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A 2019 study analyzing 1.2 million foot scans across North America, Europe and Asia found that foot measurements vary between genders and regions and concluded that shoes should be available in at least three widths per length to adequately fit 90% of the population. Unfortunately, not all shoe styles fit this criteria, leaving many people with wide feet to try to fit into footwear that feels just a bit too tight. (Perhaps you’ve left the store with an offending pair of sneakers, sandals, boots or heels, determined they would stretch out and become a lasting match but ultimately being left with rubbing and blisters.)
Thankfully, however, all hope is not lost. A growing number of companies and brands have offerings that cater to people who want the right fit every time.
But first things first: How do you know if you actually have wide feet? According to Dr. Bruce Pinker, a board-certified podiatrist and foot surgeon of Progressive Foot Care in New York state, if you feel pressure on the sides of your feet while wearing shoes, then you likely have wide feet. To confirm this, use a Brannock device, aka the metal contraption available at most shoe stores for determining your shoe size, to measure the width of your feet.
If you can’t remember the last time you measured, then it’s time to check, says certified pedorthist Michael Fishkin of Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. “I always tell people to check their feet regularly,” he explains. “Individuals should see a podiatrist yearly or regularly to have their feet looked at. They can obtain proper foot measurements and determine if there are any prominences on the feet that might cause issues.”
Pinker elaborates: “If one has an enlargement of the foot just behind the little toe or big toe, it’s a sign of a bunionette (near the little toe) and a bunion (near the big toe). Both of these conditions can cause one’s feet to be wider.”
What to look for in the best shoes for wide feet
Whether you’re searching for the best running shoes, walking shoes, travel shoes, walking sandals or work shoes, trust what your body is telling you, rather than force your feet into footwear that doesn’t fit.
Brands like New Balance, Naturalizer, Brooks and Vionic all offer lots of shoes in multiple widths, and some labels like Altra are specifically made with wider toe boxes, allowing toes to splay naturally. Choose wide, extra-wide or extra-extra-wide options depending on your foot measurement.
“The width should be snug, but not tight,” Pinker says.
Additionally, make sure there is 3/8 of an inch of space between your longest toe and the front of the shoe. “The forefoot of a pair of shoes should have ample room for toes,” Fishkin stresses. He advises to wiggle your toes when you try on shoes. If you can, that’s a sign of proper fit. If your toes feel confined, move on. “They shouldn’t feel like they’re pinching or squeezing the feet adversely. And when it comes to open-toed styles, “your feet shouldn’t be hanging over the sides of the shoe, but rather cradled by the construction of the footwear,” he adds.
Speaking of construction, Pinker also suggests looking for pairs with “a stable shank, cushioned midsole and stable heel counter.”
Additionally, he advises that anyone with wide feet should turn the shoe over to see if it’s wider lasted. If the sole is uniform in width, it’s good for wide feet, but if it’s hourglass-shaped, the shoe could end up rubbing the sides of your feet.
The best shoes for wide feet are also made in varying materials, depending on the purpose they serve. For the best work shoes, Pinker says leather is both durable and supportive and suggests styles with EVA midsoles for cushion and shock absorption. For running shoes, look for options that have a mesh construction, Fishkin says. “This allows for more air flow and breathability,” he notes.
The list below highlights the best shoes for wide feet for just about every imaginable need and occasion. Available for both men and women, there are shoes for high arches, the best basketball shoes the best tennis shoes, and even the best hiking boots. Consider this your touchpoint for far more successful shoe shopping in the future.
Related: 7 Things to Know When Shopping for a Wide-Width Shoe
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Orthofeet Orthopedic Walking Shoes
Best Walking Shoes for Wide Feet
Orthofeet Orthopedic walking shoes are considered some of the best orthopedic shoes for women thanks to their laundry list of supportive features. For starters, they have an ergonomic sole and anatomical arch support to promote proper posture and alignment. They also include heel cushioning, a stretchable upper and extra foam padding at the collar for total comfort. As some of the best walking shoes for women, these are great to keep handy to get in your daily steps. They’re available in three widths.
