Best Sandals for Women with Wide Feet and Narrow Heels – Recommendations from a Shoe Fitter

best-sandals-for-women-with-bunions

Several women who have wide feet and narrow heels (what I like to call “combination feet”) have the hardest time finding comfortable shoes to wear. I work for a shoe store where I help several women with “complicated” foot shapes and foot problems find the perfect pair of shoes for their feet, and based on my shoe fitting experience, I have put together a list of the best sandals for women with wide feet and narrow heels. Please note that there are no two feet alike, and what might work well for many women’s feet, might not work as well for your feet.

One thing I want to emphasize is that simply because you notice I recommend a shoe from a specific shoe brand, I don’t want you to assume that all shoes from that same shoe brand will accommodate your foot shape. All shoes, even among the same shoe brand, fit a little differently.

Our goal should be to find a pair of sandals with built-in features to keep your heels in place without pinching your forefoot.

The Challenges of Finding Sandals for Women with “Combination Feet”

Everyday sneakers and Mary Jane shoes are a lot easier to fit for a woman who has a wide forefoot with a narrow heel. The sneakers have laces and you can use special shoe lacing techniques to secure your heels, while the Mary Jane shoes have the instep strap across your forefoot offering a secure fit. With sandals, it gets a bit more challenging, but no worries, there are options to accommodate your foot shape!

In addition to the women that I see at the shoe store, I get contacted by many women online trying to find the perfect pair of shoes for their feet. Some women refer to their feet as “duck feet”, “pizza feet”, or “flipper feet” to describe how wide their feet are in front and narrow in the back.

I have noticed that some women in addition to having a wide forefoot and narrow heels have other challenges to deal with:

  • Bunions
  • Flat feet
  • High arches
  • Long, slender toes
  • Hammer toes
  • High instep

I am aware of this, so you will notice that in the description of each of the sandals that I recommend I mention whether it can accommodate those foot issues as well.

What Makes the Sandals I Recommend Effective for Wide Feet and Narrow Heels?

✅ Adjustable Heel Straps

You will notice that the sandals that I recommend come with adjustable heel straps to help prevent your heels from slipping off the sandals. Take a look at the image below for better visualization purposes:

best-sandals-for-women-with-bunions

✅ Adjustable Front Straps

The sandals also provide other strategic straps along the foot to secure your feet in place and also adjust how much pressure your place on your toes:

best-sandals-for-women-with-bunions

✅ Round Toe-Boxes

All of the sandals that I recommend provide round toe-boxes instead of pointier ones to accommodate your wide forefoot and prevent your toes from rubbing or overlapping against one another:

open-toe-sandal-for-women-with-wide-feet

Without further ado, let’s take a look at a selection of the best sandals for women with wide feet and narrow heels. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

Best Sandals for Women with Wide Feet and Narrow Heels

Take a look at the description below each sandal to find out the features that it provides, what size you should order, and whether it can accommodate other foot issues you might have.

Not all of the sandals below have adjustable straps around the heels, so make sure that you read the description below each sandal.

Contact Me Directly: Your Foot Shape Might Require a Deeper Assessment

As I mentioned before, some women in addition to having a wide forefoot with narrow heels also deal with other foot problems that makes it even more challenging to find shoes that fit. If this is your case, I suggest that you contact me via email and I will provide you with specific shoe recommendations:

comfortablewomenshoes@gmail.com

Are These Sandals Supportive?

Yes, all of the sandals that I recommended provide excellent support and structure. However, some of the sandals provide better support than others, so make sure that you read the description below each sandal.

Can You Fit an Orthotic Inside These Sandals?

No, you shouldn’t attempt to fit your orthotics inside your sandals as they won’t do any good. Orthotics only work in enclosed shoes such as sneakers, Mary Jane shoes, and boots.

What Can You Do to Make Your Current Sandals Fit Better?

If your sandals provide the correct amount of support, feel comfortable, and accommodate your wide feet, but they still fit a little wide around your heels, you can try to place a pair of heel grips to make your heels fit more snugly.

heel-grips-for-women-sandals

Keep in mind that heel grippers work best in dress shoes and casual shoes such as high-heels, loafers running/walking shoes, flats, pumps, and boots, but they don’t work as well in sandals as they are meant to get wet. If you want to try a pair of heel grippers in your sandals you can try the ones below:

Heel GripsCheck Price

If you are looking for an alternative to heel grips you can try moleskin.

What are the Best Sneakers for Women with Wide Feet and Narrow Heels?

If you are looking for a pair of everyday sneakers to accommodate your wide forefoot and narrow heels, there is a different resource that I created that you might find helpful:

Women’s Shoes with a Wide Toe Box and a Narrow Heel – Let me Help you Find Them!

I hope this article made you aware that you are not alone in this journey of finding comfortable shoes for your “complicated” foot shape!

Online shoe shopping is definitely not ideal for women with “complicated” foot shapes, but with so many specialized shoe stores closing down (even before COVID-19), women don’t seem to have a choice but to shop online.

Some women with wide feet and narrow heels say that the only shoes that they can wear look like Frankenstein shoes. I hope that you find the selection of sandals that I presented you with both stylish and comfortable.

The narrow heel and wide forefoot combination is a nuisance when it comes to shoe shopping. Trust me, I get it! This is the reason why I also need your help! Let me know in the comments section below if you have found a specific shoe style (sneakers, sandals, boots) that worked well for your “combination feet”! I am sure that other women will benefit from reading about your experiences.

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4 Comments

  1. I really appreciate that you’ve been continuing to look into the wide foot, narrow heel dilemma. Thank you. I’ve unfortunately been batting out big time in what I’ve tried for oxfords and flats (mostly because of my super high instep and narrow heel), but I want to chime in here to say that I second the Finn Gomera!! In fact, I have a whole collection of them. The arch support isn’t nearly as good as the less feminine Sylt model with the unisex footbed, and my plantar fasciitis has gotten worse in the years since I landed on the Gomera. So… maybe I shouldn’t have a whole collection, but I do. When I find something that fits, I start eBaying and can go overboard, lol. However, in regards to getting larger sizes, I would beg to differ. I am 6.5 wide (6 in one foot, and in between sizes in the other) with a very high instep and a narrow heel, and the 38s were way too big in every possible way and not sufficiently able to be adjusted down. But then again, I often find advice to size up ineffective for my particular feet, so I never know when it really needs to be taken seriously. The Gomera are never going to be a high fashion sandal, but there are sometimes metallic patterns available to make them dressier.

    • P.s.—Women with WW feet may want to opt for the Finn Comfort Sylt which has an even wider footbed. That model uses a unisex footbed that is wider. (Finn comfort has several different footbeds that it uses in the various European sizes. Some of these footbeds are narrower or wider than others and have more or less arch support than others. Footbeds are NOT interchangeable but must be used with a shoe designed for that particular footbed.) The Gomera’s footbed should be fine for C or even D widths and high insteps. I *think* D/E/EE widths and high insteps would all be accommodated by the Sylt sandal, but getting their first pair from a company with free returns would be wise bc I’m not sure.

    • Hello Deborah,

      Thank you for offering your feedback, it’s truly valuable and allows me to find new brands and styles that I might not be as familiar with. I am also happy to hear that you second the Finn Gomera sandal!

      I do agree that the Gomera style is not the most supportive sandal, but for women with wide feet and narrow heels who don’t suffer from foot conditions it’s an excellent choice!

    • Thank you Deborah for offering your feedback, I also constantly struggle to find shoes for my duck feet. I will try the Gomera and thank you Juan for putting this resource together. Deborah I love your tip about using metallic patterns to make the sandal dressier!!!

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