For many a foreigner living in Tokyo, shoes and shoe shopping can be a stressful nightmare of a time. The first problem people will likely encounter is the size scale; all the shoe sizes are in centimetres. Admittedly not the biggest hinderance, as there are easy conversion guides online to help you find the size you need, but it can be baffling when first browsing for your new pair and having to consider that you’ve never actually measured your feet before.
The biggest difficulty though is likely to be that few shops stock larger size shoes. Finding any shops that have shoes bigger than a 27 (UK size 9) is a challenge. Often there will be a rogue 28 floating about, but of a design and quality that will seriously make you question whether any shoe will do. Anything larger than that is next to impossible to find, even in larger stores in Shinjuku or Shibuya. Although it is of course possible in many cases to order larger pairs in (taking anything from a few days up to a week), I’ve always been hesitant ordering shoes I haven’t tried on, which is why I’d also ruled out buying from the internet.
Enter Ten in Shinjuku. A shop specifically designed for the larger footed customer, it offers predominantly a reasonable selection of business shoes, and a slightly smaller range of casual trainers and boots. I discovered it from posts by other exasperated people online and being similarly frustrated at the lack of choices gave it a visit. Mens’ shoes ranged from size 27 to 30, plus a few bigger than that but not many (UK size 9-12) and women’s from size 25 up (I didnt check to see how large they went).
Shoe problem: solved.