Are you having a hard time finding extra wide shoes to fit the shape of your feet? Do you feel like all the shoes you try on feel too tight around the widest part of your feet? I have been working for a shoe fitting store for over 7 years, and I have helped women find shoes in extra wide widths that they didn’t even know existed!
Since we are a shoe fitting store we don’t let a customer walk out the door without shoes that FIT absolutely perfect. In order to address the variety of different fits, we carry shoes in different widths, such as narrow; medium; wide; and extra wide.
I have helped hundreds of women who came into the store suffering from years of wearing uncomfortable shoes to find the correct shoe style and the correct shoe size for their specific needs.
The main issue I have found when helping women find the best fitting shoe is how much they are willing to suffer with the current shoe fit, despite how uncomfortable it may feel. Even if the shoes fit remotely comfortable, most women will stick to the shoe they have grown accustomed to wearing. My goal is to educate these customers into forgetting what they have come to accept and find the best shoe for each unique need.
For example, most women who come to the shoe store are wearing shoes that are too short or too narrow. When I explain how a wider or longer pair of shoes may be a better fit, I always get the same instant reaction is:
“I have never worn a pair of wide shoes in my life”
After trying a couple of different styles and finding their actual correct shoe size, my customers start noticing how extremely comfortable these shoes feel and that is when the stigma disappears. My customers start to understand how irrelevant the idealized size and width of shoes are, and the importance of correct shoe size. With the stigma gone, the most important lesson is finally learned: always focus on finding a pair of COMFORTABLE shoes!
I wanted to create this post to help those women who have extra wide feet and who have a hard time finding shoes that are wide enough for their feet.
Did you know there are several women who have wide feet but don’t even know it? The stigma most people relate wide or extra wide feet with “flat feet” and that’s simply NOT TRUE.
Some women might not have “really wide” or “fat feet” but still need a wider shoe. You are probably asking yourself how can this be possible.Well, if you have a high instep, you will need wider or deeper shoes, even if you have a medium width foot.
Do you know what the instep of the foot is? Just to be clear, if you don’t know then you can’t possibly be wearing the correct shoe size.
The instep is the top part of the foot, and if it’s high then you will either need a deeper or a wider shoe to accommodate the instep (don’t worry I will explain this in more detail through the post).
Wearing a shoe that is too narrow will create several foot issues such as blisters, calluses, or corns and it prolonged use can also lead to severe foot or leg pain!
I want to emphasize that the “shoe size” is just a number, and, for example, just because you have always worn a shoe size 9 it doesn’t mean that you will be a women’s shoe size 9 in every single shoe style.
Different shoes styles and different shoe companies can mean minute differences in the actual fit of the shoe. The same applies to the width, just because the shoe is labeled as “extra wide” it doesn’t automatically mean it’s the correct shoe width for your extra wide feet!
STOP getting the wrong shoe size for your feet! And STOP wasting money in shoes that end up sitting in the closet because they don’t feel right!
If you feel this describes your experience buying shoes, I will describe in this post the best extra wide shoes for women!
Shoes In Extra Wide Width DO Exist! – Don’t Be Fooled!
If you go to a shoe store and the salesperson introduces you to shoes that “run wider” than others, it might be a sign that they DON’T carry shoes in extra wide widths. That is a popular term shoe stores use when they don’t have a particular shoe style in a particular shoe size.
For example, let’s say you go to your running shoe store looking for running shoes and ask for a pair of wide or extra wide shoes to try on and the response from the sales associate is:
“We have this particular shoe style that runs wider than the others…”
When you have extra wide feet, purchasing a shoe just because it “runs wider” than the rest won’t cut it!
There are several companies that make women shoes in extra wide widths such as New Balance, Saucony, and Asics… These are among the most popular shoe brands in the world! You just need to be able to identify which shoes are labeled as “EEEE”, “2XW“, or “extra wide”.
Keep in mind that just because a shoe comes in an extra wide width it doesn’t automatically mean it’s going to fit the shape of your feet. Every single shoe style FITS different, some of them will have a wider, rounder, toed-box than the others.
For example, let’s take a look at two different women running shoes in the same size and the same width.
Do you notice how the shoe on the right has a much rounder, wider toed-box than the other? That is the shoe you will want if you have extra wide feet!
The good news is that I have fitted most women shoe styles that come in extra wide widths, and I know which ones have a rounder toed box and which ones are deeper than the rest. This is the kind of stuff you learn after having fitted shoes for over 7 years.
Lately, big online retailers allow you to read the reviews and comments other women are giving about a particular shoe style that they have tried before and find out whether the shoe is cut narrow, wide, short or long, but I wouldn’t rely on those reviews too much for the simple fact that those women might not even know their actual shoe size to begin with.
