How To Tell If You Have Wide Feet

How To Tell If You Have Wide Feet And How To Fix Them!

In this article we will discuss how to tell if you have wide feet and what you can do about them.

How often do we go to a store to pick up shoes, only to come home disappointed with ill fitting footwear? If you’ve ever come back home to newly bought ill-fitting shoes, then read on. 

Most of us experience some sort of foot pain at some point in our lives.
How To Tell If You Have Flat Feet
A host of problems like bunions, corns and calluses, tight muscles and even wide feet can contribute to the pain. Besides our feet are one of the most stressed areas of our anatomy by design.
They are the weight lifters of our bodies.
Men hide their feet inside covered shoes tied up with lace, whereas women on the other hand, love shoes which show off their dainty pedicured feet.
Unfortunately most of us are not gifted with slender arched feet. So how do we work around this issue? And is cosmetic concern the only drawback towards having wide feet?

So What Causes Wide Feet? The Top 5 Reasons For Developing Wide Feet

  • Unfortunately nature is possibly the most common cause. It entails simply being born with feet wider than those of most other people. It represents physical diversity and most sufferers may not find their foot shape represented by shoe manufacturers. Physical differences are one of the main reasons we develop wide feet. Some of us inherit them while some of us cause these bodily differences ourselves. If you are overweight, you are more prone to having wider feet. This is because you feet need to redistribute the weight of your body evenly in order to balance properly. They were designed to withstand massive loads on a sporadic basis. Carrying excessive weight on the body while walking is a huge factor in developing wider feet. Being overweight diminishes the weight bearing capacity of the calves and ankles. So the weight is automatically transferred to the feet causing the arch to collapse.
Losing Weight Can Help Reduce The Size Of Wide Feet


  • Flat feet not only hinder movement in life, they also increase the width of your feet. Having flat feet causes the arch to fall, this widens the feet spreading the toes out in order to create more balance. Flat feet can also cause bunion which further widen the feet, giving it a deformed look.
    Learning how to correct flat feet can reduce the width of your wide feet by up to one inch.
  • Bone deformities too contribute to wide feet. Bunions are bone deformities in the feet. They form either on one side (the big toe) or on both sides (big and small toes) of the foot, causing a bony swelling in the joint. The swelling increases the breadth of the affected foot while deforming its natural shape. Bunion surgery can be extremely painful. So preventing bunions from getting worse is something that should not be taken lightly.
  • Tight shoes put extreme pressure on the feet when we stand walk or run causing inflammation. This inflammation causes the feet to swell further, widening the foot some more. To get out of this vicious circle we need to look for a few alternatives.

How To Check If you Have Wide Feet At Home

It’s really easy to check if you have wide feet. You will only need a few simple household items.

What you will need:

1. A pen or pencil

2. A tape measure or long ruler

3. A piece of paper or cardboard that is wider that your foot

How to tell if you have wide feet infographic


Firstly, you shouldn’t measure your feet in the morning. The feet contract when not being used and measuring them earlier in the day will produce inaccurate results. So make sure you measure your feet in the later half of the day for best results as your feet will swell up a bit and will be at their truest length and shape.

You will also need to measure both feet as one will most likely be wider than the other. You will want to buy footwear that accommodates your wider foot.

Thirdly, if you intend on wearing socks with your shoes (which we highly recommend of course) then make sure you’re wearing socks while taking these measurements as well.

Procedure to measure the width of your feet:

1. Keeping your socks on, lay down the piece of paper on the ground. Make sure you do not place the piece of paper on carpet.

2. Do not place the piece of paper on an elevated surface, as this will also give you an inaccurate reading. Make sure that you are standing up and bearing weight on your foot.

3. With the pencil mark out the two widest points on your foot. Note that these two points won’t necessarily be on opposite sides of of each other.

4. Using the tape measure or ruler, measure the distance between these two points on the paper. This will tell you the width of your feet.

So now that you’ve got the width measurement of your feet, what next?

Well, you can use the chart below to tell whether you have wide or narrow or normal feet.

This will help you determine what size shoe to buy. We’ve also listed a couple of pointers in regards to tell tale signs that you’ve bought shoes that aren’t wide enough for your feet.

Signs That Your Shoes Are Too Narrow For Your Feet

1. If the side of your big toe and little toe starts to hurt when you walk, run or stand, or your feet start to swell after you have worn your shoes for a while, you need to buy wider shoes.

2. If your ankles swell, then it is a tell tale sign that your shoes are too tight.

Hacks for those who can’t find shoes to fit their wide feet

When trying out shoes or if you have measured your feet using our size guide, you will find that one foot is wider than the other. Always choose a shoe to fit the wider foot as this will ensure a comfortable fit and ride.

These days shoes are being made with pointed toes. If you have wide feet, you must stay away from these types of shoes at all costs. They will not only cause severe discomfort to your feet, but also deform and injure the foot. use wide and rounded shoes whenever possible.

If a new shoe is too tight for your feet and you cannot find another shoe in your size, this shoe widening hack will help. Fill a bag with water and stuff it into the front of the shoes. Then place the shoe with the water bag in the freezer until the water freezes over. The ice formed in the water bag will expand and should stretch your shoes just enough for them to fit you comfortably.

Another trick for a pair of tight fitting leather shoes is to swab the insides of your shoes with alcohol. Then use a thick pair of socks and walk around in them for a while, the alcohol will cause the leather shoes to stretch.

What Are The Problems Associated With Wide Feet?

There are absolutely no functional problems associated with having wide feet. In fact wider feet are more capable of carrying heavier loads and distribute weight better, making it easier to balance.

Although some people do look at having wide feet as a cosmetic deformity. When it comes to women, ugly is what comes to mind, making them force their feet into narrow footwear.

This only worsens the situation, giving rise to a myriad of other foot problems like bunions, corns and calluses. These ill fitting shoes make us limp and slows us down, making us willful social outcasts.

Ladies, if you are truly concerned about the appearance of your feet, we have a comprehensive guide on giving your feet the perfect pedicure at home. Nothing screams foot hygiene better than well pedicured feet. 

The only  problem associated with having wide feet is the lack of footwear that comes in comfortably wide sizes.

Footwear has become a fashion statement for both men and women thus the modern man and woman has a wide range of shoes for every occasion like dress shoes, lounge shoes, moccasins, etc.

Following these fashionable trends the market has narrow front, pointed shoes, high ankle shoes for men and tight high rise heels for women.

Not wearing the right type of footwear only worsens the problem, leading to severe foot deformities that could require surgery. 

Surgery For Wide Feet

Surgery for wide feet is quite uncommon, unless it is for bunion correction. It can be quite expensive and extremely painful. It should be treated as a last resort.


Having wide feet is usually not a hindrance to one’s movement. The problem lies in finding the right fitting shoe for your wide feet.

The measurement guide and the chart provided above will show you what size shoe will fit your feet the best. It is a good starting point if you’d like to know how to tell if you have wide feet.

And if you’ve already bought a pair of shoes that don’t fit well enough, the hacks provided above will help you stretch your shoes out.

Leave a Comment