Brooks Ghost 14 Wide Running Shoes
Best Running Shoes for Wide Feet
Brooks are lauded by runners for their excellent construction and comfort. Men and women with wide feet don’t have to miss out thanks to the brand’s plethora of sizes. The Brooks Ghost 14 wide running shoes, called some of the best running shoes in 2023 by this publication, are available in four widths for men and three for women. They have balanced, soft cushioning and a secure fit thanks to a stretchy upper. The midsole and crash pad are designed for superior shock absorption, so you can enjoy a smooth, controlled ride with each stride.
New Balance Men’s MC1006v1 Tennis Shoes
Podiatrist’s Pick for Wide Feet
Dr. Pinker recommends his patients with wide feet look to New Balance for the brand’s variety of shoe widths. The New Balance MC1006v1 comes in a medium, wide and extra-wide fit. These are designed for tennis, but some reviewers say they’re also a great option for other activities, including dog walking. They feature breathable mesh and a fabric lining.
Nike Lebron 18 Basketball Shoes
Best Basketball Shoes for Wide Feet
Shopping for the best basketball shoes for men or the best women’s basketball shoes can be challenging when you have wide feet, as styles are typically only available in one width. However, people with wide feet who hoop sing the praises of Nike’s Lebron 18, which are naturally wider-fitting than the average pair fo basketball shoes. This roomy version has a molded TPU heel counter for extra stability on the court. The rubber outsole has multidirectional traction for lateral movements.
La Sportiva Nucleo High II Gore-Tex Wide Hiking Boots
Best Hiking Boots for Wide Feet
La Sportiva’s Nucleo High II wide hiking boots are a solid investment for the guy with wide feet who sees lots of trekking in his future. Glowing reviews call them the best hiking boots consumers have tried. They’re lightweight but durable, with Gore-Tex waterproofing laminated to the leather upper. The flexible ankle allows for mobility. The traction is also top-notch.
Tommaso Pista Women’s Indoor Cycling Shoe
Best Indoor Cycling Shoes for Wide Feet/ Best Peloton Shoes for Wide Feet
If you plan to bring your own pair of cycling shoes to class, go for this top-rated pair from Tommaso Pista. Thousands of Amazon reviewers praise the shoe’s fit for wider feet, which also includes Velcro clasps so you can adjust the tightness to your liking. What’s more, the style is available with SPD or Delta cleats, making it compatible with nearly any indoor bike, including Peloton bikes.
Vionic Women’s Zeliya Sneakers
Best Shoes for Wide Feet and High Arches
Vionic’s Zeliya sneakers are one of the best walking shoes for women with high arches, as they have a removable, cushioned EVA footbed with arch support for keeping feet in their proper position. The lace-up sneaker also has a breathable mesh outer and a grippy outsole, making it perfect for tackling daily work and errands. These shoes are available in two widths, so people with wide feet don’t have to miss out on the comfort of this podiatrist-approved brand.
EvolvShaman Climbing Shoes
Best Climbing Shoes for Wide Feet
EvolvShaman’s climbing shoes are some of the best climbing shoes for wide feet thanks to their three hook-and-loop straps that allow for a super adjustable fit. The versatile shoe is geared toward top performance and comfort. It has aggressive curvature and downturn and rubber for optimal traction and friction.
Altra Escalante 2.5 Road Running Shoes
Best Workout Shoes for Wide Feet
The best workout shoes shouldn’t cramp or pinch your feet, as this will only hinder performance. Altra shoes are designed with a roomy toe box to avoid discomfort. The Altra Escalante 2.5 road running shoe boasts excellent energy return and podiatrist-approved engineering. The sock-like outer is lightweight and breathable, making these ideal for a wide range of physical activities.
Amazon Essentials Women’s Buckle Mule
Best Mules for Wide Feet
Up your professional attire game with Amazon Essentials‘ women’s buckle mules. Smart enough to wear into the office but far more comfortable than your average loafer, they come in a wide size to accommodate larger feet. Reviewers call them “comfy and stylish.” Pair them with trousers or jeans.
Nike Terra Kiger 7 Trail Running Shoes
Best Trail Running Shoes for Wide Feet
The Nike Terra Kiger 7 is notable for its wide toe box to accommodate larger feet. These trail running shoes have a lightweight upper that won’t weigh you down as you traverse all kinds of rough terrain. The shoes include neutral arch support and updated traction lugs for better stability than offered by previous versions.
