A few years ago, running shoes for wide feet were hard to come by. Only one or two brands made a single wide style. Now almost every major running shoe brand makes wider styles because they’ve realized many runners need a wide shoe. What most runners don’t realize is that, for the most part, you can’t go wrong with a wider shoe. Even those who usually wear an average width shoe might benefit from a wider shoe.
Why Would You Benefit From Running Shoes For Wide Feet?
When you run, your feet swell. This means your feet are actually a larger size after you run. Your running shoes are meant to accommodate that extra swelling. Most brands, especially women’s shoes, only make the toe box and midfoot wider. They don’t widen the heel because they know most people don’t need that. Keeping the heel narrow allows your foot to stay secure in the shoe and not slide around.
What Are A Few Causes Of Needing A Wide Shoe?
- Foot is naturally wider
- Feet swell more than average
- Often lose your pinkie toenail
Running shoes are just like blue jeans…no brand fits the same. Just because you’ve never worn a wide shoe before doesn’t mean that a wide isn’t the best fit for you. Be open to your shoe size, and remember it varies for everyone. In running shoes alone, I wear anywhere from a 10-11 wide.
Finally, keep in mind there is no “best” wide shoe. There is only the best wide shoe for you. Getting fitted at a local running store will help alleviate the stress of finding your best shoe. Plus, you might be surprised about what size you actually wear. After working in run specialty stores for eight years, I’ve found that most people think they wear a smaller running shoe than they actually should.
Here are a few wide running shoes:
The Brooks Dyad is made to be wide all the way around from the toe box to the heel. As Brooks says, it’s “perfect for wide, flat feet.” It is available in both wide and extra wide. Many runners find it so comfortable that they buy an extra pair for walking around.
Brooks Ghost 14:
The Brooks Ghost is the most popular running shoe in the industry. What could Brooks do to make it more popular? Make it in a variety of widths. What makes the Brooks Ghost 14 stand out from other wide models is the fact that the heel remains narrow. If you have bunions or a neuroma that needs a wide shoe, but not a wide heel, this is the shoe for you.
New Balance 880:
The New Balance 880 is the staple trainer for New Balance. It is seamless and avoids rubbing against neuromas and bunions. Plus, it comes in a variety of widths, including narrow, wide, and extra-wide. Its wide models are also available in several colors, so you don’t have to wear an “ugly” color.
New Balance 860:
New Balance can get confusing with their model names, but the New Balance 860 is a great shoe for those who need some stability. Like the New Balance 880, it’s made in various widths, including narrow, wide, and extra-wide. What it has that the New Balance 880 doesn’t is arch support. If you need a wide shoe with extra support for your arch, the New Balance 860 is a good option.
Hoka Clifton 8:
The Hoka Clifton 8 is Hoka’s staple trainer. It’s lightweight with plenty of cushion and is now available in wide too. It was the first running shoe Hoka made, and is a lightweight and popular option.
New Balance 990:
While it’s one of the heaviest running shoes out there, the New Balance 990 does what most running shoes do not. If you are someone with a size 16 6E foot, this shoe is one of the few options available to you. It’s available in wide, double wide, and triple wide.
Asics Nimbus 24:
The Asics Nimbus is 24 models old. A trainer that has withstood that test of time has got to be good. Many Asics loyalists love the amount of gel-based cushion in the Asics Nimbus but it’s also available in wide.
Nike Pegasus 28:
One of the few Nike shoes that has withstood the test of time, the Nike Pegasus is a high-quality trainer made in wide. Unlike many wide models, it’s lightweight, and you can get it in several different colors. You can even create your own color scheme.
When you need a wide training shoe, chances are you need a wide racing shoe as well. Sadly, many brands do not make wide racing shoes. We are still looking for the first carbon-plated wide shoe. The Saucony Kinvara is a staple fast-run shoe that is now available in wide.
The Brand Altra:
There is no single model of the brand Altra that is good for wide feet. Altra designed all of their running shoes to be foot-shaped. This means the shoes are wider and shaped like feet to begin with, and have a wider cast to them.
In 2020 and 2021, many running brands started making trail shoes in wide too. This was almost unheard of before then. A few wide trail shoes that are great options include:
- Hoka Speedgoat
- Hoka Challenger
- New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v6
- Brooks Cascadia 16
Keep in mind this isn’t an exhaustive list of every wide shoe on the market. I have highlighted only a few here. Running shoe brands are finally catching on to the fact that many people need a wide running shoe, even if they don’t have traditionally “wide feet.”