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Difference Between Wide Feet and Narrow Feet

From being worn to work, running errands, at the gym and even in the house, it is no doubt that shoes are essential in life. While finding the right shoe size seems like such a simple task for many, people with wide and narrow feet may not have it easy. The importance of wearing the right shoe size cannot be stressed enough given that the wrong size may cause discomfort, corns, ingrown nails, Morton’s neuroma and calluses just to name a few. In this article, we will discuss the difference between wide feet and narrow feet. 

Wide Feet

Commonly found at orthopaedic shoe companies, these are shoes developed to accommodate wider feet. While the major cause of wide feet is genetics, age, foot deformities, pregnancy, Edema, and improper footwear can also cause wide feet. 

Most people with wide feet complain of discomfort. However, other conditions that can be caused by wearing non-fitting shoes include calluses, bunions, hammer toe and cross over toe. Women’s wide shoes are indicated with the letter D while for men it is indicated with 2E. Also, a wide fitting shoe is 1/ 4’’ more than the medium shoe and 1/ 2’’ more than the narrow shoe. 

Wide feet shoes are the most difficult to find. However, many brands are now offering wide shoes. People who experience difficulty or discomfort  

Narrow Feet

These are feet with a narrower fitting. Usually, people with narrow feet find that the feet leave extra space on the sides of shoes. 

To help take up extra space, people with narrow feet have the option of buying insoles that fit the outside of the foot width. This ensures that the extra space is taken up, hence the shoes fit more snuggly. This technique is, however, better for sports shoes or sneakers. 

While men’s narrow shoes are indicated with the letter B, women’s narrow shoes are indicated with the letter 2A or AA. 

Narrow fitting shoes are 1/ 4’’less than medium fitting shoes and 1/ 2’’ less than wide shoes. 

Similarities between wide feet and narrow feet

  • Both may experience discomfort and even medical conditions if the wrong fitting shoes are used
  • The measurements of both are determined by the width

Differences between wide feet and narrow feet

Abbreviation

Women’s wide shoes are indicated with the letter D while for men it is indicated with 2E Width variance. On the other hand, men’s narrow shoes are indicated with the letter B, women’s narrow shoes are indicated with the letter 2A or AA.

Width variance

While a wide fitting shoe is 1/ 4’’ more than the medium shoe and 1/ 2’’ more than the narrow shoe, narrow fitting shoes are 1/ 4’’less than medium fitting shoes and 1/ 2’’ less than wide shoes. 

Wide feet vs. Narrow feet: Comparison Table

Summary of Wide Feet vs. Narrow Feet

The importance of knowing the shoe size can not be stressed enough. This can be done by measuring the width and length of the feet and comparing the measurements against the standard measuring table. Also, people with wide feet should extra spaces in shoes as opposed to choosing tightly fitting ones. If the shoes are not available, one can get a custom-made shoe by sending measurements directly to the shoemaker.


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References :


[0]Knight E & Matthew W. Athletic Footwear and Orthoses in Sports Medicine. Springer Science & Business Media, 2010. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=W50VfqSXbW4C&pg=PA58&dq=Difference+between+wide+feet+and+narrow+feet&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwipm4T4xansAhXjx4UKHceSCYYQ6AEwAXoECAIQAg#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20wide%20feet%20and%20narrow%20feet&f=false

[1]Feder J & Frey C. Don?t Worry: My Mom Is the Team Doctor. iUniverse, 2013. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=nbjqAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA209&dq=Difference+between+wide+feet+and+narrow+feet&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwipm4T4xansAhXjx4UKHceSCYYQ6AEwAnoECAQQAg#v=onepage&q=Difference%20between%20wide%20feet%20and%20narrow%20feet&f=false

[2]Carter G & Tyrrell W. Therapeutic Footwear: A Comprehensive Guide. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2008. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=vv42cV1onzcC&pg=PA77&dq=HOW+TO+MEASURE+SHOE+SIZES&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiDs6Sgx6nsAhWHlxQKHQqGACUQ6AEwAHoECAAQAg#v=onepage&q=HOW%20TO%20MEASURE%20SHOE%20SIZES&f=false

[3]Image credit: https://snappygoat.com/b/b6a33d2f6a41de1eb97828897770707fa8702d0a

[4]Image credit: https://live.staticflickr.com/3251/2625307918_e040aa8f32_b.jpg

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