A few days ago I published my first guest post – for Isy B. Shoes’ website. It is with great pleasure that I now present their own guest post on my blog!
Isy B. Shoes is an online shoe shopping directory and community for women with big feet. They are dedicated to making shoe shopping easier and way more fun for women who rock a larger shoe size. Come join them!
How to Shop for Large Shoes Online
The internet is a land of opportunity for us girls with big size feet. Instead of the one or two basic styles to be found (if you are lucky) in your local mall, there are 100s of stockists of fabulous on-trend footwear just a click away. Online shopping can feel a bit risky though, particularly for shoes. After all, we’ve all tried to squeeze ourselves into too small shoes at some point, so nobody knows better than us what a day in shoes that don’t fit right feels like! Yee-ouch!
To take the risk out of shopping for big size shoes online, we’ve compiled a no-nonsense guide:
1. Check your shoe size
Yup, this sounds like the start of a blonde joke, but a shocking 88% of women in the US are actually wearing the wrong size shoes. Take the time to get your feet measured at a local department store, or do it yourself at home.
2. Watch out for international size conversions
Variety is the spice of life and there are some fantastic big size shoe designers to be discovered worldwide, but beware that international sizings vary from country to country. This means the standard size fitting can be wider or narrower depending on where you are shopping. As a loose rule, French and Italian shoes tend to come up narrow, so check your shoe size conversion carefully.
3. Check the sizing information in the product listing
Most sites will include specific sizing measurements in the listing. Make a note of the information and then measure up a pair of your shoes in a similar shape that fit well. If you are unsure, then consider contacting the supplier for the shoes’ vital statistics before buying. Also make sure you read the reviews, as they are there to help you.
4. Shop around
Many brands are available from more than one stockist, so when you find some shoes you love, spend ten minutes or so shopping around to check they are not available much cheaper elsewhere.
5. Check the shipping charges
Shipping costs can vary massively between sites, and in the case of Amazon, between suppliers. Always take the shipping costs into account when shopping around, and keep an eye out for free shipping offers. When shopping internationally, free shipping offers usually do not apply, but larger stores, such as Nordstrom, have low international shipping rates year-round for certain countries, such as the UK.
6. Check the returns policy
If you do nothing else, make sure you check the returns policy. If the shoes don’t fit, you want to be able to easily get your money back! Find out how many days you have to return the shoes, and whether you will get a full refund, credit note, or just an exchange. Many online stores, such as Zappo and Asos, have buyer-friendly policies, but make sure you check, and contact the store if you are unsure. Look out for free returns, as the postage is paid and shoes can be expensive to post.
7. Plan for the delivery
Stores usually use couriers, so check the delivery times when purchasing and make sure there will be someone home to sign for them. If you work full time and the house is empty during the day, consider asking a friend or neighbor to sign, or just get them sent to your work address. It saves a world of re-delivery hassle.
8. Try your new shoes on
Sadly, there is more to trying on shoes than putting them on for a few minutes and high-fiving the mirror. If you are planning to get anywhere in your new shoes, then they need to fit properly. The best time to try on shoes is in the afternoon or evening, when your feet are at their most swollen. To really get a feel for your shoes, walk around in them, and not just on a rug or carpet either, try them on a hard surface (covered with a cloth or paper to stop them scuffing which would make them unreturnable). This is particularly important for heels where you need to know if they support the foot sufficiently, and are comfortable on the balls of your feet.
9. Consider upgrades
If your shoes don’t fit perfectly first time on, you still might not need to return them. Insoles and padding can prevent shoes rubbing, and a nail file can be handy to smooth over rough stiches that would cause blisters. If they are a soft leather, they will give a little with time, so wearing them round the house with socks on will gently stretch the leather. Beware though, this trick does not work nearly as well for man-made materials.
10. If you are at all unsure, send them back
You know that pair of shoes you own that you dig out the back of your closet every so often and think ‘Meh’? You know, the ones that pinch slightly, or are a color that doesn’t quite suit you? We all have them. Nobody needs another pair of those shoes, so if you are at all unsure, send them back as soon as you decide. Make sure you return within the returns period for your refund or credit note, and take care to read the return instructions and complete the process exactly as stated.
So there you have it. For the savvy shopper, shopping online for large size shoes is the way to go. The choice and variety are unbeatable, and you can try them on at home with whatever outfit takes you fancy. As long as you watch out for returns policies and send them back with time to spare if they are not quite right, you can’t go wrong.
For 100s of big size shoe brands and stockists, check out the Isy B. Shoes Community Shoe Shopping Directory.
Do you have any tips for shopping for large size shoes online? Let us know in the comments!