Topo Fli-Lyte 4 Shoes
The Best Crossfit Shoes for Wide Feet
Technically a running shoe, these Topo Fli-Lyte 4 shoes are an excellent pick for CrossFit thanks to the wide platform that’s relatively low to the ground. Topo is known for extra-wide flared toe boxes, so the brand is a go-to for athletes with wide feet. There is an OrthoLite footbed for support across the entire sole and sock-like mesh upper that will keep you cool during the hottest workouts.
Propet Women’s Zuri Dress Pumps
Best Dress Shoes for Wide Feet
Propet specializes in comfortable, supportive shoes that support a range of health conditions, making some of the best shoes for diabetics, for instance. Propet’s Zuri dress pump is one of the brand’s most formal styles but has lots of the same features as its sneakers. For starters, the heel is available in four widths, which is extremely rare for a woman’s dress shoe. One reviewer says they, “loved the feel for long office hours.” Try these orthopedic shoes for women for your next event.
Teva Hurricane XLT 2 Sandals
Best Sandals for Wide Feet
Reviewers say Teva’s Hurricane XLT 2 sandals are some of the most comfortable walking sandals. They accommodate wide feet with multiple hook-and-loop closures that are fully adjustable across the entire foot. Available in a bunch of retro color combinations and patterns, they offer mild arch support for good foot health.
Altra Solstice XT Cross-Training Shoes
Best Cross-Training Shoes for Wide Feet
The Altra Solstice XT is considered one of the best cross-training shoes for women. The podiatrist-loved brand offers the signature “FootShape toe box” that suits a wider foot. The lightweight shoe is truly engineered to take on any activity, from the gym to the road. The upper has been improved with a new rubber cage for extra durability. These are great for sprints, weightlifting and everything in between.
Birkenstock Arizona Sandals
Best Travel Shoes for Wide Feet
Birkenstock’s Arizona sandals are a cult-favorite style designed for a wide fit. Some of the best travel shoes, they’re an easy slip-on-and-go option that you can wear to the pool or beach. The unisex sandals have serious arch support and a pronounced heel cup that molds to your foot for the utmost comfort.
NikeCourt Air Zoom Vapor Pro Tennis Shoes
Best Tennis Shoes for Wide Feet
For the best tennis shoes that won’t leave wide feet with blisters, try NikeCourt’s Air Zoom Vapor Pro tennis shoes. They’re equipped with a wider toe box than previous versions, which is key to letting toes splay naturally. The proper fit will make the most of tennis’ multidirectional movements. This pair is also super lightweight to keep you nimble on your feet.
G-Defy Ion Walking Shoes
Best for Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs
Called some of the most comfortable sneakers for women, the G-Defy Ion walking shoe comes in a wide and extra-wide fit to accommodate a range of foot sizes. They’re equipped with orthotics to alleviate conditions like bunions, plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. Reviewers say they “reduce pain in the knees” when standing for long periods and offer “great support.”
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 Sneakers
Also Consider Best Walking Shoes for Wide Feet
A certified diabetic shoe that’s earned the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 sneaker is another amazing walking shoe for men and women. These offer excellent energy return and cushioning every step. They come in a wide and extra-wide fit to prevent chafing or rubbing with the wrong size. The mesh upper is streamlined to reduce bulk and offers give. Reviewers say these are also good for flat feet.
Wolverine Rev Construction Shoes
Best Men’s Wide-Fit Work Shoes
The last thing anyone wants to worry about while working on a home improvement project is cramped toes. The Wolverine Rev construction shoe comes in an extra-wide fit to avoid any such issue. The shoe is less clunky than a construction boot but offers all the benefits of one, like a slip-resistant outsole, making it a top work shoe option for men. It’s also equipped with a shock-absorbing insole to maximize comfort and lessen impact.
Naturalizer Women’s True Colors Vera Ankle Strap Sandals
Best Wide Fit Shoes for Women With Arch Support
Naturalizer’s True Colors Vera ankle strap sandals are an arch support shoe for women that will be the MVP of one’s closet. They can be dressed up with a gown for a formal event or down with jeans and cute tee for date night. No matter where you wear them, they offer comfort thanks to the contoured insole and the not-too-high block heel that is so much more stable than a stiletto. These come in a wide fit.
