Image courtesy of Knitty Cent
There’s plenty of fuss to be made over common foot irregularities like pronation issues and high arches. But what do you do when your feet are simply wider than that of the average runner? Unfortunately, this is a problem for many individuals and too many of them settle for poor-fitting shoes with the assumption that no suitable alternative exists. In reality, though, wide-set shoes are available for feet of all shapes and sizes, even if they’re hard to find. Here’s a quick guide to make sure you find a pair of shoes that complement your feet.
Try on Several Different Pairs
The easiest rule of thumb when searching for a wide-set shoe is to try on a number of different pairs. Some shoes will advertise themselves as wide-set; regardless of what the packaging says, check out several different pairs and see how they feel on your feet. If the sole seems unable to support your entire foot, move on to the next pair. It can be a frustrating process, but trial and error is one of the best ways you’ll find a pair that fits you right. After wearing ill-fitting shoes, you’ll know a good shoe when you slip it on.
Have your Feet Evaluated at a Shoe Store
Many shoe stores geared toward runners have a variety of tests designed to tell you more about your foot, from its shape to the way it strikes the ground during a run. This simple, free examination can also tell you about your foot’s width, including how it compares to the average foot and what shoes might provide an accommodating fit. There is no risk in one of these evaluations — in fact, you will only benefit from finding out exactly what kind of shoes you should be wearing for maximum comfort and durability.
Play the Gender Card
Men’s shoes typically have a different structure than women’s shoes, and one of these differences is in the width of the shoe. If you’re a woman struggling to find a pair of shoes that can handle your wide feet, see if men’s models are any better at catering to your needs. That extra little bit of width could be just enough to give you the support you need. Given that shoes come in a variety of styles and colors, you don’t have to worry about settling for too masculine a pair of shoes.
If you continue to run with shoes that don’t support your foot’s width, you run the risk of suffering complications like blisters and sore spots from friction. Discomfort also makes you change your running stride, which can lead to injuries that could have been avoided. If you’re diligent in your search, you should be able to find a pair of shoes that cater to wide feet. Just be patient and refuse to settle for anything less than the perfect fit.