It’s difficult enough to find a shoe you love, let alone one that’s comfortable, within your budget, fit for the occasion, and the right size for your foot. Among the many other stressors on your bridal to-do list, finding the right shoe size shouldn’t be one of them. However, that’s the case for many brides, especially for those who require extended sizing.
What Are Extended Size Shoes?
Extended size shoes are typically categorized as a US size 11 and up, with varying widths. To note, most brands stop producing shoes at a US size 10.
If you happen to be on the hunt for a pair of stylish wedding shoes, US size 11+, don't worry because you're not alone! That's why we’ve enlisted the help of chief creative director of Nina Shoes, Nina Miner, and Good American, an all-inclusive ready-to-wear brand, to help ease the strain of shopping for this essential wedding accessory.
The Best Way to Shop for Extended Sizes
Before you head to any store or start shopping online, the first, and most crucial step, is to define your style—meaning, establish the look you'd like to wear while walking down the aisle. As with most elements that come with planning a wedding, having a clear vision of what you like (and don't like) is vital. And when it comes to bridal fashion, not only do want to create a cohesive vibe with your day-of look, but you want to ensure you feel comfortable and confident on your special day.
Once your style is locked in, the next phase is to start your search. Though browsing your favorite shoe retailer may seem like the easiest route, most wedding brands stop their offerings at a US size 10. The solution? “Seek out brands that prioritize inclusivity across all product categories," shares Good American. "Inclusivity is in our DNA and we’re super proud to be a destination where customers know they can find beautifully designed styles in a fully extended size range. All of our shoes are available in sizes 4-14 in regular and extended widths and have a proprietary insole—the Cloud Sole—that offers them the most comfortable and supportive shoes. Plus, we’ve done extensive wear-testing before launching the category to provide our customers with the best fitting shoes, period.”
Similarly, Nina Shoes offers a selection of styles for all occasions. While they aren't known as a traditional bridal brand, they're certainly a great destination for brides on the hunt for perfect footwear. “Our collection offers an incredible assortment for brides looking for extended widths, whether they’re looking for a skyscraping sandal or an elegant kitten heel,” says Miner. “For our classic brides, our Nina60 is a timeless pump that adds effortless glamour to any look. For the modern bride, our NELENA adds a touch of shine and features a sensible heel, while our glamorous crystal-embellished NONI is sure to make [any bride] shine on [the] special day.”
Alternative Shopping Options
Just like shoes, shopping isn't meant to be one size fits all. If you're looking to veer from the traditional approach, there are a few alternative routes you can take when looking for the perfect pair of footwear.
Consignment & Vintage Stores
A great—but often overlooked—option is to shop vintage or consignment pieces. “Shopping vintage is definitely a great option to promote a more circular fashion system,” says Good American. But fair warning, going the vintage route isn't always easy—and shopping for these pieces takes time, research, and patience.
“Surprisingly, I do see extended size shoes on the consignment shops online!" Miner shares. "Extended sizing is a specialty niche and I would look for a vendor that supports this business." Plus, it's more sustainable too!
Create a Custom Shoe
If you’re interested in starting completely from scratch, there’s always the custom route. For those interested in creating a one-of-a-kind piece, Miner has a few tips: “I would go online and start my search by reaching out to my favorite vendors to see if they do special orders. If you have purchased your size from a vendor before, and know the fit, this would be my number one choice. Second, I would look for vendors that specialize in extended sizes and custom dye-ables. If you find a simple style, you can purchase really beautiful clip-on ornaments online. And maybe even look at Etsy to find an artist to customize the style for your special day! Adding a monogram or meaningful phrase to the soles of your wedding shoes is a special way to customize.”
She does add, however, that “creating a custom shoe from scratch is difficult because unless you have worn the style before, you are taking a chance that on your most special day your feet may not be happy. It's also a costly and time-consuming process. You never know what you'll get.”
No matter which route you take, it’s important to do what feels best since it's your special day. But if you ever find yourself getting overwhelmed during the process, here are three final tips to always remember.
- Online shopping is key. Many online retailers like Nordstrom.com, Zappos.com, and DSW.com offer a wide range of extended sizes. Even better, they allow shoppers to filter their results by size, making it easier to sort through all the options.
- Size up if you have wider feet. If it's hard for you to find a pair of comfortable shoes because of the width of your feet, the quickest solution is to size up. This will allow for extra space and more comfort, which is needed during a full day of wedding activities.
- Don't be afraid to venture outside of bridal. If you're not married to the idea of wearing classic white shoes down the aisle, have some fun and find a pair that shows off your personality. This will not only add dimension to your entire wedding look, but it will make shopping that much easier.