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.
I 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:
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.
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:
The other main problems of shoes being too narrow are:
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:
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!
The shoes in the first-row fit “short”, which means that you need to go a whole size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.
The shoes in the second-row fit “true to size”, which means that you need to go a half a size longer of the size that your child measures in the shoe measuring scale in order to allow for growing room.
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.