Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rage Against the Shoe Store

I hate shopping for shoes. Yes, you heard me correctly. I am a woman and I hate shopping for shoes. Don’t get me wrong, I love shoes. I love buying new shoes. I love finding a pretty pair in the store that make your calves look killer and prancing around the store in happiness. But I hate shopping for shoes because I have big feet. The shoe world is not kind to women with big feet.

Many shoe stores don’t carry big sizes at all. Department stores are the worst.  I haven’t been able to buy shoes at a place like JC Penny, Macy’s or Belk since the 8th grade.  While there are some stores who make an effort to carry a wider variety of sizes, pickings are slim for those of us in the 11-12 category.

One such store is the Payless in my neighborhood. They are at least kind enough to recognize that big feet need to be shod as well.  However, the store is separated by size and the 11-12 section is in the farthest, darkest, saddest corner in the entire place. I guess its best that they keep us away from the people with average size feet. No one wants to see the sadness that happens in that far back corner. We’ll get to that in a minute. First we must take the journey to that corner.

As you enter such stores you start out hopeful. Hey, look! There’s my size…way back there. You look at the shoes in the other size sections as you pass. You can’t help it. They’re so pretty. Electric blue pumps? Of course I need those! But then you start to notice something once you pass the 9s. The shoes are getting less and less cute as you go. Then you think of your past shoe shopping experiences and realize that you are once again on the trek to the back corner. Where ugly shoes go to die. Because if it isn’t bad enough that most people don’t even carry your size, now you realize that of the  pairs they have for you to choose from here only two are halfway presentable. No, I don’t want the granny orthos or the leopard print platforms with a purple heel. 

So you find yourself sad and forlorn as you face your options. You even try to squeeze into a few 10s, knowing full well that it’ll never happen. You’re walking around in them actually saying to yourself “I could get away with these. Maybe hammer toe won’t be so bad after all…” (Side note, it will be awful. Take a look.) Once you’ve moved on past denial you become angry. You begin to curse all shoe stores and shoe makers in general. Then you realize that they don’t even make half sizes past a size 10 and you get even more enraged. Because we all know that once you get past a size 10 your feet only grow in whole sizes. After a quick tear or two you finally enter acceptance. You pick the least ugly pair of shoes you can find, call it day and go look at the purses. Purses fit everyone and they make us all feel better.

So in conclusion I would like to say something to the shoe stores:

Dear shoe stores,

Why do you continue to hate on ladies with big feet? We still need to buy shoes. Our money is still green. And here’s the kicker, we like to shop for shoes just as much as any other girl.  So why then do you continue to not carry our sizes? If one of you would catch on we would flock to you in droves. We would march to your store in our tattered black flats that we’re still wearing because we can’t find replacements.  Then, once we arrived to purchase our new black flats we would become giddy with excitement and buy lots of other shoes that we don’t need or have the money for.  We would buy the electric blue pumps and the red sling backs. We would love you and spread the word of your greatness and never leave you. If you build it, we will come.

Molly, size 11.5 

P.S. pay attention to us because it hurts worse when we kick you.