Anyone can be a runner. Unlike other sports that require endless training, conditioning, and skill, running is something that anyone and everyone can just pick up and do. In fact, to be called a ‘runner’, all you really need to do is, well – run! That’s why it’s no wonder why running has become one of the most popular sports the world over, with millions of individuals taking on every kind of track imaginable.
Of course, while running is generally prerequisite-free, there are a few things you may want to consider if you’re thinking of starting off. The most important consideration? Your shoes. The specific anatomy of your feet will require that you seek the right kind of footwear to help you go the distance when you take to the track. For people with wide feet, for example, not just any pair of shoes will do.
Why is it important to consider footwear choices if you have wide feet, what should you look for in these specific types of shoes, and what are the best running shoes for wide feet currently on the market? Find out with our comprehensive guide and review.
Why Do You Need Proper Running Shoes if You Have Wide Feet?
So, your feet are a little wider than what’s considered normal – so what? Many of those who have narrower feet might think that the whole “wide feet” issue is nothing more than a ruse. But the fact is, there’s a lot of science behind the effects and consequences of using shoes that aren’t wide enough to accommodate wider foot anatomies.
According to research, even the slightest deviance from what’s considered ‘normal’ foot anatomy can have drastic effects on biomechanics, weight bearing, and mobility. Basically, when a person’s foot is too wide, weight distribution shifts, and motion adapts to help optimize this. In turn, the feet are subjected to bad positioning, improper postures, and poorly distributed pressure which hinder optimal performance.
When it comes to running with wide feet, the main concern is support. Forcing your feet into a pair of running shoes that are designed for the more common ‘narrow’ silhouette will cause your toes to squeeze together.
While this can be uncomfortable on its own already, it may also alter the configuration of your arches. So instead of the soles of your feet being properly cradled by the contours of the footbed, the arch rises and fails to rest on the insole.
Finally, individuals with wide feet need to consider the fact that any other shoes that don’t fit their feet properly will be uncomfortable on any kind of terrain. So if you want to improve your distance, speed, and stamina, it would be ideal to invest in the best pair of running shoes for your feet.
What to Look for in Running Shoes for Wide Feet
There are a few factors you may want to look for in a pair of shoes to help you make sure they’re the right ones for you. Keep this short list of considerations in mind when you make your purchase so you can land the best choice on your first buy.
1. Spacious Toe Box
The biggest issue individuals with wide feet have to reconcile with is the fact that typical shoe designs don’t have the room to accommodate their feet comfortably enough. Especially these days when shoes are designed to look sleek and slim, many of those with wide feet will struggle to fit their foot comfortably particularly in the forefoot region of a shoe.
A spacious toe box is the first thing you should look for when on the hunt for a decent, appropriate pair of running shoes. Most brands offer a specific range of sizes for wide feet, commonly indicated by either the letter ‘E’ or ‘W’ next to the number size. For instance, shoe sizes that read ‘9 2E M’ are size 9 extra wide running shoes for men.
2. Seamless Interior
Individuals with wider feet are more likely to develop blisters and calluses from wearing shoes because their feet tend to rub against the sides of the interior. Because friction is common even if your shoes are designed to be particularly wide, it would be best to seek out a shoe that offers seamless uppers and interiors to avoid increasing the possibility of these types of skin problems.
3. Full Length Cushion
Some shoes only incorporate a cushion along the heel part of the shoe, which for most might work out just fine. However, for individuals with wide feet, cushion systems that only support the heels can add pressure on the forefoot, making for an uncomfortable step feel up front.
Full length cushion insoles are always ideal when in search of the best running shoes. Not only will they provide comfort for the mid and forefoot area of your sole, they also prevent other issues like chronic pain and calluses.
The 5 Best Running Shoes for Wide Feet
Asics tops our list of the best shoes for runners with wide feet with their Asics Gel Venture 6 Running Shoe. The brand has become popular as one of the best companies manufacturing shoes for individuals with special feet conditions, and so it’s really no surprise how they won our top pick.
