Not all running shoes are created equal. Choosing the wrong shoes for your foot shape can turn a good run into one that’s painful in every sense of the word.
Runners with wide feet have their own unique concerns, and we’ll devote this article to the best running shoes for wide feet, including the Saucony Cohesion running shoe.
We’ll examine the type of features you need to look for in a running shoe, our reviews of the top shoes, and even how to lace your shoes if you have wide feet.
- Before you buy: 8 things to consider when purchasing running shoes for wide feet
- 8 Best running shoes for wide feet 2019
- Do I have wide feet? Here’s how to know
- How to lace your running shoes if you have wide feet
- How we chose these shoes for our reviews
Let’s start with some things to keep in mind as you search for a shoe that’s a good fit for wide feet.
Before You Buy: 8 Things to Consider When Purchasing Running Shoes For Wide Feet
Whether you’re shopping for running shoes for wide feet, or any other foot size or shape, a few basic rules apply, such as getting your feet sized properly before you buy, but there are other considerations, as well.
1. Sizing. Is. Important.
Not to belabor the point, but you’ll give yourself a running start, no pun intended, by getting your feet sized by a professional when shopping for running shoes. True, that means a trip to your local running store – or another store that sells running shoes – but it’s worth the effort.
The difference between a good fit and a not-so-good fit is huge when it comes to the overall comfort of your running shoes and your running experience in general. All that being said, first check the fit of your running shoe at your “regular” size. Finding a running shoe to accommodate your extra foot width doesn’t necessarily mean going up a size.
Finally, always keep in mind that sizes may vary from one running shoe to another. Assuming that one size fits the same can result in a pair of ill-fitting shoes that may lead to blisters and other unwanted foot issues.
2. What makes wider shoes different than other shoes?
Perhaps the biggest difference between a “wider” running shoe and all the rest is that it has a roomier toe box. Your toes aren’t cramped, while the rest of the shoe provides a good, snug fit in which your feet don’t move around too loosely inside.
3. Don’t confuse volume with the fit
A shoe’s volume is a measurement of the space inside the shoe. Don’t just look for a wider shoe, but also look for a shoe in which your foot fits snugly, but not too snugly, within it (after you’ve tied the laces). A shoe that provides the proper amount of volume will help you to ward off potential injuries, such as plantar fasciitis and shin splints.
4. Make sure the shoe provides good stability
Like fit, finding a shoe with proper stability is important, no matter what type of feet you have. With wide feet, however, you also may have flat feet, and flat feet can lead to overpronation (when your feet bend inward with each stride).
Also, make sure the stability of your running shoe matches the type of terrain upon which you regularly run. A shoe that’s stable enough for running on paved paths and roads may not be stable enough for running on more rugged terrain, such as unpaved trails.
5. Make sure there’s enough room in the toe box
We’ve already mentioned the importance of finding a shoe with a roomy toe box if you have wide feet. That doesn’t mean buying a shoe that has a toe box the size of the Grand Canyon, but there should be about a thumb’s width of room between your longest toe and the front of the shoe.
6. The shoe must be flexible
Flexibility, like fit and comfort, is essential when buying a running shoe for wide feet. A shoe that’s too stiff can chafe your feet and ankles; a flexible shoe moves with your foot, not against it.
7. Know your widths
Wide shoes come in different sizing options, ranging from D to EE, and even wider in some cases. The more letters, the wider the shoe.
8. Look for shoes with removable insoles and linings
Being able to take insoles and linings out of the shoe is helpful for any runner with wide feet, and doing so can make extra room for orthotics that help alleviate foot problems related to foot width.
Let’s move on to our reviews of the best running shoes for wide feet.
The 8 Best Running Shoes For Wide Feet For Men & Women 2019
Saucony spends a lot of time studying the biomechanics of world-class athletes while also concentrating on making shoes for the rest of us. A shoe such as their men’s Cohesion 10 is for every runner, including runners with wide feet.
The Cohesion 10 has plenty of great features that make it suitable for all runners – not just those with wide feet – while maximizing your performance, whether you specialize in long-distance running or running at shorter distances, such as a weekend 5K race.
The cushioning of the Cohesion 10 is second-to-none, thanks to comfortable footbeds and an injected-molded EVA foam that absorbs the impact of every stride while helping to distribute it across the feet and lower leg.
It also features extra foam around the heel, which, combined with the EVA foam midsole, lessens impact while increasing the responsiveness of your every stride. In turn, it helps reduce the chances of blisters and ankle injuries.
