Wide Feet: Reasons, Issues, Footwear, and More

Wide Feet: Reasons, Issues, Footwear, and More

It's possible that you were born with wide feet, or that as you've aged, your feet have gotten wider. If your foot is broader than average, you could have problems finding a shoe that fits.

Wide feet are often nothing to worry about, although they can occasionally be brought on by other medical conditions. Taking care of these ailments and wearing the appropriate footwear helps lessen any issues that individuals with wide feet may encounter.

Continue reading to find out more about what causes wide feet and how to choose the right shoe.

Wide feet root causes

There are many various sizes and forms of feet. Wide feet can be brought on by:

Genetics. Some folks simply have broader feet by birth. You are more likely to have wider feet if you have flat feet.

  • Age. Your body's ligaments and tendons start to loosen a little as you age, and your foot starts to get longer and wider.
  • Deformed feet. Your foot may enlarge if you have foot abnormalities like bunions, calluses, or hammer toes. A third of adult Americans suffer from bunions.
  • Ill-fitting footwear. Deformities of the foot can result from wearing improperly fitting shoes. According to some research, between 63 and 72 percent of people wear shoes that are either too narrow or too long for their feet.
  • Pregnancy. The ligaments and joints surrounding the feet may become loose due to the pregnancy hormone relaxin. Because of this, wider and larger feet might develop in pregnant women, especially in the second and third trimesters.
  • Swelling.  Your feet may become wider if you have edema, which is a medical word for "swelling." Once the issue has been addressed, the swelling may be temporary and disappear. Edema can be brought on by specific drugs, medical conditions, trauma, and fluid retention.

Wide-footed individuals may experience discomfort. This is frequently the result of wearing improperly fitting shoes.

Too-tight or thin shoes can result in painful blisters and certain abnormalities, including:

  • Bunions. A bunion is an expansion of the bone or tissue surrounding the big toe joint. Your big toe may bend toward your second toe as a bunion grows. There may be discomfort and edema as a result.
  • Calluses. A corn is a form of callus that develops when there is too much pressure on the skin as a result of wearing tight shoes.
  • Crossover toe. When your toes are crammed into a shoe too tightly, they may cross over one another.
  • Hammer toe. A toe that begins to curl up rather than lying flat is known as a hammer toe.

Measure your feet correctly

The majority of shoe stores include tools for measuring your foot's length and width.
To measure your foot at home, take the following actions:

  1. Firstly, put on a pair of socks.
  2. Secure two sheets of white paper with tape.
  3. Draw a footprint on the paper.
  4. On the paper you traced, use a ruler to measure the width of your foot at its widest point.

You can measure how wide your foot is by using shoe size charts, which are available in stores and online. Keep in mind to take measurements of both feet because they could differ in width.

How to choose footwear that fits wide feet well

If you have wide feet, choosing the correct shoes may change everything.   Working with an expert who can help you size up is a good choice.

Measure your feet

Getting measured is the first step. Never use a previous measurement because your foot's size may have altered.

Take a measurement of your foot at the end of the day when it is at its largest.

Check that your toes don't feel restricted.

Verify to see whether your toes don't feel squeezed when you try on shoes. Your longest toe and the end of the shoe should be separated by 3/8" or 1/2", or about the width of a finger.

Make sure to check the shoe's toe box's dimensions and shape. Wider feet or foot abnormalities are frequently suitable for a deep, square toe box.

Look for footwear with a variety of options.

Although you'll probably want to buy a "wide" pair of shoes, each brand's shoe sizes might vary, so you might find that some pairs are actually broad enough.
For a better fit, women with wide feet might be able to put on a man's shoe.

Different foot length

Invest in a pair of shoes that will suit the larger foot if your feet are different lengths.

Buying shoes with replaceable insoles will allow you to, if necessary, add an orthotic device. Additionally, as they frequently offer a better fit, shoes without attached tongues are preferred.

The most crucial piece of advice for those with wide feet is to never buy an uncomfortable pair of footwear.

How to make wide feet look smaller?

In a lot of cases you can't  do much to make your foot look smaller. Shoes that are too small and restrictive will make the issue worse.

If you have flat arches, customized insoles may assist you while also making your foot appear narrower.

Sometimes, losing pounds or minimizing swelling can also make your feet appear smaller.

Can your foot's width be reduced surgically?

A person's foot may become narrower as a result of some surgeries.

Women who wish to fit into pointy, high-heeled shoes are increasingly opting for foot-narrowing surgery, also known as the "Cinderella procedure."

By removing the entire toe knuckle and pinning the bones back together, doctors can reduce the length of toes. Alternatively, the bone might be cut, stretched, or joined in a surgical implant to lengthen the toes. Toes can sometimes even be amputated.

Despite the rise in popularity of cosmetic foot operations, the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and many other medical professionals consider elective foot surgery to be a "ill-advised trend." Many specialists caution that there are hazards involved with these treatments, and foot surgery should only be done under extreme circumstances.

Additionally, bunion surgery may slim down the feet. This technique includes trimming the bunion and completing other foot repairs.

When to see medical help

If you suffer from any kind of foot discomfort that doesn't go away or gets debilitating, visit a doctor. An orthopedic surgeon or a podiatrist can assist in identifying the problem and providing a treatment plan.

You might need to see a different doctor who specializes in treating your disease if edema is the cause of your wide feet. The swelling could be brought on by pregnancy, issues with the heart, kidneys, or diabetes, among other medical conditions that need to be treated.

Rest and some medications may help minimize body edema. Discuss your alternatives with your doctor.


There are many various sizes and shapes of feet. Some people have wide feet from birth. Some people get wider feet as they become older. Additionally, some people's wide feet are the result of medical disorders or foot abnormalities.

You can find out if your wide feet are an issue by consulting with your doctor. You can do a few things to make your feet look thinner, but the best advice might be to just accept them.