Finding running shoes to fit wide feet can seem to be a difficult task at first. But many of the top running shoes are either made wide or have wider versions to accommodate runners with wide feet.
First, many running shoes come in different widths. So, a running shoe you like that may be too narrow likely comes in a wider size.
The way these sizes are marked can get a bit confusing, so here is a quick breakdown.
For women, B is the standard width of a shoe. Many shoes will have an A (narrow) or D (wide) option though.
Mens are even more complicated. Instead of three letters, there are 10 and it depends on which company, and sometimes even which shoe you are using for which letters you will see. D, M, and R all refer to regular sized shoes, although some companies also use the word “normal”. For narrower shoes, you would look for the letters B, N, or C, and for wider shoes, you want to look for E, 2E, 4E or W. Some shoes are on only made in certain sizes though, so keep an eye out for that as well.
You may notice that as you change in width for a shoe, your numerical size may change as well. This is why it is important to try on the shoe you plan to buy in a store before purchasing online. Try it on, take it for a trot down the sidewalk, and really put it through its paces. Make sure it works for you before spending around a hundred dollars on a product you will use constantly.
Even considering sizing, there are certain shoes on the market that just work better for runners with wide feet.
Many of the options are running shoes with a wide toe box and narrow heel. Be careful though, this does not take into account that most runners with wide feet have wider heels as well. You also want to keep in mind the arch support, so you may need to look specifically at running shoes for wide feet and high arches. This all depends on knowing your foot.
Therefore, it is important to know what exactly it is you need before you waste your time looking for the wrong thing. To solve that problem, visit your local specialty running store to get fitted. Make sure to ask what width, arch support, and pronation control your foot needs.
The Brooks Ghost is not only one of the best shoes on the market overall. It is also one of the highest reviewed options for athletes with wide feet. The Ghost 10 was the “International Editor’s Choice” award winner and Top 3 in Running Shoes for Wide Feet. The Ghost 10 is a neutral shoe designed to be an everyday trainer. Its BioMoGo DNA insole is one of the best in the business and the Ghost has been loved for many years. As for width, the normal Ghost is decently wide but if that is not enough for you, you can order the Ghost 10 Wide 2E. The Ghost is built for medium to high arches and a neutral pronation.
Altra is well known for making shoes with a wide toe box. This shoe has wide options up to size D, but like most of Altra’s shoes, it already has a wide toe box. Although, while most brands tend to have a 4-12mm drop from heel to toe in their shoes, Altra makes 0 drop shoes. This may or may not suit your fancy. But, it is likely different from what you are used to so make sure to try it out before buying. Similar to the Ghosts, the Olympus 1.5 has a lot of cushioning. Unlike the Ghosts, the Olympus is designed for trails. If you are a trail runner or hiker, this is an excellent shoe to try.
Like the Ghost, the Provision is designed for road running. But like the Olympus, it is a zero drop shoe that may take some getting used to. The Provision follows Altra’s tendency to build wider shoes with wide toe boxes though. So, even with wider options, you may want to try on the normal size to see if it fits before trying the wider version. This shoe also has a stability system for overpronaters that is not present in either the Ghost or the Olympus.
Like the Provision, the Wave Inspire is a stability shoe with a built in support system. Unlike the Provision, the Wave Inspire has been around for a long time with great upgrades over the years to keep its fan base happy. The shoe uses a U4ic midsole designed to decrease the impact on the ground. Runners with wide feet claim that the toe box is excellent. However, the Wave Inspire may be a little narrower through the heel than the rest of the shoes on this list. So again, you are going to want to try it on before buying. If it fits, though, this is an excellent shoe.
Available through size 2E, the Gel-Nimbus offers a lot of flexibility in width. However, some runners complain that the toe box is too narrow. Even with the title of “Best Rated” in the “Running Shoes for Wide Feet” category. The Gel-Nimbus is a neutral shoe, like the Olympus and Ghost, and is designed for road. It features the ASICS FluidRide midsole that may not be the best in the business, but does the job well. Like the Wave Inspire, this shoe has been around forever. 18 years of life proves that those who love the Nimbus keep coming back to it.
Hayden Cox is a former NCAA DI athlete in Cross Country and Track. He has had the opportunity to work with 2x U.S. Olympian, Robert Gary, and a host of elite athletes at the collegiate and professional level. Hayden's ideal day consists of an early morning long run on a mountain trail followed by a giant bowl of pasta and a chocolate milkshake (just don't tell anyone about the milkshake!)