How Do I Know if I Need Wide Running Shoes?

Are you a runner who’s been looking for the best running shoes for wide feet recently, but not sure if you even have wide feet or not? The good news is that there are some signs that you can look out for, which we will share with you here today.

There are several issues that may occur from wearing running shoes that are too narrow. Over time these issues can become more serious if not addressed. Some of the more minor problems can resolved easily by choosing more suitable running shoes.

In this article we’ll look at some of these points in more depth and explore what you can do if you think you may need wide running shoes.


What to watch out for if you think you have wide feet

One of the first things to do is look at your feet, compare your feet with a friend or a member of your family. Do they look wide? Measure them and look online for averages for your foot size. You’ll be able to check which group you fit into: Narrow, Standard, or Wide.

Some of the initial problems you may experience include:

1. The sides of your feet spilling over the edge of your running shoes. 

If you feel like your feet are overlapping the edge of your running shoes then they’re probably too narrow for your feet, and you should consider looking for a wider fitting shoe. At first this issue will not cause any significant problems, but in time the skin at the sides of your feet may become hard and dry.

2. Discoloration around your toes. 

If your toes are becoming discoloured and possibly a little sore, then it’s likely the toe box on your running shoe is too small. This causes your toes to be squashed in your shoes and compressed while your feet make repetitive impact with the ground. This reduces blood flow to your toes and causes the skin to become discoloured and sore.

3. Tightness around the upper part of your foot.

If your running shoes are too tight then you may notice the upper part of your foot feels constricted and is rubbing around the lace area of your running shoes. This may simply be caused by your laces being too tight. Although it could be a sign that the shoes themselves are too narrow. Try experimenting with different lacing styles. There are numerous ways that laces can be tied in order to help support your foot shape. By changing the way you lace your running shoes you may be able to alleviate some minor issues.

4. Blisters.

Even though you may think a blister is not serious, it can make running very difficult and uncomfortable. And if you have more than one, it can make each step quite painful. Foot blisters occur when your feet repeatedly rub against the inside of your shoes. If spotted early, these sore patches of skin can easily be treated.


More serious issues that may develop from wearing ill-fitting running shoes

If not addressed early, the issues mentioned above may develop into more serious problems, so it’s important to spot the signs. You could try to experiment with lacing styles at first, and if that doesn’t solve or alleviate the problem, look for wider fitting running shoes.

Some of the more serious issues include:

Corns or calluses. As a result of continual friction between your shoes and your feet, small hard areas of skin develop called corns. Larger rough patches of skin can also form which are called calluses.  Although they can be painful, if caught early, they can again be treated easily.

Bunions. Bunions form when the big toe develops a hard lump on its side. The joint and bone become affected over time and may cause misalignment of your toes. This may require surgery to correct. It can be hereditary, and some people are more prone to bunions than others. So tight fitting running shoes don’t necessarily cause bunions, but they may contribute to their development if worn over a long period.


What to do if you suffer from any of the above problems

Follow the advice laid out above if you’re experiencing any of the issues mentioned.  Firstly, get your feet measured or measure them yourself. Then follow the guides online that will show you which category your feet fit into. This will help you choose more suitable running shoes for wide feet.

If you’re not sure, visit a specialist running shoe store and get your feet measured. You can then run with the confidence that your running shoes are the right fit for your feet.

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.

May 26, 2021

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