Dear Every (Canadian) Shoe Company Out There,
Over the past few days, I’ve been shopping for a new pair of shoes. After going to a few stores, I quickly realized that I was faced with a problem. None of the stores had any shoes in my size! Let me explain…
I’ve always had big feet, and while it wasn’t much of a problem in the beginning, finding the right pair of shoes has gotten a lot more difficult in recent years. Most shoe companies like Nike and Adidas often have really narrow shoes, meaning that those with wider feet have to opt for the larger sizes. This being said, Under Armour does a good job of making wider shoes that also perform really well. One shoe in particular that I am personally a fan of is the Speedform Apollo (link at the bottom). I bought a pair of these a year ago in the US and because they were so good, I’ve been trying to find them in stores here.
As it turns out, this would be a lot harder than I thought. You see, finding the shoes themselves wasn’t that hard. You can actually find them in most shoe stores like Sporting Life, Sport Check, etc. The hard part was finding them in my size! It seems as the maximum size that most Canadian stores go up to is 13, while in the US size 15 shoes aren’t uncommon to see.
When the first Sporting Life location didn’t have the Speedforms in my size, I was like “Hm, no big deal. I’ll just try another location”. No size 14s there either. As it turns out, none of the Sporting Life’s carry any of their shoes in size 14, which is ridiculous if you ask me. Nonetheless, I tried a few Sport Chek’s and even the Under Armour outlet store itself, and was given the same responses each time:
“Are you reeeallllyyy size 14?”
“I’m sorry sir, but it seems like we only carry them in 13s.”
“I doubt we have any, but I’ll check in the back.”
Here we go again.
“Have you tried looking online?”
The problem with buying shoes online is that not only are they often sold out, but it also difficult to tell if you like a colorway just by looking at it on a screen. It’s a lot different when you can see it in real life. Not only that, but the in-store discounts don’t apply when you buy them online, which can affect whether or not the shoes are actually worth it. This was actually the case with Sport Check, where their Apollos were priced $30 more than the Under Armour outlet. Rip-off.
Overall, there was one store that consistently sold size 14 shoes. And that’s Foot Locker (an American store btw). They had the Curry 2s, Lebrons, and even the Lillards in size 14. Looking for a specific shoe? Go to Foot Locker, lesson learned. They had Speedforms and a few newer Under Armour shoes as well. But unfortunately, the Speedforms in size 14 were sold out at the time.
So what does it take to find the right pair of shoes? Well for people with big feet like mine, a whole lot of searching, and then some. Why don’t most stores carry size 14? Stephen Curry and Kobe Bryant wear size 14 shoes**. Heck, Usain Bolt is a size 13. As professional athletes, these guys have unlimited access to any shoes they want. But for the general public, it’s a very different story. With so much emphasis from the media on every new sneaker release, why not go the extra mile and put a few bigger shoes in stock? I’d certainly appreciate it.
**both coincidentally happen to be among my favorite athletes (hint hint)
P.S thanks to my mom for staying patient during all this searching.