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



Videos! We Want Videos of Shoes! Please Send

Dear Reader,

We are collecting short videos of people, particularly women, so we can watch what shoes they wear.  We would LOVE LOVE LOVE for you to send us your short videos.  (Use or borrow a smart phone and email to

We want just legs and feet, people walking, so don’t worry about privacy.  Videos should be under about 1.5 minutes.  We want to know where you are – Santa Cruz Boardwalk, Wellesley College, Boulder hiking trail, Miami mall, Central Park, other?

Other videos we’d love to see?  Trying to  shop for  size 12 shoes.  Prom night shoe fashions. Interviewing women about what shoe size they wear, then measuring their feet to confirm.

Send the video with your name and best email address to us at  If we use the video on youtube, we will send you a gift certificate for shoes.


The Shoe Lady

PS:  Here is our YouTube channel:

What Size Shoes Should I Order?


Dear Shoe Lady,

What size should I order? My width is 4.6 and length is 11.2?



Dear B.H.,

An excellent, practical question.  I assume that you have read how to measure your feet correctly and understand that if you make a little slip and don’t keep the pencil straight up and down, and tight to the edge of your foot, you could end up with a very wrong size.
You should be shopping for a women’s 14M, 14 medium.  A size 13 is only 1/5th of an inch shorter, 11 inches.  If a shoe has an open toe, like a sandal, you may find that 13’s work for you too.  After you have asked such a nice simple question, I am loathe to make it more complicated.  But much depends on whether you have extra short or extra long toes.  A shoe’s size is really determined by the length between the heel and the ball of the foot.  So if your toes are disproportionately long, you’ll be buying a shoe that doesn’t quite hit in the right places around the ball of your foot.   Ah.  TMI.  Too much information.
Take a look at these styles.  Size 14 shoes that look like women’s shoes are infernally hard to find.  There are 154 styles today from 13 different brands.
Walk in peace,
The Shoe Lady

She HATES Her Size 12 Feet – Can’t Find Shoes

Dear Shoe Lady,


I’m a size 12 and I HATE my feet. Everytime I see a shoe that I LOVE, they obviously don’t carry my size. So where can I purchase cute shoes online? Also what would be my size when it came to wanting to wear heels?



Dear Chevonne,

I’m not asking you to love your feet.  But you can at least be kind to them.  If you are going to be angry, then be angry at the folks who don’t make shoes in your size.  It is not the fault of your feet that you can’t find size 12 shoes!  Not that I’m not sympathetic.  As a size 11.5 myself, I wear size 12’s a lot.  If you think size 12’s are hard to find, try looking for an 11.5.
But let’s get right to your question.  You can purchase size 12’s on line here:  You can probably find them other places too.  But does not annoy you by carrying all those styles that stop at size 10.  The size 12’s sell out fast, but the site is filled with, as of today, 1.705 choices.  Since it is the very beginning of Fall, new styles are arriving all the time.
But I have to ask.  What makes you think you are a size 12?   Just because a size 11 was too small?   You didn’t mention the width.  If you get the wrong width, the shoes will look strange on your feet, and they will be uncomfortable.  Please read about how to measure your feet.  If your feet are 10.8 inches long, then you ARE a size 12 (USA).  But if they are less than half an inch shorter or longer then you are a size 11 or a size 13.  Learn how to measure your feet accurately here:
Please do not make the all-to-common mistake of buying a shoe that is too long for you just because you need more space to squeeze in a wide foot!  Look for a smaller size and a wider width.  If you are a size 12 medium, then the bottom of your foot, at the widest part, should be about 4.1 inches across.  If your foot is only a third of an inch narrower or wider, you could need a size 12 narrow or size 12 wide instead of a medium.  Read about shoe widths here:
Developing your personal style will make you a fashion leader.  Decide what shape and style of shoe looks best on your feet.  What styles go best with your lifestyle.  You mentioned high heels.  If they are properly sized, you would wear a size 12 in heels too.  But for heels, knowing your correct size and width is more important.  There is less, shall we say, “wiggle room” if you get the measurements wrong.  You may decide that a flat mary jane style in a bright color with striped opaque tights makes the perfect fashion statement for you.  Or you may prefer a stiletto ankle boot with a platform sole and blue jeans.

Whatever your style, treat your feet well and they will make you happy.

Best to you,
The Shoe Lady

Ros Hommerson Sandal Fits the Bill for 10WW With Bunions

Finding has been like winning the lottery for me.  I wear size 10 WW shoes and can never find a sandal that will hide the large bunions I have.  It has been almost impossible to find that extra wide shoes size in almost any style shoe.

After shopping in your store, I came across the Scottsdale sandal by Ros Hommerson*, which fits the bill.  How exciting to be able to wear a sandal for the first time.  I cannot tell you how many sandals I have wanted to purchase, and when trying them on they would either hurt or call attention to the bunions. The Scottsdale sandal certainly works for me.

 B L


*note:  Ros Hommerson had been one of the most popular brands at  The brand has not been producing new styles for awhile so it is great to announce that as of Fall 2013 their styles in sizes from 4 to 13 and widths from AAAA (extra slim) to EE (extra wide).  And they have size 11.5 too!  A special interest for The Shoe Lady!