What To Do About Shoes When You Have Two Different Sized Feet
Almost no one has two feet exactly identical in size but sometimes the size difference between a person's two feet can make buying shoes that are a comfortable fit both difficult and expensive. Many people with a large disparity of size between their left and right feet solve the problem by getting two pairs of shoes and discarding or putting away the non-fitting shoes.
Some specialty shoe shops sell individual shoes. Unfortunately, there are very few brick and mortar stores that sell individual shoes so most of them are online. The reason that is unfortunate is because footwear is something it can be very important to try on and the shipping tends to add up, too. Another downside to shops selling individual shoes is that each shoe tends to cost as much as an entire comparable pair of shoes. Also, many name-brand or fashionable shoes are not available in shops that sell single shoes.
My feet are very different in size. My left foot is a size 9.5 and my right foot is a size 7.5. Obviously, that size 9.5 I need for my left foot would flop around and rub the heck out of my right Achilles tendon and ankle if I wear a pair of size 9.5 shoes. I tried wearing a thin trouser sock on my left foot and a big, fluffy sock on my right foot but it just didn't cut it.
Anyway, I finally found a solution to needing different sized shoes for each foot. I thought about where the loose shoe rubbed and sought a shoe insert for heel or Achilles tendon friction.
For years, the inserts on the market were too thin to make enough difference and they tended to have lousy adhesives that didn't stick well enough and tended to end up getting on my socks. Thicker ones started coming out on the market a few years back and most of them have much better adhesives. Many newer varieties are thick and, in a pinch, you can actually stack them or use them in combination if you have a really big size difference between your two feet. Any thick heel cushions that are soft enough and work when stacked allow me to turn a pair of size 9.5 shoes that fit my left foot perfectly into a pair of shoes that's comfortable for both feet. The brand shown to illustrate this page is one of the ones I've used that is thick enough and also successfully stacks and had an Amazon listing with a nice photo. It turns out, they are darned hard to photograph once they are inside shoes because most brands match the color of black shoes inside.
I use three of the snugs, one at the end of the heel and one on each side of the shoe opening on my little foot shoe and I wear a fluffy sock on that foot. If the extra room down at the toe of the shoe bothers you, you can also stick one into the toe of the shoe.
If you get a four pair pack of the inserts you can work out what combination works for your feet because it gives you eight individual inserts to work with.
Adhesive-backed foam shoe inserts of this type and shape are good for layering and alternative positioning to make up for a discrepancy between the sizes of your feet in shoes that fit your larger foot.
Having two different sized feet doesn't have to be annoying or uncomfortable if you use a few inserts to accommodate your smaller foot.
If the inserts don't work for you another solution is to buy two pairs of shoes and sell the other mismatched pair on eBay. I've always managed to sell them. I didn't always recoup the cost of the second pair but sometimes I got more than I paid for them so it at least evened out.
If you have two feet of very different sizes, how do you solve the problem of finding comfortable shoes that fit?
When I was about four, my parents had a kitten they were keeping in a rabbit hutch to keep safe from predators as some animal had gotten to the barn cats and we just had that one kitten left. Dad used a brick on top of the lid to weight it down as well as securing the latch so we could be sure it would stay shut, even something like a raccoon with clever little hands tried to get into it. Of course I tried to get that kitty out without asking for help. I dropped the brick right on my left foot and broke it. It's been substantially bigger than its mate for over forty years now.
How did you find yourself with a mismatched pair? Did you have some kind of break or accident or was it just something that occurred naturally?
© 2013 Kylyssa Shay