How to Find Cute Shoes for Your Ridiculously Tiny Doll Feet

At least when it comes to clothes, tailoring is an option. Shoes are a different matter entirely.
Publish date:
June 24, 2013
shopping, shoes, small feet

At 4’10”, I have my fair share of fashion issues.

I’m sure none of my fellow short ladies will be surprised when I tell you that my tailor and I are BFF. Seriously, if she required my first-born as tribute for her work, I’d give it to her without a second thought. In order for clothes to even come close to fitting me properly, they need to be tailored within an inch of life.

The hemlines on “petite” dresses fall well below my knees and don’t even get me started on supposedly “short” jeans. There’s only so much rolling up you can do before it looks like you’re rocking an ankle monitor.

But, at least when it comes to clothes, tailoring is an option. Shoes are a different matter entirely.

I wear a size 3 in kids. So a women’s size 6, which is commonly the smallest size carried in store, is just not going to fit.

The thing is, there’s usually not a whole lot of viable options to be found in that size. Let’s be honest, kid’s shoes tend to look a bit childish. Duh.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the nostalgia induced by a light-up shoe or velcro buckle. But there are some occasions -– dates, interviews, special occasions in general -– that I just need something more mature, you know?

If you feel my struggle, don’t worry. I’ve taken the liberty of finding some cute, adult-looking shoes for your ridiculously tiny feet! Read on.

Payless is Your friend:

The awesome thing about the American Eagle line sold at Payless is that some of the items in their kids’ line are exact replicas of an adult shoe. Yay, adult styles!

This Girls’ Avery Bow Flat is one example. I love it because it’s simple and versatile, while the bow on top gives it just a hint of Zooey Deschanel kitsch. I wear these with literally everything from jeans and T-shirts to sundresses.

For those looking for something with a bit more personality, take a look at this American Eagle Sweetheart High Wedge Sling.

OK, so technically this one comes from the adult section, but it comes in a size 5! (For those not in the know, a women’s size 5 is equivalent to a kids’ size 3 and rarely seen on store shelves. Basically, it’s like finding a unicorn or Carmen Sandiego.)

But, guys, POLKA DOTS. I heart the retro feel of the peep toe coupled with the summer-y vibe given off by the wedge. Use these to accent your swim suit at a pool party or to add a pop of color to your LBD for brunch.

I love Payless so much because the shoes actually fit my feet (and who doesn’t like a good BoGo sale, come on). But it’s undoubtedly fast fashion. Be aware that their shoes will fall apart at some point. If you’re like me, that point will definitely be about 30 minutes before a first date.

If you find a style you really like, buy two or three pairs at once.

See If Higher End Brands Make a Kids’ Line:

When I was growing up, my mom steered us away from higher end brands because she didn’t believe in buying something expensive that I’d grow out of in six months. So naturally whenever I have the chance now, I tend to go a bit nuts.After all, my feet are done growing.

Steve Madden is my shoe store drug. Nordstrom’s and Bloomingdales both carry his Girls’ shoe line, whereas his store only stocks straight sizes.

If you’re going to shop in-store, though, call first to double check that they have your size in stock. (Full Disclosure: There may have been a few tears when I was given the wrong information after waiting for months for a certain shoe to come in.)

This is his SHA boot. I love the slouchy style that will fancy-up any skinny jean and top combo.

But, my favorite part is that the boot shaft is made of REAL LEATHER. Typically similar kids’ boots are made with a polysynthetic material that leaves the shoe looking cheap. (And let’s be honest, makes a weird fart sound when it comes in contact with another surface. Not attractive.) Natural material is the way to go here.

Again by Steve Madden, I feel like the Ultra is a great option for a work heel. Again, the material is shiny without looking cheap. Plus, the toes are closed and the heel is small, so you can be super profesh about things.

Look at Specialty Stores Online:

Heels are my enemy. Mainly because anything found in your standard kids’ section smacks of flower girl. Literally. There’s a lot of big floral appliques and nary anything larger than a kitten heel.

Which I get, believe me, because picturing a child in anything larger than a kitten heel makes me feel vaguely icky inside. But as an adult, I need a little something more.

I mean, every girl needs a “Do Me” heel that would make Joan Holloway proud, right?

For that, I’ve found it’s best to go online to a specialty store geared toward tiny-footed freaks like you and me. It can be a bit pricier, but the way I look at it, the way I feel when wearing a cute pair of shoes as opposed to making the best out of my limited options, is definitely worth it.

Check out these adorable Zara heels from Cinderella of Boston. If I could limp out of a bar in these, I think I would die happy.

Cinderella of Boston is awesome because they carry US sizes 2-5 ½ and they make every style of shoe in a variety of colors.

Even better, they offer both medium and WIDE widths! I don’t know about you, but when it gets hot out, my feet swell up to roughly the size of tree trunks, so I could use the room.

If you need even more customization, Pretty Small Heels is the place to look.

Pretty Small Heels offers a wide selection of pre-made shoes in petite sizes, but there’s also a Made-to-Order option, including this Hyper Red Super High heel. It allows you to select size, color, and heel and platform height.

Pretty Small Shoes is a European site, however. So make sure to take a look at their sizing guide before ordering. Luckily, they offer a step-by-step sizing guide that shows you how to accurately measure your on foot. There are even pictures!

Like Burger King, you can, in fact, have heels your way.

So what do you guys think? What are your shoe shopping issues? Have you ever cried in a store? Am I missing out on some good finds? Let me know!