Something really shitty happened to me on Thursday. I was about to get on the Northern line train from Bank to Moorgate, when without warning the train driver in his infinite wisdom decided to close the door without the accompanying warning sound. The minute I realised the door was closing I tried to hurry on, but the akindindinrin in front of me was leisurely stepping on as if it was his father’s private jet! The door caught my sling back pencil heel shoe and it slipped right off my feet onto the platform. My entire body and the other pair of shoe stood inside the train while the other pair laid on the platform. I stood mortified as a fellow commuter held up my shoe on the platform as the train slowly departed. I had lost one shoe! I kept hearing my mother’s voice “you already have a problem, focus on the solution”.
The only solution was for me to take off my second pair and just do the bare feet thing. Now very stupidly that very morning I had decided that tights were messing with my swagger so I wasn’t wearing any. Yes!!! I was barefoot on the flipping underground!! People stared of course, but I just didn’t care because suddenly I was filled with dread! Where were those shoes from? panic. panic. panic. “Calm down” a voice said, they were from Zara’. They were from Zara! phew! The realisation that they were not expensive shoes overrode any sense of embarrassment, discomfort or self-consciousness I was feeling. I would have cried if those shoes were expensive shoes!! but darm those shoes fitted my size 8 feet perfectly, without looking like a canoe! do you know how ard it is to find shoes in size 8! nice ones that look nice!
I can’t ever remember being smaller than a size 8! I must have had smaller feet at some point, but I can’t remember. All my adult life I’ve been a size 8, and all my adult life I’ve hated it. Being a size 8 sucks because it is harder to find your size, and when you do, they are likely to look humongous, especially if they are poorly made. It doubly sucks to be a size 8 when you don’t fit the ‘profile’. And there is profile. Models fit this profile. Models are much taller than average. But when a 5 foot 5 woman rocks up into a shoe shop and asks for a size 8 well let’s just say I used to get a lot of funny looks. I don’t utter the words size 8 anymore, I just casually ask “what’s the biggest size you do?” because then the shop assistant is forced to say “size 8” or on rare occasions “size 9” and then I can comfortable ask “can I have a size 8 please” .
In my Twenties I realised that my best option was to shop in high end, high street shops or designer stores. But I couldn’t afford designer shoes at 21 so it had to be high end, high street. Pied de terre was a popular brand for me. High end fitted better and made the feet look nicer. At university my friends who had smaller feet thought I was crazy, but I knew what I knew, and I wasn’t even going to talk to a size 5 feet chick who would never understand the struggle!!
For a little while I deluded myself into thinking I could afford designer shoes for everyday wear. I wrecked all my Sergerson Morrison shoes in the process ( high five if you still remember that shop) . Now I reserve expensive shoes for outings only. Zara and Topshop will do for work these days, because shhhhhh even the low end high street stores have improved their cut for bigger feet! The shoe I lost was from Zara, much cheaper than even the Pied de Terre I used to buy years ago. I’m glad things are improving for us bigger feet girls – now lets just hope the next few years will see high street and even designer shoe stores stocking more that one or two pairs of size 8.