Do I Have Wide or Narrow Feet

Have you ever asked yourself, how do I know if I need wide shoes? Well, if you find yourself having trouble fitting different shoe styles, it is likely you have a specialty width shoe. For instance, if your foot fits the length of a shoe, but has extra space on the sides, you probably have narrow width feet. Conversely, if your foot fits the length of a shoe, but is extremely snug on the sides of the foot bed, you could have wide width feet.

There is no such thing as a “normal foot width” and knowing the type of foot width you have will save you a lot of wasted money on buying shoes that ultimately don’t fit AND save you the pain and discomfort that comes along with ill-fitting shoes. As experts in specialty width shoe sizes, our team at VANELi has put together a complete guide help you determine whether you have narrow, normal, or wide width feet.


Measuring Your Foot Width

In order to tell for sure if you have narrow or wide feet, we suggest simply measuring your foot bed width. The width of your foot bed is the distance between the two widest parts of your foot. Before following the measuring instructions below, be sure to consider the following:

  • Be sure to measure your feet at night versus the morning because your feet are prone to expand during the day.
  • When you measure, make sure you are standing on a flat surface.
  • If you are measuring for sandals, do so without a sock. If you are measuring for sneakers or other sport shoes, be sure to measure with your sock on.

How to Measure your Foot:

  1. Take a large piece of paper (big enough for you to stand on with both feet) an place on an even surface.
  2. Stand on the paper and trace an outline of your foot on the paper.
  3. Record the measurements. The width of your foot bed is the distance between the two widest parts of your foot. Once you record the measurements, see how they stack up with our women’s foot width sizes below. We will walk through some examples of the standard measurements of both narrow and wide widths shoes.


Narrow Feet Specifications

How Do I Know if I have Narrow Feet?

If you find that shoe sizes that fit the length of your feet, but leave space on the sides of your feet, you likely have narrow width feet. After you have measured using the above instructions, you can know for sure. If your foot width is a 3 1/16” in a size 7 shoes or a 3 3/8” in a size 9 shoes, you have narrow feet.


Can I Correct Narrow Feet?

One option for people with narrow width feet is to buy insoles that fit to the outside of your foot width. The purpose of this is to take up extra side space in shoes to help your foot fit more snuggly. Depending on how narrow your foot width is, this technique could be better for sneakers or sport shoes that can tie at the top to give you a more secure fit.


Recommended Styles for Narrow Feet

One style we love for women’s narrow shoes are the VANELi Blasius sandals. This classic sandal comes in a sleek style with a modern transparent vinyl upper strap. This sandal is perfect for women with narrow feet, because the foot bed is designed to give you the narrow build you desire, while the straps hold you in snuggly. The Blasius is available in Antique pewter metallic leather, platino metallic leather, and multicolored geometric leather so you can match with your wardrobe color palette.

For our complete guide on the best narrow width shoes for women, check out our other blog post Best Shoes for Narrow Feet.


Wide Feet Specifications

How To Tell If I Have Wide Feet?

If you have experienced ill-fitting, snug shoes no matter what kind of brand you buy, this is the telltale sign that you have wide width feet. Remember that there is no such thing as a “normal foot width” and finding the right shoes is usually a process. One tell-tale sign of wide feet is if your feet feel cased-in in every pair of shoes. Once you measure your foot, you can tell for sure. If your foot width is 4 1/16” in a size 9 shoe or 3 3/16” in a size 7, then you are considered to have wide feet (C/D).


Can I Correct Wide Feet?

Wide width feet are typically genetic, but people with flat arches can also be prone to having wide feet, as well. If your feet are wide due to genetics, there is not much you can do. But, if your foot bed is wide due to flat arches, you can slim your foot width slightly by investing in insoles. Insoles can help to raise the arch of your foot so that your foot bed does not flatten and expand the width of your shoe as much.

Another condition that can cause wide width feet are what are called bunions. Bunions are also genetic, but growth can be expedited by wearing shoes that are too small for feet. Wearing high heels excessively can also cause bunions to form. If bunions continue to grow and become painful over time, then corrective surgery is available in very extreme cases.


Recommended Styles for Wide Feet

One of our favorite styles for wide width feet is the VANELi Lanka sport shoe. This trendy sneaker features a mesh upper with polka dot stitch details, perfect for spring and summer. The foot bed gives you ample room for wide width feet, while the lace up closure provides a snug fit for ultimate comfort. The Lanka also features a padded insole and a flexible rubber sole making them a great choice for all day wear. The Lanka is available in classic colors of black suede and beige suede, so they can become new staples in your wardrobe.

Another shoe style that is perfect for wide width feet is the VANELi Qualila. This sporty sneaker is designed with wide feet in mind and features a high riding vamp in perforated leather with a gorgeous metallic cap toe detail.

Stop asking how do I know if I need wide shoes. Instead, for more wide width and narrow shoe styles you will love, check out VANELi’s collection. We believe in creating beautiful and comfortable shoes for ALL specialty width sizes for women to support them throughout all of life’s adventures.