UK woman holds Guinness World Records title for world's biggest female feet
Julie Felton has UK men's size 15 feet. That's size 15.5 in the USA and 49.5 in Europe. This means finding shoes for her wedding has, unsurprisingly, proved a problem.
The 49-year-old from Ellesmere, Shropshire (UK), got married at Anfield, Liverpool, on Saturday 20 April, wearing a pair of shoes specially made for her extraordinary features – which are the world’s largest feet (female). Her right foot measures 32.9 cm (1 ft 0.95 in) while the left is 32.73 cm (1 ft 0.88 in).
"Trying to find shoes that fit is pretty much impossible, [especially] to find lady's shoes unless I want them custom made so I usually end up wearing men's.
"[For my wedding] I was quite happy to buy a pair of trainers and jazz them up but my fiancé, Steve, said 'there's no way you're going down the aisle in a pair of pumps'."
He contacted the local press, leading to a company from Devon called Rainbow Club Shoes to step forward and make Julie "the most beautiful pair of shoes I’ve ever owned".
Julie, who is 6 ft 5 in, has always had feet larger than other people's.
"Growing up my mum tells me my first pair of shoes were an infant size six," she recalled. "The average for your first pair is size two.
"When I started secondary (high) school they were a size 11. I reached my eventual magnificent size at around 16-17 years old."
Naturally, this has made shoe shopping a bit of a problem. Indeed, she rarely goes into shoe shops because there's nothing that fits (Julie and her mum once went to a trade fair and still couldn't find anything!), or at least nothing that she’d want to wear.
"Occasionally we’ll ask if they stock size 15. Then you get the jaw drop, then they look up and down, and then the look down again. Occasionally they'll go into the back, bring out a dusty box with a pair of shoes I wouldn’t be seen in public in."
"When going out, most girls pick the shoes to go with the outfit. For me, I have limited choice, so I pick the outfit to go with the shoes instead."
But it's not just shoes which don't fit. Julie's feet are also flatter than normal and she's had orthotic insoles to increase the arch in her foot. But they've had to be made to measure as well.
Sue Haskey, a local podiatrist, was asked to take the measurements and officially recorded.
"I see lots of different feet, all shapes and sizes, but I have to say Julie's are the biggest I've ever seen in my career," she said.
"Average foot sizes (in the UK) used to be five-six (USA seven-eight, Europe 38-39), now it's seven-eight (USA nine-10, Europe 40-41)."
Julie's right foot is decorated with a tattoo comprising of a daisy (her favourite flower) and turquoise (her favourite colour).
"I figured that because my feet are big, I may as well try and make them a bit prettier, give people something to look at. It's probably the most painful thing I've ever had done.
"There’s no real meaning behind it. I may as well look at something I like."
Now Julie holds a Guinness World Records title for the largest feet on a female, which she says has come as something of a surprise.
"I’ve always wondered if there are people out there with feet bigger than mine."
"I'm pleased. There are other records I'd probably rather hold so I can have nice shoes but I'm happy with it.
"I hope it makes people realise 'yes, she's got big feet', but I’m quite a normal person underneath. I hope it gives other people who have unique features more confidence that it’s OK to be a bit different. Everyone is different, there’s not really a normal.
"And I hope it brings attention to shoemakers that average sizes are getting bigger, so it would be really nice one day to walk into a shoe shop and just pick a pair off the shelf and try them on. I haven't been able to do since I was a child."
Julie's feet are still 8 cm shorter than those of Jeison Orlando Rodriguez Hernández (Venezuela) who has the largest feet (male).
When they were last measured on 3 June 2018 he was found to have a 40.55 cm (1 ft 3.96 in) right foot, and a 40.47 cm (1 ft 3.93 in) left foot.