New York is one of the world’s shopping capitals but if you have size 11 US/9 UK/43 EU feet or larger, shoe shopping can still be problematic. So here’s our insider guide on shoe shopping in NYC. In a rush? Skip to the map at the end of this post to quickly see where all the shops are.
Some general advice
- To get your US shoe size, add 2 to your UK shoe size. So, size 9 UK is size 11 US approx. However sizing does vary among brands, especially non US ones, so you may need to go up or down a size sometimes.
- Looking at the global sizing equivalents on a pair of shoes from a certain brand can be helpful. For example, UK brand Clarks equate their size 11 US to only a size 8.5 UK. I’m a size 9 UK and sure enough the Clarks US size 11 was too tight for me, even though I was size 11 US in many other brands.
- Many shoe stores only stock up to size 10 US (size 8 UK approx). Anything larger & you’re looking for “outsize” shoes. But there are still several stores worth a visit if you’re looking for big shoes in the Big Apple.
- Even better, most shops stay open late, until at least 8 or 9pm most nights. Shops tend to be quieter in the evenings too, so you can spend your days seeing the sights & then shop ’til you drop in the evenings!
- One final thing to be aware of is sales tax. In NYC, prices are always shown exclusive of this, so be aware that any pair of shoes costing more than $110 will have an extra 8.875% tax added at the till.
Manhattan shops stocking size 11 US / 9 UK / 43 EU shoes
Nordstrom Rack (up to size 12 US / 10 UK / 44 EU)
Nordstrom Rack (see purple markers on map below) designer discount store is definitely worth checking out if you are size 9 or 10 UK (11-12 US). The main branch is downtown in Union Square and there’s also a large store over in Fulton Street in Brooklyn, which is quieter.
The shoe department is arranged by size & all the shoes are already out in their boxes just ready to try on. When I visited, the size 12 US (10 UK) section was actually larger than the size 11 (9 UK) for a change!
As well as the main shoe aisles, there’s a smaller designer section also arranged by size. So make sure you walk round the entire department to ensure you have seen all the sections for your size.
Aerosoles (up to size 12 US / 10 UK / 44 EU)
The Aerosoles chain have several small branches in Manhattan (see blue markers on map below) and go up to size 12 US (10 UK). They sell good quality shoes combining both comfort & style & their range reminded me of the likes of Clarks in the UK. When I visited the average price looked to be about $100 a pair.
Designer discount store DSW (Designer Shoe Warehouse) is heaven for anyone with even the slightest interest in shoes. Warning: they also sell handbags. There are a few branches spread out across Manhattan (see black markers on the map below) and the Upper West Side branch I visited was lovely and quiet with 3 large floors of shoes. Unfortunately, the selection in size 11 US (9 UK) was limited and I saw even fewer 12s, but online they stock styles up to size 13 US (11 UK) so you may get lucky.
The shoes are displayed in typical outlet style, with an example of each style on display on top and then shoeboxes of the available sizes for that style underneath. Shoes are arranged in aisles by style which is helpful. There is also a smaller clearance section already arranged by size.
One tip is that the larger sizes tend to have a bright yellow sticker on them which makes them easier to spot. It still takes a fair bit of time to scan the whole store though!
If you venture up to the Upper West Side, it’s worth a quick visit to the Bloomingdales Outlet (marked in brown on the map below), where the prices are very affordable unlike the main store! There was a small selection of size 11 US (9 UK) shoes when I visited so you might get lucky, and if not, there’s 3 floors of clothes & accessory bargains to catch your eye.
Most visitors to NYC end up in Macy’s sooner or later (marked in red on the map below). It has a huge shoe department on the 2nd floor, and when I visited there were lots of sale sections arranged by size, including one for size 11 US (9 UK). While there were less styles available than for smaller sizes, it’s certainly worth a look. Be sure to drop by the visitor centre first though to get your 10% discount card!
Brooklyn shoe stores stocking size 11 US+ (size 9+ UK)
The day I spent in DUMBO & Brooklyn was my favourite day in NYC, and if you get a chance to venture over there there are further shoe shopping opportunities.
I only encountered one independent specialist shoe shop on my travels - Bentley’s. It was also the only shop I came across stocking up to size 13 US / 11 UK / 45 EU. It’s on the charming Montague Street in the pretty Brooklyn Heights neighbourhood (see orange marker on the map below). It’s a small shop, more akin to local specialist shoe shops in the UK. It’s nothing fancy, but they’ve a good variety of styles with affordable prices so it’s worth popping in as you stroll along.
Shortly after Montague Street, the shopping scene changes entirely as you reach downtown Brooklyn with its much larger stores & busy, urban feel. There you’ll find the quieter, more manageable branch of Nordstrom Rack (marked in purple on map) (see above).
Shoe shopping aside, there’s a TJ Maxx (TK Maxx in UK) beside Nordstrom & discount outlets for both Banana Republic & GAP nearby, so even if you don’t end up buying your dream shoes, you’ll likely find a bargain somewhere in Brooklyn.
Map of NYC stores with shoes in larger sizes
Finally, here’s a colour coded maps of all the shops mentioned above to help you see what’s in each neighbourhood. Happy shopping!
Colour code: Aerosoles - Blue, Bentley’s (Brooklyn) - Orange, Bloomingdales Outlet - Brown, DSW - Black, Macy’s - Red, Nordstrom Rack - Purple.