Question: Are you looking for Dressy or Casual Women’s Shoes? fans answered this survey with a preference for CASUAL chic shoes (30%).

Aerosoles' Birthright wedge heel slide in red.

Aerosoles’ Birthright wedge heel slide in red.











DRESSY with bling got 28% of the vote.

Vegas by Lava brand women's shoes.

Vegas by Lava brand women’s shoes.

24% of the voters were looking for “job interview” DRESSY.

Valerie, Brown by Ros Hommerson

Valerie, Brown by Ros Hommerson











Only 18% of the voters wanted CASUAL comfort!

Travelwalker in Coral from  Propet brand.

Travelwalker in Coral from Propet brand.

Bettie Page Size 12 Platform Pump is Stunning and Wearable

Dear Shoe Lady:
Hi I like the Betty page Cheryl blue pumps and think the right size would be a 12 med width. I am 5.11 and weight 185 lbs… you think I could wear them?

Available in size 12.  Stunning.  Wear like a work of art.

Available in size 12. Stunning. Wear like a work of art.

Dear Garry,

I think the royal blue Cheryl platform pumps by Bettie Page are stunning.  Having spent some time in a school of architecture, I find the metal ornamentation to be a refreshing change from the usual gew gaws one finds perched on the vamps of shoes.  The color is terrific.  So.  I’m puzzled.  Why could you not wear them?
Let me think of reasons.  I strongly urge you not to wear them for running, jogging or even standing for long periods.  I do not think they would wear well outdoors in inclement weather.  If you have a strong desire to not appear taller than a potential partner, I would advise against these, unless, of course, your partner is over 6’5″.  These are showpiece shoes.  Wear them like a work of art.
Best to you,
The Shoe Lady

Find Correct Size for Long Toes


I was wondering if you could make any brand recommendations for me. I wear an 8.5/9 and have narrow feet and long toes. I really struggle with finding brands with a long enough toe box. The last few years have been really bad as the rounded toe styles have been so popular! I find most Italian shoes are particularly short in the toe box. I am happy to see more pointy styles coming back, but even some of the new pointy styles are too short in the forefoot for me. If I go up a size then they are way to wide and my heel slips. It’s really hard to find narrow fitting shoes and even the narrow ones are sometimes not cut right for me. I often resort to boots and laced shoes as they at least stay on my feet! Any advice would be appreciated!


Dear Sam,

 I’ve been wanting to write on this issue for awhile!
First… tell me what types of shoes you would like to be wearing and for what kind of occasions.
Short answer… you have the answer.  boots and lace ups.   The only other style type I would add:  mary jane straps.
Also, you won’t find the solution by brand, only by style type.  Some shoes are longer than others within a brand.  But that is a fluke, not a brand policy.  For example, I just bought two pair of Propet styles:  a lace up (Firefly) and a mary jane.  Same size.  The lace up had extra space in the toes (a luxury) and the mary jane is going to be returned… my toes hit the end.
I will send a longer answer soon.
Thanks for the question!
The Shoe Lady
Thanks for the reply!

I am 46, but still like to wear a heel. I try to keep it 2.5 inches and under. It would be a miracle to find a comfortable pump that isn’t styled for seniors! Flats are also a problem for me- they just kill me most of the time. I think they often have shorter toe boxes. I am also somewhat flat-footed so I do need something with some structure. Very soft leather shoes are usually a bust for me.
Dear Sam-

First let me explain the relationship between long toes and how shoes are sized.  As my Faithful Readers know, there are 28 different “fit points” that need to be measured when making shoes.  With all those fit points to consider,  customers have to start overlooking some and paying attention to only the most important fit points.  For most women, length is the most important.  But not for you.


This device allows you to see what size shoe you should wear based on your "ankle length" vs. based on your "heel to toe" length.  For short and long toed women, these two sizes will not be the same!

This device allows you to see what size shoe you should wear based on your “ankle length” vs. based on your “heel to toe” length. For short and long toed women, these two sizes will not be the same!

