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Shoe business

I have small feet. Which sounds like an enviable thing to some women, I'm sure--dainty and cute and agreeably-shaped. But my feet exist in that nebulous space between the maximum girls' size available in most retail stores and minimum women's size. I can wear a five, if I can find one, but usually only in lace shoes, not slip-ons, because my feet are narrow. Most women's sizes, however, start at six, and no matter how many sixes I try on, my feet only rattle around in them.

There are some stores, like SAS, that have the 4 1/2 to 5 narrows my feet require, but the styles they offer are quite limited. I can get my office-grunt work shoes there, but not a lot else. Similar story with searching the shoe stores of China Town. Small sizes indeed, but limited styles that are not to my taste.

I decided this week I wanted to get hiking shoes. I needed something to wear when I head up to Flagstaff again next weekend and take a pit-stop to play in the snow. And then, this Spring, I am hoping to scale a few of those Phoenix hills-that-are-called-mountains.

But finding hiking shoes that fit? I mean, really fit in a way that you can use them to go uphill and downhill and walk long distances and climb rocks? *Oy*. I headed over to REI hoping for the best. They have women's 5 and 1/2 sometimes, and since they are lace-shoes which I'd probably wear with thick socks, I was hoping I could find something that worked.

Fortunately for me, the salesguy didn't blink an eye when, after finding nothing in a women's 5 1/2, I asked to try on the children's shoes. Some shoe salepeople look at me oddly when I am wandering through the boys' shoe department, trying on shoes. But honestly, even if I *did* find a shoe that fit in the girls' department--which I rarely do, they're just too small--I am not an effin' fairy princess, people!! I am not going to wear purple shoes with glitter on them.

Why do retailers think girls like that stuff? You will be hard-pressed to find a shoe that isn't some loud or pastel color or glittery or with little ponies on it.

So, of late, when I do need shoes, I end up in the boys'. Their stuff is all too wide, but the length is adequate, and with a little added padding and laces, I can make it work.

So now I am the proud owner of a pair of REI size 4 boys' hiking shoes. Khaki green, which is not my thing at all, but beggers can't be choosers.



( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 10th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC)
lemur_catta has the same problem.
Jan. 10th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC)
We should start a club. The Small Feet Club.
Jan. 10th, 2010 07:52 pm (UTC)
Count my size 11s out!
Jan. 10th, 2010 06:44 pm (UTC)
We need clothing replicators that can take a scan of your entire body and let you put in color choices and then will create on the fly clothes that will fit perfectly and be colors that you like.
Jan. 10th, 2010 07:04 pm (UTC)
I suspect we aren't all that far away.
Jan. 10th, 2010 07:15 pm (UTC)
Yeah, 'cause it's not just the size, it's the styles. Somehow, clothing manufacturers assume because you're petite, you want to look like a girly-girl, or a child.

Jan. 10th, 2010 09:11 pm (UTC)
I think clothing manufacturers make a lot of ugly assumptions about women. Like the fact that it's very difficult to find a bra smaller than a size B that *isn't* padded, for instance.
Jan. 10th, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
Hmmm. I just assumed all bras were like that.
Jan. 10th, 2010 09:20 pm (UTC)
Well yeah, because they make them that way!

Also, does a B-cup or smaller really need an underwire? No. It really doesn't. And underwires are annoying, though I suppose they're good for people who need extra support. But you don't start needing extra support until you're bigger than a B-cup.

Oh, I could rant about bras all day. This is why I exclusively wear sports bras now.
Jan. 10th, 2010 09:38 pm (UTC)
Sports bras are too binding. I have one bra that I wear everywhere because it's actually somewhat comfortable. Not at home, of course, I generally don't bother there, but yeah, one bra. I will cry when it is no longer wearable.
Jan. 10th, 2010 09:40 pm (UTC)
Some are too binding, but I have a couple that are just *perfect*, and they're wonderful. I need to get more in that make.
Jan. 10th, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
Do tell the style/brand.
Jan. 11th, 2010 01:11 am (UTC)
I hear you. I have small feet too, and I have always hated shopping for shoes. The bunions I've developed don't make the task any easier. My very favourite shoes are my Ariel paddock boots. They fit and are so comfy, I wear them everywhere.
Jan. 11th, 2010 01:18 am (UTC)
J, I am wondering if you might be able to read some passages from my old novel some time. Nursing stuff I want to fact-check. I had a nurse friend read them before, but that was ten years ago, and I have a feeling some procedures might have changed.
Jan. 11th, 2010 11:44 pm (UTC)
Sure, no problem! Send 'em my way.
Jan. 14th, 2010 06:12 pm (UTC)
Sent! Thanks, Jane!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )