Just as your feet have a length, signified by the number in your shoe size, they have a width, too. This is denoted by a letter. Most people are a B, which is average, and not even usually printed on the shoe box. People with wide feet are a C or a D. Extra wide is an E.
People may be born with wide feet, but more often they’re the result of one or more common causes:
- Gender: Because women’s hips are wider than men’s, their feet have a greater tendency to over-pronate, or roll inwardly. Feet that overpronate are more likely to be wide than feet that don’t.
- Aging – As the ligaments and muscles in the feet stretch and relax with age, feet tend to widen.
- Obesity – Extra weight puts more pressure on those ligaments and muscles, flattening them out and leading to wide feet.
- Pregnancy – The weight gained rapidly during pregnancyputs a strain on the structure of women’s feet, causing them to spread. Additionally, their bodies produce a hormone that causes soft tissues to relax, including the muscles in their feet. This can cause feet to widen.
- Excess standing – People who stand at work year after year, such as teachers and pharmacists, tend to have wider feet.
It can be challenging to find shoes for wide feet. Be sure to have your feet professionally measured at least once each year, and to try to shop at specialty stores and websites that are more likely to have inventory that will fit. For maximum comfort in everyday footwear, choose comfortable shoes with a wide, roomy toe box and a low, chunky heel. Remember that shoes with laces or straps will allow for more accommodation of your wide feet than loafers or slip-ons will.
If you are concerned about the width of your feet or anything else related to the health and well-being of your feet, ankles, or lower legs, a visit to the podiatrist is in order. Your foot doctor will bring years of specialized training and experience to your care. Call Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. at 410-224-4448 or click here to schedule an appointment with James M. McKee, DPM, FACFAS in our comfortable, modern office on Solomons Island Road in Annapolis, MD.