The past few years have seen unprecedented shifts towards greater inclusivity for all shapes, sizes and skin tones with plus-sized models walking the cat walk and makeup lines boasting greater foundation shade ranges. These changes work to reinforce that there isn’t just one standard for beauty, and encourage women (and men!) to embrace themselves as they are. However, when browsing on the internet, I came across a bustle article entitled, ‘In An Era Of Body Positivity And Inclusion, Why Are We Still Screwed Up About Feet?’ The article questions why, in an era where we are told every body is a “good” body, why does this stop at our feet?
It’s true, as a wide-footed woman myself I am at times embarrassed to take off my shoes in front of others. This is not just because of the width of my feet, but the callouses (and even scars) on my feet from years of wearing shoes that are too narrow. This insecurity extends to the shoe store, where I will refuse help from sales-assistants simply because I don’t want them watching over me while I watch their expressions and wait for them to recoil from the sight of my too-wide, too-calloused feet as I try on shoes. I, for one, am fed up. I am tired of spending money on beautiful shoes that are relegated to the back of my closet, beautiful, but unworn because I cannot bear to walk in them for more than fifteen minutes at a time. II know I am not alone in this, because as we saw at this year’s Cannes film festival, a-list celebrity, Kristen Stewart, became so fed up with her sky-high heels that she took them off mid-red carpet!
I am not trying to propose that we should all walk barefooted at formal events. Going barefooted certainly isn’t very elegant, and in some studies has been found to be potentially harmful to our feet. However, we are now fortunate to have foot size-inclusive brands popping up so that we no longer have to have a painful relationship with our shoes. Gone are the days where we have to suffer in ill-fitting shoes. However, there are still stigmas surrounding these brands as they are often grouped in the same category as “comfort shoes,” which has often been synonymous with “ugly shoes.” This stigma is up to us to break. It would be outrageous to equate plus-sized clothing brands with “ugly” clothing brands, as it should be to assume this about size-inclusive shoes. There are currently many stylish options which are suitable for desk to dinner and are visually indistinguishable from leading premium high street brands. It is time to embrace size-inclusive brands which fit our feet properly and learn to accept ourselves from our heads right down to our toes!
Here are my two favourite wide-fitting shoe picks: