Shoe shopping is quite the chore for 19-year-old Emma Cahill. She has the biggest feet in Europe and has to buy high heels made for men for a night out.
The teenager from Worcester - who is studying
at Oxford Brooks University - is a whopping shoe size 14, and can only buy shoes from one shop in Germany.
Her large tootsies are double the UK women's average size seven, and getting shoes to fit is so tricky, that Emma only owns one pair of high heels - used by drag queens and transvestites.
"I think I've got the biggest feet in Europe, which makes it impossible to find shoes that fit," says Emma. "I own one pair of stilettos - but they're made for transvestites and not very classy. I dream of owning a pair of Louboutins."
In her heels, 6ft 5in Emma is a strapping 7ft and says men are too intimidated to chat her up:
"Although I love being tall, I've only been approached once in a club - and that was by a man who was taller than me. Besides our mutual height, we didn't have much in common. I'd rather date a man who is taller than me, but I realise that I may be raising the bar too high."
Emma regularly has trouble fitting into cars, and bangs her head on door frames. She is even considering putting pipe insulator on the frames in her home to prevent injury.
Meanwhile Emma's 13 inch long feet, which are bigger than a foot long Subway sandwich and larger than England striker Peter Crouch's, pose problems in the wardrobe department.
"The biggest issue is finding shoes that fit me. I love shoes and it's so hard getting ones I like," says Emma.
There's only one place I can buy them in Germany. Last time I went I spent £500 on five pairs.
From the age of nine Emma wore a bigger-than-average size nine - the same size feet as her mum Jane, 49. Up to the age of 14 she grew a shoe size every year. Much to her relief, her feet have now stopped growing.
Emma, whose dad Andrew, 49, is a size 14 and sister Jenni, 15, is a 10, says her feet don't look that big because they are in proportion with her height.
Finding clothes that fit is also a constant battle for Emma, who is often forced to wear leggings underneath dresses since the garments come up too short on her. Trousers are out of the question, so three-quarter length jeans with a long top are Emma's go-to outfit. She is limited to just one pair of shoes for evenings out.
For the last six years she has sported a gold pair of pumps bought from an American website which has since gone out of business. Emma has re-heeled the shoes three times, and even has to re-paint them with gold fabric paint three times a year.
"I try to keep up with the trends, but when you have to base an outfit around the same pair of shoes, it's not easy," says Emma.
"I don't know what I'll do when they finally give in - I guess I'll have to plan another trip to the shop in Germany. Last time I went, when I was 13 years old, I was a size 13, but my feet have grown so I've stretched the shoes.
"The shop only stocks up to a size 13, but the shoemaker says he can make footwear especially for me in a size 14. He's my only hope."
We knew children's feet were getting bigger, but....
- Sole Casual Flips
Everyone loves a flip-flop for summer and these super-finds from SOLE incorporate a special footbed that moulds to the shape of your foot to give a fantastic comfortable fit. The arch support can help with many common problems such as plantar fasciitis or fallen arches (often caused by ‘ligament-relaxing’ hormones produced during pregnancy), while the deep heel cup, and hidden toe ridge ensure the flip flop is always perfectly positioned.<br />
Available in teal, white, lilac, black, tan and brown, for £27.50, from <a href="http://www.yoursole.co.uk/" title="http://www.yoursole.co.uk/">Yoursole.co.uk</a>.</p>
- Orsino Cafe from Clarks
This stylish flat gives a modern nod to the gladiator style. An ankle cuff hugs the foot and softwear cushioning underfoot helps to relax your every step. We like.</p>
Available in this soft mink and coral pink leather colour combination, or a tan and off-white, they’re £44.99, from<span style="text-decoration: underline;"> </span><a href="http://www.clarks.co.uk/" title="http://www.clarks.co.uk/">Clarks.co.uk</a>.</p>
- Santana from Hush Puppies
If you’re a fan of super-flats but want a little more support than you normally get from this fashion-statement style then try this simple sandal with velcro ankle strap and a cute decorative kiss stitch detail. All in comfiest leather.<br />
Priced £50 from <a href="http://www.hushpuppies.co.uk/" title="http://www.hushpuppies.co.uk/">Hushpuppies.co.u,</a>they come in blue, red, white or black leather.</p>
- Keeva from Jones the Bootmaker
We love the chunky 70s inspired styling of this leather sandal with its gently elevating walkabout wedge with rope detail and on-trend cork effect sole. Groovy - and great to walk in.<br />
They come in tan or brown colourways, and cost £65, from <a href="http://www.jonesbootmaker.com/" target="_blank" title="http://www.jonesbootmaker.com/">Jonesbootmaker.com</a></p>
- Un Swish from Clarks
From the Clarks comfortable and lightweight ‘Unstructured’ range these retro-appeal, sporty women's T-bar sandals come in flexible soft leather with an adjustable rip-tape strap for a personalised fit. Cute.<br />
They come in white, cherry red and navy patent, priced £54.99, from <a href="http://www.clarks.co.uk/" target="_blank" title="http://www.clarks.co.uk/">Clarks.co.uk</a>.</p>
- Footglove Suede Snakeskin Wedge from Marks and Spencer
From Marks & Spencer’s Fashion Footglove range (made with a flexible, lightweight sole designed to support the foot and align the body) this suede snakeskin wedge will help you stand out from the crowd.<br />
£39.50 from <a href="http://www.marksandspencer.com/" target="_blank" title="http://www.marksandspencer.com/">Marksandspencer.com</a>.<br />
- Kacey from Jones the Bootmaker
This flat strappy sandal in super-soft leather from Jones Bootmaker has an adjustable Velcro ankle strap for a perfect fit plus a padded suede sock, which leaves your feet comfily supported. Definitely one for holiday sightseeing.<br />
£55 from <a href="http://www.jonesbootmaker.com/" title="http://www.jonesbootmaker.com/">Jonesbootmaker.com</a>.<br />
- Floral Slingbacks from Next
From Next's ‘Sole Survivor’ range which contain impact absorbing cushioning that makes pounding the pavements a more pleasant experience. These pretty espadrilles are £28, from <a href="http://www.next.co.uk/" target="_blank" title="http://www.next.co.uk/">Next.co.uk</a>.</p>
- Lolla from FitFlop
Fans of FitFlop footwear say they won’t wear anything else once they discover the comfort of these ‘scientific’ shoes, built with biomechanically engineered Microwobbleboard™ midsoles. Originally designed to activate your leg muscles more when you walk in them, studies show they also offer excellent shock absorption and instant relief from underfoot pressure - so no sore feet no matter how long your summer walk. These stylish espadrille-inspired ‘Lolla’ sandals come with a texture-wrapped wedge, contrast nubuck upper and that ergonomically engineered Microwobbleboard™ midsole.<br />
£80 from <a href="http://www.fitflop.com/" target="_blank" title="http://www.fitflop.com/">Fitflop.com</a> (also available in a suede version for £65).</p>
- Whittier Ankle Strap Thong from Timberland
This uber-trendy multi-strap design from Timberland really is as comfortable as it is cool. A lightweight cork-wrapped midsole and leather-covered natural latex footbed means even though you’re elevated by a 2.25 inch heel, you feel like you’re walking on air. It’s from Timberland’s eco-conscious Earthkeepers® footwear collection, using leather from a tannery rated Silver for its water, energy and waste management practices so it’s a guilt-free fashion statement, too! Clever. Choose red or brown , from £90, from <a href="http://www.timberlandonline.co.uk/" target="_blank" title="http://www.timberlandonline.co.uk/">Timberlandonline.co.uk</a></p>