Wearing poorly fitted shoes is really a very bad idea. After purchasing a shoe, doing lots of struggle to fit your feet into it won't be worthwhile, not even while getting a top branded shoe at a huge discount.
I think you'll be alert about matching the measurements of the shoe and your feet the next time. Unfortunately, if you just missed the replacement opportunity, don't be upset.
I'll share a few hacks on achieving complete comfort in wrong-sized shoes at the last of the article. Before all, know every single detail related to the wide feet - why you have them, concern, proper footwear, and more.
WHY DO I HAVE A WIDE FOOT?
Many people are born with wider feet than rests due to their genetics. Likewise, some others' feet grow wider and longer with age.
Pregnant ladies or people with foot deformities; who have health conditions, like - hammertoes, bunions, or calluses could experience swollen wide feet.
Having wide feet is nothing to worry about, but ill-fitted shoes could worsen such swelling. So, get well-fitted shoes first to protect your feet from getting worse.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WIDE AND REGULAR SHOES
The normal feet people don’t face many issues while purchasing the shoe, unlike people with wide feet. Plenty of shoe options are available in all regular sizes; even the style and color options are beyond our expectations, so they often get confused with finalizing a particular one.
A few years ago, people with wide feet used to place orders for custom-made shoes. They send their measurements to the local shoemaker to make their shoes accordingly. Luckily, a few renowned shoe manufacturing brands started making D and 2E sized (‘D’ Wide and ‘2E’ Extra Wide) shoes for wide feet people.
The overall length of these wide shoes is the same, but they increase the width at the tow box and forefoot. The deeper and wider toe sections give you more space around the instep to ensure comfort.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU HAVE WIDE FEET OR NARROW FEET?
The shoe stores have measurement devices; their expert will measure the width and length of your feet and suggest proper-sized shoes accordingly.
Measure the distance between the two widest points of your foot and compare the measurement with the shoe size chart to determine how wide your foot is. You’ll get the shoe size chart from the stores or websites of your chosen brands.
Suppose the length of your chosen shoe matches your foot length, but it keeps a bit of space on the sides of your feet. It means you have narrower-width feet than others.
HOW TO FIX SUCH WIDE FEET?
Instead of wearing wide feet shoes, if you wear narrow-fitting shoes your wide feet could look slimmer. In such tight shoes, your feet will look slim but get blisters, pain, and soreness. So, question yourself will it really be a worthwhile decision?
Remember, nobody is the same. So, if you have wide feet, let’s face it. I suggest leaving them as they are; just ensure the best comfort.
If it’s all about health-condition, the well-fitted shoes will reduce the swelling or other problems you may experience due to the wide feet. In addition to that, you could take medical help.
WIDE FEET VS. NARROW FEET
People with wide feet or narrow feet experience similar discomfort in a wrong-fitted shoe. Wide feet people struggle to get relatively wider shoe options than the standard size, while the second one struggles with narrower options.
Widthwise, the wide feet and narrow feet people respectively need 1/ 4’’ more and 1/4” less space inside their shoes than regular-sized shoes.
However, fitting narrow feet inside a standard shoe could be easier than the wider one. The narrow feet easily get fitted with socks, but the wider feet could get blisters, soreness, and unbearable pain after wearing a tight regular shoe.
WHEN CAN I WEAR WIDE FIT SHOES AND WHEN CANNOT
If you have full-covered shoes, you can wear them casually, but not when you’re playing or running. If you have normal feet, try to avoid wearing half-covered wide feet shoes or flip-flop slippers.
EFFECTS OF WEARING WIDE FIT SHOES WITH NORMAL FEET
The normal feet people could wear wide-fit shoes. Sometimes they feel comfortable after getting the space they need to relax their feet, but more space could give you pain and blisters, and even it could make your feet slip.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. How to Measure Shoe Width?
Most shoe stores have measurement devices. For online shopping, you can measure your feet at home in this way –
- Wear socks
- Trace your feet onto 2-white papers; you have to place these papers on an even surface.
- Measure the width and height of your feet with a ruler
- Record the distance between the two widest and largest points of your feet.
Remember, the size of your feet keeps changing with time according to your activities. So, try to measure your feet in the evening to get the best fitting.
2. How do you make wide shoes fit narrow feet?
I won’t suggest wearing the wrong-sized shoes, but if you fall for a pair of wide shoes, follow these tips to make them fit your feet -
For cover shoe -
If it’s a stringed shoe lace them tightly through the set of eyelets, which is furthest from the tongue
You can use cushion inserts as an insole, but ensure the insoles match the shape and size of your shoes. The well-cushioned shoe inserts offer great support for the arch and heel, reduce friction to support the joint, absorb all possible shocks, stabilize your feet, and eliminate the chance of getting slipped.
For sandals –
If you’re struggling with sandals, take them to the local cobblers to make the straps smaller.
Another thing to remember is that leather sandals or shoes become smaller after they get wet. After making your leather sandals wet, completely dry them with a blow dryer.
3. How do fit wide feet into narrow shoes?
Nothing could be more painful than fitting wide feet inside narrow shoes, though you can try these hacks to stretch out the narrow shoes -
- Use a water bag (zip lock bag filled with water)
- Buckle up your shoes by wearing a thick pair of socks.
- Apply heat for 30 seconds to the tight areas. Try to use a hair dryer.
- Wear the shoes in the evening. You’ll feel as uncomfortable as you felt previously, but the shoes will start stretching and soften with time.
- After returning home, keep your shoes in the freezer overnight. Place a water bag inside the shoe especially near the tight spots. The water will turn into ice and expand, which will stretch up your shoes.
- Using shoe stretching liquids and sprays
You’ll get several sprays and liquids in the market; that stretch out leather, vinyl, and fabric material. After wearing the shoe, spray the liquid on the tight areas and walk wearing them to stretch further.
- Using a 4-way adjustable shoe tree
The shoe tree is a device that helps expand the length and width of the shoes. You'll get such 4-way adjustable shoe trees in shoe repair shops.
- Take them to the repairing center
The cobblers have some special machines; that professionally alter the size.
It doesn’t matter whether you have wide feet, narrow feet, or regular feet unless it causes any pain or injuries after wearing shoes. Sometimes health conditions could cause a change in our feet size. If so, the matter should be observed thoroughly, and a doctor consultation may be needed here. Above all, ensure that you have well-fitted shoes in your shoe cabinet.
Jeffrey has a Master of Science degree in sports science and a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology. Jeffrey has worked in sports medicine clinics, corporate wellness facilities and rehabilitation clinics. He/She is an exercise physiologist and fitness consultant who has been writing about sports equipment and training techniques for athletes and fitness enthusiasts for over a decade.