Having what I like to call “combination feet” (wide forefoot and narrow heels) can make it extremely challenging to find a pair of comfortable running shoes. Some women with wide feet and narrow heels complain that once they find a shoe that is wide enough for their forefoot, it gaps too much around their heels. Other women complain that once they find a shoe that secures their heels, it’s too tight for their forefoot. I have been fitting women’s shoes for many years, and based on my shoe fitting experience I will show you a list of the best running shoes for women with wide feet and narrow heels.
Women who come to the shoe store to be fitted for shoes refer to their wide feet and narrow heels as “pizza-shaped feet”, “Donald Duck feet”, or “flipper feet”. The good news is that there are some shoe styles that provide round toe-boxes with narrow heels and are ideal for women with your kind of feet.
I found these running shoe styles from having fitted many women with this “complicated” foot shape.
How Do I Know Which Shoes Work Best for Women with Wide Feet and Narrow Heels?
I work for a shoe store that specializes in helping people with “complicated” foot shapes such as narrow, wide, extra wide feet, and high insteps. Nowadays, I help women from all over the world find the perfect pair of shoes for their feet online. I get contacted by many women with “combination feet” on a daily basis, so I decided to create this resource to clarify their doubts and hopefully help them find the perfect pair of running shoes for their unique foot shape.
What Makes the Running Shoes that I Recommend Ideal for Women with “Combination Feet”?
1️⃣ Round Toe-Boxes and Narrow Heel Counters
All of the running shoes that I recommend provide round toe-boxes instead of pointier ones to accommodate a wide forefoot and prevent the toes from rubbing or overlapping against one another. At the same time, the shoes provide narrow heel counters instead of rounded ones. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes:
This is the most important feature as it will accommodate your “complicated” foot shape.
2️⃣ Shock Absorption and Supportive Outsoles
Your running shoes should provide supportive outsoles with extra padding and a rigid stricture to provide constant support for the whole foot. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes. Do you notice how the running shoe on the right has a more supportive outsole compared to the shoe on the left?
3️⃣ Firm Heel Counters with Good Ankle and Heel Support
Running shoes that provide firm heel counters can help prevent some of the twisting motion if your ankles are supinated or pronated. Always press on the heel counter of the shoe and make sure that it feels firm. Do you notice how the shoe on the right has extra cushion and padding right below the heel area?
What are the Best Shoe Brands for Women with Wide Feet and Narrow Heels?
Sometimes when I recommend a specific shoe brand women assume that all shoes among that brand will work for their foot shape.
It’s hard to recommend specific shoe brands for women with this particular foot shape as there are certain models among each shoe brand that work a lot better than others. While I don’t feel comfortable recommending specific shoe brands, I will show you a list of running shoes that can accommodate your foot shape.
My goal is to help you find a pair of running shoes with built-in features to keep your heels in place without pinching your forefoot.
Best Running Shoes for Women with Wide Feet and Narrow Heels
Take a look at the description below each running shoe to find out what additional features the shoe provides, the materials the shoes are made of, and the size you should order to prevent your longest toe from rubbing against the front part of the shoes. Disclosure: We may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.
Please note that running shoes that work really well for some women with wide feet and narrow heels might not work as well for others. Some women in addition to having wide feet might have high insteps or a different foot shape or foot condition that makes it more challenging to find shoes that fit.
Try this Amazing Shoe Lacing Technique
Another thing you should keep in mind is that certain shoe lacing techniques can make a tremendous difference in securing your narrow heels against the back of the shoes. I suggest that you apply this specific one:
1-Begin by lacing your shoes normally with a criss cross but leave the top two eyelets of the shoes unlaced:
2-Go through the top hole first:
3-Go through the holes you left open:
Are You Dealing with a Foot Condition?
I have noticed that some women in addition to having a wide forefoot and narrow heels have other challenges to deal with:
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Long, slender toes
- Hammer toes
- High instep
If you can relate to this, don’t hesitate to contact me via email so we can make sure that you choose the correct pair of running shoes for your feet:
Resources for Women with Wide Feet and Narrow Heels
I have created several resources for women with wide feet and narrow heels and you might find them helpful:
Is It Safe to Buy Shoes Online?
Buying shoes online allows you to access a larger selection of shoes. However, women with “complicated” foot shapes can strongly benefit from visiting their local shoe store as they might have to try multiple pairs of shoes in multiple sizes until they find one that comfortably accommodates their foot shape.
Are You 100% Sure of Your Foot length and Shape?
As we age the body’s ligaments and tendons lose their strength and ability to spring back. This means that our arches decrease, which flattens and lengthens the foot and toes. This often results in an increase in shoe size by a half-size or more. You might also experience a change in foot width, meaning that even though you always ordered medium width shoes now you might have to start ordering wider shoes.
I strongly suggest that you visit your local shoe store to retrieve your exact foot length and shape. However, if you don’t have a specialized shoe store in your area you can use this free resource that I created:
Don’t forget to wear comfortable socks as they act as a barrier between your feet and the running shoes. Socks also play a key role when it comes to helping prevent blisters and other foot issues.
I’m calling on all women with “combination feet” (wide forefoot and narrow heels) to share any shoe suggestions that they might have in the comments section below. Any shoe suggestions are welcome!