Dear shoe designers and purveyors of footwear,
On behalf of transfeminine people (and the many cisgender women) with larger feet everywhere I want to implore you to make all your shoes in sizes at or above 13W. As someone assigned male at birth (AMAB) and someone who is tall and sturdy, my feet are not the delicate appendages you seem to think all women should have. I need my shoes to not only be long and wide, but sturdy enough to support my weight (see Kinky Boots for reference).
Sadly, whenever I search for anything remotely cute, I see a plethora of options size 9 or below, a few up to size 11, and the rare unicorns of shoes that come in size 13 but are too narrow for my feet. I know I am not alone in this. When I talk to others in my community – people who are transgender, intersex, tall, gloriously fat, or just blessed with nice supportive feet – we all share the common curse of limited shoe options.
If I search any shoe store online, I come up with only a page or two of results. My recent searches of DSW, for example, come up with single digits in each category for 13W. And God forbid I try to go into a store to try anything on; DSW gave me a blank stare when I asked where size 12 and 13 were. The only place I have ever seen my size on the rack was Payless Shoes where they don’t have a sign for my category but I might find a few ill-fitting, uncomfortable options on the end of the isle. Most of my shopping involves looking for obscure shops on Amazon.com and hope they come with good return policies.
Based on my friends group and family alone, I know there is a huge untapped market out there for larger shoe sizes with wide options. So please, when you invent all those cute heels, pumps, flats, and boots, scale them up and put them on the market for us. We would be eternally grateful.
A shoe-loving genderqueer
I promised myself I was done posting for today but I just had the most amazing experience walking down the street in my very genderqueer outfit. I was heading to get coffee with a friend down a back street in Seattle on a scorching hot day minding my own business with my headphones in. Suddenly I see a guy across the street calling to me and waving me his direction. I’m skeptical but he seems friendly so I head to find out what he wants. Turns out he’s the shop owner of LICK Pure Cream and wanted to take a picture of me because my fuchsia and purple outfit perfectly matches his shop. He pulls out a pink waffle cone and fills it with blueberry chai ice cream on the house and asks to take a picture of me for Instagram in his iconic yellow chair. He even asked my pronouns. Sometimes life really surprises you!
**** Update 2017 – Sadly LICK went out of business so you can’t go meet the wonderful owner there anymore. ***
Also, I wanted to gush about how happy I am to finally have found some heel boots that fit! I’m size 13W in women’s and it’s nearly impossible to find anything, much less something both comfortable and stylish. But these David Tate shoes arrived from Zappos last night and look fabulous so I geared my outfit today around them.