Shoes For Extra Wide Feet – Stop Hurting Your Children’s Feet

Wide Feet

The million dollar question I am asked by almost every single parent who comes to the store with a child who has extra wide feet is: Are his feet always going to stay extra wide? My answer is: It depends on each child. In most cases the child’s feet tend to narrow down with age, but in certain cases children keep their extra wide width feet all their lives.

Fitting your child in the correct pair of shoes starting from an early age can prevent a lot of discomfort and injury. Most parents ignore the importance of fitting the width of the child’s foot, focusing only on the amount of space he has between the end of his toe and the end of the shoe.

I can’t emphasize enough that it doesn’t matter how much room you are leaving for your child to grow into the shoe if the shoes are not wide enough for his feet! Your child will outgrow the width of the shoe faster than the length, and you will have to replace them even sooner than you expected.

When children with extra wide feet wear shoes that are too narrow they often develop foot problems such as calluses, corns, and blisters. The parent may keep telling the child that he has plenty of room in the front of the shoes and that they shouldn’t feel tight at all, when the real problem is around the small toe, the pinky toe, being pushed to the side of the shoe due to the shoe not being wide enough. This constant rubbing between the small toe and the side of the shoe, creates all sort of different foot problems.

Do You Have Children With Wide Or Extra Wide Feet? Have No Fear!

Most parents do not realize that there are shoes for extra wide feet available. I have heard plenty of moms mistakenly say “my child cannot wear dress shoes because his/her feet are too wide” or “my child cannot wear sandals because his/her feet are too wide”, While it’s true that there may be limited styles available, they do exist! Just because you might not know about it doesn’t mean that they don’t exist.

Wide Shoes For KidsI am familiar with and have fitted children with extra wide feet in dress shoes, sandals, cleats, boots, etc. There is no reason why you should avoid buying a particular type of shoe because you believe it won’t fit your child’s extra wide feet. Believe me, they make them. You need to identify the brands that will fit your child’s wide feet and have him properly fitted.

I always recommend that parents have their children’s feet properly measured at their local children’s shoe store, where an experienced shoe fitter can find the perfect pair of shoes for your child. However, if parents do not have access to a local store with experienced staff, I can recommend appropriately fitting shoes for children with extra wide feet.

I created a post where I describe the best fitting shoes for children that have extra wide feet, and the post is called:

Children’s Extra Wide Shoes – Prevent Blisters, Calluses, And Corns!

Wide feet in children are common.  Don’t panic!  You are absolutely not alone.  Over the years, I have seen thousands of children who come into the store with feet that are very wide, however we always find the right pair of shoes for them. Whether you need an everyday sneaker, dress shoe, hiking/snow boot, a pair of Mary Janes or soccer cleats, I will help you find the right extra wide width shoe for your child.

After working for years in a specialty shoe store for children I’ve grown into an expert in this area, if you cannot find your child a pair of extra wide shoes, contact me and I will help you find them.

Children With Wide Feet

What Are The Risks Of Fitting Your Child In Shoes That Are Too Narrow? 

If your child is wearing shoes that are too small or too narrow, he is at risk of developing serious foot deformities such as bunions, corns, or blisters, among others.  It is imperative NOT to purchase longer shoes to compensate for the width as you will not only compromise your child’s stability but you will also make your child more likely to develop foot problems.

When a child is trying on shoes and tells his parents that they feel too tight, the parents often respond by purchasing the child a LONGER pair! Adding length might temporarily help with the width, but in a month or so the child will start complaining again about the shoes feeling too tight. It’s the width parents! The width! NOT the length…

The most common problem I have seen is the development of corns. The hard corn usually starts as red skin, followed by a coating of callus, which develops into a hard corn. Most hard corns form on the side of the little toe (thus the importance of shoes being wide enough), but are also found in other places where there is steady pressure and abrasion.

Shoes of the wrong size, shape or fit are almost always the cause of hard corns.  A soft corn is white and damp, has a core, and can be very painful. Soft corns are caused by the squeezing together of toes by shoes that are too narrow or short. The bones of the toes rub together and bring on the soft corn.

