After a particularly difficult shopping session at a budget-friendly shoe retailer when I was 13 years old, my mom told me that Paris Hilton had to custom-make some of her shoes because of her size 11 feet—the same size that I detested having.
I was just starting my last year of middle school, and unlike the rest of my friends who could waltz into any beloved tween retailer at the mall, my only option was sneaking to the back of a Payless to stare at the rack of “size 10 and over” options. Usually, none of them enticed me. Every limited option was too big, too small, or too grandma-like for a temperamental eighth-grader. While I’d usually find something to make work (or squeeze into), my somewhat hilarious shoe-shopping trauma has taken me years to unpack. Although I’m a fashion editor who lives for my clothes, my shoes are another story—often bought from the same retailers over and over in different colors. If only we could all be like Hilton and have shoes custom-made to the size of our honkers. As she’d say, that’s hot.
Over the years, I’ve compiled a long list of shoe brands I trust to deliver the perfect fit without making me look 10 times my age. At 24, I don’t think anyone would be shocked to learn that I, in fact, am not interested in size 11 shoes that consist of clunky orthopedic-esque silhouettes. Thankfully, after more than a decade of trial and error, I’ve come to find the perfect pairs for anyone who wears size 11 or size 42 EU shoes. Who knows—maybe Hilton even has some of these.
Below, shop trendy size 11 shoes I’ve worn and loved over the years as well as a few styles I have my eye on.