You go to an online shop and waste hours browsing and looking for your perfect shoe. You find it, order it, and wait a week or two until it arrives, but then you find out it doesn’t fit! What a shame! Now you have to return it, wait another few weeks until you get a refund, and start the process all over again.
That’s why knowing the right shoe width is extremely important.
Shoes that are not the right width will pinch your foot. This can cause blisters, cramps, and even fatigue. Those that use tight-fitting shoes for cycling, running, or hiking need to pay close attention to shoe width especially because it can impact their performance.
Trying to determine your shoe size can be quite difficult.
There are so many different shoe sizes to consider. You have to look at the US and European shoe sizing metrics depending on the brand or where you are purchasing the shoes from. To make matters even more difficult, truthfully, different brand shoes fit slightly differently. There really is no universal shoe size standard that is followed by all manufacturers.
That being said, perhaps the most important part of finding the right fit when it comes to shoes is getting the right shoe width. This is honestly just as important as getting the shoe length the right fit.
You might think there are just a couple of shoe widths to consider. You would be wrong! There are actually nine different shoe widths in the US shoe sizing spectrum. Before your head starts spinning, we will break them down for you.
Now that you are thoroughly confused by the fact that there are so many different shoe widths, let’s get into the specifics!
A width shoes are usually for women’s shoes. This signals a narrow shoe. You won’t usually see it for men’s shoes as men typically do not have feet this narrow.
A width shoes are usually between 3.4 inches and 3.9 inches. This measurement is across the ball of the foot. You may also see AA or 2A listed for shoe width. This designates an even narrower shoe. However, 2A and AA are not universal and the size will vary depending on the manufacturer. A 3A or AAA is an extremely narrow shoe and is usually not seen.
B width shoes are the standard or average shoe width for women’s shoes. If a women’s shoe is bot labeled with a width, it is likely a B.
Across the ball of the foot, B width shoes are between 3.6 and 4.1 inches.
This is extremely narrow for men’s shoes so you will rarely see the designation for men’s shoes.
For D width shoes, this is the average width of men’s shoes and considered wide for women’s shoes. If a men’s shoe is not labeled with a width, it is likely a D.
Across the ball of the foot, it is between 3 and 5 inches. However, most commonly, D width shoes fall between 4 and 4.5 inches across.
E width shoes are used for wide shoe classifications. This is a standard wide shoe for men, but an extra wide shoe for women. It usually falls between 4.2 and 4.7 inches but can be anywhere in the range of 3.2 to 5.2 inches depending on the manufacturer.
The largest on the traditional shoe width scale is EE. This is almost never seen for women’s shoes. For men, this is an extra-wide shoe.
EE width shoes can be anywhere from 3.4 to 5.4 inches wide from across the ball of the foot. Typically, it falls between 4.4 and 4.9 inches. You can also find EEE or 3E shoes, but these are extremely rare.
If you want to find the right fit of shoes for your feet, the best way to do t his is to go to a shoe store and have it measured by a professional. They have extremely accurate scales and tools available at the store to ensure that you get a good measurement.
It is important to keep in mind that you should get your feet measured every time that you go to the store or are thinking about buying a new pair of shoes. That is because your foot can swell or shrink over time. If you want to get a shoe that fits great, you need to get a current measurement.
How to Find Shoes That Are the Correct Width
You might not have known about all of these different shoe widths. Now that you know, it’s obvious that you want to make sure you get a good fitting shoe. So, how do you find a shoe that is the correct width?
The first step is to have your foot measured every time you are ready to buy a new pair of shoes. Again, this helps ensure a current measurement that takes into account any swelling or shrinking of your feet. Getting measured at the end of the day is also a good idea because this is usually when your feet are the largest—due to swelling and settling—so you can be sure that you will not underestimate your foot width.
You should also not focus solely on shoe size. As you read above, shoe widths vary depending on the manufacturer. You might be one shoe width in a certain shoe and a different in another. That is why it is also essential to consider how the shot fits. You should always try on shoes before purchasing.
Also, when you try on shoes, do not think that a shoe just needs to be broken in. If a shoe is tight or uncomfortable when you try it on, chances are that they will not stretch out enough to fit properly. You want to find a shoe that fits you right from the get-go.
Last, but certainly not least, to find a shoe that is the correct width, you should walk around! Trying a pair of shoes on at the store isn’t enough. You should take a few laps around the store to ensure that they are comfortable and do not pinch or rub.
Now that you know all about shoe widths and how to find shoes that are the right width for your feet, good luck! There are a lot of great shoes out there to enjoy and the perfect pair is out there waiting for you.