Three pairs of barefeet on a wood floor.

Wide Feet: Why You Have Them & What You Can Do

by Mark Paigen 7 minute read

Wondering why you have wide feet?  Looking for ways to make your wide feet more comfortable?  This article will explore the causes of wide feet and provide practical solutions for comfortable footwear.

The Basics: TL;DR ---

  • Identification. Wondering if you have wide feet? Measure your foot width and look for signs like tight shoes or blisters along the sides of your feet.
  • Causes. Genetics, aging, weight, foot conditions, and pregnancy can lead to wide feet.
  • Foot Care. Wide feet can require special care. Maintain foot health through regular stretching, exercises, proper hygiene, and weight management.
  • Footwear. Select shoes with wide toe boxes, adjustable features, and breathable materials, to ensure they are comfortable for wide feet.
  • Insoles for Wide Feet. Choose wide insoles that offer semi-custom fit, arch and heel support, and are made from durable materials, like the Tread Labs Pace Wide insoles.

What You Need To Know ---

If you have wide feet, it's important to choose appropriately sized footwear and insoles, maintain diligent foot care, and understand the factors contributing to your foot shape. To determine if you have wide feet, check the fit of your shoes and measure your foot width. Common causes include genetics, lifestyle factors, and aging.

Proper care involves regular foot exercises and maintaining good foot hygiene. When it comes to footwear, opt for shoes with wide toe boxes and breathable materials for comfort. For added support, insoles like Tread Labs Pace Wide, can make a significant difference in comfort and foot health.

 Shop Insoles for Wide Feet

Table of Contents ---

  1. How To Know If You Have Wide Feet
  2. Why Do I Have Wide Feet?
  3. Foot Care Tip for Wide Feet
  4. Footwear for Wide Feet
  5. Insoles for Wide Feet

How To Know If You Have Wide Feet

Determining if you have wide feet is essential for finding the right footwear. What is a wide foot? Do you have wide feet? Here’s how you can figure it out:

  1. Measure Your Foot Width. Place your foot on a piece of paper and trace around it. Measure the widest part of the outline. The table below provides an approximation of shoe widths in inches, across different U.S. shoe sizes for women and men. Remember, these measurements are approximate and can differ between shoe manufacturers.

    Women's Sizing
    Size A (narrow) B (medium) D/E (wide) EE (extra wide)
    5 3.00" 3.13" 3.32" 3.63"
    6 3.12" 3.25" 3.44" 3.75"
    7 3.24" 3.37" 3.56" 3.87"
    8 3.36" 3.49" 3.68" 3.99"
    9 3.48" 3.61" 3.80" 4.11"
    10 3.60" 3.73" 3.92" 4.23"
    11 3.72" 3.85" 4.04" 4.35"
    12 3.84" 3.97" 4.16"


    Men's Sizing
    Size C (narrow) D (medium) EE (wide) 3E (extra wide)
    4 3.07" 3.25" 3.44" 3.64"
    5 3.17" 3.35" 3.54" 3.74"
    6 3.27" 3.45" 3.64" 3.84"
    7 3.37" 3.55" 3.74" 3.94"
    8 3.47" 3.65" 3.84" 4.04"
    9 3.57" 3.75" 3.94" 4.14"
    10 3.67" 3.85" 4.04" 4.24"
    11 3.77" 3.95" 4.14" 4.34"
    12 3.87" 4.05" 4.24" 4.44"
    13 3.97" 4.10" 4.29" 4.49"


  2. Evaluate Shoe Fit. Notice if your current shoes often feel tight around the sides. If your feet feel squeezed or if you regularly develop blisters or calluses on the sides of your feet, your shoes might be too narrow.

  3. Look for Signs. Common signs of wide feet include discomfort in standard-width shoes, especially after long periods of wearing them. If the front of your shoes often wears out or stretches, you may have wide feet.  What do wide feet look like?  Wide feet have a broader forefoot and there may be a noticeable spreading of the toes.

  4. Get a Professional Measurement. For the most accurate determination, consider getting your feet measured professionally at a shoe store. They can provide precise measurements and advice on shoe sizes and widths.

These methods should help you confidently identify whether you have wide feet and move towards selecting footwear that ensures both comfort and style.


Bare feet in the sand with red toenails.

Why Do I Have Wide Feet?

Wide feet can be the result of various factors, ranging from genetics to lifestyle choices. Understanding these causes will help you select the right footwear and manage any related foot issues. Here are the main factors that cause different types of wide feet:

  1. Genetics. Just like height or eye color, the width of your feet can be inherited from your parents. If your family members have wide feet, there's a higher chance that you will too.

  2. Age. As you get older, your feet can naturally spread out. The ligaments and tendons in your feet may stretch over time, leading to a wider foot.

  3. Weight. Carrying extra weight can put additional pressure on your feet, causing them to flatten and widen. This is why maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for foot health.

  4. Foot Conditions. Certain foot conditions, like flat feet or bunions, can change the shape of your feet, often resulting in wider feet.

  5. Pregnancy. During pregnancy, hormonal changes can loosen the ligaments in the feet, causing them to widen. This change can sometimes be permanent.


Are Wide Feet Healthy? Foot Care Tips for Wide Feet.

