Why is there a Lack of Stylish High Heels for Wider Women’s Feet ?

Dear Shoe Lady,

Why do shoe manufactures of wide width women’s shoes only make shoes 2 – 2.5 inches (rarely 3 inch) in heel height? Do you know of a technical reason? I have a wider foot but LOVE the taller heel.

Dear Tamica –

First I must acknowledge that I, myself, do not approve of high heels…. unless you do not plan to walk in them. Wearing 3 inch heels puts SEVEN times more pressure on the balls of your feet than when you are wearing flats. That said, we still approve of giving customers a range of choices for their footwear. Although I can personally hope that the 3+ inch heels are worn primarily while sitting on a bar stool and chatting with admirers.

Naturalizer Beauty Coral at DesignerShoes.com

Naturalizer Beauty Coral is a 3 Inch Wedge High Heel Casual Sandal

The women’s shoe industry works with a lot of impressions about who they think their customers are, but unfortunately, they do not work with a lot of data. If they DID, they would recognize that if they made shoes to size 10 routinely, when size 7 was the average size, then they should be making shoes to size 12 routinely when size 9 is the average size. Alas they don’t.

Aerosoles Soloist Taupe Combo at DesignerShoes.com

Aerosoles Soloist Taupe Combo is a Low Casual Flat Available in Size 12

Just yesterday I was chatting with a shoe company executive about wider sizes and larger sizes for dressy shoes. They are still focusing on the size 7-8 medium market and designing platform high heels. He said it is very hard to get their factories to make platform heels for larger and wider sizes. I’m just sayin’ that’s what he said. So you can blame the factories, most likely Chinese owned.

I also suspect that there is an assumption that a wider footed woman is going to be overweight and older. This is where the lack of data comes into play. It is our experience that, while obesity is a huge problem in the US, you can be obese and still wear a medium width shoe. Women with wider feet are more likely to be younger and athletic, with a muscular foot, or with an ethnic heritage that tends toward wider feet. Shoe manufacturers who believe that a wider footed woman is going to be overweight and older, are also going to assume that this woman is not going to want a stylish 3 inch heel.

Naturalizer Ideal Multi Floral at DesignerShoes.com

Naturalizer Ideal Multi Floral is a 3 Inch High Heel Casual Slingback Available in Size 12

There you have it. In my “humble” opinion.

The Shoe Lady