How To Solve Common Wide Feet Problems

shoes for wide feet

Maybe your feet have been wide your whole life, or perhaps they’ve broadened over time. In any case, wide feet can be somewhat of a nuisance—but it doesn’t have to be! Feet come in all shapes and sizes, including wide, flat, narrow, and extra-long. If the width of your feet seem to get in your way, making you uncomfortable and unable to do things you want to, you’ve come to the right place.

At Vionic, we offer specialty wide width shoes to accommodate foot troubles, and we’ve got solutions to the most common wide feet problems. Here’s what you should know about the causes of wide feet, how to tell if yours are broader than average, and what to do about it.


What Causes Wide Feet?

Before we get into solving problems with wide feet, we have to touch on the causes. Like many conditions, knowing the cause is a primary component of figuring out the remedy. So, what causes wide feet?

The primary causes of wide feet include:

  • Genetics
  • Aging
  • Pregnancy
  • Foot deformities
  • Improper footwear
  • Swelling
  • Injury

While some people’s feet get wider in adult age, many are born with wide feet. If you’ve always had wide feet, you can thank genetics. There’s a good chance at least one or two of your family members share your wide feet woes. Speaking of genetics, people with flat feet tend to be more prone to wide feet than those with higher arches.

If your feet have become wider over time, it could be the result of another health issue or simply part of the aging process. As people age, their ligaments loosen, which can lead to wider and longer feet.

Similarly, many women end up with a larger shoe size during and after pregnancy. This is due to a hormone called relaxin, which loosens ligaments throughout the body, including the feet. Sometimes, the larger shoe size is permanent.

Foot Deformities

Foot deformities are relatively common and include conditions such as hammertoe, crossover toe, bunions, and calluses. Deformities can be a result of wearing improper footwear, particularly shoes that are the wrong size and don’t provide adequate foot support. Those with deformities may develop wide feet.

Swelling can cause feet to widen temporarily or, in some cases, perpetually. Some people’s feet swell due to low humidity levels or other environmental causes. However, fluid retention can occur as a result of an injury, pregnancy, or taking various medications. It can also be caused by underlying health issues such as diabetes, kidney disease, or heart problems.


How to Know If You Have Wide Feet

The next step in correcting wide feet problems is determining whether your feet are, in fact, wide. Some people experience a variety of issues and discomfort without realizing their feet have gotten wider. And even if you’ve always had wide feet, they can still change over time. This is why we recommend measuring your feet at least every couple of years.

To find out if you have wide feet, start by grabbing a piece of paper, a pen, and a ruler or measuring tape. Similar to how people usually weigh slightly more in the evening than in the morning, your feet will be a tiny bit larger at night. For this reason, we suggest measuring in the evening. Follow these simple steps to measure:

  1. Set the piece of paper on the floor and step onto it with both feet.
  2. Next, carefully trace the outline of your feet.
  3. Then measure your outline, taking note of the length and width. The length is the distance from your longest toe to your heel, and the width is the distance of the widest portion of your foot.

A measurement that constitutes a wide foot depends on your shoe size and gender. For example, while a width of 3.75 inches might be wide for size 5 shoes, it’s a medium width for sizes 7, 8, and 9. Also, men generally have wider feet than women. Measuring your feet is an easy method to learn how to tell if you need wide shoes.


Correcting Wide Feet Problems

The most common problems with wide feet are chronic foot pain, discomfort, and frequent blisters. And while foot deformities can lead to wide feet, wide feet can also cause deformities. Another common issue is plantar fasciitis, which occurs when the ligaments connecting your toes to your heel become inflamed. Without proper shoes for plantar fasciitis, this inflammation can be extremely painful, spreading through your arches, heels, and calves.

Millions of people in the world have wide feet. Although solidarity might make you feel a little better, it won’t solve your predicament. But that’s where Vionic comes in. The right shoes can solve most wide feet problems. Here’s why.

A Game-Changing Pair of Shoes

If shoes tend to cause you problems, you probably hate wearing them. But unless you’re lucky enough to work from home (and even if you do), there’s a good chance you have to wear them at least once a day. If you have wide feet, the number one thing you can do to address the issue, remedy your discomfort, and prevent future problems is to get properly fitting shoes.

As we mentioned above, measuring is the key to ensuring a proper fit. If you think you know what size you are but haven’t measured your feet in several years (or ever), think again. Many people walk around completely unaware that they’re wearing the wrong size shoe. This is often the culprit of foot and ankle problems, especially for those with wide feet.

When you wear shoes, your feet shouldn’t be cramped whatsoever. You should be able to wiggle your toes and start walking around comfortably the first time you try them on. Some pairs of shoes might be slightly less comfortable as you break them in. And yet, if your feet are cramped off the bat, it’s a sign you’ve got the wrong size. To find your perfect fit, check out our Vionic size chart.

The right pair of comfortable shoes won’t be overly tight, but your feet won’t be sliding out of them, either. With a wide width, you can walk around without thinking about any pain or discomfort in your feet. Plus, with room to breath, any deformities you have may be able to heal, and you can avoid developing more.

The Slimming Effect

This might seem counterintuitive, but for those with wider-than-average feet, wide shoes can actually create the appearance of slimmer feet. Much like how properly fitting clothes often look more flattering than squeezing into a smaller size, wide-fit shoes have a slimming effect on broad feet.

Aside from that, some shoe styles make feet appear slimmer than others. For example, narrow heels can make feet look wider, whereas wedges, platforms, and chunky-heeled shoes can have the opposite effect. Regardless, finding a slimming style will also help you find the most comfortable heels for wide feet.

Consult a Medical Professional

The right pair of shoes can make an immense difference for those with foot pain and discomfort. Having said that, if your wide feet problems are debilitating or otherwise impacting your day-to-day life, it’s best to consult a medical professional.

With an injury or ongoing swelling, it’s best to see a general practitioner. But for deformities and other foot-specific issues such as Morton’s neuroma, plantar fasciitis, and heel spurs, a podiatrist can provide specialized treatment.

Since many foot problems are caused by footwear, your podiatrist certainly might recommend wide shoes or orthotic inserts. However, it would be part of a comprehensive treatment plan designed to remedy your condition and prevent future damage. This may include rest, stretching, and applying ice to your feet.


Wide-Width Shoes from Vionic

There’s almost no escaping the need to wear shoes every day, but an uncomfortable, ill-fitting pair can be a real bummer. Not only that, but when you cram your feet into the wrong size and width, it can lead to severe pain and, in some instances, permanent damage.

If you have problems with wide feet, the practical solution is to buy wide-width shoes. But don’t worry—with a variety of styles, your choices won’t be limited. At Vionic, we’re all about accommodating wide feet with stylish footwear.

From women’s casual sneakers to walking sandals and ballet flats, we offer a vast range of wide-width styles for women, as well as comfortable shoes for men. Whether you need comfortable work shoes or shoes for a special occasion, everyday wear, or all of the above, Vionic has you covered. We even carry cozy, wide supportive slippers to wear around your home.

For many people with wide feet, finding the right pair of shoes can be liberating. You’ll no longer have to avoid certain places or activities because you don’t have the proper footwear. With a comfortable, supportive pair of shoes for every occasion, you can say goodbye to all your wide feet problems. Are you ready to embrace your wide feet? Check out the wide shoes from Vionic today.

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