Easy Spirit Women’s Taite 2 Sandals
Best Slip-On Sandals for Wide Feet
Available in a bunch of fun colors, Easy Spirit’s Taite 2 sandals are the perfect slip-on-and-go option for wide feet. They have an open round-toe silhouette to avoid cramped digits and plenty of comfortable cushioning in the ergonomic footbed. The women’s sandal comes in a wide fit.
Alegria Women’s Keli Professional Shoes
Best Nursing Shoes for Wide Feet
To combat foot fatigue during hours spent on your feet, Alegria’s Keli professional shoes have a footbed that combines cork, latex and memory foam. They also have flexible dual goring so you can slip them on or off at a moment’s notice and a sole that relieves pressure on the heel and metatarsal. Available in a regular or wide fit and a ton of fun colors, these are some of the best nursing shoes to express personal style.
SoftWalk Women’s Sonoma Flats
Best Work Shoes for Women
While lots of sneakers can be counted on for comfort, many occasions and outfits call for a different look. With the SoftWalk Sonoma flats, you don’t have to sacrifice any support for style. They have a roomy round toe and removable footbed that boasts plush cushioning and arch support. They’re also equipped with a breathable microfiber lining and slip-resistant rubber sole. They come in four widths and are some of the best work shoes for women you can wear to the office. Grab them in few different shades.
Columbia Men’s Bahama Vent Hightide Shoes
Best Fishing Shoes for Wide Feet
Columbia’s Bahama Vent Hightide is the perfect shoe for the guy who likes to be outdoors in his spare time. Designed specifically for fishing, the wide-fit shoe has water- and stain-resistant uppers. The outsole provides traction on wet surfaces. The lightweight EVA midsole is built for comfort.
Clarks Mira Sun Sandals
Best Wide-Fit Sandals for Standing All Day
It’s no easy task finding sandals in a wide fit, but that’s where Clarks’ Mira Sun sandals come in. Choose between a regular and wide fit, then take advantage of the adjustable straps to get the comfort level just right. There’s extra padding on the heel strap and an ultra-cushioned insole so you can stand and walk comfortably for the entire day.
LifeStride Women’s Kascade Espadrilles
Best Espadrilles for Wide Feet
While sneakers may be the easiest shoe category to find in multiple widths, niche styles are harder to come by in more than on width. The LifeStride Kascade is an espadrille wedge sandal that’s available in a wide-size option for all your summer soirees. The rounded toe is conducive for those with wide feet. The wedge heel is comfortable and easy to walk in.
Ataiwee Women’s Flats
Best Women’s Flats for Wide Feet
The Ataiwee women’s flats were designed to be a more giving version of the less-than-comfortable flats and loafers you’re used to. Perfect for wearing to the office, they’re available in several neutral shades. The soft footbed is padded with flexible EVA foam. The flexible construction allows you to move comfortably.
La Milano Men’s Oxfords
Best Men’s Oxfords for Wide Feet
Because everyone deserves to be comfortable in their shoes, even when wearing a suit for formal occasions, La Milano‘s men’s oxford comes in a wide fit. Genuine leather is durable and attractive. The insole features a gel comfort footbed to make hours of standing bearable. Since these have an extra-wide width, customers advise ordering a half size down from your regular size.
Deer Stags Men’s Wherever Slippers
Best Men’s Slippers for Wide Feet
The Deer Stags Wherever slipper for men comes in a regular or wide fit, so even larger feet can enjoy all the comfort of cushy slippers at home without any chafing or pinching. The durable outsole means you can even wear them out of the house, or at least to the mailbox. They have faux shearling lining and make a crowd-pleasing gift.
Meet the Experts
Dr. Bruce Pinker is a board-certified podiatrist and foot surgeon of Progressive Foot Care in New York state. He has experience with foot and ankle trauma, foot and ankle surgery, diabetic foot injuries and infections, dermatology and disorders of the foot, as well as general medicine and general surgery.
Michael Fishkin is a certified pedorthist and currently treats patients at Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists.