Fitness Tips

The Best Running Shoes for Wide Feet and How to Find Them, from a Podiatrist

Photo: Getty Images/ Westend61
If you're a runner with wide feet, it's important to shop for running shoes specifically made for wide feet. One of the worst things that can happen while you're running is feeling discomfort due to your gear. Ill-fitting shoes in particular make a run feel so much harder.

The best running shoes for wide feet at a glance

Why is it important to pick the right running shoe if you have wide feet?

Shoes make or break any run, which is why it's important you have a pair that fits well and supports your feet in all the right places. Figuring out your foot type is important to prevent and alleviate pain. To find the best running shoes for wide feet, we tapped Miguel Cunha, DPM, founder of Gotham Footcare located in New York City.

If you're feet feel crammed inside standard width shoes, or the sides of your feet stretch out both sides of the shoes, it's likely you have wide feet. Measure the width of the widest part of your feet (usually your forefoot at the base of your toes) and look at a sizing chart. Women's wide sizes are usually 1D or 2E, and men's are 2E or 4E.

"Choosing the wrong footwear can wreak havoc on your feet. It's important for people to look for shoes that suit their arch, support their feet and ankles, and fit appropriately," says Dr. Cunha. For those with wide feet, Dr. Cunha's top tip is finding a shoe with a wide toe box.

The best running shoe brands for wide feet

Wide running shoes are not the same as wide toe box shoes. Some brands offer both normal and wide widths , such as Hoka and Brooks, which are ideal for people whose entire foot is wide. There are also brands that make shoes with wide toe boxes, such as Altra and Xero, which may fit people better who have a wide forefoot but narrow heel.

What should you look for when shopping for wide running shoes?

When shopping for wide running shoes, it goes beyond buying a bigger shoe size. You should look for shoes that have wider toe boxes so your foot and toes have room to naturally spread out. In addition, look for arch support and adequate insoles to keep your feet sitting comfortably and correctly in your shoes.

Why you need a wide toe box

A wide toe box helps to prevent bunions, hammertoes, neuromas, and ingrown toenails. "In order to determine whether the toe box is wide enough, I suggest tracing your foot onto a piece of paper at the end of the day when your feet are most swollen," says Dr. Cunha. Save your new piece of art, and the next time you go to the shoe store or order shoes online, pick out a pair of shoes and place them on top of the tracing. "If the tracing of your foot surpasses the margins of your shoe, then you know that your shoes are too narrow," he says.

How to get measured for a wide running shoe

For a more precise fit, you have your foot measured with a Brannock device (make sure to get both the width and length measurements), says Dr. Cunha. He also suggests purchasing new footwear at the end of the day because this is when your feet are the most swollen, and if the shoe feels comfortable at the end of the day, it'll more than likely feel comfortable throughout the day.

Your shoe size may vary depending on the material used and designs and your feet also change in size due to hormones (like during pregnancy) and as you age, so Dr. Cunha recommends trying on at least three different pairs of running shoes. Try two different shoes at the same time, wearing one on each foot. "The tip of your thumb should fit between the end of the shoe and the end of your longest toe," explains Dr. Cunha.

The toe box should also be wide enough to accommodate your toes comfortably, and you should have enough room to slightly wiggle your toes, he says. "If you can't move your toes at all, then the shoes are too tight and will eventually become painful.

Is there anything you can do if you can't afford new running shoes right now?

If you can't afford to buy a new pair of wide running shoes, you may be able to adjust the laces on your current shoes for a temporary solution. For example you can thread the laces only through the sides on the top portion of your shoe and then resume criss-crossing at the midfoot; this may relieve pressure on the forefoot. You can also criss-cross through every other eyelet to give you more room if your entire foot is wide.

Finding the best pair of running shoes will require some testing, but with Dr. Cunha's tips, you're set up for success. Plus, he shared his go-to pairs of running shoes for wide feet to jumpstart your search.

