Tanya Herbert (USA) has the world’s largest feet on a living person (female) with a right foot measuring 33.1 cm (13.03 in) and a left foot measuring 32.5 cm (12.79 in).
Tanya’s measurements mean that her shoe size is a US women’s size 18 or a US men’s size 16 - 17, depending on the brand.
It’s not just Tanya’s feet that are long however - Tanya stands at 6 ft 9 in tall. That’s only three inches shorter than the tallest woman living, Türkiye’s Rumeysa Gelgi, who is 7 ft 0.7 in tall.
As you can imagine, shopping for shoes has always been a struggle for Tanya, with online outlets being her only viable option.
"Going to the stores was out of the question. None of the stores I’ve ever been to have carried a men’s size 16 let alone a women’s size 18." - Tanya Herbert
Tanya, from Houston, Texas, has always been much taller and had much larger feet than her peers – in fact, by high school her feet had reached the record-breaking size they are today.
"Growing up I was always the tallest around. My mom was 6 ft 5 in and my dad is 6 ft 4 in so I had no choice but to be tall," shared Tanya.
Luckily, she always felt confident in her height.
"My parents gave me a very healthy self-esteem growing up so I didn’t think of being tall as a bad thing."
"I never remember getting bullied or anything like that for my height. My friends actually took great care of me to make sure I was loved and liked."
Tanya recalls that the only people who didn’t like her growing up were sport coaches, due to her complete disinterest in any sport!
"The coaches always wanted me to play basketball or something like that, but I was always more focused on my education."
For much of her life, Tanya only had the option to wear men’s shoes as those where the only shoes she could find in her size.
"I would always wear tennis shoes or men’s loafers and they were not always the cutest thing when trying to dress cute for school!"
However things changed with the advance of social media.
Using social platforms, Tanya was able to connect with other women encountering the same problem and found ways to create her own, feminine, shoes.
"I would buy some of the largest shoes I could find online and manipulate those to extend them out a little longer and make them a little wider so that they would fit my feet."
Despite discovering a supportive community online, Tanya has also received many unwanted messages about her feet.
"I never got on social media to be an object of affection or anything like that, or to go into foot fetish world."
"5% of men that follow me are the ones who send strange and interesting comments into my inbox asking if I would sell them pictures of my feet."
Tanya is not interested in that at all, and uses her platform to spread positivity.
She also uses social media to chart her incredible weight loss journey, which she described as being a "roller coaster of emotions."
It started in early 2021 when her mother sadly passed away from cancer.
At that time, Tanya was very overweight and decided that she needed to get healthy before she got any weight-related diseases.
"I knew that if I kept going down this path I’d die at an early age."
In November 2021, Tanya underwent gastric bypass surgery and said it was the best decision she has ever made.
"When I first went to the doctor I weighed in at 552 pounds, it’s the biggest I've ever been. I wore a [US] size 34 in pants and a size 5X in T-shirts."
"Now, one year later, I am 165 pounds down and have 85 pounds to go. I am loving this weight loss journey."
After conquering one challenge, Tanya is now turning her attention to another – the challenges facing people, especially women, with large feet when it comes to finding shoes.
"Women struggle with size 12 or 13, trying to find shoes, and I’m size 18."
"You can find men’s size shoes [that are that size] easily but trying to find women’s shoes is impossible or extremely unaffordable."
Discover how one of our other large-footed record holders Savvy Trapp, a member of the world’s tallest family, shops for shoes created for drag queens!
Someone who shares Tanya’s struggle of finding shoes that fit is Jeison Orlando Rodriguez Hernandez (Venezuela), the record holder for the largest feet on a living person (male).
He has a left foot measuring 40.1cm (1 ft 3.79 in) and a left foot measuring 39.6 cm (1 ft 3.59 in). That makes him a massive US size 26 – impossible to find unless they are custom made for him.
Tanya hopes that her story prompts shoe manufacturing companies to be more inclusive by carrying a larger range of sizes, and providing more customizable and affordable options for women.
"Being a world record holder may open doors that I may not have been able to get into beforehand. I want to be a spark to the shoe manufacturing industry!"
After breaking a record that has been held for three years by Julie Felton (UK), we’ll see how long Tanya can retain her title.
One thing is for sure - any potential record breakers coming after Tanya will certainly have some big shoes to fill.