Are Wide Feet Good or Bad for Running?

If you have wide feet, you may be wondering if it’s good for you to run or not. What are the implications, or positive aspects for runners with wide feet? Then, we’ll talk about if there are certain things you can do to mitigate any negative aspects of running with wide feet which may include looking at the best wide running shoes too.

First let’s look at the potential negative points that those with wide feet may encounter.

 

Negative points of having wide feet for running

First there is the practical element of finding and choosing the right shoes.

Runners with wide feet will need to choose their shoes carefully. Not all trainers are made to fit wide feet so you will need to do your research into the best trainers for wide feet. You may need to get your feet measured by an expert who will be able to give an accurate measurement of your feet and be able to advise on the best trainers to fit.

Runners with wide feet can suffer quite a few problems if they choose ill-fitting trainers so it’s vital to choose carefully.

Check your running style

If you have wide feet you may be more inclined to over or under pronate as you run. This means that you will be either putting excess pressure on the inner or outer area of your foot.

Under pronation, or supination as it is also known as, is where your outer foot hits the ground first as you run. This causes your smaller toes to do a lot of the work, and in some cases can cause fractures in the metatarsal bones in your feet. It can also cause stress and strain in your hips.

Over pronation is where the inner area of your foot makes impact first. This can cause your feet to flatten out as you run and can result in heel pain and can sometimes trigger plantar fasciitis, which is an intense pain in the arch of your foot. Again, well fitted shoes may help to reduce the impact of this but it may also be helpful to check your running style and gait. You could do this when you’re choosing your trainers. Try to find a specialist running shoe store that offers gait analysis as part of their service.

The good news is you change your running style, it’s not set in stone. By becoming aware of any issues you have while running you can address them and reduce the impact they have on your foot health. Improving your running gait, which is the cycle your leg travels through during each step when you run, can help to address problems with your running style.

One further point to mention is that often wide feet, and over pronation, are accompanied by flat feet. Flat feet can be problematic when running and over time can put pressure on your joints. This should be addressed when buying your shoes and by ensuring you have adequate arch support which will help to reduce impact caused by this condition.

 

Are there any positives to having wide feet?

It’s difficult to say there are positives to having wide feet, although it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It could be said that wide feet give you greater stability, but that will again depend on your running style and gait, and your choice of running shoes.

Some important points to note:

  • •   Choose the correct running shoes. Many issues caused by having wide feet are as a result of wearing ill-fitting shoes, so this is the most important point to note and can be easily addressed. If you’re not sure which shoes are best, visit a specialist shoe store and get your feet measured.
  • •   Check your running style and gait. You can mitigate many negative effects of having wide feet by correcting your running style and improving your gait.
  • •   Check if you’re over pronating. Over pronation or under pronation can cause a multitude of issues so this should also be addressed urgently, especially for those of you with wide feet.

So, the issue is not whether having wide feet is good or bad, it’s how you adapt and work with what you have that’s important. You can’t change the size of your feet, unless you want to have surgery to correct your foot width, which is not something to be taken lightly. Try to accept it and do your best to avoid or mitigate the issues covered in this article by following the tips and advice outlined above.

Written by Susan

I'm very enthusiastic around sports, fitness and general wellbeing. I write for a range of sites around these topics, and I hope you find my articles and information insightful to help you on your way.

July 31, 2021

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