Shoes are designed and manufactured assuming an average toe length.  For a shoe designer, the most important measurement is the “arch length”, a somewhat misleading term that measures the distance from the back of the heel to the ball of the foot.  The ball is where the foot bends when you walk.  Shoes are designed to 1) curve out at that ball and 2) bend at that ball.  If your toes are longer than average and if you buy shoes based on length, that curve and that bend in the shoes will never be in the right place for you!


Each foot is the same length, but the BALL of the foot hits a very different place in a shoe.

Each foot is the same length, but the BALL of the foot hits a very different place in a shoe.

If you are wearing flats with a round or squared toe and a flexible sole, that curve won’t matter so much.  It will matter even less if you can find shoes that have more space or depth in the toe box so you don’t have to get them wider than you really need, just so you can have the width where the ball of YOUR foot hits the side of the shoe.


But if you want to wear 2.5 inch pumps, which a constructed specifically to have a built in bend at the place where average toe length feet would naturally bend, then you are in pain from the beginning.  The pump will not bend where your foot bends.  The arch will feel all wrong to you.  The widest part of the forefoot will not hit where the widest part of YOUR foot needs the space.

I’m offering an example of a pair of pumps that will allow your toes to peek out a bit.  A closed toe pump usually calls for an additional 0.6 inches of space beyond the toe.  If you wear open toes, you can claim that space and hopefully get the ball of your foot closer to where it should be in the design of the shoe.

This peep toe D'Orsay style pump will give you some extra space for long toes.

This peep toe D’Orsay style pump will give you some extra space for long toes.

Best to you,
The Shoe Lady

Finding Right Woman’s Shoe Size for Man

Dear Shoe Lady-

My size shoe is 11 wide (mens)  looking for what size is equivalent to a women’s size in ballet flats?



Dear Steve,

This is such an easy question.
But before you believe my answer, I suggest you read these:
and, because men’s feet are wider than womens, for the same length in inches, you will want to understand how shoe
manufacturers size wide styles:
Now that you are a shoe expert, fully edified and almost certified, I will tell you.  Look at the flats in size 13W
This will fit a foot that is 11 inches long and 4.6 inches wide, which should come close to your feet.
If not, read about how to measure your feet and find the right size for you on the shoe size chart.
Have fun shopping!
The Shoe Lady

High Instep Makes it Hard to Find Shoes that Fit

Shoe Lady-

What a difficult time it is for shopping for shoes.  :(  Shoes need to be made with higher insteps.  Any suggestions?  I wear a 11W.



 Dear Sharon-
I understand that you believe the cause of your problem is that shoes do not accommodate higher insteps.  But I’m not sure of what the resulting problem is?  Do the shoes not support your arches?  Do the shoes not provide enough space on the top of your foot, the vamp?
If it is a high arch, take this “wet pavement” test: and follow the tips.
If it is not enough space on the top of your foot, you will need to look for specific types of shoe styles that do not cut into the skin on your foot but still hold your foot securely.  Lace ups are a great choice.  And since menswear styles are such a hot trend right now, you will have lots of choices.  Shoes with microfiber or elastic uppers are also a good choice.
Tell me more about your problem and I’ll try to be more specific.
The Shoe Lady
Thanks for the reply.  To clarify, the top of my foot, the vamp, doesn’t have enough room,  and I also have wide feet.   I am finding due to not having enough room on top of the foot, the shoes are not fitting despite the wide foot.

I am so sympathetic.  I share your pain.  It was years before I realized that I have what I affectionately refer to as a “muscular” foot, ie. thick.  And I have a fairly high arch.  You must accommodate that width.  Think of the shoe as a container holding the volume of your foot.  Be rigorous about turning away from those fashionable styles that will bind into the top of your foot.  As mentioned, if you want to wear ballet flats and keep them on, they should have a mary jane strap.  Otherwise, the wider fit you need will invariably be too wide for your heel and the shoes will slip off.

