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Guide to Wide Shoes

What is a wide shoe?
Interestingly, a wide shoe is slightly different that what you might think. The extra width is in the girth of the shoe (the measurement around the foot, called the 'circumference') rather than the width of the sole. This is because scientific studies have proven that wide feet in general have the same sized sole, but larger circumference.

How are wide shoes measured?
There are many measurements around the world for wide shoes, all of which are confusing. To provide simplicity, our website simply has two measurements: 'Wide' and 'Extra Wide'.

What is the different between Wide and Extra-Wide?
'Wide' increases the girth by 1/8 inch (3.5mm) across the entire shoe, whereas 'Extra Wide' increases the girth by 1/4 inch (7mm). Practically speaking you should take Wide unless you KNOW your feet are extraordinarily wide.

Why do people buy wide shoes?
Many people purchase wide shoes because their feet are different sizes. In fact, 60% of the world's population have different sized feet, and of those, almost all of them will have their left feet bigger. The other reason people have wide shoes is medical, which includes bunions, swollen feet, arthritis and problem toes.

What mistakes are made around buying shoes for wide feet?
A mistake many people make is that they buy bigger shoes rather than wider shoes. Wrong! This will further aggravate the problem because this is not a healthy solution.

Does my foot get wider as I age?
Yes! As people age their feet get wider. This is a fact, not an illusion.

Are the height of women's heels important?
The heel is not as important as you would think because much of the energy and weight is distributed into the balls of the feet. That said, lower heels are easier to walk on, specially for someone unused to high heels.

What makes a quality sole?
The outsole (or more commonly called just 'the sole') is the bottom part of the shoe, and it is very important to get right because you need to walk on it easily. A quality sole should be leather, and in fact all our soles are genuine leather.

Does strong support matter?
Wide shoes must provide considerable support, while at the same time be flexible - somewhat contradictory requirements. This is achieved by ensuring that the heel and arch do not bend too much, and the shoe must be quite tough around the ball of the foot and toe area.

What about the straps?
Your shoe has to hug your foot without any slip or space, otherwise there will be significant chances of accidents and pain. To ensure good fitting, both straps and laces are used. Straps come in multiple forms and fashions, but an adjustable ankle strap for women is considered extremely important for stability. In addition, for even more support, some wide shoes have a second adjustable strap on the front of the shoe. This is particularly good if your foot has a slightly unusual shape or size.

How do I convert different sizes for different regions?
For women see the Women's Size Chart on this website.
For men see the Men's Size Chart on this website.

What are the different materials used to make wide shoes?
Suede is a favorite of many people because it is soft and comfortable, stretches and does not slip. The down side is that it does not last as long as hard leather, and needs more brushing.
Leather is the good old classic: long-lasting, very durable, and will mold itself to your foot.
Printed Leather is leather that is embossed with a pattern, often an animal imprint such as snake or lizard. This will be a little more rigid than free leather.
Satin shoes are often very beautiful, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this so long as the lining is leather (which all shoes on this website are). They stretch less than suede or leather and mark more easily.
Glitter is a fabric that has been treated with sparkle - looks quite beautiful, and is fine so long as the lining is leather (which all shoes on this website are). Glitter will be more rigid than other materials.

What is the difference between open and closed toe women's shoes?
Open-toe shoes are preferred by most women because they enable better balance (as the toes are very important here) and - arguably - look much prettier. The significant advantage of closed-toe wide shoes is the protection they provide.

What makes wide shoes unusual?
As bodies can be different sizes and shapes, so too can feet. Many people need special shoe sizes because they have wide feet which cannot fit standard shoes. Manufacturers have solved this problem by making wide shoes which are more comfortable for people with unusual feet. They ensure that feet do not feel any pinch or uncomfortable wear.
Wide shoes come in many different colors, styles and designs so they look as fabulous as they feel! You can easily match wide shoes with your clothes for any occasion.
For many years people believed that narrow feet were perfect. If they did not have narrow small feet, they strived hard to shape their feet into so-called 'normal'. However nowadays people are aware that any size is normal.

Why do wide feet happen?
Wide feet are mainly due to genetics inherited from parents. Other reasons include bad shoes and changes in body shape (for example swelling during pregnancy and old age). Wearing high heel shoes and foot injuries also result in wide feet.

Wide shoes for women
Women are demanding shoes that not only look great, but are comfortable too. The demand for women's wide fitting shoes is significantly increasing. Years ago, women's wide shoes were not pretty because at that time, there were few good designs.
Today there are many designs and colors available in women's wide shoes so you can easily choose a fantastic pair that suits.

Wide shoes for men
Many men have big, quite wide feet. They have to find a pair of shoes which perfectly fit their size.
Like women's shoes, men's wide shoes are also available in many different colors and designs. Men too can choose the best pair of shoes with absolute comfort.

Know your foot type
An easy way to know your foot type is the 'Wet Footprint Test'. Place your foot on a brown paper bag or any other place where your foot print is visible when it is wet after dipping it in water. Then compare your footprint with following images:

Arch Types

Flat Arches
A person with flat foot or fallen arches has a solid footprint which has only one curve inside the foot where arch is located.