Saucony also uses its GRID technology in the heel area of the Cohesion 10 for further support.
You’ll also like the amount of flexibility the Cohesion 10 offers, and it’s a definite plus for runners with wide feet. Meanwhile, there’s not as much of a breaking-in period with the Cohesion 10 as you may find on other brands and makes of running shoes.
The shoe’s upper consists of mesh and synthetic material that’s very breathable while helping to keep your foot cool and dry during your run. It also helps to reduce foot odor.
Another feature we like on the Cohesion 10 is an XT-600 outsole that provides superior stability and traction, even on rough or wet terrain.
Finally, it’s a durable shoe that enables you to log a lot of miles before it’s time to begin shopping for a new pair. It also comes at a very reasonable price, which makes it an excellent long-term investment.
- Excellent cushioning
- Very responsive while providing excellent traction and stability
- Some customers say the midsole isn’t quite flexible enough
The Cohesion 10 is a good all-around product that also happens to be the best men’s running shoe for wide feet. It offers everything you need for a comfortable, enjoyable run that doesn’t place excess strain on your feet and legs.
The GTS in the Brooks Adrenaline name stands for (“Go To Shoe”), and we think it’s a go-to choice for runners with wide feet.
The GTS 18 is an upgrade from previous, similarly-good, versions and is even lighter than before. It features superior flexibility and has a comfortable fabric lining that helps keep your foot secure and comfortable.
The Brooks’ craftsmanship extends to the other GTS 18 features, as well. There’s a Progressive Diagonal Rollbar, constructed from foam and plastic, that keeps your foot stable as you run while also preventing overpronation. But the extra stability doesn’t come at the expense of overall comfort and cushioning – neither of which the shoe lacks.
The GTS 18 has a flexible rubber outsole that delivers excellent support and the kind of traction that holds up well on a variety of terrains. The HPR Plus material on the high-wear areas of the outsole is durable and built to last as you crank out the miles.
Another great feature is a segmented “crash pad” that covers the length of the shoe and ensures a smooth landing upon impact with every stride.
The GTS 18 also has an improved look with a sleek design that includes a highly-breathable mesh upper that helps keep your feet cool and dry, even during the longest runs. All in all, they’re the best women’s running shoes for wide feet.
- Improved sleek design and feel
- Offers superior stability
- Comfortable upper as well as fabric lining within the shoe
- They may run slightly wide
The Brooks GTS 18 represents a nice upgrade on an already strong product. It’s lightweight, stable, and helps your legs and feet handle the impact of running without excessive strain.
If you’re an overpronator, you may want to try out the ASICS Gel-Foundation 12 running shoe. However, it’s also a shoe that offers broader midfoot and forefoot construction, as well as a higher instep volume to accommodate runners with wider, thicker feet and those who use orthotics within the shoe.
Of course, it also features ASICS’ iconic gel cushioning, including an increased volume of it at the rear and forefoot areas for additional shock absorption.
There’s much more to like about this shoe:
- The Gel-Foundation 12 comes with an 8.5mm Ortholite sock liner that helps provide a more plush, conditioned ride that’s very breathable and has microbial properties.
- A re-engineered mesh design uses fewer overlays, which helps to prevent any unwanted friction that may lead to blistering or irritation. The lace cage consists of non-sewn overlays.
- The outsole consists of ASICS’ High-Abrasion Rubber that adds stability and traction while enhancing the shoe’s overall durability. It helps to prevent overpronation that places excess strain on your feet, legs, and ankles.
- Like most of ASICS’ shoes, it’s lightweight and provides a comfortable feel no matter what distance you run. It has enough cushion, but not so much that it feels excessive.
All in all, the Gel-Foundation 12 takes comfort to another level, which is saying something, considering ASICS’ already-lofty reputation for producing comfy running shoes.
- Great shoe for overpronators and runners with wide feet
- Rear and forefoot cushioning
- Ortholite sock liner contributes to a plush, comfortable ride
- Some say the toe box could be roomier
The ASICS Gel-Foundation 12 is a great shoe from a well-known company that has a strong product line. You’ll love how comfortable this shoe feels and how it keeps your stride in check.
Mizuno continues to upgrade its patented Wave technology, and the result is even softer cushioning than on previous versions – which is saying a lot – and the Wave Rider 21 is a prime example of the company’s quest for continued excellence.
