Wide Vs. Narrow Feet

Updated July 19, 2017

Most people are able to tell you their shoe size. But another factor in getting a proper shoe fit is to know whether you have narrow or wide feet. Wearing ill-fitting shoes can result in painful foot conditions, and may eventually require surgery.

Narrow Feet

Narrow feet sizes are any size C or under. Narrow sizes can be as narrow as AAA and go up to AA, A, B, and the largest is a width of C. To determine your foot width, visit a shoe store and get a professional measurement.

Wide Feet

An average-sized foot is measured as width size D. Wide feet have professional measurements of E, EE, EEE and EEEE being the widest. Wide feet are more common than narrow feet, and many people with slightly wide feet fit well into average-sized shoes.

Foot Shape

If you are unable to get a professional measurement, look at the shape of your foot to determine its width. Rectangular-shaped feet, or feet that are similar in width at the heel and the toe area, are narrower. Feet that look more triangular, meaning they are wider at the toe joints than at the arch and heel of the foot, are considered to be wide.

Improper Fit

Wearing shoes of improper width can cause problem for people with wide or narrow feet. People with narrow feet will find that shoes that are too wide will fall off and cause blistering and calluses where they rub and slide. People with wide feet who wear shoes that are too narrow will be uncomfortable and the shoes will rub in the wrong places. This can also cause blistering and corns, calluses or bunions.

Buying The Proper Shoe

Many brands offer shoes in narrow or wide widths. If it is not possible to buy narrow or wide shoes, try to buy shoes that have an adjustable strap. People with wider feet will find that slip-on style shoes offer a better fit. Narrow feet fit better into shoes that tie or strap, so they can be adjusted to stay on.

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About the Author

Meghan Schnakenburg has been writing about health and wellness since 2007. She is a certified personal trainer, and has written for The Examiner, The YMCA of Southwestern Indiana, and other local publications. Schnakenburg received her degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University.