Sunday, 10 January 2010

Size 15 ladies shoes located!

A few posts ago I set myself an action plan. One of its points was to find a supplier of ladies shoes in a UK size 15. This post is primarily aimed at the very few ladies both transgendered and genetic whose feet are that size and above, but maybe my research will be of interest to some others.

Over the years the lot of people with larger-than-average feet has become a happier one. When my mother was young, ladies shoes were often simply not available in her high-single-digit size and her feet still bear the evidence of having to wear ill-fitting footwear decades ago. When I was a teenager the situation had improved, but my newly size 15 feet were still at the outer limits of male footwear at the time and I had to wear some pretty awful footwear as a result. The problem with large size footwear design has always been that some manufacturers simply make their size 15s by lengthening the pattern for the size 12s in the middle resulting in something like clown shoes, and lack of competition meant that was all the large size supplier needed to stock.

Now a variety of specialist suppliers cater for the large of foot, and competition in design and supply means as a size 15 man I can wear just about any style of cool shoes I choose. What a difference twenty years makes!

Unfortunately though, there must be extremely few women with size 15 feet. Regular large sized ladies suppliers like http://www.after8shoes.co.uk/ and http://www.magnusshoes.com stop somewhere about 12 and specialist trans suppliers tend to stop at 14. (It pays to be careful when looking, I've seen male shoes advertised as 15 in the past but which turned out to be US 15, more like UK 14)
So that's most transgendered people catered for, but not me!
What can I do? As I see it, there are four options:
One: go barefoot. This isn't practical for most outfits or looks. No stockings, man-legs, it's got very old. This is the reason for my size 15 quest.
Two: Wear androgynous male footwear with the right outfit. The trouble with androgyny in clothing is that it works both ways. If you're large-male-sized as let's face it, all transgendered people with size 15 feet are likely to be, and you wear an androgynous outfit, it doesn't really matter whether that outfit is one made for a woman. You'll still look like a man. I'm sure there are femme outfits with footwear wearable by both sexes, but is the world ready for a giant cowgirl?
Three: Make your own. This isn't as far-fetched as it sounds. A quick search on "Make your own shoes" reveals a whole community of home footwear manufacturers producing an amazing array of rather nice shoes. It's true some of the parts for size 15 ladies shoes will not be available off-the-shelf and would require fabricating, but one of the best things my male side has given me is the ability to make almost anything. If I can weld up a kit-car or build an embedded computer as well as sew up a ballgown, then I have complete confidence in my ability to put together a set of court shoes. I'll do so if I really have to, but it's all going to be a lot of hard work and I'd prefer an easier option.
Four: Keep searching, find someone who sells them. Over the years I don't think I've missed any suppliers as I've searched the specialised large shoe  industry. Partly for myself, and partly on behalf of my closer female relatives who as you might expect from sharing genes with me also have slightly larger-than-average feet. I also don't think I've missed the web sites of any specialist trans suppliers. So it was a bit of a surprise when a possible solution came as part of my research for this piece. Breastform Store UK do shoes, and I'd never really looked at that part of their site. What a mistake! They list size 15s! The sizing includes a handy print-and-cut-out outline, and my feet fit neatly within it. I never expected it to be this easy.
They're not cheap mind, and I'll have to wait for my Christmas sale blowout to work out of my budget, but what can I say but wow! This has almost brought on one of those girlie crying moments.

7 comments:

  1. Have you looked at Conker Shoes in Totnes? -mine are a mere size 10, but as they say on the website "If you don't fit our standard sizing we can probably still make you a pair of Conkers"... helps if you're a bit of a hippy of course :-)

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  2. (... looks at http://www.conkershoes.com ... )

    Thanks for that, no neither I or any of the GGs in my family had found them. Bit of a hippy? You must have met my sister :). Casting through their range there are certainly styles I like and would happily wear.

    On your estimation, how giant-sized-bloke-transgender-friendly would you expect them to be?

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  3. Totally cool, I'd say. They're a friendly bunch in the shop.

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  4. Thanks again for that Dru, even if the extra cobblers charge puts a size 15 out of my reach I know my sister, cousin and mother will be interested in them.

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  5. Hi Jenny, in the US there is a manufacturer called Le Dame shoes, that makes really nice shoes for us tall trans women. I wear a US size 15 normally, but Le Dame's shoes run large. So I wear a men's size 14 in Le Dame.
    I am also 6'8 1/2' and have been wondering where to take my transness. So happy I finally found your blog and am planning to read it cover to cover. :)
    May also start my own blog soon. Will let u know.
    Hugs,
    Jessica

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  6. Wow, this one goes back a bit! I've found Le Dame and they're very good, but sadly they're difficult to buy here in the UK. I've pleaded with Bernie at Le Dame, but commercial realities meant he has to sell in places he's likely to get a return. So I've had to enlist the help of bemused American friends.

    As it is I've evolved a mix of androgynous and outright 'flamboyant' male footwear, a couple of pairs of Le Dames and a pair or two from other manufacturers. I've also embarked on making my own but with limited application.

    There are one or two of us trans ladies of height out there. The big shock for me has been that despite that I can do it. I'm sure you can too.

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  7. Hi there, very interesting thoughts there. However I have to say that yes, unusual as it is to find size 15 ladies, the best bet would be to get the size 14 in a very wide fitting. The type of shoe is very important as for ladies it tends to be more slimline in comparison to mens fitting, therefore if you are a true size 15 then I would highly recommend the 14 in an extra wide fitting - take a look at www.shoesissima.com as they are known for their extra wide fitting as well as stunning large shoes! x

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