How To Know If You Have Wide Feet

Everybody’s feet are different. Even though shoes come in standard sizes, no two people have feet that are identical to one another. Everybody’s feet are unique. That is why some people have narrow feet, and others have wide feet. 

You might have heard terms like wide and narrow feet thrown around, but you might not know what they mean. After all, you do not visit a doctor to be diagnosed with wide feet. Instead, this is something that you discover throughout your life when you notice that regular shoes fit rather snug to your feet. 

If you are somebody who often finds that your shoes dig into your feet, then you might have wide feet. But, how do you know for definite if you have this? Keep on reading to find out.

What Are Wide Feet?

First things first, let’s take a look at what wide feet are. As the name suggests, wide feet are feet that are wider than average. When it comes to shoes, there are standard shoe sizes which usually range from size 6 to size 13.5 for men in the US.

But, wide feet are not taken into account with these sizes. Instead, these sizes only account for the length of the shoes. So, if you find that your shoes are fitting too snugly, even when you try a size higher, then it is likely because you have wide feet. 

As we have said, all feet come in different shapes and sizes. While most people will have feet that are average size in both length and width, some people will have feet that are more narrow or wider than average. This means that regular fit shoes will be either too tight or too loose on your feet. 

That is why wide and narrow fit shoes have been made. These shoes are designed to provide more or less room in terms of width. So, if you find that your feet feel constricted in regular fit shoes, you should check out wide fit shoes, and vice versa if you find regular fit shoes to be too loose.

How To Know If You Have Wide Feet

So, now that we know what wide feet are, let’s take a look at how to know if you have wide feet. As we have said, the most obvious sign that you may have wide feet is if you find that regular fit shoes dig into your feet. However, it is important to note that this will only apply if the shoes are restricting your feet width wise.

If you find that it is the front of your toes that are being constricted, then it is likely that you just need to buy shoes a size bigger. 

The best way to confirm whether, or not, you have wide feet is to measure your feet. In a lot of cases, this is something that you will not have done since you were a child. But, it is a very important step if you want to determine if you need to purchase wide-fit working shoes, or any shoes for that matter. 

How To Measure Your Feet

If you are going to measure your feet, the best time to do this is in the evening, and if you plan on wearing socks with your shoes (which you usually do), you should measure your feet with socks on. With this in mind, place a piece of paper flat on an even surface and stand upon it. 

Then you should take a pen or pencil and trace around the outside of your feet. Try to stay as close to your foot as possible when doing this if you want accurate results. Once you have traced around the outline of your foot, you can take your foot off the paper, and pick up a measuring tape. Use this to record your length and width measurements, remembering to measure width at the widest point. 

After you have done this, you can then compare your measurements with the average width for shoe sizes. If your width measurement is larger than this, then it is best for you to purchase wide-fit shoes if you want to be comfortable wearing them. 

What Causes Wide Feet?

If you have just discovered that you have wide feet, then you might be wondering what has caused this. There are some people who argue that wide feet are caused by things that you do throughout your life, such as the shoes that you wear, and so on.

But, there is no science to prove this. Instead, it is generally accepted by scientists that wide feet are caused by mother nature. There are a number of conditions that affect your feet that will lead to them being wider than normal. These conditions include bunions, flat arches, and edema (which causes the feet to swell).

But, it isn’t just conditions that lead to you having wider feet than average. In some cases, it is just something that you are born with, and something that you learn to live with. But, what should you do if you have wide feet?

What Do You Do If You Have Wide Feet?

If you have wide feet, then it is likely that regular-fit shoes are uncomfortable when you wear them for long periods. Even when you purchase a size larger than your normal shoe size. So, if you have wide feet, and have measured your feet to confirm this, then you should purchase wide-fit shoes where possible.

You might find that you do not need to wear wide-fit shoes all the time, and that is why it is often fine to buy regular-fit shoes when you only plan on wearing the shoes for short periods. But, when it comes to shoes that you will be wearing frequently, such as working shoes, comfort is key. So, you should always buy wide-fit working boots if you have wide feet. 


In short, the best way to find out if you have wide feet is to measure them. We have outlined how to do this in this guide. But, a clear sign of wide feet is regular-fit shoes digging into your feet width wise when you wear them.

So, if you experience this, measure your feet to find out if you should be purchasing wide-fit shoes rather than regular shoes.