The Trouble with Shoes

Shoes are one of the most problematic items to try to repurpose from men’s fashion to  women’s, in my experience, for no amount of recofiguring and jerry-rigging can make a too-big shoe fit a smaller-sized foot.  So many men’s shoes go no lower than EU size 41 – a US ladies’ size 9 on a good day, thus putting many lovely styles out of reach.

Despite knowing that my foot is a far sight smaller than 41, I foolishly decided to chance fate recently and so ordered a pair of H by Hudson’s Rafferty brogues in distressed tan from UK online shopping site asos.com.  The shopping experience in and of itself was terrific, but when my shoes arrived a week after I ordered them, they were, as predicted, far too large.  It was a pity, too, because the shoes were lovely, and just the kind of brogues I have been searching for and unable to find in a women’s-specific model.

The H by Hudson "Rafferty."

After boxing up the too-big “Rafferty” pair and sending them back to the UK, I looked around for the closest thing Hudson had going, the H by Hudson “Charlie.”  While they are nice-looking, too, they’re nowhere near the “Rafferty” in terms of attention to detail, and the color of the leather is not as rich.  These minor complaints have seemed to be a moot point, however, as no stockists anywhere that I can find have them in anything but a UK 3.  Now I have the opposite problem; these shoes are too small!

The H by Hudson "Charlie."

Who else is doing good footwear things?  Well, following along with the trend of the classic brogue being in, I’m now anxiously awaiting Rachel Comey‘s new fall line.  While many of her women’s shoes have a playful dandy-esque repurposed menswear flair, I’m actually most interested in the preview shot I saw of a pair of her shoes for men.  Again, I expect them to run too large for me, but a gal can dream:

Rachel Comey's Fall 2010.

Finally, for something of a different look, I’ve had my eye on Billykirk’s forthcoming collaboration with Sebago; the former’s sales rep tells me that production has been pushed back on these sturdy-looking dock shoes until July, and also told me that they will be going as small as 41.  I’ll probably try to make those work for me, although I should know better after my experience with the “Rafferty” brogues.  Here’s the Billykirk/Sebago coupling:

Billykirk's update on Sebago's classic deck/dock shoe.

Who is making shoes in this vein in sizes for women?

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