Running

‘I’m a Podiatrist, and These Are the Running Shoes I Recommend for Wide or Narrow Feet’

Kara Jillian Brown

Photo: Getty Images / FreshSplash
Your shoes can make or break your run. When it isn’t the right fit, it’ll let you know—whether that’s with blisters or back pain. To find the right running shoe, you have to also take the width of your foot into consideration, says Diane Koshimune, DPM, a California-based podiatrist. But it’s not as simple as looking down and making a guess.

“The width of your foot must take into account the overall shape of your bones and tissues during function,” says Dr. Koshimune. “With weight-bearing, some people will have greater splay between the bones especially if the ligaments happen to be looser. Also, with increase in activity or towards the end of the day, there may be additional soft tissue swelling that naturally occurs that needs to be taken into account.” If your running shoe doesn’t fit the width of your foot, the location of the arch, lacing, and contours of the upper portion of the shoe will be impacted.

Of course, width isn’t the only component you should consider when getting running shoes. Everything from running style and distance, to arch height can impact what makes a shoe work for you. Take the below running shoe width tips to help guide your search.

1. Running shoes for wide feet

If you have wide feet, Dr. Koshimune says to look for running shoes that allow the entire bottom of your foot to comfortably fit over the base of the shoe and isn’t overflowing up the sides of the shoe. This is most obvious in sneakers with more flexible fabric sides. If you notice the top portion of your shoe is starting to warp out of shape, Dr. Koshimune says that’s a sign that your foot is spilling over. She likes shoes from Hoka One and New Balance for wide feet.

Hoka One One Women’s Clifton 7, $130

Hoka One Women's Clifton 7, running shoe width

Dr. Koshimune likes Hoka One One sneakers for wide feet because their standard foot base is already a bit wider than typical shoes. Additionally, you can shop the shoe in wide if you need more room. The Clifton 7, great for the daily runner, is breathable, lightweight, and made with a plush collar to ease Achilles pressure. Shop other Hoka One One running sneakers here.

Shop now: Hoka Clifton 7, $130

New Balance 840v4, $125

New Balance 840v4

New Balance sneakers are great for people with wide feet because certain styles come in a variety of widths. The 840v4 is available in both wide and extra-wide. It’s lightweight and cushy. Shop other New Balance wide sneakers here.

Shop now: New Balance 840v4, $125

2. Running shoes for wide-ball, narrow-heeled feet

You may find that your foot doesn’t neatly fit into any one width category. “There are some people who have a wider forefoot but a narrower heel where a shoe that fits the front might not fit the heel area well,” says Dr. Koshimune. For these people, you have to look at the overall construction of the shoe in addition to the wide-narrow categories. She likes Saucony for this foot type.

Saucony Women’s Triumph 18, $150

Saucony Women's Triumph 18, running shoe width

Saucony shoes tend to have that balance of a narrower heel with a wider forefoot, says Dr. Koshimune. The Triumph 18 provides structure while being super cushy 18, made with soft, springy, and flexible foam. Shop other Saucony sneakers here.

Shop now: Saucony Women’s Triumph 18, $150

3. Running shoes for narrow feet

If you have narrow feet, you’ll want a shoe that really fits to your foot. Dr. Koshimune says you can tell that it fits when you’re able to tighten the laces enough for the shoe to stay put while running. “You want the shoe to fit so that there is no additional friction between the foot and the shoe because this additional friction can increase skin irritation and even result in blisters,” she says. Overall, she says people with narrow feet don’t typically have a hard time picking a sneaker. Although listed above for wide feet, the New Balance 840v4 ($125) also come in narrow. And though Adidas doesn’t offer differing widths, Sole Review says the Adidas UltraBoost 20 ($205) will fit most narrow-foot runners.

New Balance 840v4, $125

New Balance 840v4

New Balance sneakers are great for people with narrow feet because they come in narrow widths. The 840v4 is lightweight and cushy. Shop other New Balance wide sneakers here.

Shop now: New Balance 840v4, $125

Adidas NASA X Ultraboost 20, $205

Adidas NASA X Ultraboost 20

Adidas teamed up with NASA to create an out-of-this world sneakers with a sock-like fit. They are made out of Primeblue, a high-performance recycled material made in part with Parley Ocean Plastic. While Adidas doesn’t offer different widths, runners say most people with narrow feet will find these shoes ultra-comfortable.

Shop now: Adidas NASA X Ultraboost 20, $205

While you wait for your new sneakers to arrive, try this yoga flow for runners:

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