The goal is to prevent the corn since they are hard to eliminate and can recur. You can read more about the type of foot problems children can develop when they don’t wear the correct pair of shoes in a post called:

Foot Problems From Shoes – When Their Feet Are Different

Extra Wide Feet

The other main problems of shoes being too narrow are:

-Ingrown toenails

-Hammertoe

-Aching feet

My Child Started Playing Soccer – All The Cleats Are Too Narrow!

While shoe companies don’t make a huge selection of wide and extra wide soccer cleats to choose from, there is a particular soccer cleat that does come in wide and extra wide widths. Are you excited? Most parents don’t even know this cleat exists! These are not simply cleats that run wide, but rather cleats that run in appropriate wide and extra wide widths.

If you are interested in learning more about where to get these wide and extra wide soccer cleats, please see my post:

 Soccer Cleats For Kids – Finding An Extra Wide Boot That Fits

I understand it can be hard to find shoes that come in extra wide widths. To assist you in your web searches I provide a review of the best fitting extra wide shoes under my review section under the homepage.

Below you can find a selection of the best sneakers that come in extra wide widths. STOP hurting your kids’ feet! Provide them with the correct shoe size in order to prevent foot problems and foot injuries in the long run!


Do you have a child that has extra wide width feet? Are you having the hardest time finding a particular shoe style that fits? Certainly contact me via e-mail or in the comments section with further questions.

STOP BUYING THE WRONG PAIR OF SHOES FOR YOUR CHILDREN.LET’S START TAKING CARE OF THEIR FEET!

I created this webpage to help parents understand the importance that shoes have in healthy foot development and how they can prevent foot problems in the future.Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kid’s feet and get my guide for free: 10 Mistakes Parents Must Avoid When Buying Shoes for their Kids.

59 Comments on Shoes For Extra Wide Feet – Stop Hurting Your Children’s Feet

  1. I truly believe that you have expressed what others have felt and have answered questions that need to be answered I myself have extra wide feet and can really understand the reason to make sure you find the right size of shoe and I think this website will help a lot of people find the proper shoe and remedies to ease the pain narrow shoes can bring

  2. I’ve always had wide feet, and I never knew that the calluses I developed as a result of wearing shoes too small were referred to as corns. I always wondered what those were. I’ll be sure to be cautious with my children, as I know at least one of them has my feet. Although, my husband’s feet are fairly wide as well, so maybe they’re just doomed! 🙂

    • Sonja,
      When it comes to wide feet genetics always play a key role.. Corns are very hard to get rid of, so we must try to avoid getting them.All we need is the right shoe size, so please make sure you get your children fitted for shoes.

  3. Both my kids have wide feet. My daughter especially when she was younger. Her foot was wide and high so even if the shoe was wide enough I still couldn’t get her foot in!
    I struggled to find nice shoes that fitted well when they were younger but it is getting a little easier now.

    • Lynne,
      I believe that when you say that her foot was high you are referring to as her having a high instep. Some people believe only children with “thick feet” require a wide width shoe. Children with feet that are not thick but have a high instep do still require a wide width shoe.
      You should have gotten your daughter a wide shoe that also had a deep end so her foot can easily get in the shoe.
      Thank you for bringing this up, and if you ever have a hard time finding shoes please contact me.

  4. I’ve been one of those that has had super-wide feet! I know so well the struggle of finding shoes that fit or don’t wear through the sides within the first few months! Fortunately, I never experienced the issues that can come along with it. I have had to deal with a couple of ingrown toenails, but that was mostly from poor grooming habits! I found a good brand to wear (NB) and stuck with them. Once you find the “shoe that fits”… wear it!

    Good topic and a great site!

