What is the main difference Wide vs. extra wide shoes?

Finding properly fitted shoes is essential for walking, running, jumping, playing, or doing anything comfortably. However, we mostly put importance on measuring the length of any shoes to determine which size fits our feet. But measuring the width is also crucial for ensuring the comfort of your feet.

There are narrow, medium, wide, and extra-wide shoes available and you need to take proper width measurement to decide what width is perfect for the feet. Here, I’ll discuss the various aspects and differences of wide and extra-wide shoes.

Wide vs. extra wide shoes

Difference between wide and extra-wide shoes

You see, the difference between wide and extra-wide shoes is very minimal. Typically, extra-wide shoes are 0.25 inches more than the width of wide shoes. However, this minimal difference becomes a great factor behind your discomfort while wearing the shoes.

The width of the shoe is determined by the width of the widest part of the foot and the part coming soon after the toe positioning is the widest part of the foot. If you are selecting the wider shoes, for your extra wide feet, it won’t give you the extra space you would’ve wanted to have.

Again, it is going to feel uncomfortable when you are wearing extra-wide shoes in place of wider ones. The main difference both these widths will make is between the comforts of the user. Not every user has the same width of feet, so the width of the shoes is also variable depending on the user.

When does one need wide or extra-wide shoes?

If you have wider feet than others, you are required to wear wide or extra-wide shoes depending on the width of your feet. Except for this basic reason, there are also some medically provide reasons that force one to use wider shoes. If you lives in mexico remember that usa and mexico, there are some diffrence in shoe sizes.

Genetically having large feet 

The first and most simple reason for using wide or extra-wide shoes has larger feet genetically. No one has the same size and same shape of feet in the world and for this; there are numerous sizes of shoes available. The width of the shoe is proportional to the width of the feet.

Not finding enough room inside the shoes: If you feel the shoes you are wearing are too much tight, or you can't spread your toes comfortably, you need wide or extra-wide shoes. Sometimes, the larger length can also bring you enough room inside the shoes. However, you still should take measurements of the width of the feet to choose the perfect one.

Having calluses or blisters

If the shoes you are wearing are narrow or small, you are going to have calluses or blisters underneath your feet for sure. The blisters and calluses are both created due to excessive friction. And the friction is created because of the small size of the shoes.

Sign of bunion

If there is any sign of bunion near your larger toe, it is time to change the width of your shoes. Due to excessive pressure to the joint of the larger toe area, the joint deforms. And if the shoe width is not changed, the deformation will continue to get larger.

Due to pregnancy

During pregnancy, women have larger feet due to loosing of ligaments by the relaxin hormone. Some women require wearing wide or extra-wide shoes temporarily during the pregnancy and some women have to wear for permanently.

Swelling of feet

If there is swelling of the feet due to some medical issues, it is suggested to wear wide or extra-wide shoes that perfectly match your feet' size.

Shoe width for men

There are basically five different widths of men’s shoes found. They are extra narrow, narrow, standard, wide, and extra-wide. These measurements are shown in different ways like in abbreviations or letters or even full forms. In abbreviation four letters are used, A, B, D, and E.

  • A defines the extra narrow size for men.
  • B is used for men’s shoes with a narrow width.
  • D refers to the standard width of men’s shoes.
  • The last letter E is used for two types of shoes, wide and extra-wide. Simply E or 2E is used for wide shoes and 4E is used for extra-wide shoes.  

Shoe width for women

Like the men’s shoe width, women’s shoes are also found in five categories. These are extra narrow, narrow, standard, wide, and extra-wide. These different widths are also defined by abbreviations, letters, or in full forms. The standard method is showing by letters A, B, D, and E.

  • A is used for two types of shoes, extra narrow and narrow. 4A refers to extra narrow shoes and A, or 2A refers to narrow shoes.
  • B is used for standard-size shoes.
  • D is the one referring to wide shoes.
  • The extra-wide size is shown by E or 2E.

Shoe width for younger ones

Measuring the width of the feet and choosing the right fitting shoes is also important for the younger ones. There are also typically four different widths found for younger shoes. These are narrow, standard, wide, and extra-wide. Younger ones have growing feet.

They might find wearing the same size of shoes uncomfortable for a long time. So, the shoe size should be changed frequently for them, unless this can become an obstacle to the proper growth of their feet.

How to measure the width of your foot

Choosing a larger pair of shoes might also provide you a larger width, but the scenario is not the same every time. That is why you should measure the width of your feet to find the proper sizing to your feet.

Following the below steps will help you give the proper measurement of the width of your feet.

  • You need nothing more than a measuring tape to measure the width of your foot.
  • First, wrap the tape around the widest part of your feet. Basically, the widest part is where the bunion joint is situated just under the larger toe.
  • After taking the measurement, compare this with the size chart of the shoe brand you are intended to buy your shoes and select the right one.

Consequences of wearing extra-wide shoes

If you couldn’t find the proper sizing for your feet and purchase an extra-wide pair of shoes, it won’t turn out to be favorable for you.

  • Improper toe gripping: To walk properly, one needs to have proper gripping of the toes inside the shoes. But when the shoes are oversized, your toe won’t provide you proper gripping.
  • Causing unwanted friction: Due to the mismatch of size, there should be frequent unwanted frictions. Consequently, you might notice blisters and calluses on your feet.
  • Coming out during rough use: Loose-fitting shoes are supposed to come out of your feet, when you are using them roughly, running, or jumping.

Consequences of wearing wide shoes

Reading the previous section, you might be thinking wearing wide shoes or a bit tighter one is better than wearing extra-wide shoes. But you are wrong because perfect sizing doesn’t mean wearing wide shoes when you need to wear extra-wide shoes.

  • Not having space for toes: When you are using wide shoes in your extra-wide feet, you can’t spread your toes there.
  • Uncomfortable tightness: The narrow design of the shoes compared to your extra-wide feet will always give you an uncomfortable tight fitting.
  • Resulting in bunions: Due to excessive tightness, there will be bunions on the joint just under the larger toe.

Concluding words

Wide or extra-wide, which size is suitable for your feet depends on the width of the feet. One has to measure the feet' size first and then select the right size of shoes.

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One Comment

  1. How do I know if I need a wide or extra wide. I looked at what I’m currently wearing and it doesn’t say. If I order a wide and I try it one and realize I need an extra wide, may I exchange it?

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