Wearing shoes that are too narrow for your feet can cause painful foot conditions such as ingrown toenails, Morton’s neuroma, corns, calluses, and metatarsalgia. If you’re experiencing any of these conditions, switching to wide or extra-wide shoes can provide an amazing level of relief and comfort.
However, it’s not always easy to find wide-width shoes as most shoes are developed for the average foot, which requires a medium width shoe. Medium-width shoes, unlike wide-width shoes, can be purchased at conventional shoe stores. Wide shoes, however, can be found at orthopedic shoe companies, which design and develop shoes that can accommodate wider feet. Wide, extra-wide, and even extra-extra-wide shoes can be a lifesaver for people with wide or swollen feet and for those who suffer from foot conditions such as bunions, hammertoes or corns.
How is width measured?
There are three factors taken into consideration that determines shoe width:
1. the length of the foot;
2. the measurement between the widest points on the foot, i.e., the outer edge of the foot to the inner edge of the forefoot area (known as ball width);
3. the circumference of the instep (known as instep girth).
Wide width shoes are wider across the shoe, deeper from top to bottom, roomier in the toe box area and have a generous instep to accommodate wide or swollen feet.
How medium and wide shoes are marked?
Whereas medium-width shoes often don’t include a width label, wide-width shoes come with a label indicating their width. Therapeutic shoes or orthopedic shoes such as Orthofeet shoes, are available in wider widths, and the width is designated by letters. The letters differ for men and women since men’s feet tend to be larger and wider than women’s feet. Normally a wide width shoe for women is indicated with the letter D; for men a wide width shoe is indicated with 2E. Women’s Extra-wide shoes for women are indicated with 2E and for men a extra-wide width shoe is indicated with 4E. The Orthofeet shoe sizing chart has a complete list of the different width sizes for men and women.
For most people requiring wider shoes, a wider shoe at the ball- of-the-foot and toe-box is most important. When measured at the ball-of-the-foot, the difference between shoe widths is approximately 1/4”. A wide width is 1/4” wider than a medium width and an extra wide width is 1/2” wider than a medium width. People with foot swelling or edema may benefit from additionally measuring their instep girth, which will help them choose the appropriate shoe width. In general, the instep girth of the shoe increases 3/16” for every increase in width for the same length.
How to find comfortable wide-width shoes
There are important features to look for in comfortable wide shoes to ensure that they fit properly, and provide comfort, support and pain relief, such as the ones found at Orthofeet's orthotic shoes. The extra depth design and the roomy toe-box area provides extra room for toe movement and a comfortable, non-binding fit. Included with every pair of shoes are two sets of removable spacers that allow to adjust the space inside the shoe for a perfect fit. Stretchable materials allow the uppers to perfectly form to the contours of the foot offering a loose, customized fit and easing pressure on bunions and hammertoes. Additionaly, the innovative tie-less system that combines laces and straps on both sides of the shoe eliminates the need for lacing up while fastening and unfastening on both sides of the shoe. For more tips on finding wide-width shoes, please see our blog ‘5 Tips for Buying Wide Width Shoes’.
One of the biggest challenges faced when searching for a good pair of wide width shoes is finding a pair that is stylish as well as comfortable, as there are usually limited style options for comfortable dress shoes for wide feet. Orthofeet shoes, which are biomechanically engineered with unique comfort features, offer a vast selection of wide orthopedic shoes for men and women ranging from casual Mary Janes and dressy heels to boat shoes and formal Oxfords. Our collections are available in a variety of styles and colors in wide, extra wide and in some styles extra-extra-wide width. You can try Orthofeet wide width shoes risk free for 60 days! If you’re not completely satisfied, just return them for a full refund. There are no shipping or re-stocking fees.