With proper care, wide feet can be just as healthy as any other foot type. Here are some key tips for how to fix wide feet if they are causing discomfort:

  1. Regular Stretching and Exercises. Strengthening and stretching the muscles in your feet can help maintain their health. Simple exercises like toe curls or spreading your toes can improve flexibility and support foot structure.

  2. Maintain a Healthy Weight. Extra weight can increase the pressure on your feet, leading to further widening and discomfort. Managing a healthy weight can alleviate some of the stress on your feet.

  3. Proper Foot Hygiene. Keep your feet clean and dry to prevent infections, which can be more problematic in wider feet due to moisture accumulation. Use foot powder if necessary to keep feet dry.

  4. Regular Check-ups. Visit a podiatrist, especially if you experience pain or discomfort. They can provide tailored advice and treatment options for your wide feet.

By following these tips, individuals with wide feet can ensure their feet remain comfortable and healthy. Read 'Taking Care of Feet: An Essential Guide with Helpful Tips' to learn more. This care is crucial for preventing foot problems and maintaining overall foot health.


Looking down on a pair of wide white shoes

Selecting the Right Footwear for Wide Feet

Choosing suitable shoes for wide feet is crucial for comfort and foot health. Here's how to find the right footwear:

  1. Understand Your Foot Measurements. It's important to know your foot's length and width. Use these measurements when selecting shoes, as sizes can vary between brands.

  2. Look for Shoes with Wide Toe Boxes. Opt for shoes with a wider toe box to allow your toes to spread naturally. This helps to reduce cramping and pressure.

  3. Check for Adjustable Features. Shoes with laces, buckles, or Velcro straps can be adjusted for a better fit, which is particularly beneficial for wide feet.

  4. Opt for Breathable Materials. Choose shoes made from materials like leather or breathable mesh. These materials mold to the shape of your feet and provide more comfort for wide feet.

  5. Test for Comfort. Always walk around in the shoes before purchasing. Try them on in the afternoon or evening when your feet are the most swollen.

  6. Avoid Pointy Toes and High Heels. Shoes with pointy toes can squeeze wide feet, and high heels can put pressure on the front of the foot. Choose shoes with a round or square toe for better comfort.

Selecting the right shoes involves more than just size; it's about finding footwear that accommodates the unique shape of your feet while providing support and style. While properly fitted shoes are essential, shoe inserts for wide feet can also enhance comfort.

 Tread Labs Review of Pace Wide Insoles, "Kelly T Verified Buyer 5 months ago Best insoles I've EVER had!!! I broke my foot a few years ago and I have been looking for insoles That would help with the new issues that I have been having. Fallen arches, extra wide at this point. This insole has made an amazing improvement in my life. I can't wait to buy more! I would recommend them to everyone!! Review left on: Pace Wide Insoles - Men 8-8.5 || Women 9-9.5 || EU 40-41 / Low"

Selecting Insoles for Wide Feet

Orthotics for wide feet play a crucial role in providing comfort and support. Here's what you need to know about selecting the right insoles for extra wide feet:

  1. Custom Fit for Wide Feet. Look for insoles for wide shoes that are specifically designed for wider footwear. These will offer a better fit inside your shoes, ensuring that your entire foot is supported without any crowding.

  2. Arch Support. Proper arch support is essential. It helps distribute your weight evenly across your feet, reducing pressure on wider areas. There are even insoles for wide flat feet. Make sure that the insole arch height matches your arch type, whether it’s low, medium, high or extra high.

  3. Heel Support. A deep heel cup in the insole can stabilize the heel and ankle. This is beneficial for wide feet as it helps align your feet correctly, reducing the risk of overpronation or supination. A deep heel cup will also help with shock absorption.

  4. Material Quality. Look for high-quality materials that offer both durability and firm support when choosing insoles for big feet. Materials like high-density plastic and carbon fiber will retain their shape forever, providing the most long-lasting support.

  5. Activity-Specific Insoles. If you're active or involved in sports, consider activity-specific insoles that provide targeted support for your needs.

By choosing the right insoles, you can significantly enhance the comfort and support of your footwear. For those with wide feet, it’s not just about wider shoes, but also about insoles that cater to their unique foot structure and needs.

Tread Labs Pace Insole Wide

The Best Insoles for Wide Feet

Selecting the best insoles for wide feet is a crucial step towards achieving foot comfort and health. When it comes to finding the best insoles for wide feet, Tread Labs Pace Wide insoles stand out as a superior choice. Specially crafted for wide feet, these insoles are available in four distinct arch heights that cater to a full range of arch profiles.

They feature deep heel cups, essential for stabilizing the heel and ankle, and are designed to improve foot alignment. Constructed from high-density plastic and durable PU foam, Pace Wide insoles are designed to withstand constant use while maintaining their shape and support.


Tread Labs Review of Pace Wide Insoles, "John R Verified Buyer 5 months ago Great Insoles I’ve got all three versions for different shoes. I wear a 2E in my gym shoes, and these fit perfectly.    Only downside I have is that the 20% coupon I got from my first purchase didn’t work on my most recent purchase. That said, I’d still buy them. Review left on: Pace Wide Insoles - Men 11-11.5 || Women 12-12.5 || EU 44-44.5 / High"


 Shop Pace Wide Insoles

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