The image at the top of this page is the Un Rio Strap sneaker by Clarks.
Years ago wide fitting shoes looked pretty grim. But that’s changed today. With the general increase in weight of younger people footwear retailers have realised they need to up their game. So don’t plump for a shoe simply because it’s wide enough. Demand style too.
What to look for in good wide-fitting shoes
- Good style
- Not pointed toe
- Not stiletto heel
- Stretch materials inside and out
- Sole that lessens impact e.g. rubber
- Sole with a secure gripping tread
- Space for insole – take out when feet swell
- Adjustable width via laces or Velcro – especially if your feet are different widths.
My pick of wide fitting shoes
I’ve picked out some favorite styles here. Not every shoe has all the above qualities but they all have good style and each has its own benefits for women with wide feet.
Here are my favorite brands for shoes for wide feet
Gabor at john.lewis.com
Gabor at johnlewis.com is my winner for a brand where comfort and style come together.
These fashionable suede sneakers would look so chic with jeans.
Whilst slip on trainers can seem ideal for wide feet they can quickly get slack so you’ll find footwear designers who really care about wide feet will usually offer many more sneakers that lace up. The bonus is that if your feet are different widths – for example if you have a bunion on one foot but not on the other, a lace-up can be adjusted to fit without anyone noticing.
Platform or ‘flatform’ sneakers have been stylish for a while now. At first I thought they looked too extreme for my age but in the last two years I have preferred them. They give the silhouette we expect in 2020 inspired by athleisure – which is a narrow leg ending in a heavy foot. Platforms protect your foot from direct impact on a hard floor or sidewalk which is useful if you suffer from hip or back problems.
A block heel is perfect for more dressy occasions. The higher the heel and the thinner it is, the more pressure your foot feels. So never wear very high stilettos for an all-day event. For a business meeting or a smart evening event these block heeled suede shoes have just enough height to slim you leg and elongate your figure and the scallop edge adds detail that takes these shoes out of the ‘plain but safe’ category. Wear with a knee-length or midi dress or skirt or under neat trousers for a smart yet comfortable look.
Clarks have been making shoes for longer than most other designers. They have always stressed foot health and comfort and were a mother’s first choice back in the 50’s for sensible school shoes for growing feet.
But they revolutionised their styles a few years ago and today offer good-looking fashionable shoes whilst still offering quality at an affordable price.
For a smart heeled court shoe I love the Laina 55
To help with comfort there is a rubber sole and a carefully constructed foam insole to cushion feet. The toe is pointed so this won’t be as comfy for your toes as a rounder wider toe area but the wider fitting will ensure you can stand up for as long as you need to without feeling pinching.
The Laina 55 Court comes in several colours and textures so you should be able to find the right addition to your suit or dress.
For a really comfortable everyday shoe I love Clarks Sharon Dasher. Odd name but a good-looking loafer with a raised platform heel and a twist of suede at the front. The raised heel will help your ankle look slimmer whist the front decoration will draw the eye away from the sides (or size) of your feet. Perfect with jeans, a skirt at just below the knee or an autumn outfit.
Asos wide shoes
Asos is a worldwide fashion retailer that has always understood its customers. As they grew heavier so Asos started introducing curvy sizes and wide fit shoes. I’ve bought simple shoes from Asos lots of times and been pleased with the added width. They might not stand up to hard or regular wear (but that’s not what most of their customers want) but for occasional shoes, especially now we are home so much Asos is definitely worth a look.
Here’s the type of shoe I buy from them: Lucy Bow ballet flats – basically simple flats with a bit of extra oomph. Perfect at home or for in the car.
Orthofeet.com for clever shoes
If you are serious about foot comfort, especially if you have foot problems such as bunions, then take a look at Orthofeet.com, a US based designer.
Because foot health is so important to them you’ll mainly find flat shoes and sneakers.
I like the sturdy look of these winter shoes called Wichita. They will go well with jeans or cargo pants and give you that heavier foot I mention above. They come in a huge range of sizes and in standard through to extra extra wide. They are designed for comfort. There’s so much information about how they will make your feet happier that it’s hard to resist!
But like most serious foot-care ranges their shoes are good for sports and long country walks but less stylish for other times. You may just have to accept that you buy very simple shoes and team them with a gorgeous bag to add the style.
Never underestimate the power of the right shoes to make your life happier. A tight pair of shoes can make your hips and back ache, make you grimace without realising it and of course make you cry with pain!
So be prepared to pay the price for the right shoe. Especially if it’s going to be worn often.
That said many of the styles I’ve suggested are discounted right now (November 2020).
Remember that online shoe retailers know you may need to send shoes back or try two sizes on. Don’t fret about doing that. Selling online, even with huge numbers of returns, is still so much more profitable for shoe retailers than having high street shops.
If you found this article useful you’ll also want to read How to make thick ankles look slimmer.
And if you’re well over 50 and enjoy looking good why not sign up and get my news, tips and offers. There’s a quiz to reveal your personal style when you sign up here. You’ll definitely want to do the quiz and read the advice.