I love shopping, but I don't particularly love shopping for shoes. My dread for it has little to do with the actual shoes themselves, but more so the draining process it entails. If you’re someone who wears anything over a size 10 you know the struggle all too well: Until about ten years ago, when my feet decided to grow another few centimeters firmly into size 11 territory, the process was as simple as walking into a store to find what I liked. Because extending sizing is rarely stocked in physical stores, now my in-person shopping has become online shopping. And if there are any specific styles on my wishlist (like these Zara ones that have been haunting my bookmarks tab) I can’t usually afford to wait later; larger sizes tend to sell out at lightning speed.
If you’re new to the game, it can feel like there are little to no options out there (especially for stylish, of the moment styles), but don’t give up yet! As a market editor, I’ve been able to discover new brands and stores that have made my shoe-shopping experience so much easier. Below, I’ve laid out the best places to shop if you have larger feet like me, and the most valuable tips and tricks I’ve accumulated over the years. I have a hunch you’ll want to bookmark this for later.
Best Variety: Nordstrom
New arrivals over at Nordstrom are pages and pages long, so expect the same when it comes to shoes. The retailer has given special care to the way it curates and acquires shoe styles in larger sizes, and it shows– offering up to a size 14 in select styles. Simply put, whether you're looking for a ballet flat, or heels for a special occasion this is the place you'll want to look first. I can also count on finding a wide assortment of designers from less expensive brands, to luxury designers.
Best For Trend-Forward Styles: Zara
To be honest, Zara can be a hit or miss when it comes to spotting shoes in a size 11. It's a scene that plays out every other week: I scour their new arrivals for interesting shoes that catch my eye, only to be disappointed that a particular style goes up to a size 41 (or US size 10). However, they do get a mention on this list due to their great selection of affordable trendy styles you otherwise would have to wait months to see pop up at other stores. Another pro-tip: Zara very rarely carries size 42 shoes in-store, so it's best to shop anything you love online. It may also sound a little extreme, but it helps to sign up for their e-mail notifications should a style you want becomes restocked.
Best For Luxury Brands: Net-a-Porter
When money is no object, Net-a-Porter is a haven for people with size 11 feet. Among big luxury brands like Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, and now Manolo Blahnik, one can find newcomers like Amina Muaddi and Aeyde in sizes up to a 43, or US 12. For styles that I'm deadset on, I typically wait until Net-a-Porter's huge bi-annual sale to score more seasonal styles.
Best On A Budget: Asos
So you're working with a limited budget and want cool looking shoes in a size 11? Make your way over to Asos. Not only do they carry tons of size 11 styles, but they also offer up to a size 14 for a limited number of designs. They won't necessarily last season after season, but when you need something quick at an affordable price point, I can't recommend Asos enough.
Best Value: Topshop
Topshop is a little bit under the radar when it comes to shoes in extended sizes. Most of the boots and shoes I continually reach for have come from here, which is why it's usually the first place I visit when I'm in the market for a new pair. The trick is not expecting to find size 11's in store, but rather shopping online. With the pandemic forcing just about everyone to change their shopping habits, that now doesn't seem so unusual. Their half-sizes may be a little hard to grasp at first, but just note that Topshop's 11.5 is basically the equivalent of a size US 11.
You may not have heard of M. Gemi, but it's a brand to know if you're on the hunt for extended sizing. Most notable of all is the brand's quality–all of their shoes are handmade in Italy with some of the best craftsmanship I've seen in the business. I take a look at M.Gemi when I need a classic style that I plan on wearing for the long-haul. You'll likely shell out a little more money here compared to other fast-fashion places, but they will be a pair you keep for years to come.