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How to Tell if you Have Wide Feet

How to Tell if you Have Wide Feet

Foot sizing can vary depending on age, gender, body structure, height, weight. The variations may affect both the length and width of feet. Foot sizing can also be determined by other conditions such as genetics or even pregnancy in women.

Finding perfectly fitting shoes can prove to be an arduous task today, thanks to all the different sizing, numbering, descriptions, and terminologies used to define shoe-sizing. If finding shoes that perfectly fit your feet is usually a problem for you, chances are you have wide feet.

What is Considered as Wide Feet

Your shoe fits are perfectly lengthwise but feel somewhat crampy on the sides and in the forefoot section. This cramp may be a crystal clear indication that you should be shopping in the wide-width shoe section.

Wide-width shoes are a more relaxed fit shoe. They have a general look like the regular shoe, with the only difference being that they have an increased forefoot width and toe box area. These adjustments are meant to accommodate people with broad or flat feet.

  • Genetics is the most obvious one. If you have wide feet, chances are you are not the only one in the family. You can easily trace the trait to one of your parents or even your grandparents.
  •  Age. As you get older, your feet tend to grow taller and broader because the tendons and ligaments located in your feet loosen.
  • Edema is a swelling phenomenon. An extensive number of medical reasons can cause it. It may cause the feet to swell, increasing width either long-term or short-term.

While having wide feet can prove to be a hustle most times, it comes with some delightful perks. Wide feet help with balance and other athletic abilities like swimming and sprinting.

How to Measure Your Foot Width

Your foot width is the distance between the widest points of your feet. If you still don’t know for sure about your foot sizing or how to pick the right shoe for your feet, you can use the simple steps below to get your correct feet measurements instantly.

Your feet tend to swell up at the end of a long day and therefore are bigger. It is therefore advised to measure your feet at night to cater for this condition.

  • Get two pieces of paper wide enough to fit your foot and tape them firmly on the floor, separately. You can use these to measure your right and left foot separately.
  • Ask someone to trace the outline of your feet as you stand upright over the taped papers. Remember, you can choose to get this done wearing socks depending on whether you’ll wear the shoes with shocks or not.
  • Measure the widest points on the traces using a measuring tape and record the number.
  • Subtract an ⅛ of an inch from the most extensive length you will get either from your right or left foot. Record this as your width.
  • Use any shoe measuring chart of your choice to determine your size based on your measurements.


A sure way to know if you have wide feet from the results you get is to look at your foot sizing and the shoe size you wear. For example, if you get your foot length as 3 9/16″ and you usually wear shoe size 8, that means you have standard feet. However, if you have a shoe sizing of 5, it means you have wider feet. Shopping in the wide shoe section is highly recommended.

Effects of Wearing the Wrong Shoe Size

Humans have been using footwear for centuries now. Although footwear was necessitated by man’s need to protect their feet from the unyielding terrains of the earth, it has certainly evolved to fulfill a wide range of purposes from aesthetic to function and fit.

Because of all these boxes that any perfect shoe has to check, perhaps most people forget the most critical function of a shoe: to feet the morphology(foam) of afoot.

According to research in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, Around 72 percent of people wear shoes that do not accommodate their feet’ length or width dimensions. It is a resounding number, but it is not surprising considering the number of reported medical conditions associated with the wrong footwear.

The same research evidenced foot pain and deformities such as corns, calluses, and lesser toe deformities with incorrect footwear fitting.

Bunions are also another medical condition that can be worsened or entirely caused by improper fitting. It is a bump on the joint of your big toe that causes it to move towards your tiny toes. It usually causes redness, swelling, and soreness on the toe, which will cause a lot of on and off pain on the foot. Treatment for bunions involves surgery to either realign or remove some of the tissues on the joint.

Bottom Line

After following the above-recommended suggestions and getting your correct sizing, it is advised that you always focus on the fit of the shoe and how it accommodates your feet. Rember different brands have different sizing, and they might be slightly inconsistent.

Trying out the shoe while standing and working around to see how your feet spread in them is the best way to go about shoe shopping. It will assure you that the shoe you buy truly accommodates your feet. Never buy tight shoes hoping that they will stretch to accommodate your feet.

Wide feet are a normal phenomenon and should be treated as such. The general public should be educated on shoe sizing, especially around foot width. Because a large number of people wear poorly fitted shoes, causing associated medical conditions.

In conclusion, it is always better to pick comfort above all else when it comes to shoes. The primary and perhaps the most fundamental goal of shoes is to protect your feet. Wearing poorly fitted shoes that harm your feet beats that purpose.

Don’t be afraid to shop in the wide-width shoe section. Your feet will thank you for this.