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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 BarefootTess.com 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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