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How to Find Wide Walking Shoes

Wide Feet Need Wide Shoes

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Updated June 26, 2014

Brooks Ariel 12 Motion Control Shoe

Brooks Ariel 12 Motion Control Shoe - Available in Wide

Courtesy of Pricegrabber

If you have wide or extra-wide feet, finding walking shoes that aren't too tight in the toe box can be difficult. Most athletic shoes come only in regular width. Only a few companies routinely produce their walking and running shoes in wide. Even those companies may only have a few designs in extra-wide.

New Balance and Brooks are two brands that usually have wide shoes for their walking and running models. They have top-rated designs for all feet, so it is great to have them for us folks who need more room in the toe box. The popular Brooks Ariel and Brooks Beast motion control shoes both come in wide, and I've been wearing the wide neutral cushioned Brooks Glycerin for half marathons for years.
Brooks Wide Shoes: Compare Prices

Get Fit in Person

Nothing beats getting your shoes fit at a running shoe store that caters to serious runners and walkers. These are often called "technical running shoe stores." The salespeople at such stores are experts at analyzing your stride and finding the best shoe for you. Their goal is to get you into the right shoes and convert you into a loyal customer.

The drawback of these stores is that they may not have wide or extra-wide shoes in stock. However, they usually will order them for you so you can try them in a few days. Your visit won't be wasted, as you will leave knowing whether you overpronate and need a motion control shoe, a stability shoe, or a neutral shoe. That alone will help you be more effective in finding the right shoes online.

These stores generally narrow their shoe choices to those that are the best suited to runners and fitness walkers, so you don't end up with "walking shoes" that are stiff, heavy, and not appropriate for fitness walking.
Finding Serious Running Shoe Stores

Search Online for Wide and Extra-Wide Athletic Shoes

Zappos
Zappos makes it easy to search online for wide shoes and extra-wide shoes. Their search for wide athletic shoes returns designs not specific for running or walking, so you will still need to narrow the field and look for "Running Performance" or "Run/Walk."
Zappos Wide Shoe Search: Buy Direct

Roadrunner Sports
Roadrunner Sports stocks shoes that are appropriate for fitness walking and running. To find wide or extra-wide shoes, click on "Mens Running Shoes" or "Womens Running Shoes" and then further select "Wide" or "Extra Wide" in the left side column.
Roadrunner Sports

Lace Your Shoes to Give More Width

Creative lacing can make a large different in comfort. You can lace your shoes so that the laces stay wide and loose over the forefoot and bunion area, while still holding your heel firmly in the heel cup. Using this technique, your laces won't continually tighten up and constrict your toes.
Lacing for a Wide Foot
Lacing for a Wide Foot with a Narrow Heel

Wide Socks Might Be Needed

I discovered that my bunion was just as irritated by too-narrow socks as by too-narrow shoes. Shop for socks that do not constrict your feet. I have had to avoid designs that have too much spandex across the forefoot, which is used to keep the sock in place.
More: Where to Find Wide Socks
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