Being big made or small made is a problem in India especially when it comes to buying shoes. If you don’t get your correct size, you are left unsatisfied. There are very few shops that have the option of selling custom-made shoes.
I have a problem buying shoes of my size. I am very short and my height is 149 cm. My shoe size is 4. The normal shoe size of ladies is 5-10. Whenever I got to buy shoes, the shopkeeper sends me to the kids section and I get shoes with bows and buckles. During Christmas, I can get a variety of shoes with Christmas Trees, Santa Clause, Elves, Mistletoes and what not. Being a woman and an impulsive shopper, I cannot indulge in impulse shoe shopping. I am forced to order shoes. The good part about ordering shoes is that I can play around with the design and increase or decrease the height of the heel.
Fazal Shaikh is a Maharashtra State level basketball player and stands feet 10 inches tall. “My shoe size is 12 and this size is available only in a few shops and most of the time I have to order my shoes.”
Sruthi Gotipatti feels that the attitude of the shopkeepers must change. “My shoe size in 10 and I find it rather annoying when shopkeepers tell me that my feet are abnormal. Moreover, the shoes of those sizes are too ‘aunty-like’. It is high time shops stock adequate shoes of plus or minus sizes,” states Sruthi Gotipatti.
When it comes to clothes, the number of tailors and plus sized clothes’ shops in the city are many. “The plus sized stores do not have my size. Hence, I get all my clothes stitched. There are only t-shirts of my size available at select outlets” adds Fazal Shaikh.
Shopkeepers feel that they lose out on revenue when they stock odd sizes, the investment and infrastructure costs are high but the sales are low. But there are some shops which cater to people who have big feet or small feet. “We provide the facility for ordering shoes from any of our designs at no extra cost. The shoes will be ready in a week”, says Vipul Chheda, owner of an Adidas showroom at Parel. “We take order of shoes but we charge about Rs. 50 – Rs. 75 more depending on the nature of modification. We can make minor adjustments provided the design is similar”, adds Iliyaz of Bombay Shoe Mart located at Crawford Market.