Extra Wide Shoes for Women – STOP Hurting Your Feet!

extra-wide-shoes-for-women

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 specialized shoe store for over 10 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. I will shortly show you a selection of the best extra wide shoes for women.

What Makes the Shoes I Recommend Effective for Women with Extra Wide Feet?

✅ Extra Depth: This feature allows your feet to fit deeply inside the shoes and prevents the top part of the foot (instep) from rubbing against the top part of the shoes:

women's-shoes-with-extra-depth

✅ Rounder Toe-Boxes: This feature helps prevent your toes from overlapping or rubbing against one another or the side of the shoes:

women's-shoes-with-wide-toe-box

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. Take a look at the image below to see an example of where the instep of the foot is located:

woman-with-a-high-instep

If you are unsure whether you have a high instep or not I suggest that you refer to a different article called:

How To Measure Your Foot Shoe Size – The Most Simple And Effective Way!

Wearing a shoe that is too narrow can 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 (XW or EEEE). 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!

What Shoe Brands Offer Extra Wide Shoes?

There are several companies that make women shoes in extra wide widths such as New Balance, Saucony, and Orthofeet… 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”.

extra-wide-shoes-for-women

What Shoes Have the Widest Toe-Boxes?

Keep in mind that just because a shoe comes labeled as extra wide (XW) 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 toe-box than the other? That is the shoe you will want if you have extra wide feet!

women's-shoes-with-round-toe-boxes

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 10 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!

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!

Best Extra Wide Shoes for Women ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

All of these shoes are available in extra wide widths:

Extra WideExtra WideExtra WideExtra WideExtra WideExtra WideExtra WideExtra WideExtra WideExtra WideExtra WideExtra WideExtra WideExtra WideExtra WideExtra WideExtra WideExtra Wide

In order to prevent your toes from rubbing against the front or side part of the shoes, I highly recommend that you order these sneakers a half a size larger than the size that your feet measure. This translates to 0.3 inches or 0.6 centimeters of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoes.

Additional Benefits of the Shoes I Recommend

✅ Arch support to minimize the impact that your feet receive every time they come in contact with the ground:

women's-shoes-with-good-support

✅ A firm heel counter that provides excellent ankle support:

women's-shoes-with-ankle-support

✅ Mesh upper that allows your feet to breathe:

breathable-shoes-for-women

✅ An outsole with good traction on a variety of surfaces:

women's-running-shoes-with-good-traction

✅ Lightweight and flexible materials:

lightweight-and-flexible-shoes-for-women

✅Removable insole so you can easily replace it with a more supportive insole or orthotic:

shoes-with-removable-insoles

Wearing Shoes That are Too Narrow Will Lead to Foot Issues!

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.

How can you tell when a shoe is not wide enough for your feet?

Take a look at the picture of a woman wearing a 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?

how-to-check-if-shoes-are-too-narrow

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!

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 o.3 inches between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.

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.

Snug Heel Counter

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 just looked at:

how-to-check-if-shoes-are-too-narrow

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.

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:

The Best Sneakers For Toddlers With Extra Wide Feet – Deep And Supportive!

Extra Wide Shoes For Kids – The Best Everyday Shoes For Your Child With Extra Wide Feet!

What are the Best Casual Shoes for Women with Extra Wide Feet?

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.

The casual shoes I always recommend are the Mary Jane styles, since they provide better 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.

Available in Wide and Extra WideAvailable in Wide and Extra WideAvailable in Wide and Extra WideAvailable in Wide and Extra WideAvailable in Wide and Extra WideAvailable in Wide and Extra WideAvailable in Wide and Extra WideAvailable in Wide and Extra WideAvailable in Wide and Extra WideAvailable in Wide and Extra WideAvailable in Wide and Extra WideAvailable in Wide and Extra Wide

In order to prevent your toes from rubbing against the front or side part of the shoes, I highly recommend that you order these sneakers a half a size larger than the size that your feet measure. This translates to 0.3 inches or 0.6 centimeters of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoes.

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!

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!

I am going to leave you with a couple of articles that describe the best seasonal and dress shoe styles for women with extra wide feet:

Extra Wide Sandals for Women – They Do EXIST!

Extra Wide Winter Boots for Women – Extra Depth, Rounder Toe-Boxes, and Available in EEEE Widths!

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!

About Juan Pablo Valenzuela 17 Articles
My name is Juan Valenzuela and I have been fitting women's shoes for the last 10 years. I have helped several women who claimed that their feet were too wide or too narrow to find that particular shoe style that they didn’t even know it existed. I have also helped women who were experiencing a certain foot condition such as flat feet, overpronation, bunions hammer toes, find the perfect pair of shoes to help prevent and treat those foot conditions. I know which shoe brands and shoe styles are better than others and if you ever have trouble finding a particular shoe style please do not hesitate to contact me.

10 Comments

  1. Hi Juan. My wife always complains about her feet hurting and we didn’t know that shoes were available in extra wide. I bought my wife one of the shoes you recommend from Orthofeet and she said that they are the most comfortable shoes she ever worn. I wanted to reach out and say thank you as she always have a hard time finding shoes that fit her big feet.

  2. I can’t find a single pair of running shoes that fit my extra wide feet. All of the shoes cramp my toes and I always end up getting blisters on the top of my toes and on the side of my small toe. I have been running outside now as more gyms are closed but I can’t keep running in shoes that are too narrow. Help please!

  3. Hello Juan, 

    Do I need to choose the X-Wide? I don’t see the shoes being labeled as “XW”. Do I need to choose the XW or X-Wide? I want this clarified before I go ahead and order the shoes. Both the New Balance and Orthofeet shoes show as X-Wide. Thank you for your help.

  4. Wow. Can I hire you every time I go shoe shopping? Lol. Shoe shopping is a nightmare for me mostly because I have a high instep in addition to extra wide feet. I ordered a pair of the Orthofeet styles and I hope they are wide enough for my feet. I will keep you posted.

  5. My wife has never been able to wear shoes that are comfortable for her feet as she always have to buy longer shoes because of her extra wide feet. The top part of her foot is very thick. Is there a difference between the New Balance shoes and the Orthofeet ones? Which ones do you recommend?

    • Hi Aluko,

      The shoes I recommend in this article all are suitable for women with extra wide feet. However, it seems like your wife has a high instep as well. I suggest that you order any of the New Balance styles as they tend to be deeper than the Orthofeet ones and will help accommodate the top part of her feet.

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