Normal Arches
A person who has a normal arch will have a footprint which is moderate but with a noticeable arch (the footprint will be half of the width of your foot). These are the most common type of feet. These people enjoy more flexibility when they choose shoes.

High Arches
People with high arches will see a 'scooped-out' footprint. A thin line makes a connection between the foot and heel. The feet of these people do not roll inward with each step sufficiently. These type of feet generally need soft shoes with lots of cushioning.

Measuring feet
Measuring Foot Size
To take accurate measurement of your feet, you have to follow some steps.
Things you will need are: two pieces of paper; a ruler; a pen.
1. Place piece of paper on the ground. Stand with each foot on the piece of paper.
2. Ask someone to draw a line across each foot with a pen. The pen should touch your foot at all times and be kept as vertical as possible. If you do not have anyone to help you, then you can measure it by yourself while standing on a chair.
3. Once you have completed the measuring process, then you have to take your ruler to measure the tracings.
Length: this is from the back of your heel to the tip of your big toe (i.e. the longest part of your foot).
Width: measure across the ball of your foot in order to calculate the width of your foot (i.e., the widest part of your foot).

Interesting fact
Americans measure their feet size in barleycorns. A barleycorn is an ancient Roman unit which is equal to 1/3 of an inch. It represents the size of average corn of barley. In 1324, a shoe sizing system was created by Edward ll of Britain on the basis of barleycorn. King Edward's shoe was 36 barleycorns long, and this was graded a size 12 at that time.

Feet pain
There are three main areas where pain occurs:
Toes: toe pain mostly occurs due to wearing of ill-fitted shoes which impose pressure on toes.
Forefoot: the front part of the foot is called the forefoot. Pain starts here due to two groups of bones which are the metatarsal bones and the sesamoid bones.
Hind foot: the back part of the foot is called the hind foot. Pain here occurs due to wearing high heels.

Corns and calluses
Hard and yellowish skin are symptoms for this problem. Protective pads are used in shoes to remove pressure and friction which cause corns and calluses.

Corns And Calluses Problem


Ingrown toenails
In Ingrown toenails, the flesh forces the nail to close against the sides of the nail. Swelling, infection and nail curling are the symptoms for this problem.

Ingrown Toenails Problem

Open toed shoes are advised to resolve this problem.

Bunions and Bunionettes
Bunions occur in the big toe and bunionettes in the little toe. Metatarsus primus varus (a condition where the first metatarsal bone in the foot is rotated and angled away from the second metatarsal bone) and medial exostosis (a condition where there is a bony bump at the base of the big toe which protrudes outward; the area next to the bony bump is red, tender, occasionally filled with fluid) are symptoms for this problem.

Bunins And Bunionettes Problem

Metatarsus primus varus
Here the big toe is forced to move or curl towards the other toes. This is mainly due to wearing unhealthy shoes.

Matatarsus Bones

Medial exostosis
Here a little bump occurs at the base of the big toe. The area around this little bump will be red.

Medial Exostosis Bones

Hallux valgus
In this condition a little bump appears at the side of first metatarsophalangeal joint.

Hallux Valgus Bones

Morton's Neuroma
This is the condition where pain is felt between the toes - most often between the second and third, or between the third and fourth toes. Cramping and burning pain is the symptom of this problem.

Morton's Neuroma

Hammer toe or claw toe
Any of the middle three toes may be affected by hammer toe or claw toe syndrome. Toes will appear in the shape of a hammer or a claw.

Hammer Or Claw Toe Problem

Metatarsalgia
This problem is usually as a result of ill-fitting shoes. Pain is noticeable behind the toes in the ball of the feet and may be recurrent or chronic. Box toed wide shoes which have orthotic pads can alleviate the condition.

Metatarsalgia

Stress fractures
Stress fractures often occur under the second or third toes, particularly to athletes. When an injury occurs, the pain is sudden. Low heeled shoes with stiff soles are recommended for this condition.

Stress Fractures

Sesamoditis
This mostly occurs in the ball of the foot under the big toe and is associated with pain and swelling. Shoes with low heels and stiff soles are recommended for this condition.

Sesamoditis

Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis
Heel spurs occur in the bone of the heel and are similar to plantar fasciitis (a painful inflammatory process of the connective tissue or ligament on the sole of the foot often caused by overuse, increase in activities, weight or age). Both of these problems have similiar symptoms.

plantar fasciitis or Heel spurs

Bursitis of the heel
The heel is composed of three parts (retrocalcaneal bursa, subcutaneous calcaneal bursa and plantar-calcaneal bursitis) which are involved in bursitis. Poor flexibility, inappropriate training, and tight shoes are the causes for bursitis of the heel. Redness, swelling and painful limp are the symptoms of this problem.

Bursitis of the heel

Haglund's deformity
This mostly occurs in the back area of the heel. Swelling occurs due to shoes which have stiff backs.

Haglund's deformity