Dear Shoe Lady,
I measured my foot to be 21cm long and 8cm wide. By your guide this makes me a UK size 2-2.5
My problem is that whenever I buy this size shoe the length and width often fit perfectly but the shape of the shoe never fits my foot! I will try to describe the problem as best I can!
It feels like I need to push my foot further back into the shoe in order to get the contact I need for it to feel comfortable at the arch. This is especially the case with heels, even small ones (I never where high heels, they just hurt too much).
If I try a larger size 3 the arch position feels perfect, but the shoe itself is way to big. I do have rather short toes, I am not sure if this is my problem, or if it is high arches? What can I do to fix it and make wearing heals more comfortable?
I would very much appreciate some help.
This is exactly the kind of question that keeps The Shoe Lady in business. Why is it that people assume that just because it is easier for manufacturers to think of all feet as being two dimensional objects that only vary by length and width… in per-determined proportions…. that real human feet are also two dimensional!!???
Breathe deeply. Ah. I feel a RANT coming on.
There are 28, TWENTY EIGHT, different measurement dimensions on a human foot. And we generally each have TWO feet. So that’s 56 different measurement points that a shoe should fit in order to fit our feet.
Now to give the shoe industry some credit, when they pick a style, some shoe companies really try to make it fit a lot of different foot sizes and shapes. The folks at DesignerShoes.com love these companies and have a great selection of their shoes. These are companies that will make a given style in 56 different sizes. That’s a lot of work. A lot of manufacturing changes. A lot of possibilities for guessing the wrong amounts to make for each size, etc. So we appreciate their efforts. Who does this? Naturalizer. Antia. Special Occasions. Soft Spots. Trotters. And more.
BUT….. even though they make 56+ sizes, they still are only doing it on variations in length and width.
This is why we all need to really understand our feet and how their shape and size compares to what manufacturers assume to be most common.
I will now tell you the variations in foot shape that are most likely to cause “fit” problems.
- Shorter than average toes
- Longer than average toes
- Thick (top to bottom) feet, including higher arches and more muscular feet
- Wider forefoot, including bunions
If you have any of these, you can still have perfectly healthy, perfectly adorable feet. But you need to be strategic when you shop for shoes.
Without seeing your feet, I am trusting your description. Your toes are shorter than average. If you go to a pedorthist and have your feet measured professionally on a Brannock device, you will find that the foot measurement is always based on the distance from the back of your heel to the BALL of your foot, NOT the tip of your toes! Shoemakers assume you have the standard length of toes for that distance. And you do not. You MUST find shoes that fit the ball of your foot and expect that you will have extra air around your toes.
Ah. I know. There are more challenges. Keeping the shoes on, for example. You might want to look for shoes with “maryjane” straps over the top of the foot; or shoes with a high vamp, like loafers; or shoes with pointed toes. There are alternatives. You could look for more unstructured shoes like canvas espadrilles that do not have last that is designed to fit to the ball of your foot.
Why am I ignoring the “high arch” question? Well clearly I am not!
I have a high arch too. But I haven’t found that it influences the fit of shoes anywhere near as much as the thickness of my forefeet. You do need to pay attention, though. You may need arch supports, especially if you want to wear heels or have shoes you are standing in or walking in for long periods. This, my dear, is beyond my pay grade.
If your arches feel stretched, are cramped, etc., please do 1) massage them regularly and 2) see a specialist who can tell you if you need arch supports.
I am tempted to ask you how you even stand up on such tiny little feet. But I am restraining myself.
Best to you,
The Shoe Lady