are on the pricier side, you do get to say, “Thanks! They’re Swedish!” anytime someone compliments them.
Zappos and Amazon also have a good selection of larger sizes if you know what you’re looking for. Let me know where else you’ve found big-shoe success and what footwear you’re dreaming of this summer. I’ll be waiting in the comments, metaphorical pen and paper ready.
Feature photos courtesy of Margaux.