by Toffler



Womens Shoes in Western Sizes in Shanghai

June 1, 2009, by TofflerN, category Uncategorized

Shoe shopping in ShanghaiWhen I first moved to mainland China in the summer of 06, it was difficult, well, near impossible to buy cute shoes in my size: US10-10.5.  I went to no less than 30 stores, 3 markets, and asked countless friends in my search to find shoes in my size, at least China size 40.  At the markets they told me, we have sports shoes and mens shoes in that size.  At the shoe stores they said, we might have those, pointing at the ugliest pair, in 39.  I was desperate to find shoes as I walked so much and was going through so many pairs.  I did buy a couple pairs, squishing my feet in, or letting my heels hang off the end of flipflops, and then massively stocked up on trips back to the US.

Well, three years later(!) and the market for shoes in Western women’s sizes has improved immensely.  There are now numerous options for those afflicted with my same problem,including, China’s version of ebay.

Taobao is awesome.  Just like ebay, everything you could possible want to buy online.  Cute, cheap, women’s shoes.  Cheap clothes, and expensive clothes.  Electronics. Patio furniture. Imported cosmetics and health care products.  You name it. But importantly, womens shoes in sizes up to 45!  I bought 3 pairs of shoes on taobao for about 30-40å…ƒper pair including delivery.  The only drawback, the site is only in Chinese and you need an account to purchase.  Update Nov 12, 2011:  My Chinese tutor is offering Taobao (and Chinese online shopping, in general) training sessions to help get your accounts set up and you shopping online. 300RMB for 2 hours of lessons. Contact: Lucy 134 825449 83 wangxin0824[at]hotmail[dot]com

So if you’re 汉字 reading isn’t up to the challenge, whats a girl to do.  Well the fake markets have finally realized the opportunity and started carrying a few pairs of slip-ons and heels in sizes in the 40s. Don’t forget to bargain!

If you can’t handle the fake markets, a couple of stores are selling China made, US brands, in US sizes of women’s shoes such as Nine West, Steve Madden, and Chinese Laundry.  Check out:

(closed) Scarlets
Shop 101, 1/F, 343 Jiaozhou Lu, near Wuding Lu
Jing An


95 Xiangyang Bei Rd, Xinle Road
5403 5291

If you like the more frilly Japanese and Taiwanese style, but don’t require too big of size (only up to 41), also look for:

No Concept but Good Sense
327 Changle Lu,near Shaanxi Nan Lu

The international retailers have also realized the market opportunity and its increasingly possible to buy my size at:

Marks & Spencers
– Nanjing Xi Lu

Marks & Spencers has a number of different pairs in large sizes, in a varying range of prices, but not all are particularly stylish.

If you know of any other good places to buy shoes in Shanghai, let us know in the comments below.

If you need additional help shopping in Shanghai, please visit my other website:


  1. shweta |

    hi.. plz mail me the site address of this taobao store where u bought 42 size shoes. thanx 🙂

  2. Annie |

    taobao has a store in shanghai? I need the adress to buy some boots

  3. Kris |

    Marks and spensers is carzy. We’ve got 3 pairs for my mom. All the sizes. BUT that jiaozhoulu store is not there any more. Wasted time going there:( the building is under construction

  4. Ida |

    Hi, How did you pay for the stuff you bought at taobao? Do I need a chinese card to pay?

  5. TofflerN |

    Ideally, yes if you have a CCB or ICBC or any Chinese bank card then you can set up that to do online payment.

    Fastest way for a single purchase is to find a Chinese friend who has taobao/alipay and ask them to shop & pay for you. If only pay, it is similar: when you get to the payment section of taobao, choose, “代附” or something like that to have someone pay for you, then type in their Alipay email address.

    The next easiest way is set up your own Alipay account. Go to the post office and buy a scratch card with credit on it (similar with cell phone recharge cards), then type in the voucher number to your Alipay account.

    And the last way (that I know of) to do it is as you mentioned with a Chinese bank card.

  6. Shada |

    I urgently require a size 42 shoes for women.
    Where in Shanghai can I get one.
    Please let me know.

    Thank you.

So, what do you think ?