What I love about shoe sale racks is getting to see all of the options available in my size, and being able to try on tons of them without needing a salesperson. I rarely find the perfect style and fit in-store, but it makes online shopping so much smoother if I'm familiar with how the brands are in person.
Here's a quick summary of the brands I tried on, select styles on sale at Nordstrom through August 7th. Scroll down for more sizing details and photos (alphabetical by brand).
Maybe, Depending on the style:
BP (size 4)
Franco Sarto (size 4)
Sam Edelman (size 4)
Vaneli (size 4.5)
For sizing reference, my foot length is 8.25 inches (21cm) with a medium width, so I am typically a kids size 2 to 3, or women's size 4 to 4.5 (34EU/2UK), though I can sometimes make do with a 5 or 5.5 in closed toe/boot styles that can be worn with added inserts and thick socks.
Shopping tip for Canadians: the base prices for Nordstrom products are more expensive online than in store (by about 15 percent), and on top of that you'll need to pay shipping and customs fees when ordering on the internet. It can certainly save you a chunk of change if you drop by or give them a call to see if it's in stock in a nearby store before going ahead with an online order.
This boot by Attilio Giusti Leombruni (AGL) felt well constructed, and I liked the exposed stitch detailing and zipper pulls. It has a zipper on both sides of the shoe, which seems unique, but I'd prefer it with a smoother look on the outward facing side. The 34EU (US 4) was too long and too narrow for me, so sizing up for the right width would likely make them way too long to comfortably fix with any inserts.
I gave this simple ankle boot a quick shot because I’ve heard of Aquatalia and they are known for quality. The smallest they make is a size 5, though. I didn't need to undo the zipper to get them on and off, and they were more than a thumb’s length too long. I do like the weatherproofing, but the hefty price point of this brand is also a tough sell (around $600 at regular price, yikes!).
Loved these BP booties! They are reasonably priced, the heel style looks sturdy and comfortable without being bulky, and the wrapped around strap and buckle detailing gives it some fun visual interest. The smallest I found in store was a size 4.5, which felt ever so slightly too big in both width and length.. luckily, this brand does make a size 4! Here's the Tandem bootie in another color:
Very rich, gorgeous color, though I'm not sure I'm a fan of the toe box distressing detail that's more visible on the burgundy shoe. I'd still likely order this online in a size 4 if I didn't already own a similar boot - I've also had my eye on the BP "Trolley" bootie (here). This style isn't part of their sale, but has 4.5 stars and over 1000 customer reviews! Very tempting,..
Size 4 heels!! The overall length of the shoe felt right, but the toe box was too tight, and my heel also slipped right out when walking. I'd be interested in trying a style from this brand with an ankle-strap instead of slingback, and a roomier toe box. The David Tate "Stargaze" sandal (here) looks promising.
The black version in the photo is actually my own sandal. Took a chance online and I've been living in them this summer! Size 4 fits amazing - it's the tiniest hair too long but otherwise a great fit and super comfortable, the ankle strap will even go one step tighter than what I wear it at. The 'Dune' color I found on sale in store is a 4.5. There's almost no visible difference in the sizes, but when I tried it on it did feel a little too roomy and slippy. Definitely love my 4s! The black and a "latte metallic leather" color are both available online in size 4 currently.
Besides BP, Halogen is another brand I've had my eye on from website browsing. They make a variety of styles down to a size 4 with reasonable prices and decent reviews. Unfortunately, like the AGL boots, these were way too long and too narrow.
I almost didn't try on this Paul Green 'Jazzy' bootie because surely a 3.5 size would be too small.. nope! It was HUGE. I didn't even need to unzip the boot to get it on and off my fully-socked foot. A little research on Nordy's website tells me this boot is listed in UK sizes, which would mean it's actually a US size 6. They make a few styles down to a 5US, but given how big the 6 was on me, I don't think it would be a good fit.
Wow! The heel is a bit too tall to be practical, the deep red color is gorgeous but not the most versatile, and the boot shaft fit snug around my calves so pants would need to go over top rather than my preferred tucked in look.. but the size 4 fit my foot PERFECTLY. I was also able to try on the 4.5, which did not feel huge but just enough looser to feel floppy compared to the rock-solid fit of the 4. This style looks a little bulky in photos (especially Nordstrom's listing photos) but when on are actually very sleek and polished. They could be magic with a black pencil skirt or dress, and I'm definitely going to be watching this brand. Nordstrom currently has 23 different Sam Edelman styles in stock online in size 4!
Like the Aquatalia's, these are very expensive and much more than I'd typically pay for a boot, even at the anniversary price. The style is perfect for everyday wear with tucked in skinny jeans, but I don't like the large gold logo on the side. The boot materials felt very thin for the price point, and the size 4 was way too small! I could barely fit my foot in even without socks. I'd probably need a 4.5 or a 5, but with the quality, price, and logo, this is not likely a brand I'll buy in the future.
Yes, the classic Ugg style is not so in fashion these days, but the brand actually makes quite a few different shoes (Nordstrom currently carries 156 Uggs online). The brand is also easy to find in person, carried at most department stores and in standalone Ugg stores. I love their attention to detail and comfort, with shearling lining and fun patterned interiors. These size 5 slip-on flats were just slightly too slippy for me when walking, so if you're a small-sized 5 these could do the trick. I've also previously tried their size 5 boots with fully-shearling-lined footbeds and found them to be a good fit.
Besides the Gearing sandals I already own, these Vaneli heels are the ones I'm most tempted to purchase. Both for comfort and for look, it's extra important for heeled sandals to fit well out of the box, and I've been questing for something dressy for awhile. These size 4's felt just a little too small and tight. I also tried a 5, and while I felt very unstable walking in them, amazingly my heel did NOT slip out! The strap and placement of the buckle holes are fantastic for small feet. I'm confident size 4.5 would work for me - silver is sold out but the black Vaneli Merilas are going on my wishlist!