Feet come in different shapes and sizes, and some people go through life with wide feet.
You could simply be born with wide feet, or your feet may increase in width as you get older. Wide feet can also be caused by a foot deformity (like bunions and hammertoes) or a temporary condition like pregnancy.
Whatever the reason is behind your wide feet, shoe shopping can be an ordeal. Wide shoes are certainly available, but many people make the mistake of wearing ill-fitting shoes that heighten discomfort levels. In terms of managing wide feet, hunting for the proper footwear is key. Let’s look at some tips you can use to find shoes for wide feet!
How to Find Shoes for Wide Feet
- Don’t trust the listed size
- Look for wide and extra wide widths
- Buy shoes with laces
- Search for shoes with removable insoles
- Check the toe room
- Try shoe stretching services
Don’t Trust the Listed Size
Sometimes, people with wide feet just go for one of the largest sizes and trust it will fit. This can be more common for people who tend to shop online.
But this isn’t wise. Many shoe companies don’t focus on the importance of wide shoes and simply list shoe options as narrow, wide, long, etc., with a standard numerical size (these refer to the length of the shoe, not the width).
But with wide feet, you need extra information to trust that the shoe will fit properly. Don’t simply assume a basic “wide” description will be enough to comfortably accommodate your feet. Furthermore, you should always shop for shoes in person when you have larger feet.
Look for Wide and Extra Wide Widths
Try to find shoes that list width options. For example, a shoe may have a “B” width size as a “standard” option. But width options may also extend to “D – Wide, 2E – Extra Wide, and 4E – XX-Wide.”
Pay attention to shoe manufacturers that list these options. And as we’ve mentioned before, don’t try to go up a size and assume it will fit. Buying a larger will size will leave you stuck with a longer shoe, not a wider one.
Buy Shoes with Laces
Lots of different shoes come with laces, even heels. Opting for shoes with laces allows you to adjust according to your foot’s width and loosen them up if needed. Lacing can also enhance the functionality of your footwear and can boost comfort levels after going for a long walk.
To maximize space, try using the eyelets that are closest to the ankle and leave the eyelets closest to the toes empty. You’ll be able to tighten your laces without restricting the front of the shoe, where the foot is the widest.
Search for Shoes with Removable Insoles
While shoe shopping, try to find shoes where you can take out the footbed. Not only do removable insoles allow you more wiggle room, but having the option to replace them with custom orthotics or specialized insoles will give you added protection from foot pain.
Check the Toe Room
Assessing the toe room can indicate if you need to go up in width or both size and width. A good way to do this is to see if you have a finger’s width of room between your toe and the end of the shoe. If you do, but the shoe still feels tight, you only need to go up in width.
Try Shoe Stretching Services
At Feet First Clinic, shoe stretching services are available by walk-in — no appointment necessary. That said, it’s important to note that this only works if your shoes are already close to the proper size and just feel a little tight. Shoe stretching also only works if you have a pair of shoes made of leather or natural material.
Foot clinic staff can expand the width of the shoe by one full-width size.