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too large of foot uneven in size

Posted by shoeless on 9/07/04 at 21:03 (159530)

My daughter is looking for help she is a brite college student with very large feet she has never been to sucessful finding any womens shoes that fit is there a surgery that can reduce the size of her feet she wears a womens 12 or 13 or a men's 11 is there any help for her? Please advise she is getting married soon and would like to wear a pair of heels? She also has narrow flat feet. Thanks Sherri Osborne aka mom tired of combat boots

Re: too large of foot uneven in size

Pauline on 9/08/04 at 08:37 (159553)

Hi Sherri,
As a mom, I can hear the concern and pain that you must feel for your daugher. I specifically don't use the word 'problem' because I believe this is one situation that can be overcome without surgery and that you can turn what appears as a negative into a positive.

Before taking on surgery to make ones foot smaller I would advise you and your daughter to write a letter or call Dr. Arthur Manoli M.D. Dr. Manoli is an Orthopedic Food and Ankle Surgeon in Michigan who speciality is foot reconstruction. Here is his phone number and address 44555 Woodward Ave. Ste. 105, Pontiac, MI. 48341 (248) 858-6773.

I post his name because he has posts on this site from time to time and because he is listed in 'America's Top Doctors' and I think is one of the best persons qualified to give you and your daugher insite on the type of surgeral procedure your daugher is thinking about. He'll honestly lay it all on the table for you so there will be no doubt what this surgery would involve, its complications etc, etc.

Knowing Dr. Manoli personally, my guess is that he would advise against the procedure unless he felt there was a better indication for it than just being able to purchase shoes. You'll find out it's not a surgery to take lightly.

A shoe solution until you talk to Dr. Manoli might be found on line at various shoe stores that carry larger shoe sizes. Here is one link for bridal shoes. There probably are others that you can check out too.


I'm not doctor, but I know you should talk to a reputable one prior to having the surgery your daughter is thinking about. It could save her a lifetime of pain. You and your daughter need to learn all you can prior to having this surgery. 'Please KNOW before you go'.

Congratulation on that upcomming wedding. My best wishes to the Bride.

Re: too large of foot uneven in size

Pauline on 9/08/04 at 08:41 (159554)

Although the link didn't print out the pictures they do carry a number of Bridal shoes in larger siges. Type Bridal in their search box.

Re: too large of foot uneven in size

Dr. David S. Wander on 9/08/04 at 14:22 (159568)

The cosmetic foot surgery issue has been a controversial one. Although your daughter has large feet, most foot and ankle surgeons I know would highly advise against any surgery in the absence of pain. Surgery should be used as a last resort and cosmetic foot surgery is ill advised due to the potential complications/risks vs. the benefits.

The American Podiatric Medical Association, the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons and the Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society have all released statements regarding cosmetic foot surgery. The synopsis of these statements is to avoid cosmetic foot surgery.

Re: too large of foot uneven in size

Suzanne D. on 9/08/04 at 17:08 (159572)

Sherri, I understand how your daughter feels but I urge you to heed the advice of Pauline and Dr. Wander. Having dealt with foot pain, I can now say with certainty that it would not be worth the risk of pain and future problems to shorten her feet.

My feet are just a little shorter than your daughter's; I wear a women's size 11, and mine are also narrow and thin. When I was your daughter's age, finding anything above a size 10 for women was very hard - especially in the small town in which I lived.

But today, stores are generally stocking larger sizes, and particularly with the internet making so many markets available, she should be able to find some acceptable choices although it will take some searching.

I also know that when you are young, anything that makes you feel 'different' is hard to manage. As the years go by, you tend to take things in stride better and can have a different perspective on such issues. I distinctly remember feeling like a 'freak' when I would go in shoe stores only to hear the salesperson say, 'Oh, we don't carry anything above a 10 in women's!' I would leave and feel like something was wrong with me.

Nothing is wrong with your daughter. She is just going to have to work harder to find shoes that fit and work for her. And she is lucky to have a caring mother to help her!

I don't have time right now, but if you need some help finding sources for larger-sized shoes, let me know, and I will search on the internet and post what I find.

Best wishes, and good luck with the wedding preparations! My daughter got married a year ago April, and I remember the fun and the work!

Suzanne :)

Re: too large of foot uneven in size

Nick, C.Ped on 9/08/04 at 23:29 (159579)


Your daughter may or may not have tried this route: I would advise finding a good C.Ped in your area that works in a shoe store. They really are the resident experts on the matter of hard to fit feet. I speak from expierience, I began in a very heavy clinical setting in pedorthics and since then have moved to a shoe store and I really pride myself in the fact I can fit such a diverse population of feet with some slight modifications or adjustments to the footwear in rare instances. The point is most of the vendors that C.peds in shoe stores get there shoes from might have a shoe or two, a style here and there, etc that fall into your daughter's size (that the C.Ped will be able to identify correctly) that they can get.

P.S. let your daughter know she is not alone in her quest for the right size shoe... The owner of the facility I work for has a 16 year old daughter who is 6'1' with size 12 D Women's (who do you think gets to fit her for her basketball shoes LOL!)

Re: too large of foot uneven in size

Tina H. on 9/09/04 at 07:13 (159582)

When are shoe manufacturers going to realize the public's need is changing with regard to shoes? It's sad when children, particularly girls are in adult shoe sizes in elementary school (3-4th grade), and all they have to pick from are ladies shoes when we still want them to look like children. Happily my 13 year old has slowed down and only wears a ladies 9 now, but her fiend, 13, wears a mens size 10, and has been living in mens sneakers for several years.

