Not everything is super-size these days — especially when it comes women’s feet. While the average shoe size today is 8 1/2 or a European 39, according to pedorthist Bob Schwartz, owner of New York-based Eneslow, there are still women with petite feet who find shopping for smaller size shoes a challenge.
Since many footwear brands today start their sizing at six to accommodate this new norm, these consumers are often left with few footwear options.
These forgotten consumers, however, can still find a range of footwear options to meet their special needs by shopping the children’s market, where girls’ shoes are often available in sizes up to a women’s six.
Now don’t think these brands offer strictly juvenile styling. As today’s girls increasingly dress like their older counterparts, there’s a variety of casual, athletic and dress styles, that work equally well for adults from kids’ brands such as Umi and Tsukihoshi.
For those who may not feel comfortable in kids’ territory, there’s another option — women’s brands that offer companion girls’ collections. Among them are Kenneth Cole, Stuart Weitzman, Nine West and Steve Madden, often doing takedowns of their adult styles in smaller sizes.
Stuart Weitzman Ariana Sleek,$77.90; kidsshoes.com
There may, however, be some compromising. High heels won’t be an option, but with flats continuing as a key look silhouette, they can be worn casual or dress.
Other key looks trending in the adult market and trickling down to kids include moto-inspired boots, gladiator sandals and classic moccasins.
There’s more good news. Many of these styles are not only smaller in scale, but priced lower, giving consumers more opportunity to add to your their wardrobes.