  5. Hi Juan, You’re site is very helpful. I’m glad you’re letting people know how important it is to start early by taking good care of their children’s feet and finding someone who can show them the way to do this. When I was a child, we had to wear our shoes until our toes were pushing out of the ends, because we were poor. Now I have several problems with my feet as an adult and I always wear a wide runner that has arch support and a good quality shoe. However I can’t wait to get my shoes off because my feet always hurt. I had a cast imprint done on both and wore orthotics’ for 8 months, but they hurt too much. I don’t think we realize how long we have to use our puppies and don’t always take good care of our feet. Your site is very attractive and it was easy to find my way around. I’m glad I stopped by. Keep smiling, Sharon:)

    • Sharon,
      I am so glad that you found the website helpful, but at the same time it worries me to read that your feet still hurt. The fact that those particular orthotics did not work for you does not mean that there is not a solution out there. It will be hard for me to give you advise without looking at your feet, but I will recommend trying a softer orthotic, maybe a step down from what you have.

  6. Hi Juan,

    I have wide feet as wells and I find the most difficulty with cowboy boots not fitting comfortably. I also have bad knees with no cartilage in them so that adds to my pain. Do you recommend any particular brand or type of cowboy boot in a size 12 wide?

    Thank You Juan for your time and communication,
    Tony

    • Tony,

      Most cowboys boots have a very pointy toe-box and they tend to run in the narrow side. There are styles that definitely come in the wide width, but please remember this does not mean that it will actually be wide enough. I will provide you with a link for those particular styles shortly.

  7. Hi. Very informative article. Have wide feet myself so I learned something myself, even tho it was meant for kids 🙂

    Keep up the good work!

  8. Do you have any recommendations/reviews of preschooler-sized shoes in wide widths that cost less than $30 for something that will be worn only a matter of months before being outgrown? I’ve found some great shoe options, but the prices are absolutely ridiculous given the small amount of materials involved and the short time of wearability.

  9. hi..
    do you know where I can buy extra wide SOCKS for my son….He is 4 years old , takes a size 13-1 shoe and has wide calves.
    thanx!

  10. Hi, thanks for your site, very helpful info! Do you have a recommendation for men’s shoes for an 11 year old boy with wide feet that is now in mens’ sizes? Are mens’ shoes wider in general, or should we still order wides? (He notices that the heels are wider, but toe box is too narrow in Nikes). Saucconys in wide are what we mostly ordered when he was in kid sizes. Thanks!

    • Michelle,

      You should still order wide width shoes, which in men’s it translates to 2EE. I will recommend three brands for your child, New Balance, Saucony, and Asics. I wish you would have told me what shoe size length he wears to give you more specific information. If you get back at me with that information, I can provide you with a list of shoes that will fit his foot. In the meantime, take a look at this post I wrote: Prevent heel slippage. That way of tying the shoes is not only effective for children who wear orthotics, but for anybody who wants to have the heel of the foot more secure.

  11. Your articles are super helpful- thank you! We just moved away from an amazing local store that had every size possible for kids shoes, and now need to order online.

    My son is a 13 XW (4 years old) and really wants flip flops “just like mommy.” I know they’re not great shoes for little ones, but I’d like to get him a pair for going to the pool. He had Jambu sandals last summer, and I’ll get him another pair this year.

    Do you recommend any flip flops for xw feet? Thank you!

    • Hello Stephanie,

      You are going to miss not being able to take your kids’ to the shoe store. I actually just wrote an article about the best flip flops for kids’.I describe the most supportive and better-made flip flops for kids’, but even if he is wearing the more substantial flip flops, you shouldn’t allow him to wear them for more than 5 hours a day. I also describe the styles that will fit a child with a wide or an extra wide foot. You can find that post here: Flip Flops For Kids – The Best Styles For Your Kids’ Feet!

  12. Hi there! Just my two cents….I have a son who has wide feet both side to side AND up and down so a real pain to fit! He’s also autistic and hates having his feet touched..yay! I found that Adidas shoes fit really well when he was a toddler but after that it was quite the challenge to find something easy to put on, opens up wide, extra…..the only brand I found that fits all the categories so far was Tsukihoshi. They’re lightweight, flexible, wider than Stride Rite, New Balance or any of the other “extra wide” shoes. You can even wash them. This is their website. http://www.tsukihoshi.com. The only problem I’m having now is that he doesn’t seem to like the feel of shoe rubbing on his heel and always slips the back off. Sigh. Here comes the next journey!

