Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Search Is On

The last time I wore my favorite black casual shoes was on a shopping trip. The shoes, which have been extremely comfortable for several years, unexpectedly started rubbing a blister on the back of my heel about the time I got to the far end of the mall. Sadly, it's time to retire them and get a new pair.

However, that will be harder for me than it would be for a lot of people. I have a very unusually-sized foot, and I know from experience many brands don't fit me. It's difficult to come up with the correct combination of size, style, and practicality.

I'm looking for something like this picture--a black leather slip-on shoe. They need to be comfortable for walking long distances, with a nice wide toe box so my tootsies aren't cramped together, and dressy enough that I can pair them with casual black pants to wear to church. On top of all those requirements, I'd also like them to not cost very much.

I have a coupon for my local Big-Box Discount Shoe Outlet that expires next week. Today I stopped in to see if I could find something appropriate. They had several rows of women's footwear they classified as "Casual", but I couldn't find anything that met my needs.

As I left the store, I glanced over at the men's department. Ironically, there were several pairs of shoes similar in style to the pair I'm replacing. Hmmmm......I'd never thought about browsing the men's area for myself. Today I shopped for shoes in the men's department.

It was slightly embarrassing to be roaming the men's section without male accompaniment. I walked through all the aisles once, checking out everything they had, then went back to the most likely sections for a closer look. I was ready to try on a couple of different pairs, but ran into a problem. Big-Box Discount Shoe Outlet only had a narrow range of sizes; there was nothing small enough to fit me. However, as a test I went to the men's clearance rack and tried on a pair of fluorescent green tennis shoes two sizes smaller than my normal woman's size. Although the style was completely wrong, they fit like a glove. Now that I know men's shoes may be an option, the search is on for the perfect pair.

Next time you see a woman by herself in the men's shoe department, be kind to her. She may be looking for something for her own closet.


  1. My husband and I wear the same sized shoe. He often wears my old pairs of tennies after I get sick of them.

  2. OK, don't laugh, but if you've never tried Crocs, you don't know what you're missing. My feet are wide and flat so finding a comfortable show is important. I know the regular old Crocs are ugly, but I have several more stylish pair - one is black with a suede top. They are the most comfortable things in the world and I wear them to work with khakis. Just a thought.

  3. Actually, as Andrea said, there are a lot of styles of crocs these days, and they can be very comfortably.

    I can't shop in the men's section - my feet are quite small - but I know several women who do when they're looking for runners or casual shoes.

  4. I've stayed away from Crocs because of their lack of "greenness". Anything that's completely made of plastic can't be good for the environment!

  5. I often wear men's shoes. However, my feet are so small that they are really boys' shoes. For trainers and other walking about shoes they are the best!