Big, beautiful shoes
August 10, 2005 8:40 PM   Subscribe

Help me find pretty (or at least not-sneaker) shoes! I wear a women's size 12...

I wear and love New Balance sneakers, but as I prepare to embark on a real career, I want to buy office-appropriate shoes. A search on Zappos for my size turns up a lot of shoes, but I can rarely find shoes locally, and I've bought a lot of shoes only to realize after a few weeks that they gave me blisters or made my ankles bleed. So I'm really looking for personal experience: if you have big feet, who makes shoes that make your feet really happy? Money is not much of an object, if I can find just a single good pair...
posted by Jeanne to Shopping (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Clarks always make my feet very happy, I've had several pairs. Some of their shoes are ugly but they have cute ones too. They run pretty true to size, maybe slightly on the wide side.
posted by cali at 8:52 PM on August 10, 2005

This question was asked a while back for the same shoe size.
posted by wannabehippie at 9:18 PM on August 10, 2005

My friend wears size 11 and swears by Stuart Weitzman, as does a friend who wears size 5.5!
posted by gatorae at 9:19 PM on August 10, 2005

My big-footed sister also likes Clarks. Other favorites of hers are Mephisto and Joseph Seibel.
posted by wryly at 9:46 PM on August 10, 2005

Buying and inserting inserts/liners can help prevent discomfort.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 9:57 PM on August 10, 2005

On the less expensive end, I know that the Isaac Mizrahi shoes at Target all go up to 12. I've got several pairs of the flats and kitten-heels (size 9, though) and I find them pretty cute and comfy.
posted by scody at 9:58 PM on August 10, 2005


Ok, they're not that comfortable, but they sure are stylish.
posted by kables at 10:01 PM on August 10, 2005

In Canada, there's 'tallcrest shoes'.

I also vote for 'clarks' shoes. They rock. Payless carries a limited amount of longer women's shoes. They're not the greatest quality, but they'll do in a pinch.
posted by Radio7 at 1:55 AM on August 11, 2005

Best answer: I wear a size 12 and I love stylish but comfortable shoes. Brands and stores I'd recommend:

Stuart Weitzman

Nordstrom (They have a house brand that is quite good and affordable as well as a pseudo Italian line called, I think, Habille, which runs about $200 per pair and only seems to be sold in stores. Linea Paolo is another one of their house lines, I believe, and many of their styles are yummy, although the heel height usually is a problem for me.)

Designer Shoes (I especially am fond of the Isaac Mizrahi shoes they carry.)


Hush Puppies



Eddie Bauer (I love their boots, flats and sandals.)

J. Crew (Now carries a limited number of size 12 shoes.)

And I'll second Clark and Target for the Isaac Mizrahi shoes.

As for comfort, I do a bit of walking for my commute so I usually need shoes with a smaller heel or kitten heel or at least a stacked heel unless I want to be in miserable pain.

With the exception of some Stuart Weitzman shoes I own, I've never found a pair of sandals that didn't give me blisters for at least awhile. In fall and winter, I love wearing boots with a stacked heel, which I find supremely comfortable walking around in. Mules, on the other hand, I find very difficult to walk in.

I think there is a bit of a trade-off between fashion and comfort when it comes to shoes. As for those women running around in stilettos, I think they've trained their bodies not to feel the pain.
posted by Sully6 at 7:11 AM on August 11, 2005 [3 favorites]

By the way, if you're not wearing hose or tights under your shoes, I'd get footies/shoe liners. They really do help prevent the blisters, at least for me. You can also get shoes stretched if they're really causing you problems.

I would recommend staying away from most pointy-toed shoes. Love the look but in a size 12, they make me look like Witchiepoo.

Finally, you may have to resign yourself to online shopping for awhile. I live in Chicago and close to Nordstrom, but even so, I still mail order about 2/3 of my shoes. I find that stores usually order only a handful of 12s and they sell quickly.
posted by Sully6 at 7:24 AM on August 11, 2005

I'd recommend some Birkenstocks. If the standard style isn't appropriate for your workplace you're in luck, as they have recently applied their awesome footbed to various designs.

You might want to see if there is a nice local shoe store that has some examples for you to check out. I know that here in my area they aren't really that popular, so the small shops that carry them only had womens sizes - my actual order had to be shipped in - bonus was, it wasn't substantially more expensive than ordering them online and the help was very valuable.
posted by prostyle at 7:51 AM on August 11, 2005

Is there a store in your town that caters to transvestites and transsexuals? I'm not being facetious here. They would have an array of large sized shoes in both professional and party styles and probably are used to big-footed genetic-girls coming in to shop.
posted by matildaben at 7:56 AM on August 11, 2005

Depending on your personal style, foot width, and wardrobe, men's shoes might be worth a try. The variety of styles and colors in your size that are available locally in retail stores might actually be better. Plus they tend to be more durable, and less expensive for the same quality.
posted by expialidocious at 10:06 AM on August 11, 2005

My feet went from a 10 to an 11, and I've been trying to find shoes that can accomodate my orthopedic insoles. It's been very hellish and expensive, since I need more than a walk around a room to figure out if it's really going to work out. My biggest success has been with Camper shoes (I just bought a white girly pair that I love). I give Clark's a 2 of out three, since the summer shoe I just bought is too small (and I think I ordered a size 12 on it), but their black boots saved my life last summer.
posted by armacy at 10:31 AM on August 11, 2005

Another word of advice: If you find a pair of shoes that you really love, buy a few pairs.

Last summer I bought the cutest pair of black flats with a slight point to the toe; they were a bargain to boot. Well, I loved them so much that I wore through them quickly, and when I went to order another pair, the manufacturer was sold out in my size.

So if you find great shoes that you could wear with many things, buy as many pairs as you can.
posted by Sully6 at 11:50 AM on August 11, 2005

My big ass feet (11s) love Danskos, tho I have some issues with their shoes squeaking after not too long. Besides the squeak, Danskos are the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn - no blisters, cuts, etc.

I also like Born shoes for the same reasons, tho tend to get more blisters with Born than Danskio.
posted by tristeza at 11:51 AM on August 11, 2005

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