The Gel Venture 6 is an exceptional running shoe design that boasts all the features you would look for in a running shoe – high abrasion outsoles, a rear foot cushion to boost your stride, and supportive yet flexible uppers that allow you to move with utmost freedom.
The reason why it tops our list though is the fact that the shoe provides superb comfort that really makes running a whole lot more enjoyable. They’re also particularly durable, so despite costing the most among our shoe choices, they do prove to be a viable investment for runners with wide feet.
What we love about the Nike 3 Revolution Running Shoe is that it’s flexible and light. This ultra-feather light design feels like having clouds on your feet as the upper materials bend and flex perfectly to match your movements. So what you get is a sock-like fit that starts to feel like a second skin after a few uses.
The Nike Revolution 3 Running shoe features a light, well cushioned midsole that offers superb comfort and bounce all throughout the length of the shoe. It also boasts a near-seamless interior that eliminates distractions so you can run without any added pressure or stimulation on your feet.
If you were hoping to run a few miles of track, the New Balance Nitrel v1 FuelCore Trail Running Shoe can make a suitable choice. Designed for trail running, this specific shoe has what it takes to bring you to the finish line even on the most challenging outdoor terrain.
For individuals with wide feet, the Nitrel v1 FuelCore can be a great pick because of its Revlite midsole, NB Response 2.0 Performance Insert, and no-sew upper application. All of these features come together to optimize support, comfort, and rebound, and help make each run with the shoe an exceptionally trouble-free experience.
It’s also worth mentioning that the New Balance Nitrel v1 FuelCore is one of the more affordable choices on the list. So if you were hoping to find an outdoor running shoe that won’t put too much of a dent on your wallet, this one would be it.
Through the years, Saucony has managed to work its way to the top of the market, running alongside other reputable brands like Nike and Adidas when it comes to manufacturing top rated athletic gear. Their Excursion TR11 Running Shoe makes its way to the fourth spot on our list with its intuitive design and efficient performance.
What we like about this specific shoe is that the wide variety has an exceptionally wide toe box that provides ample space. The opening of the shoe is also designed to make it easier for people with wide feet to slip the shoes on, eliminating the hassle of difficult on and off.
Comfort wise, the Excursion TR11s don’t disappoint. These shoes feature a full length insole that’s both soft and supportive, and a Heel GRID system that provides long-lasting and reliable rebound to propel you forward. All of this is topped off with breathable, flexible, mesh uppers that accommodate movement and make each step feel free and relaxed.
No running shoe list is complete without an entry from Adidas. In this case, we’ve chosen the Adidas Energy Cloud Running Shoe as our top pick from the brand. The design is often considered one of the best wide running shoes for women and men because of a variety of features that makes it particularly comfortable and efficient.
Firstly, the Energy Cloud incorporates the brand’s Cloudfoam material which takes the form of its midsole. This improves responsiveness and provides full-length comfort throughout the shoe’s interior. Secondly, the uppers are made from premium Air Mesh material which doesn’t only improve breathability, but also steps up flexibility for freedom of movement.
Finally, the Adidas Energy Cloud Running Shoe boasts an intuitive footbed that’s designed to cradle your arches perfectly. Many users with high arches have said that the design works great even without a custom insole. With that, this shoe from Adidas makes a suitable investment if you’re after supreme comfort and stylish appeal married together in one, affordable shoe design.
We’ve done the research and the results are in – the Gel Venture 6 Running Shoe from Asics just might be the best running shoes for wide feet. But don’t just take our word for it. Read about the Gel Venture 6 and find out what thousands of other users with wide feet have to say about this exceptional design.
And if for any reason you find that it just doesn’t tickle your fancy, we encourage you to check out any of the four other shoes in our line-up. All of these choices have been tried and tested by countless others with wide feet, so we’re sure you’ll find your perfect running companion with our recommendations