Keep in mind the 28 fit points.  Most people just think about length, but that is only one fit point.  You need to shoe shop with length, width and front of shoe volume in mind.  Remembering 3 out of 28 is not hard.  And even if it limits your options, your feet will be happy and that will bring you comfort!
The Shoe Lady

Dyeing Shoe Colors that POP for Bridesmaids in Wedding


Five of my bridesmaids are wearing a pewter dress and the other three are wearing royal blue . What color shoes should the girls in pewter wear ?  It’s a one strap satin dress right above the knee. The girls in royal blue have a floor length, long dress.  I wanted the girls in pewter to wear a pop color like blue shoes or something . Not sure.

Please help me . Any suggestions on color and style ?

Thank you



If you want the bridesmaid ladies to all have the same shoe style, or close to it AND you want a color that “pops”, you should look at the dyeable shoe choices.  The white shoes in this collection are dyeable:
The shoes come with a fabric swatch for test dyeing.  The bold colors look terrific.  If your colors are royal blue and pewter, what color(s) are your flowers?  Let’s say they are hot pink or orange?  Why not get shoes to match your flowers?  Or a third accent color you are using at the wedding?
Not knowing your taste or color scheme, or venue… I would run these ideas by whomever is helping you plan the wedding, including your bridesmaids.  The nice thing about dyeable shoes, you can dye them to match the royal blue dresses (for example) and then those ladies can dye them again to the color of their choice.
Here’s how you do this.  Buy the dyeable shoes. Make sure they fit.  Take the shoes, with color swatches you like, to a good full service shoe repair shop.  (Look in the phone book or online.  Shoe repair shops used to be on every corner practically, but not any more.)  The shoe repair person can dye the shoes (and also adjust the fit, like making the shoes a bit wider for bunions, etc.)  Expect the dyer to take about 2 extra days to let the shoes dry.  So don’t wait too long to take them in.
The dying process is relatively easy.  If you can’t find a shoe repair person or if you’d rather do it yourself, here is one of many places to get the dying materials:
PLEASE!  Do send as a picture of the results!  It sounds like it is going to be a beautiful wedding!
Best to you,
The Shoe Lady

What Shoes for A Size 10.5M With Short Toes?

Dear Shoe Lady,

I have always had big feet.  I passed my grandmother’s size 7 at an early age and flew by my mother’s size 9 in fourth grade.  Finding shoes growing up was always a problem because anything my mother could find in my size she felt looked way too “grown up” for me. By the time I reached junior high I had hit size 10, and they very difficult to locate in our area.  Many times I would walk into a store to ask if they had anything in my size and was turned away because they had nothing.

I have lost count of the times I actually found a pair only to try them on and find out they didn’t fit and of the many looks on the faces of salesclerks and even rude comments when I declared they were too small.  As hard as it was to find shoes there was still a part of me that would get excited when I finally found a size 10, fleetingly hoping it would actually fit, an inner sigh of disappointment when they did not.

It has grown much easier to find size 10, 11 and even larger in my area, but never a half size.  I still try on tons of shoes to find a 10 that runs big or an 11 that runs small.  When I do find something I hang on to it and take care of them, wearing them as long as possible and sometimes even buy additional pairs.

It seems I have short toes (or at least the ball of my foot is always closer to the toe than where the ball of the shoe lies) along with an unusual size of 10.5 which makes it very difficult to find the right fit.

Would you have any recommendations on shoes for me?



Dear Deb,

the 10.5M shoe size problem is not so hard.  Today has 752 women’s shoe  styles available in size 10.5.  But, alas, the short toes are more of a challenge.  Shoes are actually designed and sized based on the distance between the ball of the foot and the heel.  So if you have short toes and you buy your shoes by toe to heel length, the outward curve of the shoe where the ball of your foot should be will always hit your foot in the wrong spot, making the shoe feel strange.  Your best bet for this is to look for styles that don’t taper in too much at the toe box.  Look for a rounder or square toe box shape.