The improvements include Mizuno’s CloudWave Plate that combines with a foam midsole to give the Wave Rider an ideal balance between cushion and firmness. That’s one reason why it’s a good shoe for runners with wide or flat feet, but there are others, including a Fit-in-Motion upper that’s dual-layered and extremely breathable.
The engineered mesh upper also enhances the shoe’s overall fit and contributes to its lightweight, sock-like feel. We also like that it’s a shoe well-suited for competitive and casual runners alike.
The Wave 21 also comes with a soft anatomical sock liner that offers additional arch support and cushioning. Meanwhile, the rubber outsole provides the kind of support and stability you need, especially for shorter to medium-length runs.
- Well-cushioned, yet with a firm feel
- Breathable upper is comfortable and provides a nice fit
- Some reviewers say the toe box feels narrow
The Mizuno Wave Rider 21 is a dependable shoe with a soft, lightweight feel that many runners love. It combines function and comfort for a variety of runners, including those with flat feet.
Another ASICS entry, the Gel-Kayano is a shoe that’s been around awhile and the go-to choice for many runners who are loyal to the brand and shoe. And why shouldn’t they be? The Gel-Kayano is an iconic running shoe that covers all the bases.
The Gel-Kayano 25, with versions for men and women, is an upgrade from previous versions (the 25 refers to the 25th anniversary of the Gel-Kayano series) and is a great shoe for 1) runners with wide feet and 2) runners who suffer from lower leg and foot issues, such as shin splints.
Why do we like it and think you’ll like it, too? Let us count the ways:
- The Gel-Kayano 25 represents another step forward in ASICS’ lightweight Flytefoam technology. Flytefoam Lyte and Flytefoam Propel work together while combining superb cushioning and exceptional comfort from heel to toe.
- Flytefoam Lyte technology helps to create a lightweight midsole that includes organic nanofibers. The midsole is lighter than on previous Gel-Kayano versions, which we think you’ll like.
- Flytefoam Propel technology in the midsole replaces the forefoot gel with a new compound you’ll also find on ASICS’ popular Cumulus 20 shoe. There’s a small Gel pad hidden in the forefoot, although the experts say it doesn’t have much of an effect on cushioning, if at all.
- Another ASICS technology, the Impact Guidance System, supports your foot’s natural gait through impact and toe-off.
- The outsole consists of blown rubber that provides good traction on most types of running surfaces.
- The Gel-Kayano is considered a stability shoe, because the inner midsole is firmer than the outer side. Also, the forefoot seems to be more stable than the Kayano 24 version.
Another one of the Gel-Kayano 25’s strengths is its versatility: it’s suitable for long runs, shorter training runs, and for the more casual runner looking to enhance their fitness level.
- Makes it easy to maintain a smooth, natural stride
- Advanced support features
- Lightweight cushioning
- A bit pricier than many other top running shoes
Longtime users will tell you that there’s no better running shoe on earth than the Gel-Kayano 25. We understand their enthusiasm, because the GK checks all of the necessary boxes that define a high-quality shoe.
Not only is the Hoka One Bondi 6 running shoe good for runners with wide feet, it’s also a great choice for runners who have high arches. Among its many other pluses are a wide platform and cushioning that some experts say is second to none.
It also, like other shoes on our list, is an upgrade from a previous version, and most agree that the Bondi 6 is a definite improvement over the fifth version, which some Bondi loyalists didn’t like. Even the already-superb cushioning is a bit softer than previous versions, although not so much that it changes the overall feel and impact of your foot hitting the ground.
Thanks to its wide base, the shoe feels extremely stable, and it’s an excellent choice for anyone who runs long, slow distances or is taking a recovery run. That’s not to say it isn’t good for other types of runs, because it is.
Hoka One has enhanced the shoe’s full EVA midsole for additional comfort and cushioning, while the Meta-Rocker technology provides a smooth ride for any type of run and distance. The cushioning upgrade represents a step up from the Bondi 5, which some runners felt was too firm compared to other Bondi versions.
An internal heel counter helps to give a secure fit and great support, while the shoe features a molded ortholite footbed that contributes to its well-cushioned feel. You’d be hard-pressed to find better cushioning on any other pair of running shoes.
Another upgrade involves a redesigned upper that consists of a combination of engineered mesh and lycra. The mesh is soft and utilizes cutouts to enhance breathability, and it consists of highly durable material.
