Shoe shopping is never much fun—and it only gets worse if the almighty cursed you with wide feet. Many of the best shoemakers don’t take differing feet widths into account, and the ones that do remind us of what our balding primary school teachers used to wear. Suffice to say: not classy. So to give those with rotund flippers hope, we’ve scoured the depths of the internet to come up with twenty of the best wide-fit shoes for business, the weekend, and the gym, along with some pointers to help you along the way.
How Wide Is Wide?
This one isn’t exactly universal. Every brand has their own in-house designation for wide fits, so it’s up to you to do your research on their website or in store to pick the right one. 2E is a popular designation for a wide fit (why it’s not 2W, we’re not sure), but you’ll still need to do the extra legwork to make sure you’re buying shoes that won’t give you blisters or turn your feet purple.
Experiment With Different Materials
This is kinda sucky if you work in a conservative office, but softer materials generally suit wider feet more than their less forgiving, hard-leather brethren. Materials like suede and nubuck stretch and move with your feet more, even if they’re on the more casual side and might not pass the test at work. This isn’t a dealbreaker though—heaps of the shoes we included below are perfect for even the stuffiest of corporate environments.
Don’t Fall For The Con
Most shoe salesman will spin the age-old yarn that ‘leather shoes stretch’, and it’s not a complete lie – but it doesn’t really matter. Even if you’re a lazy, sedentary piece of shit whose daily exercise consists of walking from your cubicle to the office snack bar to get a bag of Twisties, your feet will swell up during the day. What feels ‘just a bit snug’ at DJ’s, is likely to cause a world of pain running for the bus to the outer suburbs after six in the evening.
Go To A Cordwainer
Before you ask ‘what the hell is a cordwainer?’, we should probably remind you that some guys just won’t fit any shoe, even if they’re a wide fit. To prevent a lifetime of blisters, trips to the podiatrists, and an unsightly limp that makes women avoid you, you might want to save some money (ie, a shitload) and hit up a shoemaker. They can fit to spec, add details you can’t get on any other shoe, and provide you with the smug satisfaction of being able to say ‘its bespoke, actually’ when your mates at work ask you where you buy your shoes.