A MOTHER who struggled for years to find shoes big enough to fit her has finally found a solution by opening her own shop – for women with massive feet.
Clown-footed women can now benefit from the special shoe-shop opened by size 10 businesswoman Louise MacLellan.
Selling everything from flip-flops to flats and high-heels – Louise’s shop specialises exclusively in footwear ranging from a size 8 – 11.
The 40-year-old had been at the end of her tether travelling the country in order to find shoes that fit her, as well as a fortune on returning wrong-sized shoes bought from the internet.
With the average shoe size in the UK for a woman currently a 6, Louise had always dreamt of creating a shop where women of larger than average shoe size could come and try on fashionable footwear in comfort.
And after being made redundant last year, Louise took it as the opportunity to realise her dream and now her shop Lou Lou Shoes is opening in Lutterworth High Street in Leicester on Thursday.
She said: “I am a size 10, the average is size 6, so I find it really difficult to get fashionable yet affordable shoes in larger sizes, so I know there must be lots of women out there with the same problem.
“It was a real problem just trying to find anything, no one does shoes at a size I can wear.
“I used to have to spend loads of time down in London just to buy a pair of shoes.
“My friends enjoy trying on shoes in shops but, because of my foot size, my experiences have not been as enjoyable – with limited choice and often long journeys to find a shop with larger shoes.
“There are a number of websites that offer a range of shoes for people with larger feet but, to me, there’s something lovely about going into a shoe shop, trying on shoes, walking in them and making sure they are right for you.
“It was a real ache trying to get shoes off website because I spent a fortune in return fees from all the shoes that never fitted.
“There are companies that specialise in this kind of shoe, and some that do all sizes from smallest to largest, but hardly any big shops sell shoes that us women with larger feet can fit into.
“Which is a bit odd really, as the average height in this country is going up and with it the foot size.
“Now I expect people to come to my shop from absolutely all over the place, there’s no other options for them where they can actually get to try the shoes on.
“It’ll get all sorts of clientele, from children who need shoes for school to middle aged women who need them but struggle to find them, it’s a real gap in the market.”
Mother-of-two Louise, who lives in nearby Cosby, Leicestershire, with her husband Neil, left her job as an accountant at a family-run forklift truck manufacturer last year when it closed down and has been working on her dream shop ever since.