Shoes Size Conversion : The importance of width!

This post was last updated on November 9th, 2021 at 12:12 pm

Shoe Width: Why It Matters If You Want Healthy Feet

Your feet work hard, sometimes walking thousands of steps per day. That’s why wearing shoes that fit correctly is so important. But finding the right fit isn’t just about the length, the importance of the width of your shoes is as crucial.
If your shoes are too snug, your feet, and the rest of your body, can be at risk for a list of problems.

Importance of width in perfect fitting shoes: table of content

How to measure your feet we handle here

Where can I find the width size of a shoe?

Shoe width is measured around the forefoot, typically the widest part of your foot. Not all shoe brands offer different widths, though, finding shoes that are wider or narrower than average can be a challenge.

In the US, shoe widths are AAA, AA, A, B, C, D, E, EE, and EEE, ranging from narrowest to widest. Narrow and wide shoes are also divided into sub-sizes in which the extra letter indicates an even narrower or wider width.

The width also varies between men’s and women’s shoes. For example, a woman’s medium is B, and a men’s is D.
The majority of shoes on the shelves are medium width.

Ready to buy some shoes? check the wide shoes selection on Amazon

Finding shoes with the correct width

Around 70 percent of all people are walking daily with shoes that aren’t wide enough.

To help you avoid many foot issues linked to shoes that are too tight, go through the below checklist:

  • Measure your feet every time you buy shoes. 
    Like the human body, the feet change in shape and size over time.
  • The end of the day is the best time to measure your feet.
    Like Size matters, the right timing does as well. Your feet swell and settle throughout the day. Measuring at the end of the day will help make sure you get your foot width right.
  • Always fit shoes with your most wide foot. 
    Most people have one foot that’s bigger than the other. Measure both feet when trying on shoes, and buy shoes based on your bigger foot’s size.
  • Don’t trust the size indication of the brand you’re buying.
    Sizes vary among brands and styles like you can discover in the brand’s category of Because you’re a 6B in one style doesn’t mean that is your size in another.
  • When you need to break in a pair of new shoes, please don’t buy them. 
    Shoes don’t stretch out like clothing tends to. Shoes must fit properly from the first step to avoid foot problems and pain.
  • Stand up and walk around when fitting your shoes. 
    This allows your foot to spread out under your weight and helps you find shoes that don’t rub or slip.

Women’s Shoe Width Conversion Chart

Extra NarrowS or SS4A or 6A
Extra WideWW, XW, or 2W2E
Extra Extra Wide4W or XXW4E

Men’s Shoe Width Conversion Chart

Extra NarrowS or SS2A
Extra WideWW, XW, or 2W4E
Extra Extra Wide4W or XXW6E

The importance of width: Common foot problems caused by tight shoes

Tight shoes can cause permanent damage.

1. Corns and calluses

Tight shoes can cause corns and calluses. These are thick, hard layers of skin develop on your feet and toes in response to pressure and friction, most often caused by too-tight shoes.

Corns and calluses usually develop to prevent your skin from being damaged from the pressure caused by too-tight shoes.

2. Ingrown toenails

An ingrown toenail occurs when the side of the toenail grows into the surrounding flesh, causing pain and swelling. When not treated well, it can become infected. Tight-fitting shoes are a common cause of ingrown toenails.

3. Bunions

Bunions are enlargements of bones and tissue around the joint of your big toe. This can occur as a result of wearing shoes that are too tight or aren’t wide enough.

These bony knobs can cause your big toe to turn inward and put pressure on your second toe. Your feet will start swelling, which will cause pain and which worsens when wearing shoes.

4. Hammer toe

A hammertoe can be the result of too-tight shoes that causes the toes to bend at the middle joint. The second, third, and fourth toes are usually affected.
Hammertoe usually is combined with corns and calluses due to the toes rubbing against the top of the shoe.
Without treatment, the toe can become fixed. Only surgery helps to correct it.

Is it a big problem my shoes are too wide?

Too wide shoes are not good for long use. Too wide shoes might feel comfortable at first sight, but they are harmful in many ways. Your feet have too much space in your shoes and will move around, creating friction or making you lose grip.
If your shoes are too wide, you can twist your ankle or fall.
With too wide shoes, you are not safe, and you might slip or cause accidents.
If the shoes are too wide, the inside materials will break.
Feet with friction tend to overheat, creating too hot feet, sweaty feet or blisters at the heel.

The best remedy for sore feet? Don’t buy shoes with bad fitting!

Avoiding problems is always better than having to solve them. We’re no doctors at We leave that up to the specialists.
The best remedy to avoid sore feet is to Change your shoes. 
Buy shoes that are wide enough in size and style to support your feet without pressure.
Avoid narrow styles and high heels.
However, do you want to stretch your shoes by half a size, you might consider these tricks.

Perfect shoe fit

  1. The ball of your foot should fit comfortably in the widest part of the shoe.
  2. You should have enough depth so that your toes don’t rub the tops.
  3. Stand up with the shoes on and make sure you have a half inch (about the width of your finger) between your longest toe and the front of the shoe.
  4. Walk around in the shoes and make sure you don’t experience any rubbing or slipping.

When do you need Medical help?

It’s best to see a doctor if you:

  • have continous foot pain that doesn’t improve with a change in shoes
  • notice a the shape of your toes is changing, such as a bunion or hammer toe
  • have signs of infection in a toe or foot, such as redness, swelling, and pus
  • get swollen feet and ankles
  • have diabetes or problems with blood flow in your feet

What is the difference between medium width and wide width shoes?

The difference between medium-width shoes and wide-width shoes may be small, but it is crucial. If you have wide feet and you fit a pair of medium-width shoes, you will squeeze your toes against the side or the front of the shoes, which can cause irritation, blisters, corns, or calluses, as described above.

The difference between a medium width shoe and a wide width shoe is very small, about 1/8 of an inch. But this 1/8 inch can make all the difference in the world when it comes to comfort. With wide width shoes, the entire shoe is wider, but especially in the area just before the toes. This extra space will help give feet and toes enough room to prevent them from overlapping or rubbing against the inside of the shoes.

The most common mistake people with wide widths make is ordering a longer shoe size, because shoes may feel too tight around the width area. If you try a shoe on in the medium width, and the shoe feels too tight around the widest part of the foot, then opt for a wide width in the same size, instead of sizing up.


The importance of your shoes’ width plays an important role in the comfort and health of your feet.
Too tight shoes can create pressure and friction on your feet and lead to many foot problems.

Age, gravity, and many other factors can change your feet’ shape and size over time. Whenever you buy shoes, a professional fitting will help you find the fit that’s right for you.

Looking for a dedicated post on width in safety shoes or safety boots? Check here.

The picture in this post is by Victor Freitas via Pexels

Adults, Comfort Size Charts, Fitting, Shoe Size Chart, Shoe size charts, Size Charts, Size Guide

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