Do you have a child with extra wide feet and you always seem to have the hardest time finding shoes that fit? Do you feel like you try a whole bunch of different styles but you always end up empty handed?
One of the most common mistakes I see parents make when is assuming that once they choose a shoe style in extra wide widths (“XW”), that shoe style will automatically fit the shape of their child’s extra wide feet. It takes more than just choosing a shoe style that is labeled as extra wide to fit the shape of a child with extra wide feet. There are actually two other important factors that the shoes must provide:
- Depth: Deeper shoes will allow your child’s feet to sit deeply inside the shoes and prevent the top part of the feet from rubbing against the top part of the shoes.
- Round Toe-Box: This feature will prevent your child’s toes from overlapping against one another or rubbing against the side of the shoes.
Let me show you what I mean by “deep” shoes. A deep shoe will allow your child’s feet to fit deeply inside the shoes, and prevent the top part of your child’s feet from rubbing against the top part of the shoes. Let’s see how a deeper shoe looks like. Both of the shoes below have an orthotic fitted inside of them, do you notice how much deeper the orthotic is fitting in the New Balance shoe style (grey and pink)?
Shoes that come with a rounder toe-box are also really important since they will prevent your kids’ toes from rubbing against each other or the side of the shoes. Let me show you what I mean when I mention shoes with rounder toe-boxes. Do you notice in the picture below how the New Balance shoe style has a much rounder toe-box than the Asics shoe style?
You might be wondering…
How are you suppose to find these two features in your kids’ shoes if they don’t come labeled as “deep” or with a “round toe-box”?
There are only certain styles that provides these two features, but the good news is that I will help you find them.
I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for the last 10 years, where we specialize in children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. I have fitted hundreds of different shoes and I am familiar with which shoe brands and which shoe styles are wider than others.
If you provide your child with shoes that are too narrow, you can make your child more prone to developing blisters, calluses, and corns.
Do you happen to have a child that has extra wide feet and a high instep? Do you know what the instep of the foot is? The instep is the top part of the foot, and when it’s high then it makes it really hard to find shoes that fit. Take a look at the picture below which shows the foot of a child with a high instep:
If you happen to have a child with extra wide feet and a high instep, then you must find a shoe that is labeled as extra wide (“XW”), but that is also deep and that comes with a round toe-box.
I will show you a selection of the best shoes for extra wide feet shortly, but let’s first get familiar with what features these shoe styles will provide and how to figure out your child’s foot size from home.
Do you Have Children with Extra Wide Feet? – Don’t Panic!
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 or her 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 for the rest of their lives.
Fitting your child in the correct pair of shoes starting from an early age can prevent foot issues in the future. Most parents ignore the importance of fitting the width of their kids’ feet, and they focus only on the amount of space they have between the end of their longest toe and the end of the shoe.
Please keep in mind that it doesn’t matter how much growing room you leave for your child’s feet, if the shoes are not wide enough, your child will outgrow the width of the shoe faster than the length, and you will have to replace the shoes sooner than you expected.
Most parents don’t 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 shoe styles available, I want you to remember that there is always at least one shoe style out there that will fit the shape of your kids’ feet perfectly, and I will HELP YOU find them.
I have fitted kids with extra wide feet in dress shoes, sandals, soccer cleats, boots… you name it! There is no reason why you should avoid buying a particular shoe style for your child just because you believe it won’t fit your child’s extra wide feet.
Extra Wide Shoes for Kids – The 3 Most Important Features!
Besides being deep and coming with a round toe-box, the shoes I will describe in this article will provide the following features to your child:
- Arch and ankle support: This will minimize the impact that your kids’ feet take every time they come in contact with the ground.
- Lightweight and flexible: The shoes must be supportive, but lightweight and flexible at the same time. This will prevent your kids’ feet and legs from easily getting tired.
- Breathable: This feature will prevent your kids’ feet from sweating too much.
I always recommend that parents have their children’s feet properly measured at their local children’s shoe store, where a shoe fitter can find the perfect pair of shoes for your child. The issue is that most parents don’t have a local kids’ shoe store in their area, and they must end up purchasing their kids’ shoes online.
I created a map that describes the best fitting children’s shoe stores by state, so you should START by taking a look at it to check if there is a good fitting children’s shoe store in your area:
If you still can’t seem to find a store in your area, then proceed to reading an article where I describe the most effective way to figure out your child’s foot size from home:
Now that you know what features the shoes must provide and how to measure your kids’ foot size from home, you are ready to a look at a selection of the best shoes for extra wide feet.
The Best Shoes for Extra Wide Feet ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Please keep in mind that I only write reviews of shoe styles that I have fitted before, otherwise I wouldn’t know how well-made they are, the amount of support that they provide, and how they fit.
Below you can find a selection of the best kids’ sneakers that come with a round toe-box, are deep, and that are also available in extra wide widths.
These shoe styles 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 standard foot measuring scale (Brannock device) in order to allow for growing room.
Do you happen to need a pair of extra wide shoes for yourself? I have also fitted several moms that came to the store with extra wide feet in deep shoes with a round toe-box. I am familiar with which are the best shoe styles for women with extra wide feet, and you can learn which ones they are here:
Wide feet in children are common.
Over the years, I have seen hundreds of children who came into the store with extra wide feet and a high instep and I was always able to find the right pair of shoes for them. Whether you need an every day pair fo sneakers, dress shoes, hiking/snow boots, a pair of Mary Janes or soccer cleats, I will help you find them.
My Child Started Playing Sports – Do Cleats for Extra Wide Feet Exist?
We all know that children are highly active most of the time, so helping them find a sport for them to canalize all the energy they have is really important. When children play a sport, they keep themselves active and healthy. Also, taking part in a sport can help in the development of your children’s body and also boost their self-esteem and confidence.
When children are playing sports, they are stressing their feet and legs at a whole different level, so it’s important that they wear the correct type of shoes.
Did you know there are certain cleat styles that will fit a child with wide or extra wide feet? Most parents don’t even know that there are soccer, baseball, basketball, football, and lacrosse cleats in wide widths.
I wrote an article where I describe these cleats in more detail, so if your child has extra wide feet and involved in a particular sport, you will be able to keep his/her feet comfortable and healthy. Go to the link below:
The Risks of Fitting your Child in Shoes That are too Narrow – Don’t Do It!
If your child is wearing shoes that are too small or too narrow, you are putting him/her at risk of developing serious foot deformities such as bunions, corns, or blisters.
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 coming with a round toe-box), but are also found in other places where there is steady pressure and abrasion.
The goal is to prevent the corn since they are hard to get rid of.
The other main problems of providing your child with shoes that are too narrow are:
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.