Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

Looking for size ten trainers

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In the UK, my shoe size is around ten, or a 45 in Latin America, which is where I currently find myself desperately looking for a pair of trainers.  I never thought such a simple task would turn out to be so difficult.

Here, in Pasto, in the south of Colombia, the people are not very short.  The average height is probably lower than in the UK, or the US, say, but I cannot claim to feel like a giant as I wander the city’s streets (though, in other Latin American cities I have certainly felt like this).  Nevertheless, the maximum shoe size available here is almost always a 43.  You might find a 44 in some shops, but tell the assistant you have size 45 feet and he or she will look at you like you have two heads.

I thought that every shop would have size 45 trainers. I started the search for new trainers in the shops nearest to home: no luck.  I started searching in other areas of the city: no luck.  After visiting some fifteen shops in one morning (and having no luck) I began asking colleagues for suggestions.  Everyone really wanted to help and had lots of ideas of where to go – that is, until I told them what size feet I have.  They were stumped.  They sent me to every shopping centre in the city but I still could not find any new trainers to fit my feet.
I have now been round what seems like every single shoe shop in the city.  Friends and colleagues have given me so many suggestions, but still I have not had any success.  Back home, my next step would be to shop online but, unfortunately, even the Internet has its limits here.  Having shoes sent over from the UK is one option, but can be expensive and packages can become lost in the post.  Now, my only remaining option seems to be a long, eight-hour night bus to the city of Cali.

Shopping for these giant trainers – these canoes, as my friends call them – has been difficult.  I have left no stone unturned but I still have not found a new pair of trainers.  Never mind, though, I now have an excuse for a weekend away in an exciting new city.  A silver lining to every cloud, they say.

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Have you ever had problems finding an item of clothing or some special shoes that you needed? Do you ever shop online? 


hermione123's picture
hermione123 2 April, 2021 - 14:40

No, i never really struggle with finding my clothes or shoes size. I have an average shoes size and also clothes, even though i'm a bit shorter than my friends.
And yes, i've shopped online. It's so popular in my country. We can find a lot cheaper price there. I reckon that not many people who wrote those previous comments here have tried shopping online. But maybe it's just because the last comment here is 7 years ago, so no wonder why they hadn't shopped online. I guess it was just not as popular as it does now.

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Hanna's picture
Hanna 10 May, 2014 - 10:04

I had problem with finding a jacket I would like)So after searching in all shops and markets in my town I gave up) I didn't buy clothes or shoes in the internet but I bought some electronics there(e-book, smartphone). I got my stuff quickly and without damage. Also price is lower in such shops)

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cranberry's picture
cranberry 11 December, 2013 - 19:18

i don`t shop online becouse i like to touch and feel the fabric of the clothing, becouse sometimes the pice of clothing is uncomfortable, itchy or it doesn`t fit. I don`t have a problem with shoes (becouse i have long thin legs) but i prefer trainers.

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sailor moon's picture
sailor moon 21 October, 2013 - 19:42

i never shop online but sometimes i have problems about finding an item of clothing. also i sometimes have problems about finding the right shoes for me.

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MALINE's picture
MALINE 20 October, 2013 - 16:11

I have never shopped online becuase you can´t try things on and see how it looks on you and yes I have had problems finding shoes I´m size 7 and Mexican women are commonly size 3 or 4.
Most of the time I have to buy shoes that fits me not that I like them.

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Harabeli Supersweet's picture
Harabeli Supersweet 19 October, 2013 - 17:17

I don't shop online, because I need to try on clothes or shoes before I buy them. It's hard to find shoes for me, because my feet shape is a little strange. Anyway, I find the right ones after I visit every store and shopping mall.

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justcricketforme's picture
justcricketforme 19 October, 2013 - 09:51

Yes, plenty of times because my feet are big and always we have to search the whole shop or even the whole mall! I've never done any shopping online.

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Natalija's picture
Natalija 16 October, 2013 - 16:19

Yes, I always have problem finding shoes. My feet is so small(my size is 36), so it's very hard to find beautiful shoes, especially heels, but somehow, I can menage it. I'm also very slim, so almost anything looks so big on me. But luckily, there'a XXS size. ;)
I've never shopped online, because in that way, you can't try on things and you can't see how it looks on you.

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Lavender's picture
Lavender 16 October, 2013 - 09:25

Yes. I also have a problem finding clothes and shoes in proper size. But my problem is on the contrary, I'm too small, I often choose the smallest size. What makes me crazy is that the item I like don't have my size but the one I don't like does. Luckily people of my country are not very big so I could manage it.

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