Something else we like about this shoe is a comfortable heel that cups the foot loosely, but not too loose that it moves around in the shoe excessively. You’ll get a snug-but-comfortable fit in the midfoot while the shoe opens up in the toe area – another big plus for runners with wide feet.
Note: the shoe is slightly heavier than the Bondi 5 because of modifications made to the early stage meta rocker, but not so much so that you’ll notice it when you’re out on the pavement or trail.
- Superb cushioning
- Redesigned heel area is second-to-none
- Excellent upgrade from Bondi 5 version
- Might be too tall of shoe for some
Hoka One works hard to improve each new version of a shoe and their commitment has paid off once against with the Bondi 6. It’s hard to beat the shoe’s excellent cushioning and wide platform.
Cushioning, responsiveness, comfort – the Nike Pegasus 35 has all these and more in the latest update of its popular Pegasus line.
It’s also a great shoe for runners with wide feet, and it comes at a very reasonable price, given the overall quality of the product. Even better, you can pull these shoes from the box and take them out for a run without feeling like there’s going to be a lengthy break-in period. Indeed, there’s not much of a break-in period at all.
While the Nike Pegasus 34 was a popular shoe with all of the quality features you’d expect from Nike, the 35 comes with some nice improvements that enhance the shoe’s overall feel and comfort. The 35 also borrows some of the key aspects of the well-regarded Nike Zoom Air Elite 9.
Let’s start with the Pegasus 35 sole, which uses a full-length air zoom unit to provide a smoother run than ever before. There’s an updated tread pattern on the outsole which gives an even better grip than on previous versions.
Runners will also appreciate the improved flexibility of the midsole and outsole which contribute to the Pegasus 35’s smooth ride. The toe unit is more “aggressive” than before and offers exceptional traction on the front foot.
The Pegasus 35 upper consists of the same material of the Pegasus 34, although the bottom eyelet is in a slightly different position to help open up the toe box – always a plus for runners with wide feet – while also eliminating the midfoot rubbing some users experienced.
The mesh upper opens up nicely for runners with wide feet but still maintains a snug enough fit that those runners with narrower feet will appreciate. All in all, there’s more flexibility through the front and mid-foot of the Pegasus 35.
One of the major updates built into the 35 is an elongated heel collar, in which heel contact is lower (more to the mid-heel than before) and in which the collar doesn’t rub nearly as much on the Achilles. Like the rest of the upper, the heel provides firm fit, but one that’s gentle and not too tight.
Another Pegasus 35 plus is a fitsole sock liner that conforms to the shape of the foot nicely. The shoe also features Nike’s Premium Cushion ST foam which makes for a softer ride overall.
- Roomier toe box
- Lightweight, cushioned feel
- Snug-yet-comfortable fit
- Foam cushioning doesn’t keep the foot as cool on some other shoes
Nike has a lot of shoes that could qualify for our reviews of the best shoes for runners with wide feet, but we think the Pegasus 35 is the best of the lot. Its updated features make it an ideal shoe for many types of runners.
The Brooks Glycerin 16 has been described as a “max-cushion” shoe that ranks highly among other well-cushioned running shoes. You’ll never hear us complain about cushioning, mind you, but there are other reasons why we like the Glycerin 16 and include it on our list.
While we don’t often discuss how a shoe looks, because we’re more interested in performance, we have to say that the Glycerin 16 is a good-looking shoe. It’s a cool design – in both the men’s and women’s versions – that will help your feet stand out from all the rest.
Performance-wise, however, is where we give the Glycerin 16 its highest marks, and it comes with several good features that help make for a smooth, comfortable run.
The shoe’s midsole uses Brooks’ patented DNA foam, although the formula has changed slightly (it’s called DNA Loft Foam) to incorporate more air and rubber. The foam is very responsive and durable for being as soft and lightweight as it is.
The Glycerin 16 outsole consists of HPR Plus rubber, which is abrasive, durable, and better able to absorb the impact for heel-strike runners. The outsole combined with the midsole makes for a very flexible, well-cushioned shoe overall, and runners who are mid-foot or forefoot strikers also will enjoy the Glycerin 16’s comfort.
Like most Brooks’ designs, the Glycerin 16 has an aggressive upturn in the toe that makes it easier to roll into your next step, which is a plus as your legs begin to grow weary during your run.
The toe box, while perhaps not as wide as other shoes on our list, is roomy enough for runners with wide feet and offers a comfortable fit, no matter how long the run.