    • Hello Bev,

      We carry this shoe brand at the shoe store that I work for, and you are right, they do fit very wide and they are soft and flexible too! I believe you might be getting your child shoes that are too long, that’s why his heels keep coming out of the shoe when he walks. Remember that these shoes run really wide but also really long! I am not sure they are wider than a New Balance shoe style in an extra wide, but I am glad it has worked for your child!

  13. Being an achondroplasia dwarf is tuff. But being a achon with extra wide, short, kids sized feet with birth deformity feet problems is un-real. Recently the company where I had been purchasing my shoes from stopped making the one and only shoe I could wear without warning. I live in the south and for me sandals are out of the question because of the foot abnormalities. Walking in a sandal is like walking on a tight rope. You never know when you’re going to fall and hurt yourself or worse, hurt someone else. My shoe size is Little Kid 1 – EEEE or EEEEE…or even wider if they have it. I have searched the world over. To find a shoe the size, width, and with the comfort and support needed to hold both feet in place is the worse possible nightmare ever. If some of you know something, someone, or can share some knowledge beyond what I have searched, it sure would be appreciated.

  14. Hi. My son has down syndrome. He is 16 weighs about 135 lbs. He wears a lids size 12 and his foot is 7″heel to toe and 3 1/2 “wide. With no arch. Please,help

  15. My daughter who is just 4 years old has not just wide ot extra wide feet. She is in a size 1 EEE!! Yes that is a size 1 Triple E! Please I welcome anyone to help me find a shoe that will fit her. I don’t care if they are purple with a paper sack glued on. So I am yes one of those moms who is saying there are no shoes to fit my child. Not even ugly ones.

    • Hello Elicta,

      Have you tried the New Balance brand for your child? Here in the US shoes for kids are labeled as wide or extra wide. There is definitely a pair of shoes that will fit your child’s foot. For example, take a look at the New Balance shoe below:

      New Balance Extra Wide Shoes For Girls

      That particular color might not be available in a size 1 extra wide but the other two are. You should definitely try that shoe and I hope it works out! You should also check a post I wrote about how shoe stretchers might help a child that has a really wide foot. You can find that post here:Do Shoe Stretchers Work? – The Solution To Kids With Wide And Extra Wide Feet

      • We have tried everything. She was measured at the shoe store, they are using the Brannock Device. Both her feet are not only hanging over the device, but are on the floor…both sides of her feet. I never seen anything like it before in my life. And apparently neither did the shoe salesmans. I am definitely aware about the wide and extra wide shoes. But she is a 1EEE here in America. New Balance was the shoe that used to work but not anymore. She is just a huge 4 year old. She just turned 4 and she is already 3′ 11″ inches tall. Just measured this past Friday. The only pair of shoes that I found that fits her well.. are Bear Paw boots and Uggs. Other than that no such luck. Her occupational therapist has been helping us with the search also.

  16. I really wish that parents would take their children’s feet more seriously. Thank you for this article and I hope that people find this useful. As for myself, because my mom wouldn’t listen to me when I told her my feet hurt or ached, or that the shoes were too tight, I developed bunions. It has made it even more frustrating to find shoes that fit as an adult and one of the things that frightens me to even have children is not wanting them to grow up with foot problems like myself. Especially since majority of insurance companies won’t cover the costs of repair for damaged feet (even something simple like an ingrown nail).

    • Mori,

      My goal is to inform parents in the importance of providing their children with the correct pair of shoes. The right pair of shoes and the correct shoe size will not only keep your kids feet comfortable, but it will also prevent foot issues such as blsiters, calluses and corns. Also, if the shoes are not fitted properly they can be a direct cause for foot injuries. I know you are aware of all this, so now you can help me spread the word!

  17. Hi, My child has wide feet. size 4w. but making her way pretty quickly to a 5.
    I’m trying to find her boots that will fit.
    Any suggestions on brands to try? Thanks.

