If The Shoe Doesn’t Fit: 3 Ways To Make The Wrong Size Work

Young woman trying on high heel shoes
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You’ve found it. The perfect shoe. A palace fit for a foot that couldn’t be better even in your wildest dreams. But – alas, it’s the last pair and a size too small. Not everybody is Cinderella, but in this day and age, that doesn’t necessarily have to be a problem. Before resigning yourself to loss, consider these three tips on working the system.

Your Best Friend, the Sales Associate

Sure there are times when the in-store shopping experience can seem a bit too much – just try passing any fragrance counter without being assaulted. Still, with in-store shopping, sales associates really are your most helpful resources. Even if their computer systems say they’re out of a size, always ask for them to check their stock rooms just in case – which though so seemingly obvious a fix, can produce miracles. Still no shoe to be found? Ask that they call around. Sure this particular Bloomingdale’s might not have your size, but that’s not to say none do! Having your size shipped from a different location is super easy – and oftentimes stores will not even charge you for shipping.

Taking the Search Online

Never before has the world been so globalized. Everything’s for sale, and you can pretty much find anything online if you try hard enough. Designers and brands have their e-commerce websites, as do department stores, boutiques big and small, plus there’s always the strictly web based lifesavers: eBay, The Outnet, Vestiaire Collective, Yoox – the list goes on and on. A specific Google search of the product name or description plus your size can yield wonders, so don’t be intimidated to dig through the pages of search results. And if you’ve no luck with third party retailers, it never hurts to contact the designer directly, they may have returned inventory, or know of a retailer to refer you to.

The Big Stretch

Everything seem to be failing you in your quest? Well, if you can get within a half size of your ideal pair, or at the absolute greatest, a full size, they might still be worth purchasing to save yourself from a life of night sweats, haunted by the dream of what could have been. Shoes can be stretched in regards to both width and length, with leather and suede lending themselves best to the process. If you’d like to stretch them yourselves, just make sure to carefully read the directions for the shoe stretchers, as some recommend spraying your shoe beforehand with a shoe stretching liquid. Alternatively, for those more weary of their cobbling abilities, you can always put your feet in the hands of shoe repair professionals. Just run a quick yelp search of the repair shops in your neighborhood to make sure you end up at the best and most reliable. Keep in mind, cobblers can also help fix a pair of shoes that are too large. Either way, it’s good to know you have options if you find a wrong sized pair you just can’t live without!

FitRight Two-Way Shoe Stretcher, $18

Brooke Schuldt is a freelance writer interested in fashion, beauty, lifestyle and feminism topics. Her work has been featured on various print and online outlets, including Parents Magazine, fitness.com, Ed2010, and Deux Hommes.

When Brooke is not focusing on her magazine career goals, she can be found knitting, teaching herself French, or updating her personal blog. Her bucket list includes traveling around the world, a shopping spree at Kate Spade, and writing a New York Times Bestseller.

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