2021 Evolution in Sections

Shoes Style/comfort/Practicality & Realization
My Reality of which I have just come to accept very recently is that I have big feet. Big and wide and fussy feet. That I am learning to love. My feet are the foundation of who I am. They have carried me through 46 years of mountaintop in the valley experiences. Although I cried when I had to donate my US size 11 shoe wardrobe after realizing that I would now be a size 12 after my daughter was born and my feet were not going to revert back.

I know I literally went through the seven stages of grief from denial to acceptance. It was most certainly a journey that took time. I only have one pair of shoes that I kept from before the time my daughter was born. The shoes I love so much they are a pair of patent heels that I purchased from Payless Christian Siriano size 12 and so comfortable I can run in them like Carrie Bradshaw from SEX IN THE CITY.

(They are actually doing a reboot of the show on HBO)

I borrowed heavily from Angie for the 5 pair of shoes from Burlington something clicked in me when she wrote about wearing fashion sneakers. Accepting that this is my life and I’m moving more away from heels and booties and going into things that I can keep up with my toddler with. I’m also learning that for me and my feet i find men’s shoes are more comfortable and I can find stylish & comfortable ones even at a US size 12 women’s. I did go over to the women’s section but they only went up to a size 11. I also went to Nordstrom‘s on one of the days that I had off but I just didn’t like the price points for the ones that I could afford and I always kept looking at the men’s section so this is my current life and I’m very happy with my purchases and what was added to my shoe wardrobe.

OK so I’m gonna break this down let’s start with what I already had my wardrobe.

Pic2). Payless Patent Shoes Designer line

Pic3) Walmart Extended wide calf rainboots 11Wide (Surprisingly comfortable)

Pic 4-7 ) THRIFTED.
4) Jambu absolutely amazing to ware and unique
5)Payless DexFlex so dang comfortable bought new from thrift when Payless closed.
6)Sorel Winter Tundra Boots $140 retail paid $40 for them from the Thrift Store when we had a Blizzard here in the Chi that closed down our Lake Shore Drive 10 years ago.

7. Men’s Duck boots so comfy and waterproof.

8/9 random cheaply no names but color was needed in my wardrobe both have worn well are comfortable.

10) Walmart Time and Tru line. Surprising Comfortable but will slip indoors but grip out doors

11) Walmart - George men’s section. I just love these so much.

Fashion Sneakers
Recent Purchase Burlington coat factory 5 pair

12/13 Polo High Tops Leather. Love these so much and fits my style and my wide feet.

14/15 Clark’s well this is a well know comfort walking brand leather/suede

16/17 Fila Retro Classic style it’s different colorful shoe strings this Will most likely be my go to pair.

18/19 Levi 501 denim & leather so comfortable

20/21 Uncommon Foot. Leather Walking Shoe.

22) Fila I needed more color and this is more of stylish representation for me as a Black Woman.

23/24 Walmart George men’s line. walking/work shoes. Very comfortable and reasonably priced at $20 each

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Joy replied 3 years ago

    I often see men’s shoes on deep discount at Nordstrom Rack that look like they were made for women. Pink loafers, anyone? They have a percent off clearance about once a month. You can ask the SAs when the next “Clear the Rack” sale is going to be. There is a little of everything. The best times are when the Nordstrom stores want to move out their seasonal stuff for a new season. If you miss a sale, wait a few days. The item will be given another markdown, often making it less than it would have been on the sale. It is a gamble to wait, but might be worth a look. You have a great shoe collection.

  • Janet replied 3 years ago

    It's so smart to be real about footwear! I'm lucky enough to have a really common shoe size and not terribly fussy feet, but I can sympathize with how challenging it must be. Your collection looks super cool, really -- this is such a great time in the history of fashion for people who don't want to suffer uncomfortable shoes, and sneakers are now accepable almost everywhere.

    Your Sorels are great and what a steal! I love a good bargain like that. And #22 is perfect for you, so cool. I love the pops of color you have chosen. 

  • Runcarla replied 3 years ago

    You’ve done very, very well building your shoe collection.

