Breanna Mroczek and Janet Davie have a lot of things in common — except for their shoe size. They both love to travel (and have a fondness for London, England), love to write (fitting as they both work for Where Calgary magazine), and love to eat out and try new restaurants (they recommend the tacos at Native Tongues in Calgary). When it comes to buying footwear, they have opposite needs — Breanna is a size 5 – 5.5 and Janet is a size 11 — but often encounter a similar problem. They’ve shared with us a discussion on the tribulations and triumphs of buying “extreme” sized footwear on opposite ends of the sizing spectrum.
Breanna: I love shoes, but I hate shopping for them. I find a lot of stores don’t stock anything smaller than a size 6, then I have to order online if they even have the size in my style at all.
Janet: Stores will only carry a few pairs of each style of my size (11) and they run out really fast, so unless I’m at the store on the first day the shoes come in I can’t find anything in my size. Also: a lot of common, popular brands don’t carry anything past a size 10.
Breanna: Finding a shoe with a nice-sized heel is also problematic for me, because with a short foot length the heel can’t be too tall or else it looks ridiculous when the heel is close to the same length as my foot. Poppy Barley stocks some really nice heel sizes though — I’m loving the new 2.5” heel.
Janet: I’m really tall — 5’11” — and it’s hard for me to find heeled shoes that fit but don’t make me a giant in height. I think it’s hard for larger shoes with a heel to look attractive because the shoes usually look so big or chunky. I find there are just not a lot of options for size 11 shoes with a low heel, so I like that Poppy Barley offers some of their shorter heels in larger sizes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone into a store and loved the pair of shoes but can’t wear them because the heel is too high for my height.
Because of this, I love flats and the Poppy Barley flats are so chic that it doesn’t even matter that you’re not wearing a heel because you can dress them up; you can wear them with a skirt or dress and they look great. I think flats are having a moment right now; they’re very in style and a lot of women are choosing to wear them not only for style but also comfort. You can have both!
Breanna: I would much rather have one really good quality, nice pair of shoes that fits me perfectly that I can wear throughout seasons than have to find a pair of slightly-too-big-except-with-insoles shoes every few months. Often when I’m in need of a new seasonal pair — such as sandals for summer or boots for fall — it takes me a long find to actually find a pair of size 5 shoes in a style that I like, and it’s often midway into the season that I find a pair and I’ve wasted so much time not wearing good shoes. With Poppy Barley, I can order something from their collection and get a beautiful, fitted pair in time for the season. I love that they stock most of their styles in a size 5; I never have to be let down when I find a pair I like!
Janet: It’s becoming a lot more important to me to invest in good quality footwear. I would rather pay the money for a pair of shoes that are made for my feet than pay money for shoes that don’t really fit. I spent a long time wearing cheap shoes that didn’t fit correctly — they are usually too small — and it’s like… why? I’d rather just spend money on ones that fit me like a glove than spend a lot of time every time I need a new pair searching for ones that fit. Time is money!
Breanna: I love the new D’Orsay flats in Ivory Snake and Black because they are so versatile yet comfortable. I’m doing a lot of travelling this summer — to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Reykjavic, Paris, and Vernon — and I knew I needed a shoe that I could walk around in all day but that wouldn’t look frumpy. I can’t wear sneakers in Paris! The D’Orsay will coordinate with casual and more dressed up outfits, and I love the cutouts which are not only on trend but give it a summery feel.
Janet: I love the Strappy Sandals and the Leopard print leather; I just love leopard print! It goes with everything and is timeless. It is really difficult to find a pair of flats that you can dress up, and I love that these have a pointed toe, which automatically makes it dressier. It can be good in the spring and summer, and I think it’ll even transition into fall on warm days. It can also be hard to find comfortable sandals to walk in — a lot of the sandals and flip flops I own I wouldn’t want to walk long distances in, but these are so comfortable and I could wear them all day.