As women, we usually have at least several pairs of shoes. Unlike men, we need different shoes for various occasions. Most men can basically wear Converse sneakers every day, & pull out the formal shoes only when they need them. We need shoes for every day wear, for formal occasions, rain / winter boots, sneakers for when we exercise, the list goes on. And yet there are some of us who have wide feet; which makes shopping for shoes even more difficult!
As a woman with wide feet, it is a challenge to find shoes that fit, are pain free, & appropriate for the occasions that I need to wear them. And as a person who works in fashion, I would like for shoes to look good as well; not just serve orthopedic functions. I do envy women that can wear pointy high heeled stilettos, for I could never pull them off. Here are some tips & tricks that I’ve picked up along the way, through trial & error, to find shoes for my wide feet!
-Shop for shoes at Easy Spirit, Naturalizer, & Aerosoles. Sign up for their emails to get that discount! If you check out Zappos, they literally have over 5,000 shoes for wide feet! Make sure you click on ‘W’ for wide. For the budget friendly, at Payless Shoes they have started to offer shoes in wide widths as well!
-Don’t be afraid to go with shoes that are a little bit longer. Usually, my feet go for double wide shoes (if I can find them!) However, most shoes are not made that wide, which makes it even more challenging! So what I end up doing is buying a shoe size larger altogether (which makes it longer for my feet), so to find shoes that remotely fit. I find that with things like i.e. boots, it doesn’t hurt if my toes don’t reach the tip of the shoes. If it’s anywhere from 1/4-1/2″ longer, I’m still good & it doesn’t bother me.
-Utilize insoles / cushions. When I initially bought a pair of flats, they were a bit long on me & I went to a shoe repair shop to ask what kind of cushions I should get. I thought I needed the kind that padded the sides of the heel; instead I needed the ones that are directly underneath! And that was enough to get my shoes to stop flopping off my feet! Of course you can buy insoles almost in any Duane Reade nowadays; I find it best to go to a shoe repair shop because you can actually inquire & try them on before you buy!
-In winter, wear boots / booties. Like I mentioned earlier, if you can’t find shoes in your exact size, you can go a little bit bigger & add some insoles. I’ve had boots that were a tad big, added insoles, & then they fit great! And my toes were only 1/4″ away from the edge!
-In the Summer, wear sandals / mules. Even at work! Sandals are the easiest shoes to fit because most of the shoe is open, & don’t confine your feet. Especially if you have wide feet, the freer your feet are, the less pain you are likely to experience. If you require to wear closed toe shoes, clogs / mules are great ones to go with. I used to have a pair of mary janes that were completely open in the back (like clogs). And I never had to worry about my shoes pinching my feet with them!
-Stretch out shoes that are bit tight. Try this hack for stretching out tight shoes: Place a plastic bag of water inside your shoes, & then put them in the freezer overnight. The water will expand as the water freezes, stretching them out for you. For other shoe hacks to make shoes less painful, click to read Ways You Can Make Wearing High Heels Less Painful!
-Do it the professional way & get a shoe stretcher. And they don’t have to be expensive! You can get a pair for $13! Adjustable for many sizes, you can stretch out your shoes horizontally & vertically! Click here to check out the wide variety you can get! (Tip: double check before you buy for some vendors sell them in pairs, others sell they separately.)
-Don’t buy shoes hoping they will get bigger. I know I just mentioned the shoe stretcher above, but it’s meant to make your shoes bigger slightly, not go up a shoe size! Also there are fabrics that don’t budge as easily as others.
-Most importantly try out the shoes out in store before buying. Of course it seems like common sense, but god knows how many women who try on shoes for literally 2 minutes & buy them. Me personally, I walk around with the shoes in store, to really see whether they are comfortable. Of course it’s hard to predict if shoes will kill you after 5 hours of wear, but I usually avoid that by skipping out on shoes that have even the slightest pain in store. And of course, you would want to avoid narrow shoes at all costs.
-And when shopping for shoes, try them on in the afternoon, instead of the morning. Little unknown fact about feet: your feet tend to swell towards the end of the day. Have you ever bought a pair of new shoes that felt fine when you put them on in the morning, but hurt & were pinching your feet at the end of the day? That’s why. Do yourself a favor & don’t shoe shop in the a.m.
Another popular unknown fact: usually 1 foot is slightly larger than the other. (We’re human, it happens.) Something the general public doesn’t know, but all shoe salesmen do. The same way you may have one ear that’s slightly higher than the other. (If you go to the optometrist, they’ll tell you the same thing.) No human being is perfectly symmetrical. So what to do when it comes to shoes? If you definitely feel the difference (when you try on shoes) that it’s tighter on one foot than the other, then go with larger size. Basically stick to the size that fits the larger foot better. I find it better to go up a little bit bigger, safer than going down to a size that’s too tight.
-Definitely walk around the house with them before you throw away the box. And the receipt! This is a smart tip for anyone when they buy shoes. When you wear brand new shoes around the house, it gives you a chance to try them on without getting them dirty (i.e. when you walk outdoors), & break them in slightly. So if the new shoes indeed does cause you pain, you can still return the shoes for a full refund because they haven’t been worn.
Has this list helped you? Or do you know of a tip that I haven’t listed here? Feel free to drop a line below! And check out other related articles!