Very often, shoe sizes have been simplified to a single number such as US size 7, Europe size 26, etc. These figures assume that the proportion of length width for all is the same. But as you might expect, some people have wider feet than others. For those of you who have wide feet and who constantly wear uncomfortable shoes for work and for exercises every day, it makes your feet sore or may even hurt. Some may think that going to work every day automatically will give them pain in their feet no matter what shoes they wear and they think it is normal. No, it's not. Do you know it doesn't have to be this way? At least you can relieve the pain or pressure of your feet if you wear shoes that actually fit you. That is why you should at least try on a pair of wide-width shoes and see if you are doing well. You are supposed to notice the difference between inappropriate shoes and perfectly fitted shoes as soon as you wear them.
Myth: Wearing shoes with a wide width makes you look clumsy
No women want their feet to 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 inch wider than narrow. I would say that 99% of people can't tell the difference with the naked eye. The difference in appearance is so small while it makes a world of difference for the comfort level of your feet.
How to label the shoe widths
In the United States, there are generally 9 sizes for width, namely AAA, AA, A, B, C, D, E, EE and EEE, with AAA being the narrowest and EEE being the widest. For women, B is often considered medium or medium. C and D are considered as wide and E are marked as extra wide. So if you feel that most shoes you try 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.)
Some may think that wide shoes usually come in the form of flats. Actually, no, there are all kinds of heels, sandals, flats and sports shoes. For those of you who need 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 trying on different widths until you find your perfect pair. Keep in mind that width D for one shoe manufacturer usually does not translate perfectly to another manufacturer. I will go as far as, even for the same shoe manufacturer, different shoes of 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 though it looks like I absolutely love, if the right size and width is not available.
Wearing a pair of flat, wide sandals on the weekends is so relaxing. Let your feet get more fresh air when you're not working. Although you feel good, if you need to go longer (say even 2 km), you should wear shoes that are more supportive of your walk. It feels good at first, but with almost no shock-absorbing ability at all, you will easily increase the pressure on your feet and legs and increase their chance of being injured. That said, if you don't work out or walk for 5 hours in a mall, the flat, wide sandals are your perfect shoe for spending time with friends over the weekends.
Long shoes with wide width
Not every pair of running shoes makes you feel comfortable, although all the great TV and online commercials make us believe that all popular brands have wonderful and supportive running shoes that you can trust. Not saying that these ads are lies, but everyone has very different feet. And many of the shoes out on the market are usually for so-called "average" foot width. I am pleased to see that there are some popular manufacturers working to make bespoke shoes more accessible as the technology has continuously evolved. But before custom-made sports shoes are really so practical that everyone can afford to do that, I'm glad there are still a few shoe manufacturers that have rows of running shoes that are made wider for people with wide feet. If you have wide feet, I recommend trying Asics and Puma. For Asics, most lines are fairly wide. For Puma, most lines are not that wide. But there are some lines that I tried that are really light and wide, which makes me feel really comfortable when I go jogging or walking.
As another point I want to touch on when it comes to jogging, my feet tend to get bigger after say 15 minutes of jogging. I don't know the exact science behind it. This may be due to the blood flowing fasting or the constant shock that the feet directly experience. It just feels so far to me, and it feels awful to have shoes that surround the sides of my feet super tight. So for running shoes I usually buy the ones that are wider than the shoes I wear for work. Maybe it's just something for me, but if you also feel a lot of stress in your feet running in narrow shoes, it might be something you can explore.
Buy wide-width shoes online or in local stores?
I have a mixed response to this. I am a blogger who has every reason to support online shopping for shoes. And it is so much easier to find wide-width shoes online than in most of your local shoe stores. But frankly, I usually buy shoes from local stores like someone who has a pair of wide feet. I usually only buy shoes online, when I change exactly the same shoes I have, say when it's time to change my running shoes and I decide to stick to the same style. Sometimes I also do this when I buy from the same line of shoes from the same shoe production. The size and width are usually very similar for the same manufacture and the same line. But there was a case in my past experience that I can feel a significant difference and the shoes did not feel so good that I ended up not being able to wear them at all.
This is an interesting blog post because I have a few broad feet and I simply speak based on my own experience and feelings. I remember slowly getting rid of my tenderness in my left calf a few years ago, after getting a pair of wide running shoes. Since then I have used it for all my running, walking and intensive shopping (I think shopping is pretty intense if the mall is large and I have to shop at least half a day). I have never tried different widths for your shoes, make sure you go ahead and try if you are not sure to say that you feel very comfortable with the shoes you have right now. Find your perfect shoes that help relieve your stress and soreness.
If you think this blog post is useful, make sure you also check out our other articles which also give you very useful information and tips to help you look like the best you can be, inside and outside.