Stylist Advice- How to make your shoes fit when your feet are different sizes

Let’s help this reader with his shoe question to find narrow width shoes for his wife who has two different foot sizes.

q Dear Sharon:  My wife has narrow feet. To add to this, they are also two different sizes.

We are traveling frequently and I would like to gift her some fine high fashion shoes ($800 to $1500) but I do not know what brands are available in narrow widths. And, if any designer brand will allow to have two differing sizes at time of purchase?

She deals with poor fit that does not permit her to walk confidently and I would like to help. Many thanks in advance for your professional insight. (DS via Fashion Advice)

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How kind of you to want to help your wife discover proper fitting shoes. How wonderful of you to want to make such an extravagant gift of high-end shoes.

It’s not really the price of shoe that makes a difference, but the shoe’s last (the cut of the shoe as to how it fits your foot).

Many shoes come in narrow width, and some brands are just cut more narrow than others. I know that as much as I love certain designer brands they simply are not comfortable on my far from dainty feet even though they are in the “correct’ size. Judging from my personal designer shoe collection, bad pun here, it’s a matter of discovering shoes that fit comfortabley and wearing them well. Just like clothes, not everything is made to fit everyone. You need to adapt.

That said, shoes are difficult to fit as it is so unless it’s a brand that you know usually for your wife well, I wouldn’t go for a splurge surprise gift unless there is a solid return policy.

Most of us are not built symmetrically and have foot sizes that differ from a hair to a lot. We all have a slightly “bigger” foot and in other cases  it can be more extreme like your wife. With the exception of custom shoes, I doubt you would find anyone selling an unmatched pair of shoes. Since you considering a higher price point, just Googling “custom shoes for women” and “design your own shoes” produces a bounty of web site that specialize in this, so you may want to consider that option.

As far as shopping “off the rack,” for your wife and those of you who have feet that are different sizes, here’s my advice to help make your shoes fit:

Depending on the shoe style, obviously closed shoes are easier than open ones, what you want to do is comfortably fit the larger foot and accommodate the smaller one by padding it to fit.

My husband is a podiatrist and he mentioned that you can have a orthotic made to fit the shape of your foot with a toe filler to pad the area in the front. A professionally made orthotic created from a mold of her foot by a foot doctor would also help with her gait.  As orthotics don’t fit every shoe, you might want to consider a “wardrobe” of orthotics and insoles that work with different shoe styles. I would recommend bringing samples of the type of shoe with you to the podiatrist to try to have the orthotic designed to fit in your favorite style.

There are also products designed to help your shoes fit better with specially designed pads to suit a variety of nagging feet issues.

Sizers ( are shoe sizing insert cushions to accommodate loose shoes that are a 1/4. 1/2, and a full size larger than desired. Foot Petals has an array of cushy products to help your shoes possibly fit better. I would try the Foot Petals Triple Threat Kit first to see which style works for you. You can also check the best selling heel inserts and insoles on Amazon to see what’s right for your particular situation.

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