I am here for you, so please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!
Why Is It So Hard To Find Shoes In Extra Wide Widths?
There is actually a decent selection of running shoes in extra wide for women; you just need to identify which ones they are and which ones offer more support and more stability than the rest. Finding a shoe that is available in extra wide doesn’t mean you should purchase that shoe and STOP your search, the shoe must also provides several features to keep your feet and legs healthy.
I don’t know why shoe companies don’t offer a better selection of hoes in extra wide widths, since not only those women with extra wide feet require an extra wide shoe, but also those women who require an insert or an orthotic to be fitted inside the shoe.
For example, if you wear a medium width shoe but need an orthotic to be fitted inside the shoe, you will require a wide width shoe to be able to accommodate for all the space the orthotic takes.
I believe that the main reason why we don’t see more shoes in extra wide widths is because of the lack of demand due to most women not knowing their actual shoe size. At the shoe store that I work for we help thousands of people (both children and adults) who need shoes in wide and extra wide widths.
The great majority of people don’t even know that shoes come in different widths such as wide or extra wide, and if they do, they might not have a clue that they need them! This is actually a huge issue, especially when it comes to parents that are providing their kids with shoes that are too narrow.
I guarantee you that most people who buy their shoes at the shopping mall don’t even have a clue about what their actual shoe width is. First of all those shoe stores don’t even carry shoes in different widths, and second of all they don’t even have experienced shoe fitters that know how to properly measure your feet.
I have helped several women find the correct pair of shoes in extra wide, and once they find them, they tend to stick with that particular shoe style for years to come!
Wearing Shoes That Are Too Narrow Will Lead To Foot Issues!
Never settle for shoes that don’t fit the shape of your feet perfectly. The shoes that you wear can’t be too narrow, too short, too wide, or too long, they must FIT just right.
Wearing shoes that are too narrow or too short will increase the chances of your feet developing blisters, calluses, or corns, just to name a few. You will also increase the chances of experiencing foot and leg pain.
If you have extra wide feet, you must find shoes that come in the right width and that are wide enough for your feet.
How can you tell when a shoe is not wide enough for your feet?
Take a look at the picture below where you can see a women’s pair of shoes that is too narrow. Do you notice how around the widest part of the foot the pinky toe (small toe) is being pressed against the side of the shoe?
In this case we can easily tell that the shoe is too narrow. The solution is to find another pair of shoes that comes with a wider, rounder toed box that will take the pressure away from the small toe!
I can’t tell you how many people I see walking around the street wearing shoes that are too narrow, I can easily realize by seeing how their small toes are being pressed against the shoes. For the record, you don’t have to be a shoe fitting expert to notice when your toes are being pressed against the shoe!
Now that we understand the importance of wearing the correct shoe width, let’s take a look at the different type of shoes that come in extra wide widths for different type of activities!
Extra Wide Running Shoes For Women – The Secret Revealed!
Please know that every time we are running, we are stressing our feet and legs at a whole different level. It’s important to choose running shoes that provide good support, are flexible, lightweight, breathable and durable! They must also have a firm heel counter to provide good ankle support.
Did you know that if you are not wearing the correct shoe size, you won’t get any of the benefits that the shoe has to offer?!
Our goal is to find a pair of supportive running shoes that come in the correct shoe width (extra wide), with a toed box wide enough to accommodate the shape of your feet.
The best shoe brand for women, men, and children with extra wide feet is New Balance. The company doesn’t only make some of the best running shoes, but they also make the widest and better fitting shoes for a person with extra wide feet.
There is one particular shoe style that is by far the best shoe style for women with extra wide feet. It comes with the roundest toed-box, is deep enough for your foot to sit comfortably inside the shoe, and it is one of the most comfortable shoes you will ever wear ( I will describe this shoe below)
A good running shoe for women must provide the following features:
- Arch support to minimize the impact that your feet receive every time they come in contact with the ground.
- A firm heel counter that provides excellent ankle support.
- Mesh upper that allows your feet to breathe.
- An outsole with great traction on a variety of surfaces.
- Lightweight and flexible materials.
- Removable insole (so you can easily replace it with a more supportive insole or orthotic).
Keep in mind that I always encourage people to physically go their local shoe store to try different pair of shoes on until they find the one that properly FITS.
Now, most people don’t have a local running shoe store in their area that they trust, and they must get their shoes online. For those women, I will describe the best extra wide width shoe style that will provide all the features mentioned above.
How can you make sure that the shoes that you will choose will FIT the shape of your feet?
