What Is Considered Wide Feet?

When choosing the perfect pair of shoes, one size doesn't fit all. Your foot's width, in addition to its length, plays a pivotal role in finding comfortable and supportive footwear. This comprehensive guide will delve deep into the world of wide feet, explaining what is considered wide feet, why it matters, how to measure your foot width accurately, and when you might need wide-width shoes. Let's embark on this journey to understand our feet dimensions better.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding what constitutes wide feet is crucial for finding comfortable and supportive footwear.
  • Accurately measuring foot width using a shoe width chart or DIY method is the first step in identifying wide feet.
  • Wide-width shoes offer enhanced comfort, support, and overall foot health for individuals with wider feet.

Defining Wide Feet

Wide feet, as the name suggests, refer to feet with a wider than average width than the length. A broader forefoot area and a wider arch often characterize them. Wide feet are distinct from narrow feet, which are more slender. Understanding your foot's width is crucial in ensuring a comfortable and supportive fit for your shoes.

The Importance of Foot Width

Your foot's width is as important as its length regarding shoe sizing. Neglecting to account for width can lead to discomfort, blisters, and even foot problems in the long run. Too narrow-shoes can squeeze your feet, causing pain and discomfort, while shoes too wide can lack the necessary support.

Measuring Foot Width

Using a Shoe Width Chart

To determine whether you have wide feet, measuring your foot width accurately is essential. A reliable method is to use a shoe width chart. These charts typically categorize shoe widths from narrow (N) to extra wide (XW or E). They provide a clear reference point for finding the right shoe width for your feet. To measure your width using a chart, follow these steps:

  1. Gather your materials: You'll need a ruler, a piece of paper, and a pen.
  2. Place your foot: Stand with your full weight on the foot you intend to measure.
  3. Trace your foot: While keeping your weight on the foot, trace an outline of it on the paper.
  4. Measure the width: Using the ruler, measure the widest part of your foot outline.
  5. Refer to the chart: Match your measurement to the corresponding width on the shoe width chart.

DIY Measurement

You can also measure your foot width at home for a more personalized measurement. This method involves a bit more effort but can provide accurate results. Here's how to do it:

  1. Prepare your tools: You'll need a ruler, paper, a pen, and a flat, hard surface.
  2. Position your foot: Sit down and place your foot on the paper, ensuring it's flat and fully supported.
  3. Trace your foot: Use the pen to trace an outline of your foot.
  4. Measure the width: Carefully use the ruler to measure the widest part of your foot outline.
  5. Take note: Write down your measurement for reference.

Signs You Might Have Wide Feet

Now that you've measured your foot width, you might wonder whether you fall into the category of wide feet. Here are some signs that suggest you might have wider feet than average:

  • Frequent discomfort in regular-width shoes, especially in the toe and forefoot area.
  • Visible bulging of the sides of your feet when you stand or walk.
  • Consistently feeling that your feet are squeezed or cramped in shoes.
  • The appearance of calluses or blisters on the sides of your feet due to friction.

Recognizing these signs is the first step in understanding your foot width and determining whether you need wide-width shoes.

Toes on Feet

Causes of Wide Feet

Wide feet can have various causes, including genetic factors, medical conditions, and lifestyle influences. Understanding what might contribute to your wide feet can help you address any underlying issues and make informed choices when selecting footwear. Here are some common causes:

  • Genetics: Family history can play a significant role in determining the shape and size of your feet.
  • Obesity: Carrying excess weight can lead to the expansion of the foot's width.
  • Ageing: As we age, ligaments and tendons in our feet may stretch, causing an increase in width.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain conditions like flat feet or bunions can result in wider feet.
  • Pregnancy: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause feet to swell and widen temporarily.

The Benefits of Wide-Width Shoes

If you have wide feet, there's no need to worry. Wide-width shoes are specially designed to accommodate broader foot dimensions. Here are some advantages of choosing wide-width shoes:

  • Enhanced Comfort: Wide-width shoes offer more room for your feet, reducing the likelihood of discomfort and pressure points.
  • Better Support: They provide adequate arch support and stability, promoting overall foot health.
  • Reduced Foot Problems: Wearing shoes that fit properly can help prevent common foot issues like bunions and ingrown toenails.
  • Improved Balance: A proper fit enhances your balance and reduces the risk of falls and injuries.

Choosing the Best Shoes for Wide Feet

Selecting the right footwear for wide feet is essential to ensure comfort and support. Here are some tips for choosing the best shoes:

  • Measure Both Feet: It's common for one foot to be slightly larger than the other, so always measure both and go with the larger measurement.
  • Try Before You Buy: Visit a shoe store and try on several pairs to find the most comfortable fit.
  • Look for Wide-Width Options: Many shoe brands offer wide-width options in various styles, from sneakers to dress shoes.
  • Consider Inserts: If you have wide feet but prefer a shoe that doesn't come wide, you can use orthotic inserts for added comfort and support.

Men's Wide Shoes: Finding the Perfect Fit

Men with wider feet often struggle to find stylish and comfortable shoes. Fortunately, there are plenty of wide-width options available in men's footwear. Here are some considerations when shopping for men's wide shoes:

  • Know Your Size: Measure your foot professionally to determine your exact size, especially if you have wide feet.
  • Choose the Right Style: Look for wide-width options, from casual to formal, to suit your needs.
  • Consider Material: Leather and suede are durable choices for wide shoes that can mould to your foot's shape over time.


Understanding what is considered wide feet is essential for maintaining foot health and ensuring comfort in your daily life. Your foot width, like your shoe size, is crucial in finding the perfect pair of shoes. By measuring your foot width accurately and recognizing the signs of wide feet, you can make informed decisions when selecting footwear. Wide-width shoes offer a comfortable and supportive solution for those with wider feet, reducing discomfort and promoting overall foot health.

At ePodiatrists, we assist you in all matters related to foot health and shoe fit. If you have wide feet or any concerns about your foot size and width, don't hesitate to contact our expert podiatrists. We have the knowledge and experience to provide personalized guidance and recommendations to ensure your feet are well cared for. Schedule an appointment today to take the first step towards happier and healthier feet.

Secured By miniOrange