Wide Feet Problems

Wide feet can be the source of a ton of foot problems, if not accommodated appropriately. Therefore, we broke down the causes of wide feet, the problems they can create and how you can relieve some of the pain associated with wide feet and tight-fitting shoes.


What Causes Wide Feet?

There could be a number of reasons why someone has wide feet. The most common answer is genetics – that you’re simply born with it. Another common reason is you have flat feet or low arches. Lower arches tend to cause feet to spread out more and need more room. Additionally, a lot of women will have wider feet if they’re pregnant as well. Pregnant women typically experience wider feet during their second and third trimesters, when hormones stretch the ligaments around the feet, increasing their width overall. Aside from genetics and flat arches, your feet could actually be wide because you are wearing the wrong shoes. If your shoes don’t fit properly and are too small or too tight, swelling can occur over time and make your feet appear wider.


What are Common Wide Feet Problems?

Sometimes having wide feet can make putting on shoes more difficult. If wide feet make your shoes difficult to pull on, consider having a shoe horn to help make the process a bit easier. This tool slightly pulls back the heel of your shoe while you are sitting or standing and allows you to slide the shoe on with ease.


Another common problem is “bunions”. Bunions, whose medical name is referred to as hallux valgus, are bony angular deformity that commonly form at the joint between the big toe and the foot. Because the bunion sticks out in a V-shape, it rubs painfully against the inside of shoes. Bunions are typically inherited or can be caused by a particular type of foot injury. Experts at this time disagree on whether tight, ill-fitting shoes cause bunions or whether the type of footwear contributes to a bunion development. Regardless, it’s still important to find shoes that fit bunions well.


The best shoes to accommodate bunions are closed-toe shoes with excellent arch support that are wide enough to accommodate the size of the bunion, without it being too loose. People with bunions will also find that materials with “give” are more comfortable, such as soft leather or stretchy suede. On the reverse side, the number one shoe style to avoid are super-trendy gladiator high heels due to their height and lack of support that will certainly induce stress on the joints.


Hammertoes are yet another common wide foot problem. A hammertoe is a deformity that causes your toe to curl downward in a claw-like position instead of pointing forward. A hammertoe deformity can affect any toe on your foot or even multiple, but most commonly affects the second or third toe. Although a hammertoe may be present at birth, it usually develops over time due to arthritis, wearing ill-fitting shoes, a toe injury, pressure-induced from a bunion, or strained tendons in the foot. The best types of shoes for those with hammertoes should be shoes with a wide toe box that allows ample room for toes to breathe and avoid crowding.


Corns are among the most common wide feet problems. The occurrence of corns on the feet is typically caused by wearing shoes that are too small or do not fit properly or wearing shoes without socks, particularly boots and sandals. Over time, the constant rubbing on specific areas of the foot can result in corns, which are a result of ongoing irritation, pressure, or agitation. Corns are a type of callus that appear on the thin, smooth parts of the foot, and can be either hard or soft to the touch. While hard corns are usually found on the tops of toes, soft corns usually appear between the middle toes. If not properly treated, wide feet problems such as corns can become incredibly painful, and can even turn into bunions or result in other serious side effects. If you are experiencing tenderness or burning near a raised portion of the skin, raised portions of the skin that are painful to the touch, or dense bumps or patches of skins, you likely have corns. If you suspect you have wide feet problems such as corns, it is important to seek help from a professional to properly diagnose your foot condition so that you can identify treatment options.


Another common condition for those with wide feet is the crossover toe. A crossover toe is characterized by having a second toe that begins to drift towards the big toe. Eventually, the second toe will start to cross over the big toe until it is resting on top of it. Crossover toe is a condition that progresses over time, and is most often found in adults – though it can occur at any age. The cause of a crossover toe is the weakening and inflammation of the ligaments that surround the joint of the second toe. As the ligaments become weaker, they no longer have the ability to stabilize and support the toe, allowing it to shift away from its normal position. In most cases, crossover toe happens in those with an abnormal foot structure or mechanics that increase the amount of stress placed on the second toe joint. In addition to the obvious appearance of crossover toe, other symptoms include swelling at the base of the second toe, pain that gets worse when walking, chronic pain in the ball of the foot, and pain that gets worse when the ball of the foot is constrained when wearing shoes that are too tight or pointy. Those with other foot conditions such as bunions may be more likely to experience a crossover toe.


Wide Shoe Selections at VANELi

As a leader in the specialty shoe size industry, VANELi proudly offers a wide range of shoes to accommodate women with wide feet, with styles ranging from sandals to dress shoes, to athleisure, to flats and so much more. Below are some of our favorite wide shoes for women that provide both comfort and style.


VANELi Taletha

The VANELi Taletha is a classic T-strap sandal with adjustable buckles on both the upper and lower straps so you can adjust for your wider foot accordingly! It features a lightly padded stitched insole and flexible rubber single-piece bottom for all-day comfort.


VANELi Farida

The VANELi Farida is a simple suede slingback with three coordinating elastic bands stretching across the toes and vamp. It features a matching suede buckle closure for adjustable fit on a 1 and 3/4 inch covered wedge heel. It’s available in moss suede and black suede so you can coordinate with your favorite outfits.


VANELi Empery

The VANELi Empery is a simple, suede slingback sandal with a softly padded insole for ultimate comfort. The wooden heel measures 2 and 1/2 inch and has a clear acrylic insert, which adds a unique and eye-catching detail.