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Tips on how and where to buy fashionable ladies small shoes for petite feet

It can be virtually impossible for ladies with small feet to find shoes on the high street that have any fashion credibility. Most of us are ushered to the children’s section to choose from Barbie trainers, and left drooling over the diamante evening shoes and sexy stilettos that won’t fit our small feet. But there is another way with the birth of niche online retailers selling ladies small shoes. Find out about online small shoe retailers, what to look out for when buying shoes online and how to go about finding the best websites for your needs.

If you are like me and have small feet to contend with, then I’m sure you have found yourself traipsing the high street shops desperately trying to find some half decent shoes, preferably without Barbie plastered all over them, only to be turned away by smug looking pubescent shop attendants… oh what joy we go through just to try and keep up with the trends!

It can be virtually impossible for ladies with small feet to find shoes on the high street that have any fashion credibility, and it’s getting worse. Firstly, like clothing sizes, the shoe sizing scale seems to have gone a bit haywire at the moment. One minute I can fit into a size 3, and the next, I feel like I’ve put my foot into an unattractive wellie when trying on a size 3!

In addition, some of the high street retailers are beginning to start their sizing from a UK size 4 / EU 36, which is no good for ladies small feet. This is a trend that is probably only going to continue across the board as it is not economical enough for the high street shops to supply small shoes due to the smaller market, compared to the mainstream size 4 – 8.

Details from a report carried out in approximately 1972, updated in 1985 and reviewed in 1999 that I found when doing a bit of research on the internet, suggests that there is a large proportion of ladies small feet that need little shoes. Just under 5% of women in the UK population have small feet - sized 3 or smaller, and just under 10% sized 3.5 or smaller. So we are still out here desperate for small shoes!

So where can ladies with small feet go to find shoes that will fit their petite feet? Well, the best place is online. Although buying shoes on the internet is not ideal, there is a selection of niche online shops now selling ladies small shoes.

If you are new to buying small ladies shoes online, here are some tips on how to go about purchasing and what to look out for:

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Getting the right size
If you are unsure what size you take, most online small shoe shops will ask you to send in your feet measurements. Find your measurements by drawing around your small feet on a piece of paper and then measuring the length. To find your width, use a tape measure around the widest part of your feet, just above the toes.

Converting from children’s to ladies sizes
Normally, if you have been wearing children’s shoes, you will need a larger women’s size as the shoes that are sold on specialist small shoe sites should be made on women's lasts. This is usually about one size larger in adult sizes.

Delivery cost
Some online small shoe retailers can sometimes charge a lot for delivery, so check this before you buy. Do note that it is general practice to only refund the cost of the shoes if you need to send them back so you will be forfeiting your postage payment.

Delivery time
From previous experience, one online small shoe retailer I used only sent out the shoes when they had a certain number of parcels to send, which used to mean you could be waiting a while for delivery. If you need your petite shoes or small boots for a specific date, ask the retailer to confirm the despatch date.

Returns Policy
Always double check that the retailer you are buying from offers a returns policy to avoid being left with a pair of shoes that don’t fit. Within the returns policy, look out for the period you have to return the shoes and make sure they are back in the post before this runs out, otherwise you could be liable for an administration charge.

Returns Postage
Be prepared to pay for the return postage if you would like to send the shoes or boots back. If the retailer has a different size that would fit you better, and you would like to exchange, ask if the postage to send the replacement pair will be included.

Online Phobia
If you are not yet comfortable ordering on-line, ask the retailer if they will take payment via cheque. However, be prepared to wait until your cheque clears to receive your order.

Of course it is not just small feet that prove a problem. For many ladies small feet, coupled with narrow feet widths or wide fittings, can be an extra added inconvenience when trying to find shoes. The best place to find information online for hard to find footwear is the British Footwear Association. The Britfoot website has a Shoe Individualiser search facility within the consumer section, where you can find suppliers that specialise in different areas of hard to find footwear.

In summary, there is a wealth of information available for ladies with petite feet or other hard to find footwear problems. The main thing to remember when feeling down-heartened unable to find small shoes is that there are suppliers out there to help, and the best starting point is to scan through the Britfoot website or search online for your specific requirement.

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