I’ve never been overjoyed by the size of my feet. They are a UK 7, which in the UK is not massive. It’s not small, but not giant either. My mum is a size 4 so I don’t know how this happened. In fact she always says her feet are her best feature. She’d be fine buying shoes in Shanghai. Me…not so much.
We packed light moving over here, we didn’t want to ship anything over so we just came with our luggage allowance and then planned to buy things over here. So I brought with me one pair of ancient havaianas that used to be white. They are now a shade of mucky brown having travelled all around the world with me, including wearing them on a trip up Franz Josef Glacier on the South Island of New Zealand in
2009. I also brought one pair of shabby converse. I can’t survive with this size shoe collection. No heels for a night out for one thing, not to mention the havaianas were becoming increasingly embarrassing to wear, particularly with China’s obsession with taking shoes off to go inside rooms. I’d take them off and then try and shove them behind all the other shoes with my foot while trying to distract people around me… QUICK LOOK OVER THERE!!
My husband heads the finance department out in China for UK retailer, New Look. Having worked in the UK head office for 10 years myself, its a shop I know better than any other and I’m just really comfortable in there, so that was where we headed first. I saw a couple of pairs of shoes that I liked but couldn’t find any that went above a size 6. I started rummaging through the shoes in a blind panic desperate not to accept the truth. There was not one single pair of shoes in the shop that went above a size 6. I went on to a couple more well known, large chain retailers and it was the same. The realization struck. My feet are too big for China!
There are a few websites you can buy shoes and other things in Shanghai, but there didn’t really seem to be anything overly suitable. So in the end I made the decision to buy from New Look online in the UK and have them shipped out to China. The delivery estimate wasn’t an overly long time and I could get the employee discount, (although this was chipped away by having to pay a large import duty tax bill when they arrived). I decided it was best just to buy a large number of shoes at once…you know to save money in the long run 🤔.
The shoes arrived and I look at them with a smile as I see written on the sole.. Made in China. They’re made in China, shipped to the UK, sat in a distribution centre just to be shipped back out to China again for me to adorn my embarrassingly gargantuan feet!
A week or so later I’m out on Huaihai middle road at the Nike store and Paul encourages me to try and find out if they have the Nike Free trainers I’ve been coveting since I saw my friend Vicky’s months earlier. So I ask and they look at me a little strangely and consult their little iPads. It turns out they do have that size, but in the back of the warehouse. They’ll have to go down and hunt them out. The guy looks at me and laughs, saying ‘very big hahaha’. I just wait for the ground to swallow me up. Anyway I have my Nikes so its all good.
Now I just need to hunt out the pair of spiked black leather converse I spotted in a Singapore magazine and I’ll be happy. At least for a little while…
If anybody reads this and knows where I can buy shoes in Shanghai, please let me know! More importantly if anyone knows where I can get the spiked @converse please please please tell me!!