You can search for the perfect running shoe for your needs…but it doesn’t come in a wide fit (or it’s only available in terrible colors!)
Why seven? Because there are differences in the shape of each shoe as well as the fit and feel of each brand.
It’s why good running shoe shops will often ask you “which brand have you worn before, and did you like them?”
It’s more than brand loyalty – it’s figuring out which brand’s shape and features suit you best.
Most brands generally stick to a common shape and a common set of dimensions (with the notable exceptions of HOKA and New Balance.)
So if you comfortably fit into one of their shoes, you’re likely to fit into ALL of their shoes.
Over time and as we age, the foot changes slightly – it flattens and widens due to the effects of prolonged loading on the joints and bones.
It’s not a sign of bad footwear choices when you were younger or that you spent too much time barefoot as a kid.
Foot widening is normal and unavoidable, although some people’s feet widen more than others.
What is considered a wide foot?
A wide foot in women’s shoes is defined as a “D” (wide) or “2E” (extra wide) fit.
A “wide” foot refers to the distance across the front of the foot from the ball of the big toe to the ball of the 5th toe (that’s the bumps on the side of the foot lining up with the pads under the forefoot.)
But this is where it gets tricky – there’s no standard or accepted measure of a normal (“B”) or wide (“D”) foot.
Each brand has their own ideas of what a wide foot looks like.
How do you know if you need a wide running shoe?
You know if you need a wide running shoe if you feel pressure from the upper squeezing against BOTH sides of your forefoot.
You may also notice that your forefoot hangs over the edges of the midsole (the midsole is the foam material that provides cushioning.)
If you feel that pressure on both sides, you need to look at a wide fitting Women’s running shoe.
If you only feel the pressure on one side of the forefoot, you may actually need a different shape of shoe.
Even the best women’s running shoes for wide feet are useless if you don’t actually have a wide foot!
If you feel pressure against the little toe, you might have a straight foot in a curved last shoe (see our post on the different parts of a running shoe if you don’t know which bits are the midsole and what the “last” of a shoe refers to.)
If the pressure is against your big toe only, you might have a curved foot in a straight or universal last shoe.
If that’s the case, look at a different brand before you play with wide fitting running shoes.
Is it better to wear wide shoes?
It’s NOT better to just get wide shoes so you’ve got extra space around your foot.
A running shoe is designed to fit snugly around your foot – it holds the foot in a specific spot on the midsole.
This is important for all running shoes and especially important for support shoes.
This is because the shoe grip, support and features are wasted if your foot moves around too much.
Not only are you susceptible to blisters, you’re likely to roll an ankle from sliding around within the shoe.
Any support built in to the shoe is also going to waste as your foot slides sideways away from the support material.
So always look for a firm fitting shoe without extra “wiggle room” around the foot for the best running shoe option for wide feet.
Which shoes have the widest toe box?
The shoes with the widest toe box is without a doubt the Altra range.
Altra shoes are the Queen of wide feet in a normal B width shoe – that is, they are made wider than other shoes in the “normal” B width.
That’s not to say they’re the best women’s running shoes for wide feet or that they have the widest toe boxes of any running shoe.
Other brands make Women’s running shoes in D and 2E widths that are wider than Altra’s models.