The Best Running Shoes for Wide Feet for Women

best running shoes for wide feet
Hoka Clifton 8 — $140.00

Dr. Cunha’s first pick is the Clifton 8. It’s the “perfect combination of soft and light,” according to the Hoka One One product description. It has a streamlined silhouette but still gives your feet space to breathe and move, so you don’t have to worry about being uncomfortable on your runs.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Extended heel crash pad

Cons:

  • Bulkier shoe

Specs:

  • Balanced cushioning
  • 5mm heel to toe drop
  • Sizes 5–12, 17 colors
  • Available in regular and wide widths
  • Best for everyday running and walking
best running shoes for wide feet
Best for soft landings: Brooks Ghost 14 — $110.00

Next up on Dr. Cunha’s list, the Brooks Ghost 14. Your feet are going to feel beyond comfortable in this shoe due to the supportive and soft cushioning.

Pros:

  • Soft cushioning
  • Segmented crash pad and soft midsole for smoother transitions
  • Stretchy upper

Cons:

  • Some reviewers say shoe doesn’t feel wide enough

Specs:

  • Cushioned
  • 12mm heel to toe drop
  • Sizes 5–13, 32 colors
  • Available in narrow, medium, and wide widths
  • Best for everyday running and road running
new balance fresh foam
Best lightweight: New Balance Fresh Foam 880v12 — $140.00

Need more options for comfy running shoes? Dr. Cunha recommends the New Balance Fresh Foam 880v12. Expect a lightweight ride, in addition to breathability and the ultimate support and cushion.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Dual-layer midsole

Cons:

  • Some reviewers say the shoe feel snug in the toe

Specs:

  • Foam cushioning
  • Sizes 5–12, 8 colors
  • Available in narrow, standard, wide, and extra-wide widths
  • Best for training and road running
best running shoes for wide feet
Best for everyday running: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 — $111.00

The Zoom Pegasus is a tried-and-true running shoe, and this model is made for those with wide feet. Don’t worry, it will still provide the same comfort and durability throughout your runs as the regular Pegasus.

Pros:

  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Wider forefoot
  • Midfoot webbing for a snug fit

Cons:

  • No wide width

Specs:

  • Foam cushioning
  • Sizes 5–12, 11 colors
best running shoes for wide feet
Best for racing: On Running Cloudflow Wide — $140.00

This running shoe is lightweight and can be worn for both training and racing. The width around the ball of the foot is four millimeters wider than the width of the regular Cloudflow.

Pros:

  • Wider forefoot
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Made with recycled content
  • Responsive foam

Cons:

  • Some reviewers say the shoe is not wide enough

Specs:

  • Direct cushioning
  • 9mm heel to toe drop
  • Sizes 5–11
  • Available in D width
  • Best for road running, racing, fast training
new balance fresh foam 1080
Best for training: New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v12 — $160.00

If comfort is what you’re after, give the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v12 a test. The upper will hug your foot and fits snug, yet comfortably, and it’s supportive.

Pros:

  • Bootie construction hugs your foot
  • Stretchy and supportive upper
  • Underfoot cushioning

Cons:

  • Some reviewers say it runs narrow

Specs:

  • Foam cushioning
  • Sizes 5–12, 13 colors
  • Available in regular and wide widths
  • Best for everyday running and training
asics evoride 2 womens wide shoe
Best for medium runs: Asics Evoride 2 — $120.00

Asics puts a lot effort into producing very efficient running shoes, says Josh Honore, NASM-CPT and Coach for STRIDE GO & Row House GO. “A lightweight construction and well cushioned sole make long runs less taxing than other options.”

Pros:

  • Extra cushioned
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Anatomically shaped toe box
  • Shock-absorbent landing zone

Cons:

  • Some reviewers say the shoe isn’t wide enough

Specs:

  • Neutral support
  • 5mm heel to toe drop
  • Sizes 5–12, 1 color
  • Available in wide width
  • Best for road running
hoka bondi 7 womens wide shoe
Best for maximum cushioning: Hoka Bondi 8 — $165.00

The Bondi 8 is the most cushioned road shoe that Hoka has and has a memory foam collar, allowing for comfort no matter what distance you’re running. “Arguably one of the most comfortable shoes on the road. As far as ground contact and joint impact go it’s like running on pillows,” says Honore.

