Trying to find the best running shoes for wide feet is a long held frustration for anyone gifted with a broad forefoot!
Wide feet, defined as having an increased width (across the ball of the foot) relative to its length, require a shoe with slightly different proportions.
Who has wide feet?
Feet will naturally widen over time, and this happens faster with excessive body weight or poor ankle/leg stability.
Looking at cultural differences, wide feet are more common amongst Asian cultures (source).
Who needs wide fitting running shoes?
Some surveys found that up to 50% of people need a wider fitting shoe. So they should be pretty common, right?
Oh so wrong unfortunately…
Where do you find running shoes for wide feet?
Looking at the 800+ men’s shoes available on runningwarehouse.com, less than 15% of running shoes are for wide feet. If you need a trail-specific running shoe, less than 10% have options for wide feet.
In considering the best running shoes for wide feet, there is no “best” shoe because everyone’s needs are different.
It would be like trying to recommend a “best” car – some people need a station wagon for the kids, others need a sports car for the look while some prefer an off-road vehicle for, well, off-road.
What to look for in a wide fitting running shoe?
The two key features of a shoe that are needed to narrow your selection are the heel to toe offset (aka heel to toe drop) and the amount of support it provides.
Road shoe without support
If you prefer a lower offset shoe (anything under 6mm) and you don’t needs support, the HOKA ONE ONE range now includes a selection of wide fitting shoes. Runners love HOKA because of their generous cushioning and smooth ride.
In a mid offset shoe (around 6-8mm) without support, your best options are in the Saucony or New Balance range. Saucony’s wide fitting running shoes are a little bit heavier than the New Balance options but accommodate a higher volume foot (nice way of saying a “fatter foot”).
For your high offset wide fitting running shoes without support, you’ll be looking at Brooks, Mizuno or Asics shoes (although there are some options in the New Balance range as well).
Road shoe with support
If you need support in a wide fitting road running shoe, the best options are:
- Hoka One One Arahi (low-mid offset)
- Saucony Guide (mid offset)
- Asics GT-2000 (high offset)
- Brooks Adrenaline GTS (high offset)
- Mizuno Wave Inspire (high offset)
- New Balance 860 (high offset)
Trail running shoes
If you’re looking for trail running shoes for wide feet, the options are even more limited.
Trail running shoe with support
First point, THERE ARE NO SUPPORT OPTIONS FOR TRAIL SHOES!!!
Your only options are to go for a supportive road shoe or to add a supportive orthotic to a well structured neutral shoe.
Trail running shoe without support
For a trail shoe that fits a wide foot and doesn’t have support, the favourite options are:
- Altra Lone Peak (zero offset – ie. dead flat)
- Hoka One One Speedgoat (low offset)
- Saucony Peregrine (low offset)
- Brooks Cascadia (mid-high offset)
- Salomon Speedcross (high offset)