How to choose shoes for odd sized feet

Updated April 17, 2017

Most people have one foot slightly larger than the other, but some people can have a shoe-size difference between each foot. You may have one foot larger than the other as a result of an injury or from birth. Also some foot conditions, such as bunions or hammertoes, can make your feet different sizes. In others, a medical condition that results in oedema in one leg or foot causes the feet to be odd sizes. Whatever the cause, follow these tips to help you find comfortable shoes for your odd-sized feet.

Have your feet measured professionally. This can be done in all high street shoe shops.

Take into consideration the length, width and depth of your foot when choosing shoes. It may be that your feet are the same length and width but one foot is deeper, maybe due to a hammertoe.

Seek shoes in which the toe box and vamp are made of elastic or have an adjustable strap or lace. This will allow more room for bunions or other toe deformities, even when the shoes are the same size.

Choose shoes with a lace or strap. This will not only give you more room to play with for the larger foot, but it will also secure the shoe onto the smaller foot.

Buy shoes to fit the larger foot and then pad the other shoe with inserts and tongue pads.

Find shoes that have removable inserts. You can then remove the insert from the shoe for the bigger foot and/or add an extra one to the shoe for the smaller foot.

Buy two pairs of shoes (in two sizes) if you have more than a size difference between your feet. This is more expensive but it may be the best option for you.

Seek the help from a specialist shoe shop that can fit your odd-sized feet. In some cases you may be required to have your shoes made for you to ensure a great fit. In others the prosthetist or orthotist may be able to adjust the shoe to accommodate your foot, such as stretching one area of the shoe or adding some extra material to the toe area.


Shop for shoes at the end of the day when your feet are at their largest, because your feet swell as the day goes on.

Always take your orthotics with you when buying new shoes.

Wear the style of hosiery you intend to wear with the shoes you are buying.

Some retailers, including Clarks in the UK, offer specific odd-sized feet schemes for people with this condition.


Never buy a shoe to fit the smaller foot and squeeze the larger foot into the smaller shoe.

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