Finding shoes that look great and fit well can seem like an endless hunt, especially for large size women’s shoes. Women who wear size 11, size 12 shoes, size 13 shoes and above have an especially hard time, because most shoe designers just increase the overall dimensions of the shoe as they go up in size, they do not realize large size women’s shoes must be created in completely different proportions to ensure the correct fit. Large size women’s shoes need to be longer, but not necessarily wider than their smaller counterparts, and specific attention needs to be paid to the pitch and heel of the shoe. Autograf New York is dedicated to providing the perfect fit for the large size women’s shoe.
Our dedication evolved from the personal experience of our founder, Monika Kusinka Paez. Monika developed her love of shoes at an early age, especially high heels. Growing up in Poland in the 1980’s, she couldn’t find her size 12 shoe in her favorite styles, so throughout her teens she squeezed her feet into shoes that were a size (or even two sizes) too small. At age 23, Monika ended up in dual plaster casts and a wheelchair after surgery on both feet to repair the damage caused by wearing shoes that weren’t the size she needed. Packing her beloved high heels in the closet, Monika endured a year of physical therapy while she was attending fashion school in London. After her harrowing experience, she knew her life’s work was to create fashionable, well-made, comfortable large size women’s shoes that would spare women with size 11, size 12, size 13 feet and above the torture that she endured.
How can you be sure that you are wearing the correct size when searching for large size women’s shoes? The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society offers these tips for a perfect fit:
- Have your feet measured. People’s foot size and shape can change over time. So don't rely on the fact that you have always worn a certain size. That size likely is no longer the best fit for you.
- Most people have one foot that is larger than the other, so make sure you have BOTH feet measured. Fit your shoes to the larger foot.
- It is helpful to get measured at the end of the day when your feet are the largest. When you are up during the day, your feet will swell and settle some. You want to make sure you are comfortable throughout the day and not just when you head out of the house in the morning.
- Just like clothes, the size marked inside the shoe may be different depending on the brand. So your shoe size is a just a starting point in selecting the correct shoe.
- Make sure the shoe fits your foot comfortably. Look at the shape of the shoe; it should resemble the shape of your foot.
- Don’t plan on shoes stretching over time; they should fit well when you buy them. It’s like buying clothes that are too small and hoping that you will lose weight and then they will fit. That rarely happens.
- The ball of your foot (the widest part just before your toes begin) should fit comfortably in the widest part of the shoe.
- The shoe should also have enough depth to fit your toes, especially if you have hammertoes or other conditions. Shoes with too small of a toe box will cause rubbing and you will get calluses or sores.
- Stand up and make sure there is 3/8" or 1/2" (about the width of your finger) between your longest toe (usually the second toe) and the end of the shoe.
- Always stand and walk around in the shoes to see if they are comfortable, fit well, and don’t chafe or rub anywhere. Your heel should not slip or slide while walking.
The final step in finding the perfect fit in a large size women’s shoe is to pay attention to the construction of the shoe. Things to look for include a cushioned heel, a firm sole that doesn’t twist or bend, and flexibility in the right places, depending on the type of shoes. Soft, breathable material is key for comfort and makes the shoe less likely to cause chafing and blisters. Autograf is committed to comfort by offering unparalleled construction with our sacchetto designs. “Sacchetto” is the term for “socks” in Italian, and our sacchetto line is built with the idea of creating leather socks around the feet. There are no hard components--no toe box, counters, no plastic and no filler that are commonly used to maintain the shape of the shoe to hold your foot—just an inside leather sock, leather insole and leather uppers. When you wear Autograf New York shoes with sacchetto construction, the lining adjusts to your foot and the outside layers follow.
Using these guidelines will help minimize your risk of foot problems and help you avoid the surgery that Monika endured. At Autograf New York, we know that women looking for large size women’s shoes do not have to believe the myth that fashionable shoes have to be uncomfortable. Don’t sacrifice comfort and safety for fashion. Join the community large size women’s shoe wearers in our Autograf New York Community who have found the magical combination of style and comfort.