  • Bijou replied 3 years ago

    Ledonna, an amazing and very practical shoe collection. I feel for you on the changing feet, my feet got a little bigger with pregnancy too and it was hard to ditch former favourites. So glad that your fab patent heels still work for you.

  • nuancedream replied 3 years ago

    Your shoe collection is very impressive and works for you and your lifestyle right now. I went through a period when I was mourning getting rid of many of my dressy higher heels. Now fashion sneakers, lug soled shoes, and low heeled booties are my footwear of choice because they work for me and my fussy feet. The last thing I want to do is to create a museum of shoes that I'll probably never wear again.

  • Helena replied 3 years ago

    Ledonna, this is an awesome collection. I can't pick a favourite! I love that you are embracing your lifestyle and expressing yourself in a way that also cares for your body (because really, our poor feet take such a beating and get so little love). Especially love the pops of colour. 

    I miss the Payless Dexflex line; they were so comfortable and reasonably-priced! Those wedges are awesome.

  • unfrumped replied 3 years ago

    Great re- invention of shoe capsule!

    I hear you on changing feet and being in denial until moving forward with new reality.

  • Ledonna N. replied 3 years ago

    Joy- Thank you for The expert tip. From where I live it takes a special trip to get there but I will keep an eye out. I’m loving the vibrant color palette for men.

    Janet-awe yes the average shoe size is so enviable to me. When a beautiful pair come in A large size it quickly sells out. The sorels are my favorite they are a workhorse and great to walk in deep snow.

    Runcarla- thank you so much

    Bijou-I’m so glad you understand. Ugh. Lol they are cute and comfortable

    Nuancedream-“ The last thing I want to do is to create a museum of shoes that I'll probably never wear again.”. So very true for so many things. My old shoes were gathering dust. Your shoe wardrobe sounds like one I want to build.

    TorontoGirl-DexFlex was just the best. I agree with our feet being a priority. So important.

    Unfrumped- that 1st stage is the hardest for sure

  • replied 3 years ago

    Angie's post yesterday, Evolving My Style Into 2021, so grounded in reality, inspired many thoughts but knowing how colorful, current and distinctive her style is, the thing I took away most is that you do not have to let go of that to be practical.

    And thinking before purchasing doesn't crush that "new" feeling.

    I am really trying to apply her deliberateness to my own wardrobe.

  • Liesbeth replied 3 years ago

    That is an amazing collection, you've got at least 4 distincitve styles there to really finish off a look! You're convincing me to check te men's section.
    My feet got bigger during pregnancy and then frustratingly a bit smaller again about 6 months after - so I had to get rid of almost all my pre-pregnancy shoes and then again some of the replacement pairs! Thank god those first months aren't when you're going out to buy loads ;).
    Do you find second-hand shoes comfortable enough? Shoes molding to your feet and all...

  • replied 3 years ago

    Good job with the new shoe selections.  And I would love to see you running down the street in your Christian Siriano heels!!  I feel happy thinking about that.  

  • replied 3 years ago

    Intrigued by the Levi’s sneakers! Marvelous collection of footwear :)

  • replied 3 years ago

    Looks like you're sorted for winter! 22 especially jumps out at me as back to Bold Ledonna :)

  • LaPed replied 3 years ago

    Wow, this is a seriously cool, versatile shoe collection. My feet grew half a size and got much pickier when I was pregnant. So frustrating!

  • JAileen replied 3 years ago

    You have a great collection of shoes!  I’ve always had big feet, and finally got over being self conscious.  They get me around and keep me from tipping over - what more could I ask for?  :)

  • rachylou replied 3 years ago

    Love it. Tbh, not unlike my own! I totally hit the men’s department - have a pair of men’s blue oxfords that I’m babying to make them last. Also: I so miss Payless Shoes. I miss the waterproof workboots.

  • Kate replied 3 years ago

    What a great collection, Ledonna!