Best wishes,
The Shoe Lady

Where Are All the Stylish Shoes in Size 12?








Alas …. too bad you can’t walk a day in the ShoeLady’s shoes!  Up and down the aisles with hundreds of vendors at huge shoe show conventions asking…. “do you have styles in size 12”?   Years ago it was hard enough to find attractive shoes in larger sizes.  And, if you remember, will not carry a brand unless it goes, AT LEAST to size 12!
I thought it would get easier as more shoe companies came on line.  I do believe always had the best “eye” for stylish shoes for “women who leave a larger footprint”.  But the companies DSC used to buy from, Vis a vie, Pancaldi, Danny Black, Valentina,  the list goes on and on….  They are out of business.  The shoe industry is tough.  And when the recession hit in 2008 companies that had been in business for almost 100 years did not make it through.  Many of these companies closed even earlier as the Euro outgrew the Dollar and made Italian and Spanish made shoes more expensive than USA customers were willing to pay.  I fondly remember the days of ordering small batches of a variety of different styles and colors in unique fabrications from companies that were willing to make size 12’s and 13’s… and knew how to do it.
The industry has changed.  I think does a great job offering styles from the smaller and larger companies that are willing to make these sizes.  Maybe when the economy improves, there will be more choices again.  In the meantime, the ShoeLady continues to pace the aisles of the shoe shows…. searching.
The Shoe Lady
Your prompt response, is appreciated, and Yes, I can understand, walking a day in “The Shoe Lady’s Shoe”s, being , that I am, a business women who, was hit “Hard ” by the recession (regardless of the industry).
As I mentioned earlier, I meant, NO-DISRESPECT to You!    The average shoes size for young  girls not even in high school is a size 10 (USA) , I have a list of over 30,000 young girls , and women who wear size 12-14, and whom, want stylish shoes so, i know, THERE IS A BIG MARKET FOR LARGER SIZE SHOES!!!
Guess, I’ll have to find a manufacture, and design my own shoes for females whom leave a larger foot print.
My Best,
I too know there is a HUGE market.  And does have some very stylish shoes.  They just carry a LOT more styles (4000 compared to about 200) than they used to.  And since most of those styles tend to be boring, black and comfort oriented, the fashionable, fun stuff can seem to get lost.

I don’t suggest trying your own manufacturing unless you own the factory.  I’ve seen too many fail at this… it is very tricky.  But mainly, the shoe business has changed.  In 1997 could order shoes made in batches of 6 to 12 pair.  Now…. 4,000 pair (mixed sizes, same color) is more typical.  So if you want to offer stylish women’s shoes in a few different styles and colors…. you have to order, at minimum, several hundred pair per style/color.  And the fewer you order, the higher the price…by a lot.
If you do decide to make your own, let me know.  I’m sure would be delighted to carry them!
The Shoe Lady
Shoe Lady-
Thank you, Very Much, for your insight !.
 I too know, of the “Horrible” Drama’s , that could happen when one does Not, have total control of  producing 
your product or at least, an “Honest” business partner who, may own a manufacturing plant.
I wish You, all that is “Positive” in your business, and if, I do start the manufacturing of larger size shoes
You’ll be one of the first person’s I contact.
My Best,
Thank you Wanda!



How Do You Make Your Own Shoes?


I was wondering if you do any tutoring on show making? Or know anyone who does? Since I’m trying to make a mean forme for my shoe.





I thought about your question on how to make shoes a lot.  So much that I thought I’d responded.

I don’t do this tutoring.  Nor, I believe, does
HOWEVER!  There are some very useful videos on YouTube.  Do a search for “how to make shoes” or ‘how to make a last for shoes”.  Take a look at the choices.  Please do report back and let us know your favorite videos on this topic!
Anyone else have suggestions on where to learn how to make your own shoes?
The Shoe Lady