12 And Up: A Resource List For Large Size Shoes

Size 12 and up in the shoe world is arguably more difficult to find than size 12 and up in the clothing world.

Jul 16, 2013 at 12:00pm | Leave a comment

Y'all know I love shoes. Ed is all upset with me because one of my main hangups about pregnancy is that your shoe size might change. (I have a lot of shoes and I'm invested in them!) But while my own size is sometimes hard to find (I measure as a 7.5 EEE), that's nothing compared to the difficulty that a lot of women who wear larger shoe sizes face. Size 12 and up in the shoe world is arguably more difficult to find than size 12 and up in the clothing world.

I have a number of friends who not only wear a size 12 shoe but who also hate shopping for shoes. The connection seems obvious to me -- it's not so much fun to shop when shopping is so damn hard. And so I get asked to track down resources on a fairly regular basis. Alas, I am but one shoe-loving person. (Imagine yourself standing with your hands on your hips like a superhero for this next part.) Together, perhaps we can create a more powerful list of options, a more epic bunch of recommendations and suggestions.

The first and most common suggestion for women in search of large size shoes is Zappos.com -- everyone seems to default to it. And because Zappos lets you search by size, it's a great place to browse. You can get a feel for what's out there, style wise and price wise -- the depressing thing is that style is often lacking and price is often high. 

I mean, if you're looking for Converse or Crocs, you're going to be fine. Cons are super fantastic and if you don't need to be wearing gym shoes then why would you be wearing gym shoes? I also know there are people who object to Crocs like it's a political protest. Y'all, they are shoes, it is not that serious. The base model is ugly-cute and there's a place (like when your feet really hurt) for that sort of thing.

But heels! And sandals! And, like, wedges! Let's talk about those. 

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I'm a sucker for a shiny silver sandal.

This shiny silver sandal with a 2-inch heel are available in sizes up to a 13. This screams summer wedding to me, but I can never tell "wedding appropriate" from "tacky" so your mileage might vary on that one. They also come in three widths and are on sale for $50.99, which strikes me as a win all around.

For those in a Dansko frame of mind, these Sophie sandals are giving me shoe feels. (Especially in the iridescent colorway, currently in stock in a 12.) These Naots are also pretty sweet, if you are looking for a comfortable flat sandal.

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This is totally classic.

This is a classic slingback with a 4-inch heel. It's available up to a size 14, though the customer reviews say it runs a little small. That's not usually an issue with the shoes from Fitzwell, a brand I forgive its punny name mostly because I actually love puns. Not all Fitzwell shoes go up to a 14 but enough of them do that I'd consider this a go-to brand for large shoe sizes. 

The Fitzwell shoes tend to be really lovely, if not cutting edge in style. There are other heels out there -- especially if you're looking for dramatic stuff. Basically, if you're looking for hot shoes, check out Pleaser. This brand can be seen in goth clubs and strip clubs around the world. There's some Pleaser shoes on Zappos, but you might wind up finding them locally, especially if you have a well-stocked "adult store" in your location. (There are several in Orlando so I've lost my sense of whether or not adult stores are, like, hard to find in other places. There are even radio jingles: Premier Adult Factory Outlet -- takes you where you want to go!" Anyway.)

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Another classic shoe.

And but so, wedges. Maligned in a recent survey as the shoes that men dislike the most -- perhaps those men abhor the added stability that make a woman more capable of fleeing unwanted attentions? Oooh, that was bitter, right? In any event, you can pry my wedges out of my shoe closet when I give a shit what any random dude thinks of my shoes anyway. These braided black leather wedges on a cork platform scream cocktails at some kind of bar with a patio to me. 

That's cool and all. Because cocktails are awesome. But you might be noting that none of these shoes really glam it up. If that's your complaint, let me suggest this killer silver wedge with rhinestone details.

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The peeptoe. The peeptoe.

Listen, I love these damn shoes. And, yes, they are shiny silver again so I recognize that they might be tacky. I just don't care. For those of you who do, they're also available in black. And they come in a size 13 that is reviewed as being true to size -- with the bonus of being available in a WW.

BUT ENOUGH ZAPPOS. Seriously, why stop there when there are other retailers catering to the 12 and up crowd?

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SERIOUSLY, PEOPLE.

Obviously I'm obsessed with silver shoes. But, come on. This Jeffrey Campbell boot is available up to a size 14 and JCs are known for running large. 

I know, I know, unless you work in my office, you might not be able to get away with that at work. MUCH TO MY CHAGRIN, business-casual is a harsh mistress for many people; situations in which you have to wear uniforms are even moreso. But I might just need a pair of these to wear in, like, the backyard.

It's also possible that, as a person with a larger shoe size, you are a tall person. And I know that not all tall folks are into heels. 

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Drooling.

So what about these yellow oxfords? Because, I mean, seriously. Seriously.

The JCs and the oxfords come from a site called BarefootTess, which specializes in hot shoes in sizes 10 and up. Yeah, you can sort by size on Zappos, but BarefootTess only carries larger size shoes, which means they have a way more awesome variety and selection when it comes to style. The prices can be a little harder to swallow sometimes -- but they have fantastic sales. And the only thing better than a hot shoe is a hot shoe you got on the cheap because it was marked down.

There are way more shoes on BarefootTess that deserve drooling over, and I can't post them all here. But I would be remiss if I didn't link to these incredible blue wedges, available up to a size 15, that are only $39 right now. Someone please wear these with skinny black cropped pants and a Breton top.

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DO WANT.

OK, seriously, I'm only going to post one last pair, and it's a pair of tall boots from Nordstrom. Because, yes, it's the middle of summer but that doesn't mean we can't think ahead. Right? Also, Nordstrom actually has a special fit section in their shoe department that is helpful for all kinds of hard-to-fit-with-shoes people. If the price is doable, you'll find quality shoes that are also stylish. 

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I don't even like brown and I love these boots.

In a perfect world, these beautiful brown boots would also be wide-calf boots. Just saying. Putting that out into the universe.

There are all kinds of challenges when it comes to managing presentation, and if you are at all different from the mainstream ideal, the resources can be a little scattered. I am well aware that this is not an exhaustive list -- not by any means. So if you've got resources for larger sized shoes, please leave them in the comments!