Pros:

  • Plush cushioning
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Memory foam collar
  • Resilient foam

Cons:

  • Bulkier shoe

Specs:

  • Neutral stability
  • 4mm heel to toe drop
  • Sizes 5–12, 6 colors
  • Available in regular and wide widths
  • Best for walking and everyday running
Altra escalante 2.5
Best zero drop: Altra Escalante 2.5 — $130.00

Dr. Emily Splichal, DPM, a functional Podiatrist and CEO of Naboso says one of her favorite wide toe box shoe brand for running is Altra. Altra’s shoes, like the Escalante, have foot-shaped toe boxes (and are designed differently for men and women) and have balanced cushioning (your heel and forefoot are the same distance from the ground), which promotes better foot alignment, movement, and form, as well as a lower impact landing.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable knit upper
  • Foot-shaped toe box

Cons:

  • Thinner sole

Specs:

  • Moderate cushioning
  • 0mm heel to toe drop
  • Sizes 5.5-11, 8 colors
  • Best for road running

The Best Running Shoes for Wide Feet for Men

best running shoes for wide feet
Best for long-distance running: On Running Cloudflyer Wide — $160.00

This new running shoe is lightweight but fully cushioned and can be worn for both racing and training.

Pros:

  • 4mm wider around the ball of the foot
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • 3D molded heel

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come in multiple widths

Specs:

  • Max cushioning
  • 5mm heel to toe drop
  • Sizes 7-14, 1 color
  • 2E width
  • Best for road running
best running shoes for wide feet
Best shock-absorbing: Under Armour Men's UA Charged Vantage Running Shoes — $80.00

This sleek shoe has a soft, stretchy fit and was created with wide feet in mind. It’s light, breathable, durable, and cushioned. There are also deep flex grooves to provide flexibility when you’re moving.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Molded midfoot
  • Removable sockliner

Cons:

  • Some reviewers say it’s hard to put the shoe on

Specs:

  • Compression molded foam cushioning
  • 8mm heel to toe drop
  • Sizes 7-14, 8 colors
  • Available in regular and wide widths
best running shoes for wide feet
Best responsive shoe: Hoka Men's Clifton 8 — $140.00

The Clifton 8 is soft and light but has a responsive mesh that will help power you through your runs as you fatigue.

Pros:

  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Extended heel crash pad
  • High-abrasion rubber
  • Early-stage meta rocker for smooth transitions

Cons:

  • Bulkier shoe

Specs:

  • Balanced cushioning
  • 5mm heel to toe drop
  • Sizes 7–16, 19 colors
  • Available in regular and wide widths
  • Best for walking and everyday running
salomon speed cross
Best for trail running: Salomon Speedcross 6 — $140.00

This Salomon trail running shoe has neutral support and is designed to move naturally with your foot. Honore says it’s an incredibly durable shoe with plenty of cushion, grip, and support to keep you safe for long distances.

Pros:

  • High foot protection
  • Rebound midsole
  • Ripstop fabric
  • Maximum grip on sole

Cons:

  • May not be wide enough

Specs:

  • Quicklace
  • 10mm heel to toe drop
  • Sizes 7–14, 3 colors
  • Best for trail running on mixed terrain or muddy and soft surfaces
xero prio shoes
Best minimalist shoe: Xero Prio — $63.00

Another minimal, wide toe-box recommendation from Dr. Splichal is Xero. These running shoes have a zero-drop, flexible soles, and are low to the ground to give you some support but let your feet move naturally. There’s a heel strap to hold your heel and ankle securely in place while letting your toes have room to wiggle around. There’s an optional 3mm insole if you want to add a bit more cushioning, too.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Instep straps hold your feet securely
  • Wide toe box

Cons:

  • Thinner sole
  • May take some time to get used to

Specs:

  • 5.5mm rubber sole
  • 0mm heel to toe drop
  • Sizes 6.5-15, 8 colors
  • Best for everyday running and going to the gym

Editor's note: While we suggest shoes for both women and men, we only do this based on search results. You can wear whichever shoe you want, however you identify.

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