Americans' feet getting bigger, but shoe choices slim

It's not clear why sizes are growing, but customers seeking larger shoes look online, not in stores

Chicago native Karen Williamson began her online women's shoe business a decade ago after years of struggling to find styles for her daughter, who at the time was 18 years old, 6-foot-1 and wore a size 12 shoe.

Williamson was in Las Vegas recently for an international shoe show unveiling the 2014 spring and fall lines, and while perusing the trendy gladiator sandals, open-toed booties and motorcycle boots, she encountered familiar stumbling blocks.

"You still can't find a shoe manufacturer that will make anything above a size 11 without it being a special order," said Williamson, whose offers styles up to size 15. "It's like the bigger your feet are, the more you don't exist to them."

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