Do You Need Wide, Narrow,
or Standard Shoes?
Whether you need wide or
narrow shoes, or standard fitting shoes, depends on the width of your feet.
I’ve been told that I have
a wide foot. I sometimes buy a
wide style of dress shoe, but rarely do I need to do that in an athletic
shoe. That being said, some brands
of athletic shoe seem wider than others.
I’ve never been able to fit
comfortably in Nike shoes no matter what type I try – running shoes, cross
trainers, walking shoes, etc.
Nikes just seem very narrow with less room, especially in the toe
area. My daughter, on the other
hand, has been told she has narrow feet.
But believe it or not, she isn’t comfortable in Nikes either!
I feel most comfortable in
Adidas, and she likes New Balance best.
Both of these brands just seem roomier. But these are just our experiences, and you may find other
brands to be a better fit depending on your own foot width.
The "W" indicates this is a wide shoe.
Foot Width Facts
Here are some general facts
about foot width and wide and narrow shoes that should give you a better idea
of where you fall in this spectrum:
- Some shoe companies don’t make shoes with
different widths because it’s more expensive to make a greater
variety. So people with wide
or narrow feet may have fewer options.
- There is no universal standard for shoe sizes
or shoe widths. The Brannock
device used to measure
your feet in a store converts the measurement directly to a size rather
than measuring by inches or centimeters. But different brands may use different measurements for
- Just like foot size, width can also change over your lifetime due
to similar factors such as age, weight gain, fluid retention, pregnancy,
- It can be most helpful to measure your own feet
at home using inches or centimeters.
Measure length as well as width, and you can take this information
with you to stores or use it when shopping online to help you get the best
- Width of the foot is measured across the widest
part of your foot. The best
way to do this is to trace your foot on a piece of paper and then measure
it in inches or centimeters.
You should subtract about ¼ inch or ½ centimeter from your
measurement to account for the width of your pencil.
- Always measure the width of both feet, not just
one, because they could actually be different. Use the larger of the two measurements as your width
when shoe shopping.
- You can measure the width of your feet and
check charts at a variety of online sites to see if you are considered
wide, narrow, or standard.
Just do a search for a foot width chart.
- Shoes are generally available in narrow,
medium, wide, and extra wide widths.
Some athletic shoes also have extra narrow widths.
- Generally in a wide shoe, it’s the upper
material in the forefoot that is wider than in a standard width shoe, but
the platform of the shoe is the same. But in an extra wide shoe, the upper is wider and the
platform is wider as well.
- Similarly, in a narrow shoe, it’s the upper
material of the shoe’s forefoot that is narrower than that of a standard
width shoe while the platform is the same. But both the upper and the platform are narrower in an
extra narrow shoe.
- Some shoes even come with extra depth, not just
width. It might help to look
for this if you’ve tried on the widest shoe possible and your foot still
does not feel like it has enough space.
Wide and Narrow Shoes
As I researched all the
different athletic shoe brands for this website, I found many that offer shoes for wide and narrow
feet. If you’ve determined that
you fit into one of these categories, please check the descriptions of each
brand on this website and/or use the links I’ve provided to the shoes’ websites
for more details.
Athletic Shoe Review
Choosing the Right Shoes
Wide and Narrow Shoes