Best women’s running shoes for wide feet
- This has to be one of the best, most popular running shoes for wide feet
- It’s been available in a wide fit for only a few years now and the wide fit isn’t super wide, but worth a try for its plush comfort and effortless motion
- If you’re in the US, this vendor has the fastest shipping and the price has been dropping for the last month or so
- If the HOKA Bondi is the new kid on the block, the Asics Nimbus might have been the first resident on the block
- Asics reputation for light, uber comfortable running shoes is on the money here in this classic champion of the cushioned running shoe
- Buying from the US? This vendor has the biggest color range and usually has the best price on offer too
- If you’re looking the the best Womens’ running shoes for wide feet that can also double as casual shoes, you can’t go past Nike for the look
- The Nike range isn’t overly roomy though, so that look may come at the expense of fit
- If you love Nike and you’re ordering from the US, try this seller for a great range of colors
- Another entrant on our list of best Women’s running shoes for wide feet, this HOKA model is a slightly different fit to the Bondi above
- The width is generous without being too roomy and HOKA’s legendary plushness is obvious here
- For US runners, head to this vendor for fast delivery and a good range of colors
Mizuno Wave Rider
- This wide fit from Mizuno has to be the exact opposite of the HOKA range – you feel connected to the road in a more responsive shoe
- Mizuno’s generous wide fit and roomy upper will accommodate even the broadest of feet
- If you’re in the US, you’re in luck! These guys offer a try before you buy service with fast delivery and a big range of colors
New Balance 1080
- Another stalwart of the cushioned shoe category, the NB 1080 is plush but still responsive for distance runners
- The shape and width of the shoe is fairly unique, making it great for higher volume feet
- You can order it in the US here with a great range of colors and width options (they have wide and extra wide, as well as narrow fit options)
- One of Nike’s first mega-successful running shoes, the Pegasus have been around since 1983! That makes them a shoe-in (pun intended) on any list of the Best women’s running shoes for wide feet
- Lightweight and in attractive colors, they’re not the widest options available but they ae one of the most comfortable
- In the US, you can’t go past this vendor for range and availability
- One of the most popular and versatile support shoes on the market, the Kayano has been considered one of the best Women’s running shoes for wide feet since 1993
- We’re now up to version 28, which is lighter and with a more accommodating upper
- For US runners, this vendor offers lightning fast shipping and free returns – you’ll also find some of the previous model in stock for almost half price!
- The Adrenaline has undergone a major change in the last year, which makes it less of a support shoe and more of a cushioned shoe
- In 2020, it got lighter and offers a smooth ride but it gave away some of its stability for “guide rails” (instead of dual density support)
- If you don’t need to much support and you’re in the US, this supplier has a huge range of colors and widths (including “D” wide and “2E” extra wide, as well as “A” narrow options)
- The Guide is a serious running shoe, offering responsive performance and durability
- It’s made on a straight last so if you fit into Nike or Adidas, it’s likely to be a good fit
- American runners can find fast delivery, free returns and a try-before-you-buy service for the Saucony Guide here
- HOKA have added a number of support shoes to their range in the last 5 years with the Arahi proving to be the most popular
- With HOKA’s famous super-plush midsole, the Arahi is a dream to run in and is one of the best Women’s running shoes for wide feet
- In the US, you can find a range of colors and fast delivery from this vendor (although not all Arahi colors are available in a wide fit)
- Officially the most popular shoe on the market, the Asics GT-2000 is probably the #1 shoe on our list of best Women’s running shoes for wide feet
- Offering a perfect blend of support and cushioning, the latest models have a redesigned upper for more comfort and a better fit
- US runners can find a great range in stock here with wide options for most colors – you’ll also pick up a bargain with earlier models on sale for around $50!