First of all don’t be afraid of having a little bit of wiggle room in your shoes (this step is one of the hardest ones to overcome for women). Most of the time when they come to the store, they are wearing shoes that are too short, and when I fit them in a pair of shoes with a little bit of wiggle room, they always have a hard time getting used to them.
So… here is how running shoes should FIT you feet:
1st Step: Wiggle Room
You should have about a thumb’s width between the end of your longest toe (it might not always be the big toe) and the shoe. Obviously people thumbs have different widths, so you should allow 1/2 inch between the longest to and the end of the shoe.
IMPORTANT TIP: Always measure both feet but always FIT the longest foot when looking for shoes.
2nd Step: Heel Counter
The heel counter of the shoe (take a look at the picture below for clarification) must be firm, snug and hug your ankle properly. There should be no extra room around the heel area; otherwise you won’t get the support and benefits that the shoe has to offer.
IMPORTANT TIP: When you try shoes on always wear the same type of sock you will wear when you go running.
3rd Step: Width Space
There should be no pressure between your smallest toe (pinky toe) and the side of the shoe. For example, remember the picture we looked at the beginning of the article? It looked like this:
Notice how the small toe is being pressed by the other toes and pushed to the side of the shoe. This means that the shoe is too NARROW and that you must find another pair of shoes with a wider toed box.
The small toe must never be pressed against the side of the shoe. When looking for shoes, always remember that finding the correct shoe width has the same importance as finding the correct shoe length.
IMPORTANT TIP: Always try the shoes on at the end of the day when your feet have already expanded.
Now that you know how to make sure your shoes FIT, below you can find the best women running shoe that comes in extra wide widths below!
This shoe style fits “true to size”, which means that you need to go a half a size longer of the size that your feet measure in the shoe measuring scale in order to prevent your toes from rubbing against the end of the shoes.
This is by far the best fitting shoe for women with extra wide feet. You will notice an immediate difference as soon as you try them on!
Before you decide to wear them outside, try them on and make sure you follow the steps I provide you with to check if the shoes FIT or not. Most online retailers will not allow you to return the shoe if it has been worn outside.
Please remember this: If a shoe isn’t comfortable to begin with, it will never be!
Do you happen to have a child with extra wide feet that needs a pair of shoes? I wrote two articles where I describe the best extra wide shoes for children and you can find them here:
Finding Casual Shoes In Extra Wide – The Secret Revealed!
If you think that finding extra wide running shoes for women it’s hard, try finding casual shoes in extra wide widths! While you will not be stressing your feet as much as you would if you were running, finding casual shoes that FIT is also important in order to keep your feet and legs healthy.
We also want them to provide good support and structure (such as running shoes do), in order to reduce and minimize the impact and stress that our feet take every time they hit the ground. Some women will do a lot of walking in their casual shoes, that’s why it’s so important for them to be durable, supportive, flexible, and provide good traction.
I will provide you with a selection of FUNCTIONAL shoes that come in extra wide widths, but before let’s take a look at what sort of features casual shoes must offer to your feet.
The features we want casual shoes to provide are:
- Lightweight materials.
- Flexible sole.
- Slip-resistant outsole.
- Firm heel counter.
- Hook and loop strap closure.
- Removable insole.
The casual shoe styles I always recommend are the mary jane styles, since they provide more stability and support than flats. Mary janes come with a hook and loop closure, which will hug your foot and make you feel more stable and confident when walking.
Below you can find a selection of the best casual shoes for women that provide all the features mentioned above and that also come in extra wide widths. I have fitted these shoe styles before and I am familiar with the type of support they offer and how well-made they are.
Remember to follow the steps I describe above to make sure you are getting the correct shoe size and the correct shoe width in your casual shoes as well!
Now that you know which are the best running and casual women shoes that come in extra wide widths, you are ready to make the most informative decision. Remember to NEVER compromise on the FIT, and that the shoes should always feel comfortable from the minute you try them on.
Don’t buy into the theory that shoes need time to break-in. It is true that shoes will soften up as you wear them, but it won’t be a huge difference from the time you try them on for the first time.
I believe that “break-in time” period of the shoes is a theory that salespeople use to wrap up the sale. Don’t settle for ill-fitting shoes for yourself, START taking care of your feet!
Take your time when choosing the correct pair of shoes and don’t be afraid in investing in a good quality pair of shoes for yourself. You will end up saving a lot of money in the future by preventing foot and leg issues!
Is there a particular running shoe or shoe style that you have tried in extra wide that you would recommend? Do you always have a hard time finding shoes wide enough for your feet? Please share your thoughts and experiences below so we can all benefit from them!