How To Select Comfortable Shoes For Wide Feet

Whether it's, "Sorry Ma'am, we don't have your shoe size," or "Apologies, we don't sell shoes for plus size," sorry becomes the most annoying word at some point. And you might be tempted to match your pair of crocks or slides with every outfit because they're comfortable—Which by the way, I don’t recommend. There are so many stylish shoes that are perfect for wide feet.
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Sneakers and Trainers are comfortable for wide feet
image source: Pexels

What Does It Mean to have Wide Feet?

First of all, you need to know that there is nothing wrong with having wide feet. It is just as natural as having stretch marks, freckles, or full lips.

However, it's advisable to wear footwear the fits your feet properly to avoid developing feet disorders like calluses, bunions, crossover toe, and hammertoe.

If any of your shoes make your feet cased, you should stop wearing them immediately.

Wide feet result from an enlargement of the forefoot caused by the loosening of the Ligaments and Tendons, which is contingent on age, genetics, pregnancy, wearing tight foot wear, and feet deformities

What Causes Wide Feet?

Causes of wide feet
image source: Unsplash

One of the causes of wide feet is genetics; some people develop flat feet as toddlers which makes them prone to having wide feet. For toddlers, the arch formation takes quite some time to occur, and so the tendons appear loose.

If the tendons don't tighten fully, it causes long-term flat feet. Additionally, constantly sustaining injuries around the feet can damage the tendons, causing the feet to flatten. 

Another causative factor for wider feet is age. As we age, the ligaments and tendons in our bodies begin to loosen gradually, resulting in an increment in the length and width of our feet.

pregnancy also causes wide feet—usually when expecting mothers are in their second and third trimesters.

Furthermore, constantly wearing footwear that doesn't fit properly in length and width could lead to deformities that actually widen the foot. Popular examples are bunions, calluses, cross-over toes, and hammer-toes. A study published in 2018, revealed that between 63 to 72 percent of people wear tight footwear. 

Feet Measurement: How to Determine If your Feet are Wide

How to measure your feet
image source: Unsplash

In case you don't know, the forefoot is the widest part of your feet; to know whether you have wide feet or not, you have to measure your forefoot.

  • Put on a pair of socks usually worn with your shoes. 
  • Fasten two pieces of white paper onto the floor and using a pen or sharpie, trace your foot on the paper.
  • Measure the width of the widest part of your traced foot (forefoot), using a ruler.
  • Document the measurements for both feet on a piece of paper, then subtract 1/8″ of the smaller number from the larger number to attain the value of your width.
    What next? Using the values you've gotten, check the chart below to ascertain the nature of your feet—wide, average, or narrow.

N.B: This post predominantly focused on women with wide feet, because they mostly have a hard time finding the perfect fit. However, the sizing chart for both men and women is inserted to show the disparity between male and female measurements for better understanding.

Sizing Chart for the Width of Men's Feet

Sizing Chart for Men's Feet

Sizing Chart for the Width of Women's Feet

Sizing Chart for Women's Feet

Factors to Consider When Shopping Footwear for Wide Feet

Stick to your shoe size chart

Naturally, men's feet are wider, therefore an average shoe size for a man can be wide for a woman with wide feet. Because women's shoe sizes are usually tighter and narrower, women are more susceptible to bunions.

Shop for shoes based on the wider foot

After measuring your feet, you may discover that one foot is bigger than the other; it's natural, so don't fret. What you'll have to do is to purchase shoes according to your wider foot—so you don't have one foot compressed like a can of tuna, while the other is comfy. 

Opt for shoes with round or flat toe tips

You might be tempted to say yes to pointed pumps, but it's totally unacceptable even though you think you might be getting a comfortable fit. Pointed shoes usually constrict the feet, and the more you wear them for long hours, the more you subject them to foot defects. 

If it's too heely, wear it less 

This tip is for the ladies. Don't get it wrong though, you can wear heels if you have wide feet. It just depends on the type of heels you are wearing. Doesn't high heels affect the arch and the heel mostly?

Yes, it does, to a very large extent; but the pressure is also applied to the sole because it supports the feet when wearing heels. So if you love to put on stilettos, do so, but sparingly. 

Suitable Footwear for Women with Wide Feet

These suggestions from my experience with these shoes, as someone with wide feet.

Generally, the best way to enjoy shoes is to purchase the right fit; this applies to these suggestions as well.

They are proposed because they typically come in a wide range of sizes to cater to various feet types. 


Gladiator sandals are good for wide feet
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Whether it's gladiator boots or sandals, it would be a wise decision to have at least a pair sitting pretty on your shoe rack. The amazing fact about this footwear is that they allow airflow around the feet, they are non-restrictive (which is perfect for wide feet), and they can match almost every outfit depending on how they're paired.


Boots are comfortable for wide feet

One thing I love about this footwear is that it adds taste to the entire ensemble, particularly knee-high and thigh-high boots. You can choose to wear simple clothes, but once they are paired with boots, it amps up your outfit.


Flat shoes are comfortable for wide feet

Flats are simple and stylish. Most times I put on flats when I want to relax my feet after a long day of wearing heels at work. Flats can be hellish to walk in if tight. You want to make sure that you purchase a pair using the sizing chart above.


Sneakers and Trainers are comfortable for wide feet
image source: Pexels

This footwear in particular is my fave! I say so because not only can you look fly while doing sporting activities but you can slay your outfits while you're at lunch with friends.

Slipper Heels

image source: Ego uk

Slipper heels are easy on the feet. They don't apply too much pressure to the sole, ball, and heel of the feet.

Personally, I recommend pyramid slipper heels with flat toe tips because they are relatively easy to walk in and make the forefoot relaxed rather than squeezed. 

In nutshell, if the shoe fits perfectly, it boosts your confidence and prevents feet defects. Tight footwear would leave you walking like you're stepping on hot coals—which is torturous.

So, make sure to start applying the information on this post immediately. If you have more suggestions on comfortable footwear for wide feet feel free to share!

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