Best Shoes For Wide Feet

Shoes with a generous toe box for wide feet.

If you have wide feet, you know it can be a struggle to find stylish shoes with the space you need. Even though millions of Americans have wide feet, most shoe designers aren’t meeting the demand for wide shoes that deliver comfort and fashion.

Try finding cute sneakers or chic dress shoes for wide feet—women’s or men’s—and you run into racks of shoes as unappealing as they are out of date.

But there’s good news for people with wide feet. Smart shoe designers have finally caught up! Now you have real options for foot shaped shoes that flatter your feet and fit your fashion, all while providing the space and support you need to move in comfort.

What are Wide Feet?

When you think about it, labeling feet “wide” is only relative. Each person has the right size feet to support their own body. The reason we label some feet as “wide feet” is that the shoe industry designs shoes using a general standard for size. So feet that are wider than the average shoe design are considered “wide feet.” The measurement for width is taken at the widest part of the foot—usually across the ball of the foot, between the big toe joint and the small toe joint.

Wide fitting shoes measure only one-half to three-quarters of an inch more in the toe box than narrow fitting shoes. So it’s imperative to select shoes with that extra room to keep your feet healthy and problem-free. Most of the problems people with wide feet deal with—such as bunions, calluses, or foot pain—are simply caused by shoes that are too tight.

People with wide feet are also more prone to developing flat feet, so they benefit from shoes with arch support. Ladies’ styles are more likely to feature narrow or pointed toes, so women may need to search for shoes that offer proper support and enough space. Choosing footwear with a generous toe box will help you minimize the problems that people with wide feet sometimes experience.

Shoes that are too tight can cause a range of foot problems, from bunions to calluses to foot pain. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to relieve the discomfort of wide feet, including using a water bottle foot massage technique that can help relieve tension and promote relaxation. Check out the video below for a demonstration.

  • Woman wearing KURU ATOM QUANTUM shoes for wide feet.

Most Common Causes & Risk Factors for Developing Wide Feet

Learn more about wide feet, the complications they can cause, and how to care for them.

Some people are born with a genetic blueprint for wide feet, but other factors like obesity or injury may also contribute. Wide feet are usually not a cause for concern in and of themselves, but when they bump up against fashion trends that favor narrow footwear: the painful problems begin!

Several factors can cause wide feet, and studies of the general population show that average foot size has been increasing over the past 30 years. Here are some of the causes of wide feet:

  • Genetics
    Feet come in all shapes and sizes, and there will always be a certain percentage of people on the wide side. While wide feet can present a challenge for finding footwear, they also have benefits. Some say they help with balance and give athletes an advantage in sprinting and swimming.
    Genetics
  • Age
    As you get older, gravity and time cause the ligaments and tendons in your body to loosen. This affects your foot as well, causing it to get longer and wider.
    Age
  • Pregnancy
    Many women move up half a shoe size or even a full shoe size during pregnancy due to relaxin, a pregnancy hormone that causes ligaments to loosen in preparation for childbirth.
    Pregnancy
  • Foot deformities
    Foot deformities such as calluses, bunions, crossover toe, and hammer toe cause your feet to take up more space inside a shoe, even if they don’t make your foot wider. Choosing footwear with a wide toe box can help relieve pain and pressure, and give your feet some space to heal.
    Foot deformities
  • Going barefoot
    People who go barefoot tend to have wider feet than those who wear shoes most of the time.
    Going barefoot
  • Swelling
    If you experience swelling and don’t know the cause—such as injury or medication—it’s important to see a doctor to rule out any serious health conditions.
    Swelling

Facts and Stats

We take a look at some facts and stats you might not have known about wide feet. Read on to find out more!

FAQs

  • What widths do you offer? Do you have wide or narrow widths?

    All of our styles are offered in medium (standard) width, and some are available in wide width. Each product description page also includes fit notes and width measurements.

    Our sizes are based on the Brannock device, which is that metal measuring plate you can find in most shoe stores. If you are unsure which size or width you need, we highly recommend getting your foot measured.

    Women’s
    Medium: B
    Wide: C+ (Other brands may label their wide shoes as CC, 2C, W, or just C.)

    Men’s
    Medium: D
    Wide: E+ (Other brands may label their wide shoes as EE, 2E, W, or just E.)

  • What are the best shoes for wide feet?

    The best shoes for wide feet offer a generous toe box (you should be able to wiggle your toes), good arch support, and a wide, supportive sole. When shopping for the best dress shoes for wide feet, go for styles that have laces or other closures that keep the shoe in place on your foot. This will help keep your toes from getting jammed up in the front of the shoe.

  • How should I lace shoes if I have wide feet?

    The way you lace your shoes can help relieve pressure on your toes. Try this pattern for lacing your shoes to accommodate wider feet:

    1. Begin lacing the first couple of holes with the normal criss-cross pattern.

    2. Skip the next one or two eyelets on both sides, then lace up the next hole.

    3. Repeat this pattern up to the top.

    Check out our Step-by-Step Lacing Guide for more information on lacing shoes for a wide forefoot!

  • How do I stretch shoes for wide feet?

    If you need to stretch shoes to fit, they’re not the right fit for you. If you have to go through a stretching process, it will involve pressure and wear on the areas of your feet that you’re trying to protect. Take the time to find the right fit to give your wide feet the support and coverage they need.

  • How do I know what shoe width I should buy?

    KURUs, and many shoes, are sized based on the Brannock device—which is that metal measuring plate you can find in most shoe stores. If you are unsure which size or width you need, we highly recommend getting your foot measured.