    I join you in wearing men’s shoes. I’ve been raiding the men’s department for shoes for decades, ever since my French hairdresser passed on a number of shoes to me back in the 80s. He had great style and small feet. I have long, narrow feet, and at the time, size 10 women’s shoes were scarce. I often had to stuff my feet into shoes that were too small. I really benefited from Bernard’s generosity and fashion chops. Later when my husband and I lived in Belgium I happily shopped both sides of the aisle for shoes, and have never looked back.

  • Ledonna N. replied 3 years ago

    I love the stories here thank you for sharing.

    Thrift store shoes. I’ve been really lucky and selective. Most of the ones I find are new never worn or barely worn for whatever reason.

    Kate what a wonderful friend Bernard must have been.

    I don’t wear many open toe sandals I only have one pair so these will carry me through year round.

    Unless something special comes along.

  • slim cat replied 3 years ago

    Awesome collection- great finds! I feel your frustration- my daughter feet require sizes 11-11 1/2 or 12. I tried to find options for her at Rack , Nordstrom or Clarks. Many returns later she has a fav UGG sneaker ( duplicated once already),
    Hoka one one sneakers ( from men’s department- better colors ), one sandals that rarely worn, couple of boots and that’s all there is. We stopped looking and treasure what we have .
    I’ll definitely show your amazing collection to her!

  • Jaime replied 3 years ago

    Yes, yes, yes! Love shoes, love men's shoes, love second hand shoes. You have found an excellent collection to suit who you are now! 

  • AJ replied 3 years ago

    After having my kiddos, my feet grew a full size as well.  

    What a great idea to find your fashion sneakers in the men's section!  All your purchases look versatile plus comfort as well!  Kudos to you!

  • Ledonna N. replied 3 years ago

    Slim Cat I definitely understand the pain. I feel lie I’ve tried so many shoes even online and returns. Many have been narrow and ill fitting. Tell your daughter to hang in there. I lucked out on my trip toBurlington Coat factory and I gathered up a basket full of shoes lol at the end of the day when our feet tend to swell and spread

    AJ yes you understand. Ugh. The good news is they really fit my lovely large feet are comfortable and fit into my wardrobe

    Shevia- my thrift friend. I always here Angie dress for the life you have

  • Angie replied 3 years ago

    *HIGH FIVING my fashion sneaker kindred spirt*

    Ledonna, this is how we do "leave no retail stone unturned", and making sure our feet are happy. WELL DONE!

    I'm thrilled you're having such smashing luck shopping the menswear footwear departments. I LOVE your collection! They show your personality come through loud and clear too. Rock on.

    I love my duck boots with you! I have them in cream:

  • Ledonna N. replied 3 years ago

    Angie giving you a High-five right back!

    I remember you saying this leave no fashion stone unturned

    It really helped in choosing my footwear
    Love your duck boots so fashionable & comfortable for walking in slushy weather

  • Angie replied 3 years ago

    Fun to be duck boot twinsies with you, Ledonna! I'm sure you're setting the stylish standard with Z'Joy wherever you go. 

  • Suz replied 3 years ago

    This is the way to go. I am 100% in agreement -- there is no earthly use in uncomfortable footwear when your whole joy in life it tearing around after a toddler (especially one who struggled to walk for much of this year -- I mean, really -- to see her move and move with her must be the happiest part of every day!)  I love your choices from the men's section, and why not? I have small (ish) feet and have been known to shop the kids or youths' section, esp. the boys'. If the shoe fits... 

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 3 years ago

    Well done, Ledonna! What a great collection. I often see men's shoes that I wish came in a women's version in my size. You've done a nice job of selecting the ones that will work for you, your style, and your life.

  • Ledonna N. replied 3 years ago

    Angie- Zi'Joy is the perfect little Accessories with the biggest personality  I am just the coat and hat holder. lol

    Suz -  You get it  I, for some reason just thought that Men's shoes were ugly.  Then i looked around.  These will do nicely and I think my wardrobe is balanced enough that they will fit right in to busy pulled together running mom life as zi likes to run.

    Firecracker Thank you so much  I'm giving them all the comfort test right now to ensure they will last  and they do accompany my wardrobe pretty well.

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