  18. My daughter is 2 and the only shoes we have found that fit her are New Balance Extra Wide and BOGS. The following shoes we have purchased and had to return in the last 2 months: stride Rite, Saucony, Plae. I’ve tried Crocs, TOMS and Skechers in store with no luck as well. SeeKaiRun told us my daughters feet will most likely not fit their shoes.

    For the sake of it here are my daughters foot measurements: 6.5 inches long, 3.5 inches at the widest point. Her foot is thick from bottom to top as well.

    Right now she is growing out of her New Balance 8xw.

    Please help me find some more shoe options for my daughter!!

    • Katie,

      Sometimes when children have really wide feet there are only certain shoe brands/shoe styles that will fit the shape of their feet.Have you tried the shoe brand Tsukihoshi for your daughter? I have found that some of their styles will fit a child with extra wide feet.

  19. Hello,

    My daughter has wide feet as well. She’s one and have already out grown her size 4(just bought too haha). I’ve been looking everywhere for size 5w, but seems to be none in existence, or even a size up with how she’s growing. One thing I have noticed when I take her shoes off, are imprints of her shoes on the top of her foot. Her feet also get really sweaty. I feel like wide shoes are still too small and her feet get so hot. Do you have any suggestions as to how to combat these problems?

    Thank you for your time and help.

  20. Hello,
    I live in Baltimore, MD and have a 5 year old beautiful daughter. We struggle to find shoes that fit. All the shoes she wants is not her size and never wide enough. We went shopping for new dress shoes today and came home empty handed. She wants the flat ballet shoes. I’ve bought her a pair or two previously as a quick fix, but her feet lead outward so it looks almost as if she doesn’t have on a shoe. I need a shoe that it deep and wide so her foot does “spill” over the side of the shoe. PLEASE HELP!!!

    • Hello Calandra,

      We have customers that come to the shoe store I used to work from Baltimore. The shoe store is located in Potomac, Maryland and it’s called Shoe Train. If you can take your daughter there it will be ideal since ballet flats are really hard to fit. I am sure you will walk out with a pair of shows that FIT the shape of her feet. If you can’t come let me know and I will email you couple of options that you can find online.

  21. We are in a rural area with little to no shopping options. I’m trying to find some summer shoes for my daughter (a water shoe for exploring the creek and going to the splash pad), and some sort of semi-open, lightweight, sandal or sporty summer sneaker. That’s probably confusing, but my daughter is autistic and thus can’t handle many styles of shoes (typical girls’ sandals with hard soles and strappy styles are a no go). I would love recommendations. She is a 7 wide.

    • Hello Rachel,

      I have fitted several children with special needs before and like you mentioned in your comment, not all shoe styles will work for their feet. Have you tried the shoe brand Jambu before? They are very soft and they will fit a child with wide feet, my only concern is that the sole is not totally flat and some children don’t like how it feels. However, I will give those a try. You can learn more about them and see which styles I recommend in an article called:

      Wide Sandals For Kids – The Must Have Summer Sandal For Kids With Wide Feet!

      If those don’t work, I will recommend a pair of Keen sandals. You can find the best Keen sandals styles here:

      Keen Sandals For Girls – The Most Supportive And Durable Summer Sandal For Your Girl!

      Those are my two top shoe brand/styles recommendations. If I were you I will try both so you can compare which one fits her the best.

      I hope this helps and follow up with me, I want to know if they work for your daughter or not. If they don’t work, I can definitely find something else but I would start there.

  22. Hi There,
    Thank you for the article. I have a son that has XXW feet. The XW shoes that we have bought still hurt his toes and squish his feet. I have tried contacting a custom shoe store but have not heard back. do you know of any companies that make XXW for kids?? Thanks

    • Hello Ashley,

      Which shoe style did you provide for your child that the “XW” wasn’t wide enough?

      What shoe size does your child wear?

      Please get back at me with those answers and I will be able to provide you with some recommendations that will fit the shape of your son’s feet.

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