    You can also measure your feet at home this way. It’s easiest if you can find someone to help you:

    1. Tape a sheet of plain paper to the floor with one end against a wall

    2. Put your foot on the paper with your heel flush against the wall

    3. Trace the outline of your foot

    4. Use a ruler to measure the longest and widest parts of the outline in centimeters

    5. Compare measurements with the Brannock size chart

    KURU cannot provide an accurate size recommendation based on inches, centimeters, or a foot drawing. We make it easy to find your fit with free shipping and returns/exchanges in the domestic US. Go ahead and try them on first to make sure you are soulmates before you commit to being sole mates.

Key Considerations Before Making Your Purchase

Caring for wide feet can be challenging, but it’s much easier when you know the right steps to take. In most cases, the best solution is the simplest: always wear shoes made for wide feet.

Selecting foot shaped shoes with the proper support and style will pay off right out of the gate! When your feet are comfortable, you’re able to focus on the things you want to do rather than the pain that’s slowing you down.

The best shoes for wide feet provide more than just extra space in the toe box. Whether you’re shopping for sandals, flip flops, dress shoes, or boots—look for these features to give your wide feet the room, comfort, and support they need:

 

  • Generous Toe Box
    Plenty of space in the toe box shields your big and little toes from pressure and rubbing. This allows your feet to move freely without friction. If you’ve developed bunions or other deformities, you need to give those areas the space they need to heal. For women’s shoes, C widths and beyond are considered wide. For men, wide widths begin at E and go from there.
    Generous Toe Box
  • Good Arch Support
    People with wide feet are more likely to develop flatfoot, a condition in which your feet lose their arch. This can cause leg cramps, foot pain, and muscle pain in your feet or legs. Look for good arch support to help promote proper foot stability and distribute pressure evenly across your foot.
    Good Arch Support
  • Well-designed Sole
    The best shoes for wide feet have a firm, supportive heel and a broad sole. While you may have to pass on some styles with creative sole designs, it’s best to choose shoes with soles that don’t cut away in the center. Instead, go for the shoes with soles that provide support all the way from the heel through the toe box.
    Well-designed Sole
  • Avoid Pointy Shoes and Slip-ons
    While they can be stylish and convenient, these types of shoes can exacerbate problems for people with wide feet. Unless made specifically for wide feet, pointy shoes don’t provide enough room for your toes. And slip-on shoes cause your feet to slide forward, causing crowding and pressure in the toe box. Opt for shoes with closures, such as laces or velcro, or sandals with straps.
    Avoid Pointy Shoes and Slip-ons

Three Layers of Support

At KURU, we pride ourselves on our unique approach to shoe design. We believe that shoes should be shaped to fit the natural contours of your feet, which is why we create every pair in three distinct support layers, not just an insole.

Our revolutionary ergonomic design starts with a curved footbed and adds unparalleled triple-layer support that includes shock-absorbing KURUCLOUD, heel-cupping KURUSOLE, and arch-supporting ULTIMATE INSOLES. The result? Shoes that are so comfortable you’ll stop thinking about your feet.

  • 1

    KURUSOLE

  • 2

    KURUCLOUD

  • 3

    ULTIMATE INSOLE

  • How KURU brings relief

    KURUSOLE

    Every shoe we make comes with the patented power of KURUSOLE, so you can shop our full selection of wide offerings knowing you’ll get Pain Relief Beyond Belief! Unlike anything else, KURUSOLE dynamically flexes to hug your heels with each step and protect you from impact to keep you moving.

Our Secret

Animated GIF showing KURUSOLE tech in KURU shoes vs. typical flat interiors for plantar fasciitis pain.
Why Others Love KURU

Why Others Love KURU

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ratings.

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Great walking shoe. These sneakers are quite comfortable. I did exactly what the instructions advised before wearing all day. Glad they come in a wide. I normally wear 7.5 medium or 7 wide. I purchased these in 7W. Nice fit and support. I am on my feet a lot as I am a paraprofessional working with active students, these do not disappoint! Had plantar fasciitis past tense, until I started wearing these.”

SarahShoe

Completely awesome!! I’ve been buying all kinds of different types of plantar fasciitis support insoles and shoes ever since I was diagnosed with it while on active duty in the U.S. Navy. Also, being 6’2” and 302lbs it definitely doesn’t help my feet. I haven’t had a product that really gave me the full heel and plantar fasciitis/arch support and especially overall comfort!! Not to mention the really roomy toe box! I am so glad that I purchased these quantum 14 wide shoes and I am already setup for notifications on the chicane and kinetics in the same size. I absolutely recommend everyone to at least try it, much aloha Kuru!!!!”

LAKA

Wide toe box! These shoes have a wide toe box. Perfect! The heel to toe drop is perfect for my heel bursitis. The arch support is great for long distance walking.”

Suzee B

Great for Wide Feet! The Chicane Wide is great for wide feet and standing for long hours. I am a healthcare worker who spends a great deal of time on my feet. The Kuru Sole technology have a little bit of give, which helps minimize pain and fatigue when when standing for long hours. I used to buy size wide shoes from other major shoe brands but have recently noticed that their Wide shoes are no longer truly wide, which causes pinching and does not provide enough support. So I decided to give these a try back in 2020. I love how generously roomy these Chicane Wides are! Personally, I feet that these are true to size. My most recent order is already my third pair of Chicane. These shoes will provide lasting comfort if you have wide feet and spend a lot of time on your feet. Highly recommended!”

Justin L

Fabulous sturdy shoe! I’m always looking for a well-made, all-weather, sturdy shoe that comes in wide. This is it! Looking forward to enjoying it for years.”

Taxicat

Recommended Shoes for Wide Feet

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