Re: bridal shoes - open-toed heels in size 12

Suzanne D. on 9/09/04 at 17:08 (159616)


Hope this link works!
Suzanne :)

Re: bridal shoes - open-toed heels in size 12

Pauline on 9/09/04 at 19:21 (159618)

It was nice of you to provide a link to bridal shoes. I took a peek to see what styles are available today and it got me to thinking about my own wedding day and what I put on my feet.

Today after having P.F. and foot wiser I'd probably opt for a pair of white New Balance. It amazes me everytime I see those spikes how we walked on them. Oh I don't think my highest were near 3 inches, but some of todays heels really look like killer, painful killers, not for those young with good padding still on the balls and heels of their feet, but for me who seems to have lost more than my share of padding I think.

It's always fun to look at bridal things, shoes and of courses dresses too. What we go through as women and those men just put on a pair of shiny black flats:*

Re: bridal shoes - open-toed heels in size 12

Suzanne D. on 9/09/04 at 20:23 (159619)

Isn't that the truth, Pauline?! :) I thought the same thing. But I knew she said her daughter wanted heels for her wedding, so I thought she might like to see that link.

I never wore high heels since I am tall, but I wore my share of flimsy, unsupportive shoes. I went bare-footed often as a child and wore those 99 cent flip-flops during the summer.

Do you remember 'go-go boots'? For some reason those came to my mind while I was writing this. I really wanted a pair of white boots one winter but couldn't find my size. I remember being very disappointed about that.

At an earlier age, I was very much in awe of Dale Evans and wanted some cowgirl boots. I got the skirt, vest, and hat, but not the boots.

Well, this probably belongs on the social board!

Take care,
Suzanne :)

Re: too large of foot uneven in size

Ed Davis, DPM on 9/11/04 at 00:30 (159716)

You have analyzed the real problem. The shoe industry is into style but is about 75 years behind in keeping up with lasts (the models around which shoes are made). Most teen patients I see have shoe sizes in the double digits. The manufacturers still act as if the average size is an 8!

Re: too large of foot uneven in size

Pauline on 9/11/04 at 08:54 (159729)

How true Dr. Ed. Another problem I fine is when a manufacture decides not to make specific half/sizes. In some lines, if you wear a half/size you have to size up or down, in others they skip sizes. For instance they may make half/sizes up to 8 1/2 but skip the 9 1/2 and go directly to 10 skip
10 1/2 and go to 11.

I think this happens more often in womens shoes then mens because they know women will put their foot in almost anything. I hate to say that but we've certainly proved it over the years. No man in his right mind would
wear the heels or pointed toes we've jammed our feet in.

I also wonder why they can't make running shoes with a last that actually is the same size they put into the shoe. They are always telling us to 'size up 1/2 to 1 size'. Why can't I purchase a 8 and expect it to be an 8 that fits instead of sizing up one size. Makes no sense to me.

I often see this in running shoe catalogs and you know its with mostly womens styles. Are they afraid to tell me to size up or that they don't make the half/size they require?

This is one area I'd like the good old days to come back. You could always count on shoes sizes being exactly what they said they were. A 7 fit a 7 and a 9 1/2 was always made in every line.

Re: too large of foot uneven in size

susan o on 9/11/04 at 21:20 (159758)

Nick, do you know of any C.Ped's in south Alabama? How about Atlanta?....there's a slim chance I might be able to get there next month.

It's to nice to hear that I'm not the only one having this stupid shoe problem. I get so sick of the 'we don't carry anything over 10' line. Don't even have a chance to get around to approaching the problem of the thin foot part of the problem! sheesh

Re: too large of foot uneven in size

Nick, C.Ped on 9/13/04 at 00:56 (159803)

I am not familar enough with anyone over there to personally recommend them to you. I am on the other side of the country in CA but I know Richard, C.ped is in SC maybe he knows someone nearby that does more 'shoe store stuff' I will ask him on the INSERTS/ORTHOTICS/SHOES board. We'll see what he says, In the meantime I suggest you go to:
http://www.cpeds.org and sneak a peek at the 'locate a C.Ped' feature


Re: too large of foot uneven in size

Julie on 9/13/04 at 02:41 (159805)

Pauline, you asked 'Are they afraid to tell me to size up or that they don't make the half/size I require?'

Both, but mainly the first, I think. In my observation, women are not exactly truthful with themselves about their shoe size, 'petite feet' being the ideal. This is especially true of older women, who don't realise (or don't want to realise) that their feet have spread and gone up in size over the years through the natural process of weight-bearing/weight-gaining, wear and tear. Shoe manufacturers and sales people know this, and play along.

My feet are now two sizes (full sizes) bigger than they were 50 years ago. Recently I was comparing flipflops on the beach with a woman my age. Hers fitted me perfectly, and mine fitted her. I said, 'Oh, your feet must be the same size as mine: I'm a 7) (English 7 - I'm 9 American). She bristled indignantly: 'I am NOT, I'm a size 5; I've always been a size 5'.

Vanity, vanity...

Re: too large of foot uneven in size

Pauline on 9/13/04 at 08:30 (159807)

This is true Julie. In addition, however, I feel that when our shoe manufacturing went overseas the lasts changed dramatically and thus the shoe sizes.

I have women friends, German, and they only purchase shoes made in France. They always tell me the French shoes are made for style, German for work.

I buy comfort and really don't care what country provides it, but after P.F. and a neuroma avoid the higher heels. I just wish a size 9 was a universal 9 no matter which brand or which country made it.