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Getting the Right Fit for Narrow and Wide Feet

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 17 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Right Fit Narrow Wide Feet Foot Footwear

As anyone with narrow or wide feet knows only too well, finding shoes that fit properly can be a bit of a nightmare at times. But if your feet fall into either of these categories, there are things you can do to ensure you get the right fit.

Getting the Right Fit for Narrow Feet

If you’ve got narrow feet, then finding shoes that fit you well can be a tricky task. Where feet would normally slip comfortably in place, instead the shoe is prone to slipping off as soon as you start to walk, which is no good and highly unsafe. Wearing lace up boots or Roman-type sandals that do up around the ankles can help relieve the problem, but you don’t want to be stuck forever in these types of footwear.

If you’ve always had narrow feet, then the chances are you’ll already know what width measurement you take, as they’ll have been measured during childhood or your teens. However, feet can change width slightly during the rest of our lives, so you may not have any idea of the width you currently are.

Finding The Width of Your Feet

Many shops don’t do foot measuring for adults any more, which is a shame. However, specialist shoe shops are more used to offering this service, so it’s well worth seeing if there’s a specialist shop in your area, for example specialising in shoes for narrow feet. There are also a number of specialist companies who offer a mail order or online service and they’ll be able to send you a do-it-yourself foot measuring kit. You’ll usually be required to draw around your foot and send it in to them for measuring, or you’ll be provided with a guide to tell how wide your feet are and what size they are.

For those with narrow feet, the feet will be a width measurement of C or under, but most likely narrower than this. Common narrow feet measurements include B, A, AA or AAA – (otherwise known as 2A or 3A, depending on the manufacturers name fitting preference) – where C is the largest and AAA is the smallest.

Once you know exactly what width measurement your feet are, then you’ll be able to start the process of finding shoes that fit. It’s good to try on a variety of shoes, produced by different manufacturers, to find a pair (or two!) that feel good for you. As is the case with clothing sizes, sometimes shoe manufacturers are prone to tweaking the measurements a bit and certain ranges will therefore feel more comfortable to you than others.

Getting the Right Fit for Wide Feet

It’s a similar situation for those who have wide feet, but rather than shoes falling off, they’re too tight, rub in the wrong places and generally very uncomfortable. Some people say people with wide feet get a slightly better deal than those with narrow feet. This is because wider feet are generally more common than narrow feet, so some mainstream shops do stock a range of shoes designed for wide feet alongside their usual ranges. However, it will of course depend on how wide your feet are as to whether they’re suitable or not.

Finding Your Width Measurement

Again, it’s important to be able to find out exactly what your foot width measurement is. Either find a reputable shop in your area who still offer foot measuring services or use on of the specialist mail order or online shoe shops, who’ll be able to send you details of how to measure your feet yourself. The standard fit for a so-called normal foot is a D fitting. Wide fittings start with E, then E/EE, EE, EEE and EEEE (in this case, EEEE is the widest).

When you’re equipped with your correct size, you’ll be able to head off shoe shopping with full knowledge of exactly what your fitting is. If you’re not able to find a shoe shop locally that stocks shoes in your width, and they’re not able to order them in, then there are some good online and mail order shoe firms who are well worth trying.

Wearing correctly fitting shoes that are the right width for you will make all the difference, not least as they’ll feel comfortable and be designed for your width of foot.

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I am 11 years old and my feet measure a 4.5 AAA, we hate going shoe shopping, or shoe shopping hell as I call it, because we never find any thing, even clarks only go down to a d or c if you are lucky! The best winter boots we found were last years from jones boot maker, they were a 5C and with 3 insoles I could just about wear them, although they cost me £49! We are yet to find a decent pair of summer school shoes because I pull the straps so tight, I end up tripping over them. Any suggestions about what to do?
caitlin obee - 13-Apr-11 @ 12:33 PM
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