Mizuno Wave Inspire
- If you prefer a firmer ride in a responsive shoe, the Mizuno Inspire is your shoe – it has a wave plate in the midsole for support which makes it firm but light
- If you fit into Asics and are looking to switch brands, you should have no trouble swapping to Mizuno
- US-based runners can try-before-you-buy, get fast shipping and a massive list of color options from this vendor
New Balance FuelCell Prism v2
- New Balance has evolved a line of shoes that blend racing performance with comfort, and the Prism is a great example
- It’s a sleek shoe that’s perfect for a fast 10k or a half marathon and a recent addition to the list of best women’s running shoes for wide feet
- In the US, you’ll find the “D” wide fitting options in stock here with all the expected delivery options (speedy delivery, free returns, try-before-you-buy)
- An absolute stand out in the Best women’s running shoes for wide feet – Trail category, the Speedgoat is coming into its 5th year
- Great grip, plush midsole, very comfortable and snug upper – what more do we need to say… (the only word of caution is that the earlier models didn’t get the same love as the recent edition, so beware of the discounted version 2)
- US runners can find the available models here, but keep an eye out for 2022 models due to be released shortly (and likely to be named Speedgoat 5)
- For serious trail runners looking for next-level grip in muddy or loose surfaces, the Saucony Peregrine is the goods
- It’s aggressive grip doesn’t lend itself to any time on the road (so it’s not a good mixed surface shoe)
- If you fit Saucony or Nike shoes and need a super grippy trail shoe, head here for the Saucony Peregrine with fast delivery to US addresses (big range of colors too)
- A worthy addition to our list of best Women’s running shoes for wide feet, the Cascadia is a no-nonsense durable trail shoe
- Offering a grippy outsole for light snow and loose rocky trails, it’s not a trail shoe you can take on road (it shears off the trail grip pretty quickly)
- With 7 different color options, fast delivery and free returns, US runners can find their wide fitting Cascadia here
HOKA Challenger ATR
- Another HOKA offering in the trail range, this is one super versatile shoe that can cover most trails and road with its unique grip design
- Not to be confused with the Asics Challenger, the HOKA Challenger ATR (ATR = All Terrain Running) is your cover-all running shoe option
- They can be tricky to find at different times of the year but US buyers should find a decent stock of wide fitting Challenger ATRs here
- This has to be one of the grippiest shoes on the market, designed for European snow and scree
- The Salomon pedigree was born on trails and in the mountains so it’s perfectly suited to the toughest trails
- US buyers can find the Salmon Speedcross here in a number of color options
Salomon S-Lab Speed
- At the other end of the spectrum to the Speedcross are the Speeds (in a good way) – sleek fast racing shoes designed for trail
- They’ve got the same aggressive grip pattern but with a sleek light upper made for trail races up to 20k (maybe longer depending on a few factors)
- They don’t come in a Women’s wide fit but rather in a unisex size, and the men’s standard fit is identical to a women’s wide fit (both called “D” widths) so US trail runners can find their perfect wide fitting racing shoe here.
Altra Lone Peak 5.0
- Altra shoes belong on every list of best women’s running shoes for wide feet because the brand in known for very wide accommodating toe boxes
- The Lone Peak is their popular trail option with an aggressive grip and tough durable upper – just note that they’re a zero drop shoe so you may need to transition to them from high drop shoes
- US trail runners can find a big selection of colors in stock here with fast delivery and free returns
Carbon Plate Racing shoes
A word of caution – racing shoes should be exactly that, for racing.
They’re not designed for big mileage and they don’t offer the protection needed for regular training.
Yes, you’ll feel fast in them but that comes at a cost and it’s usually in terms of additional loading.
That applies to nylon plate, carbon rods and carbon plate running shoes as well – we’re seeing a spike in calf and bone injuries in the Physiotherapy clinic due to their use in regular training.
Just think of racing flats and carbon plate running shoes like a beautiful silk evening dress – sure, you look great in it but you can’t wear it every day.
Note on options, sizes and widths:
- There are NO wide fitting options in a Women’s running shoe with a carbon plate
- If you’d like a carbon plate and you have a wide foot, we recommend the men’s or unisex models
- Where a shoe is listed as UNISEX or MENS, it comes in a men’s standard “D” width which corresponds to a Women’s “D” wide fit
- For sizing, Women’s sizes are usually 1.5 sizes up from the equivalent Men’s size so a US 9 women’s = US 7.5 men’s size
- We haven’t included descriptions and comments as we haven’t had the chance to road test these shoes (yet)
Nike Vaporfly 4% Flyknit Unisex – with carbon fiber plate
Brooks Hyperion Elite 2 Unisex – with carbon fiber plate
Saucony Endorphin Pro 2 Mens – with carbon fiber plate
adidas adizero Adios Pro 2 Mens – with “EnergyRods”
HOKA Rocket X & Carbon X (no link available at this time)
Saucony Endorphin Speed Mens – with nylon plate
Skechers GOrun Speed Elite Hyper Mens – with carbon fiber plate
Disclaimer for Best women’s running shoes for wide feet
**Special note: this article has Physiotherapist-recommended products with affiliate links to trusted vendors, selected for their fast & reliable service and great prices. The article was written prior to sourcing the affiliate links and the links in no way influence our recommendations.