How do I know if I have wide feet?
Most of the clients that come through my door have no idea whether they have a wide foot or not. Often trying to find shoes for wide feet, across everything from everyday heels and flats to ski boots and climbing shoes, without compromising on design is what’s brought them to me.
It’s the discomfort of constantly trying to fit your foot into a shoe that’s too narrow for it that becomes problematic. Measuring your foot width is the first step to understanding how to buy the best shoes for wide feet so it’s important to start there.
Your foot width is measured across the band of your foot (the widest part), where the metatarsals, the bones that run all the way to your toes, bend (for a complete guide on how to measure your feet, check out ExE’s foot measurement guide). Once you know your measurements you can then look at shoe widths that would be appropriate for you.
Unfortunately however, determining whether you are a wide fit depends on the brands and styles of shoes that you like to wear. For instance, there are numerous shoe width conventions used all over the globe so there is no set standard that all brands abide by. What is even more confusing is that different brands treat some of the conventions differently from one another, some brands use more than one convention in their range and some brands do not use any convention at all. As a customer, you will have noticed which brands seem to fit you better based on your foot shape so much of what you know about your feet has come from trial and error.
There are a few brands, like Each x Every, that are taking a more scientific approach to shoe widths and are matching foot widths to the choice of width fittings so you’ll know which width fitting you are across their entire range (see more on the Each x Every width fitting guide) but if the brands you are buying from do not offer that information it’s likely that you’ll need to try them on first if you’ve not bought from them before.
If you do not fit into the shoes that you want to fit into it can be tempting to squeeze into shoes that are too narrow to get the look you want. A recent study actually found that 63-72% of participants were wearing shoes that didn’t fit properly, both in terms of length and width. But so many different foot conditions, from toe deformities like bunions and hammertoes to corns and callouses, can be formed by wearing shoes that aren’t wide enough for your feet so it is really important that you get the right width shoe for your feet.