When I married my husband, he wore size 12 shoes. We were young, and he looked well enough put together, so I barely noticed that he dragged his feet a bit and that his sneakers always looked a bit floppy.
When he got his first corporate job and went clothes shopping, he also had his feet measured and found out that his shoes were not a size 12 at all. They were a 10 ½ EEE!
Why was he so far off? At some point, he stopped getting his feet measured and started buying a bigger shoe size when his feet were uncomfortable.
- His big toe hurt, he bought a bigger shoe.
- His pinkie toe hurt, he bought a bigger size shoe.
- The side of his feet hurt, he bought a bigger size shoe.
Are you making the same mistake?
True Shoe Size
To find out your true shoe size, try this step-by-step tutorial which shows how to measure your feet for sizing.
Finding Shoes For Wide Feet
Of course, it’s not easy to find the right shoes when you have wide feet. You may spend a lot of time searching for well-fitting shoes. You may go in many shoe stores and leave without any shoes at all before finally finding the right pair.
The one thing you cannot do, however, is give in and settle for shoes hoping to stretch them out or just grin and bear it. Buying the wrong shoes just because they look good will hurt your feet more in the end. You have to be persistent and methodical about finding shoes that fit well.
When you do come across a shoe that fits perfectly, record the designer, shape, and size. And remember where you got it, so future shoe shopping will become a more pleasant experience.
When looking for specialty shoes, especially for hard-to-fit sizes, an online search might be your best bet. Manolo’s shoe blog makes the following recommendation:
If you wish to see more of the shoes that are in the wider (or the longer) sizes, the Zappos, they have the search engine that can accommodate this. Much more difficult to find, however, than the sizes the C, the D, or the W, are the sizes the E, the EE, and the WW. Here the options they are reduced. The search of the Zappos, and the search of the sites specifically for the wide feet, like the DesignerShoes.com, show that the selections they leave much to be desired.
Other Options For Finding Wide Shoes
If you have the money, consider having your shoes custom made.
When looking for running shoes, ladies should consider getting fitted for men’s shoes. The size would be about 1-½ to 2 shoe sizes smaller.
The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society says "Women who have big or wide feet should consider buying men’s or boys’ shoes which are cut wider for the same length."
Feet Get Wider With Age
You may have noticed that as you age, your feet seem to be getting wider. That’s because they are!
According to Dr. Charles Saltzman from Wide Medical Shoes, "As we age, our feet widen and lengthen, yet most people seldom change the size of their shoes. So it is important to continue having your feet measured and changing the shape of your shoes as you age. After all, the last things you want are foot deformities."
A survey by the Council on Women’s Shoewear found that women have no foot pain or deformity if they wear dress shoes no more than a quarter-inch narrower than the foot, or sports shoes that are the same width of the foot. In order to determine the width of your foot, stand on a stool to place all the weight on the foot. Then measure the widest part of the foot and compare it to the measurement of the widest part on the bottom of the shoe. If the width is more than a half-inch narrower than the foot, you have a higher chance of developing foot pain or deformities. Source