Very often, shoe sizes have been simplified to a single number such as US size 7, Europe size 26, etc. These numbers assume that the length-width proportion of everyone is the same. But as you can expect, some people have wider feet than others. For those of you that have wide feet and constantly wear unfitting shoes for work and for exercises everyday, it make your feet sore or may be even in pain. Some may think that going to work everyday will automatically give them pain in their feet regardless of what shoes they wear and they think that’s normal. No, it’s not. Do you know that it doesn’t has to be that way? At least you can ease the pain or pressure for your feet if you wear shoes that actually fit you. That’s why you need to at least try on a pair of wide width shoes and see if you feel good. You are supposed to notice the difference between unfitting shoes and perfectly fitting shoes as soon as you wear them.
The Myth: Wearing Wide Width Shoes Make You Look Clunky
No women want to make their feet look huge. Will a pair of wide width shoes make your feet look bigger? No, it won’t. A pair of wide width shoes is only less than a quarter of an inch wider than a narrow one. I would say 99% of people cannot tell the difference with the naked eye. The difference in appearance is so small while it makes a world of difference for your feet’s comfort level.
How to Label the Shoe Widths
In the US, there are generally 9 sizes for width, namely AAA, AA, A, B, C, D, E, EE and EEE, with AAA being the narrowest and the EEE being the widest. For women, B is often considered the medium or averaged width. C and D are considered as wide width and E is labeled as extra wide. So, if you feel like most of the shoes you try on in local shoe stores are too narrow, look for C, D or E. (For some shoe brands, instead of going EE and EEE, they have F and G. And for some other brands, instead of EE and EEE, they call them 2E and 3E.)
Wide Width Heels
Some may think that wide shoes usually comes in the form of flats. Actually, no, it comes in all forms such as heels, sandals, flats, and sports shoes. For those of you that need to, or like to, wear heels to work, if you are planning to buy your first pair of wide width shoes, make sure you spend a lot of time to try on different widths until you find your perfect pair. Keep in mind that width D for one shoe manufacturer usually doesn’t translate perfectly to another manufacturer. I will go as far as, even for the same shoe manufacturer, different shoes for the same size still sometimes have a difference that you can notice with your feet. So, for myself, I always take my time to try on shoes. I will never buy a pair of shoes, even if it has a look that I absolutely love, if the right size and width is not available.
Wearing a pair of flat, wide sandals in weekends is so relaxing. Let your feet get more fresh air when you are not working. Despite feeling good, if you need to walking a longer distance (say even 2 km), you better wear shoes that are more supportive for your walking. It feels good at first, but with almost no shock absorbing ability at all, you will easily increase the pressure applied to your feet and legs and increase their chance of getting hurt. Having said that, if you are not doing exercise or walking for 5 hours in a mall, the flat, wide sandals is your perfect shoes for hanging out with friends over the weekends.
Wide Width Running Shoes
Not every single pair of running shoes make you feel comfortable, even though all the stunning TV and online commercials make us think that all popular brands have wonderful and supportive running shoes that you can trust. Not saying that those commercials are lies, but everyone has very different feet. And a lot of the shoes out there in the market are usually for so called “average” foot width. I am glad to see that there are some popular manufacturers that are working on making tailor-made shoes more accessible as technology has continuously evolved. But before tailor-made sports shoes are really so convenient to a point that everyone can afford to do it, I am glad that there are still a few shoe manufactures that have lines of running shoes that are made wider for people with wide feet. If you have a wide feet, I would recommend you to try Asics and Puma. For Asics, most lines are quite wide. For Puma, most lines aren’t that wide. But there are a few lines that I tried that are really light and wide, making me feel really comfortable while jogging or walking.
As another point I want to touch on regarding jogging, my feet tends to become larger after say 15 minutes of jogging. I don’t know the exact science behind it. May be it’s because of the blood flowing fasting or the constant shock the feet directly experience. It just feels that way to me, and it feels awful to have shoes that are surrounding the sides of my feet super tightly. So, for running shoes, I usually buy those that are wider than the shoes I wear for work. May be it’s just something for me, but if you also feel a lot of stress in your feet running in narrow shoes, that may be something that you can explore.
Buy Wide Width Shoes Online or in Local Stores?
I have a mixed answer for this. I am a blogger that I have all the reasons to support online shopping for shoes. And it’s so much easier to find wide width shoes online than in most of your local shoe stores. But frankly speaking, most of the time, I buy shoes from local stores as someone that has a pair of wide feet. I usually only buy shoes online, when I am replacing the exact same shoes that I have, say when it’s time to replace my running shoes and I decide to stick to the same style. I also sometimes do it when I am buying from the same line of shoes from the same shoe manufacture. The size and width are, most of the case, very similar for the same manufacture and the same line. But there was one case in my past experience that I can feel a significant difference and the shoes didn’t feel that well that I ended up not being able to wear them at all.
This is an interesting blog post because I have a pair of wide feet and I just simply speak from my own experience and feelings. I remember how I slowly get rid of my soreness in my left calf a few years ago, after I got a pair of wide running shoes. Since then, I used it for all my running, walking, and intense shopping (I consider the shopping quite intense if the mall is big and I have to shop for at least half a day). I you have never tried around different widths for your shoes, make sure you go ahead and try it unless you are confident to say that you are feeling very comfortable with the shoes you have right now. Find your perfectly fitting shoes that help relieve your stress and soreness.
If you find this blog post helpful, make sure you also check out our other articles that also give you very helpful information and tips to help you make yourself look the best that you can be, inside and outside.