Once y Medio

Once y medio, as in eleven and a half. As in my shoe size. A problematic shoe size in Mexico. In nearly four years here in one of the biggest cities in the world, with 20 million people, mas o menos, it would appear I and I alone require such a gargantuan shoe. Or surely shoe shops would stock them.

I’ve been through dozens of shoe shops looking, largely whilst waiting for the shoe obsessed other half to do her browsing, fitting and buying. But to no avail. Most shops stock up to a size nine. Nine and a half at most. Once I found a shop with a size ten.

I need some new running shoes for my marathon attempt, and I’d prefer to try them on rather than have them brought back from the US by Paola. So yesterday I went on one last search for an elusive 11 and a half sized pair of running shoes. I went to a street that I thought might be my best hope. Near the Zocalo there is a long road with a Palacio de Hierro, a Liverpool and a string of sports shops.

First, second, third and fourth ports of call were Marti sports shops. Why exactly they feel the need to have four shops in one street is a mystery to me. But they did have a larger sized shoe than I’d previously found. A size eleven. Close, but not close enough. Palacio de Hierro stopped at the traditional nine. Liverpool had such a poor range I didn’t even bother to ask.

But, at the end of my search, in Sears, I finally found the size I needed! Shame they only stocked one pair in that size, and that it was a crappy and cheap shoe. My search ended and I remain unconvinced I will ever find a decent pair of trainers in Mexico that fit me.

Incidentally, I have come to realise that the US shoe size system is much better than the UK system. In the UK I am a 10.5 or an 11. Sometimes a 10.5 fits nicely, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I had to accept a slightly too big 11. I have discovered that a UK 10.5 is a US 11 or 11.5. The first being a little too tight, the latter being perfect. So I imagine that when I have been trying on UK 10.5’s I have been unaware that they are in fact two sizes.

Marti Sports, who apparently need four stores in one street.


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