Everyone has a gym class or a middle school moment that they’d prefer to forget… For some, it was the braces; for others, it was the awkward school dances. For me, it was always the shoes.
Why, do you ask?
Enter: 10-year-old me.
I loved gym class. It was a coveted break between learning about mitochondria in science class and watching “Schoolhouse Rock” videos in social studies class. Whether it was kickball or softball, there was always an entertaining outlet for competition, energy and fun.
One day, I entered gym class with my new sneakers, ready to play whatever friendly, not-too-aggressive game that was on the agenda for that day. I headed to the locker room, changed my clothes and put on my brand new shoes -- how exciting!
As I walked out of the locker room, I noticed a boy wearing the same sneakers as me (eeeek), so I tried to keep a distance from him so no other students would notice. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before the comments began to roll in…
“She’s wearing the same shoes as him!”
“Why is she wearing boys’ shoes?!”
“Did you two go shopping together?”
Now, being a 10-year-old, 6th grader with size 10 feet was a challenge to say the least. My mother and I spent our Saturdays hopping between malls, going from Payless to Caldor’s and searching high and low for a pair of cute and affordable shoes. Nine times out of 10, we left disappointed. Either the shoes were too short, too wide or too ugly for a middle school girl.
Before I started 6th grade, we went shopping for this (now infamous) pair of sneakers. As usual, we had trouble finding something that both fit my feet and the image of what I was looking for. While facing the typical disappointment, we decided to go in a new direction that year and search in the boys’ section for a pair of sneakers in “gender-neutral” colors. This hunt for sneakers, and the impending gym class nightmare that followed, turned out to be a moment of realization for me: shoe shopping would always be a struggle.
Over the years, my feet grew from Size 10 to Size 11 to Size 12 and the shopping challenges continued. I always thought, “Why is this so difficult? There HAS to be an easier way.”
Now, I’m trying to make 2019 the year where large footed ladies like myself can have a single, trusted source for popular shoes that are FINALLY available in our size.
This blog and upcoming website is a labor of love. I truly believe that we must create the change that we want to see in the world, which is exactly what I want to create with My Sole Sisters. Share it with your friends, send me your suggestions and stick with us for the ride!
Whether it was middle school gym class or something else, tell me -- What is Your Shoe Story?
*My Sole Sisters is a website that aims to have the largest online selection of women’s footwear sizes 10 & up.