I wouldn’t consider myself as having a shoe game but I have an excuse, I belong to the large feet club and its difficult to find nice shoes. The size 11 shoe search is no fun particularly the disappointment that comes with going into a store and finding out that a shoe that catches my eye does not come in my size time and time again. Shoes, a once ignored part of my closet, I have come to realize elevate an outfit and can take it from average to next-level.
For most of my adult life, it has always been a challenge to find great footwear. So, I have decided to write this brief guide based on what I have learned thus far for other women in the world who wear size 11 shoes. Going to physical stores may not always be fruitful, however online shopping has made the search so much easier.
These shoes are usually manufactured in Italy from the finest quality leathers, and utilize the best craftsmanship. They can last a lifetime, if well taken care of. I enjoy the smell of the leather and like how they mold to my feet per wear. Designer shoes for me are the holy-grail and are my favorite to hunt down online. The shoes are like a work of art, are less bulky, and can make a long foot not look as large depending on the style. International merchants such as Net-a-Porter, Matches Fashion, My Theresa, Farfetch and Moda Operandi usually have a larger selection with the most edgy styles. SSense stocks very avant-garde and cutting edge styles. While, their counterparts stateside Bergdorf, Saks, Barneys, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom tend to carry more classic styles. If you are in search of Valentino Rockstuds or Roger Vivier, then head to My Theresa for an extensive selection. Other designers that are Size 42 friendly include Miu Miu, Aquazurra, Charlotte Olympia, Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, all offer a variety of styles in a 42.
I mention a Size 42 for size because for Italian sizing, a size 42 is equivalent to an American Size 12 (fits like an American Size 11 while a Size 41 fits more like an American Size 10), although a few exceptions may apply depending on the style, cut and whether a batch manufactured ran large. Italian shoes generally do run small, so to be on the safe side you may want to order a Size 42 (you want to filter for the American Size 12 not American Size 11).
When you decide to invest in your first designer pair I suggest you purchase a black patent pump first. A classic black pump is a closet staple that makes for the best investment since you will get the most wear out of them beausue it can be worn to work or for a night out in the town. Most merchants carry Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Gianvito Rossi and Jimmy Choo which are known for their basic pumps which start at around $595. If that price is out of your budget I suggest starting out with a pump by Stuart Weitzman. Stuart Weitzman shoes are manufactured in Spain and are more reasonably priced. If you are waiting to find a designer black pump on sale, you may be lucky to find one by Jimmy Choo on sale at Net-a-Porter.
If you’re not concerned about owning a pair of “it” shoes, then designer shoe shopping during sales is the best way to go. The best sales usually occur for the winter season starting around the thanksgiving holiday in November up until January while the summer sales start around June. I will also suggest you read the merchant’s return policy before purchasing during a final sale unless you tried on the same shoe in store and loved them. Although, you get an additional discount with a final sale, you may be unable to return them if they do not fit or you decide that you do not like the style.
Outlets and consignment online can be a treasure trove for designer shoes. The Outnet, Saks Off 5th, Yoox, Barney’s Warehouse and The Real Real. The key here is too look all the time as selections change daily. Ebay also remains a great source for size 11 shoes online. Very underutilized but a great website for tracking down size 11 shoes.
If you are in search of a cute pair of size 11 shoes and not necessarily interested in a designer pair, then head over to Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Zappos, Amazon, Revolve and ShopBop, Saks Off 5th. Nordstrom and Zappos offer free shipping and returns. Nordstrom has a great selection and carries a variety of different brands including Steve Madden, Sam Edelman, Jeffrey Campbell and Nine West. Brands that tend to base their designs on current trends. Zappos boasts of an extensive collection that can be filtered by material and even width. Revolve and Shopbop offer an edited selection of on trend shoes.
If there are other stores where you have had success finding Size 11 shoes online or in store, please add them to the comments.