First off, I apologise if this isn't lolita enough, but I think that there are people here in a similar situation.
The problem with lolita shoes is that they are very difficult to find in non-lolita shops, especially if you're looking for some in a colour other than black. This leaves online stores, but as I have to wear orthotics in my shoes, figuring out if they will fit is very scary. Going without is really not an option, thanks to my mother's constant reminders that, thanks to her genetics, I will be racked by pain from arthritis by the time I am 40. (This rules out heels, ballet flats and anything that exposes the back of the foot) Reasonable platforms are okay, but rocking-horse high is not.
I know that many people share my problems, so if any of them are lolitas, I would like to know:
When choosing a size, should I measure my feet with orthotics, or without orthotics and go up a size?
Do you suggest any particular brands for flat shoes?
Do you find that the backs of the shoes are high enough while wearing orthotics?
Or should I just forget about the internet and hop on a plane somewhere where I can try some shoes on for real?
Any other tips?