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Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See for full contents of our site

January 8, 2010


Jonathan Duffy, BBC - One high street shoe retailer has seen a marked increase in sales of larger sizes. But are our feet really getting bigger or are we coming round to the idea of "sensible shoes"?

. . . Earlier this week, department store Debenhams reported a boom in sales of ladies' size nine shoes - up 23% last year on 2008. It's a similar story for men, according to the retailer, which said last year sales of men's size 12s had soared while "requests for whopping size 14 and above are flooding in".

Yet while some are seeking out big sizes, many - women in particular - are preferring to follow in the more moderately proportioned footsteps of the masses, and bearing the pain in silence.

But if we acknowledge that our bodies are bigger - for better or worse - than those of our parents or grandparents, why does this acceptance stop just south of the ankle bone? And why are our feet getting bigger? There may be more obesity, but does an extra couple of inches on the waist really transfer to the furthest extremities of the body?

. . . Almost four in 10 women buy shoes knowing they do not fit, according to a recent poll by the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists. And nearly two out of 10 men do the same.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I finally gave up on wearing size 13 shoes that don't fit. I am a 14 Wide and more stores are starting to offer attractive women's shoes in size 14 and even 15. Two I especially like are Dreamshoes and

January 8, 2010 5:26 PM  
Blogger Lars said...

Awwww. I'm a "whopping" size 14. Sigh. I realize that even remarkably large sporting goods stores like Dick's and the Sports Authority don't stock most of their shoes in size 14 (why the 20,000 square feet of store then?). And I find that the only store with a large selection of dress shoes is Nordstrom. And Birkenstock doesn't even make most of their shoes in my size. Wait, what was my point? Maybe I do have paddles after all.

January 8, 2010 10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've noticed that there are more taller people over the past 3 decades. Taller people tend to have larger feet. Also as one ages, one's feet tend to get larger. With an aging population, and more taller young people, it's no wonder that shoes for larger feet are in demand.

My brother has size 11 feet, but his son has size 15 feet. We have no idea how that happened, it's not like anyone else in the family has had size 15 feet. But there the poor kid is, only able to find sports shoes in his size, because he has a basket ball players sized feet.

January 9, 2010 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your nephew should check out Their men's shoes start at size 14!

January 12, 2010 2:24 PM  

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