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How to Shop for Wide Feet

I’m sure you’ve heard of dressing for your figure when it comes to clothes, but dressing to maximize comfort on your feet is just as (or maybe even more) important! Everybody has a different foot shape and how something looks is nowhere near as important as how it feels. Luckily, we live in a world where shoes are abundant so it’s not difficult to find comfort without losing out on style.

WOMEN: For women, wide shoes used to only be available in plus-sized shoe stores. However, designers and brands are now taking note that most people’s feet don’t fall into the Cinderella category and have expanded all of their lines to include a few, if not a whole collection, of shoes that cater to wide feet.

MEN: For men, shoes have always come in varying widths, especially dress shoes, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find one that fits properly.

Here are some tips:

  • Always make sure the shoe has enough room for your toes to not be overlapping and don’t buy a shoe where your toes are cramped.
  • There is such thing as a wide shoe that is too wide. If your foot is sliding, it’s not the right size.
  • If you need to wear heels, buy shoes that have wide heels, cushy platforms, and good support for the rest of your foot.
  • Make sure the bottom of the shoe can encompass your entire foot (especially for sandals or open shoes.) Your feet should not be hanging off of the shoe.
  • The material of the shoe should have a little give and not be stiff and abrasive. Wider feet will put added pressure on your feet and can get blisters or cuts more easily if the material is not able to stretch.
  • When walking around the store, don’t assume that you can “break in” your shoes. If a brief test walk leaves you with red spots or mini sores, try a different shoe.
  • Stay away from pointed toes that make the shoe taper.
  • If wearing flats, make sure the body of the shoe is covering most of your foot so that you have the most stability and support. Flimsy shoes will not only get worn easily, they will also give you a range of different feet problems (blisters, corns, calluses, bunions, deformities, etc.)

Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm of Clifton Foot & Ankle Center has been treating patients with foot or ankle ailments for over seventeen years. If you have any questions call his Centreville, VA office at 703-996-3000 or make an appointment here.

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