This post was inspired by a recent blog post that I read, written by Nina Bargiel, aka The Slackmistress. called The Answer is “NICE TITS!” The blog post is about her awkward experiences growing up as a girl who developed rather large breasts at a young age. From the ages of 11-13 this was something she was teased about at school.

This made me think of my own experiences growing up as a boy with big feet (not that I’m saying it’s exactly the same thing). Remember that old Prince song, “KISS,” where he sings “Act your age, mama, not your shoe size”? Well, for several years, my age and shoe size were the same. It become most notable when I was 11, in the 6th grade, and my feet were size 11. By age 12, my feet had grown to size 12, and by 13, my feet had grown to size 13.


During this time, I’d acquired the nickname “Bootsy” from the other kids in Elementary and Junior High School. I hated it. When I’d complain about my feet being big, my mother would always say that they’re supposed to be big because I’m tall (I was always a little taller than average for my age, which just made me stick out even more), but most of the time when I’d meet someone my height or taller than me, I’d compare feet, and mine were always bigger.

Things might have been better if I had at least been a good athlete but, no, despite being tall with big feet, I couldn’t even play basketball (if I had a nickel for every time someone asked me if I play basketball. . .) or any other sport. I was too uncoordinated. I can’t even dribble.

When I entered High School at age 14, my shoe size was 14, but that’s when the teasing died down. I guess since it was a bigger school, with more kids, and students who were 2 and 3 years older than me, as well as much taller, thankfully, I no longer stood out.

For the next several years, my feet seemed to stop growing, as well as my overall height stopping at around 6’2″. But then one day, when I was 20 years old, I had bought a new pair of shoes and spent most of a Saturday afternoon shopping in Hollywood. On my way back, as I got off the bus and was walking the last 3 or 4 blocks home, I noticed that my feet were hurting. At first I didn’t give it much thought, since I’d spent most of the day walking around from Hollywood Blvd, to Melrose Ave, to the Beverly Center, I expected my feet to be hurting by then. But as I got closer to home, I noticed that it wasn’t general foot-pain, most of the hurt seemed to be concentrated around my toes. Soon it became apparent: the shoes were too small. I had just bought them, so I knew it wasn’t because they were old shoes. I went back to the shoe store, to measure my feet and, sure enough, they’d grown to size 15!


And that’s where my shoe size remains today (knock on wood). Now, I don’t worry about getting teased anymore, but my major problem remains: finding new shoes. That was especially tough as a teen. It’s a good thing that I was never a “trendy” kid, who always wanted the latest fashions, because when it came to sneakers, it seemed as if most shoe stores stopped carrying the most popular brands at size 13. So I’d just have to go somewhere and ask what they had in size 14, and then just take whatever they had available (if anything).

Now I buy all of my new shoes online. But that’s not always easy, either, since that means that I can’t try anything on before I buy it. And “size 15” doesn’t mean the same thing for every shoe brand. Plus, my feet are also “wide”, which adds another ordeal to choosing shoes. There have been a few incidents where I’ve ordered shoes online, and then received them and they didn’t fit. It’s quite frustrating. Plus, when I do find good shoes, they’re usually kind of expensive, plus I have to pay extra for shipping, so that sucks.

And I still can’t always find sizes available for certain shoes that I want. For example, Soulja Boy (a rapper that I kind of like) has his own brand of sneakers, and there’s one particular style I want, Yums Sweet Series Cupcake Men’s Shoes.


But they only go up to size 14. I’ve been checking since Jan. 09, to see if they’ll ever go up to my size. But still no luck. Dammit.


  1. Damn I’m 6 feet and wear size 13. I thought I was big, but you got me beat. But it’s not always that easy for me to find a decent pair of shoes in my size either.


    • I haven’t gone rollerskating since I was 12. And I remember when I went to the area to rent a pair of skates for the day, and I told the guy I needed size 12, he looked @ me confused and asked “How old are you?” Like he couldn’t believe that I was so young but had feet that big.


  2. I had the opposite problem of your friend up there. I grew up with flat-chested. It wasn’t until I got married and got pregnant that I went from an a cup to a c cup.


  3. It’s a shame the way children tease other children for anything that makes them different, whether it’s some physical characteristic, like big feet or breasts, or because of the way they dress, or the type of activities that they are into, etc. I think it’s symptomatic of how society stresses conformative since the time we’re born. We’re subconciously trained not to stand out from the crowd, to do all that we can to fit in, And therefor we are trained to ostracize those who do not conform.


  4. Aaron is correct. We, human beings, seem to be hardwired to distrust and ridicule anyone who stands out from the crowd. This is why I’ve always said that I don’t think discrimination will ever fully go away, because even if we were all the same skin-color, or spoke the same language, or whatever, we’d still find some way to pick on someone.


  5. Im cursed with the big, wide, flat feet too Finding shoes is a nightmare . but finding SOCKS is even worse! My Size 14 makes me crazy. Good news if you go to the Carribean…they have our sizes! Ive found shoes each time ive been to the islands!


  6. It’s really bad when kids tease each other because someone happens to be tall, short, plus sized, have big feet, small feet or whatever… We are born with certain genes and who says a special appearance makes you a more perfect human being? We are all unique! I, myself, am a tall woman and I also have big feet. Now, when I’m an adult I have accepted myself as I am and I think it’s nice being tall. Though, I have also experienced how difficult it can be to find shoes in the physical shops! I actually got fed up with this situation and decided to start a website with recommendations of online shops selling shoes in large and small sizes and also wide models. The site also recommends shops selling clothes to tall, short and plus sized people. This site is meant for all of us, who are not shaped according to some kind of “standard model”. Some categories don’t have so much content yet, but I’m working on it. If the site can be of help to you, please feel welcome to http://www.sizes4you.com.


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