Meanwhile, the dual-layer mesh upper offers plenty of breathability and enough support to guide you comfortably through your longer runs. Arch support is enhanced by 3D printed overlays that provide a bit of stiffness while keeping your foot from moving around inside the shoe.
The upper also features a plush collar that prevents irritation, particularly on longer runs when chafing is more likely to occur.
- Very well-cushioned
- Breathable mesh upper
- Great arch support
- Sizing may run small
The Brooks Glycerin 16 has everything needed to enhance comfort for runners with wide feet, and both the women’s and men’s versions have several great features – and a nice-looking design.
Do I Have Wide Feet? Here’s How to Know
So, what’s the verdict? Do you think you have wide feet? We ask only because some people have wide feet without knowing it, which can result in ill-fitting shoes that may create some unwanted feet and lower leg issues.
While the tried-and-true “eye test” can help you know if your feet are wide or not (i.e., just compare your feet to those of others), there are better, more accurate methods.
If it turns out you do have wide feet, you may also wonder why. The primary reason has to do with the luck of the genetic draw: like hair and eye color and whether your hair begins to fall out at a certain age, you likely have wide feet because your father or mother, or even your grandparents, have or had wide feet.
But your feet may appear wide for other reasons, including wearing ill-fitting shoes. It’s true, wearing tight shoes that may make your feet look slimmer may increase their width.
There are other potential causes, such as weight gain or health issues such as edema, that cause feet to swell (and may be a sign of serious health issues). Flat feet also may increase the width of your feet, because they cause your foot’s arch to fall which, in turn, forces your toes to spread out to create more balance.
Bone deformities, such as bunions, also can contribute to wide feet.
But back to the original question: do you have wide feet? Here’s a simple procedure that should provide the answer.
- Place a piece of plain paper on the ground. Make sure it’s on an even, non-elevated surface, so that you can get an accurate reading.
- Stand on the paper and use a pencil to mark the two widest points on your foot. Note: wear socks to get an accurate measurement, particularly if you commonly wear them with your shoes.
- Use a ruler or tape measure to measure the distance between the two points you’ve marked on the paper.
Now that you have the measurement, check them against a standard sizing chart. Generally, men whose width is 3.7-inches or more have wide feet. For women, anything of 3.5-inches or more is considered wide.
It’s usually best to measure your feet in the late afternoon or early evening, because they’ll swell naturally throughout the day. The goal is to get an accurate reading that reflects that gradual change.
A couple of other things to keep in mind: first, a sign that your shoes are too narrow is when the sides of your big toe and little toe start to hurt when you walk, run, or stand. Another sign is that your feet begin to swell after you’ve worn your shoes for a while.
How To Lace Your Running Shoes If You Have Wide Feet
Fit and size re everything when it comes to finding comfortable running shoes for wide feet, but how you lace your shoes also is important. You want to lace your shoes in a way that provides stability and also gives your wide feet as much room as possible.
There are a couple of methods you can try. Make sure that you try them out with a longer run or two to see how comfortably they fit your feet.
The first method suits people with wide feet who also have insteps. You’ll have more room for their feet but also a fit that’s not too loose:
- Start at the bottom and lace through the first eyelets.
- Lace across on the second eyelets, then straight across and the third. Alternate this lacing pattern until you get to the last set of eyelets, which you should leave empty (no lacing).
Again, take a couple of runs in your shoes with this lacing pattern to see if it’s a comfortable fit.
The second method starts on the forefoot with a straight lacing on the first three eyelets. Lace the last three eyelets in a criss-cross pattern.
How We Chose These Shoes For Our Reviews
The good news for runners is that there is virtually a mountain of running shoes from which to choose, but too many choices don’t always make it easier to find the shoe you want, which is certainly a concern for runners with wide feet.
We studied several models of shoes and did a lot of research on expert and customer reviews to come up with a list of shoes we think will serve any runner with wide feet well. Many factors go into rating one pair of shoes above another, not the least of which are comfort, roominess, and performance where it matters most: on the road or trail.
Most of all, we chose shoes that rate highly in many areas, such as traction, support, etc., without sacrificing the quality of one. We think it’s a list that will help you make a more informed, satisfactory buying decision.
Runners with wide feet need to choose shoes for the long miles ahead carefully. The right shoe makes the ride much better and helps you to avoid injuries and other foot issues that can make running a chore, instead of something you look forward to every day.
We always welcome your feedback. Do you have a favorite pair of running shoes? Why do you like them? Have you worn any of the shoes on our list? We’d love to hear from you.