No Love for Wide Footed Runners

February 22, 2023

I was born with extra wide feet. That means when buying shoes the correct width for me is a 4E. For regular shoes this meant most makes and models would not fit me. I would choose the shoe that fit. As a runner this is also limiting. Many running shoes only have a first run in a wide width, and in one color, and then they’re gone.

Why It Matters

The best running shoes use carbon fiber plates. While Nike has released these to the general public, they are not sold in wide widths. This puts runners like me at a deficit compared to others. It also makes finding running shoes I enjoy challenging.

Finally a Plated Shoe for Wide Widths

After doing research I learned Saucony makes a nylon plated shoe in wide that might work for me. It is not carbon fiber, but gives wide footers a taste of the plated shoe life. After they offered a hefty discount President’s Day weekend I rolled the dice and ordered them.

Fit Varies Based on Brand and Model Too

While you can use your standard measurement as a general idea of what fits, shoes vary significantly in their materials and design.

  • AllBirds don’t require a wide because their uppers will happily stretch to accommodate your wider foot.
  • Hoka’s Bondi 8 in extra wide width was narrow and rubbed the middle section of my foot the wrong way.
  • Saucony is only a regular wide but reviews suggest their toe boxes are roomy.
  • The latest New Balance shoes run large and reviewers suggest sizing down.

Get Them While You Can

The other major challenge with buying wide width shoes is they are not as readily available. Some manufacturers will make a single run for a model. Saucony released the Endorphin Speeds in wide width only a few months ago, long after the initial sizes came out. New Balance does not currently list the 4E 1080s on its website, they only seem to be in stock at third parties.

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This work by Matt Zagaja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.