Buying shoes online can be tricky if you don’t already know the brand. Whether you have big feet or not, everyone has the same problem trying to find good shoes that fit them.
I can squeeze my feet into size European 41, or a US 10, running shoes, which if I actually run in, causes my toes nails to go black, but the correct fit for me is a 42 or a 43 (US11 or 12). Depending on the width of the shoe.
I get questions about shoes and how they fit, all the time. This week I’ve had questions about whether it’s better to buy shoes too big? (You wish, right?). And what’s the best size shoe if one foot is bigger than the other? More on these questions later.
Unfortunately, across the world and the shoe industry, there is no official standard sizing. For women’s shoes in larger sizes, I found it’s also hard to get correct widths. When I began developing the lasts (shoe molds) for Chiqui Alta, my manufacturer had never made women’s shoes greater than size 41 before.
In testing the sizes I found the measurements of the traditional European lasts were too narrow for bigger feet, and I tested a lot of shoes and sizes.
I had a podiatrist friend provide advice on the fit, and we had to expand the width of the lasts several times, to the uncertainty of my very experienced shoe factory. So far, the time invested in developing slightly wider lasts has been a well worth it. What I created runs in proportion to the length and in my mind is what the width for ladies’ big shoes should always have been.
But I know none of this matters to you, you want to know, “what’s my shoe size?”
This is why I created the FitKit. A specially designed guide for measuring big feet. It looks not just at the length, but also the circumference, at the widest point of your foot. Combine the measures together, and you have your size. If you want to know what size you are – download the FitKit here.
Back to the questions about the best fitting shoes, it is always best to get the correct shoe size from the beginning. Squeezing into shoes, as I did with my trainers, not only causes damage to your feet, but you never want to wear shoes that hurt.
The worst shoes in your cupboard are the ones you don’t wear.
When it comes to knowing if your shoe is the right size, use this rule of thumb (or toe in this case). There should be a fingers space left between the tip of your longest toe and the end of the shoe. You should also be able to stick your thumb between your heal and the back of your shoe.
I use this guide too when fitting shoes for my kids, who tell me every shoe fits perfectly.
And if you are like many people and have one foot slightly larger, then go to the size of your biggest foot. You can also purchase inserts and anti-heel-slip guards for the smaller foot from your cobbler or the pharmacy.
Finding well-fitting shoes, especially for women with feet, can be hard. However, using these tips and downloading the FitKit to measure your feet when buying online, are some of the ways to can help find the best fit for you.