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

Wide Feet

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)?

Deep Shoes

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?

Shoes With Round Toe Box

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:

Kids With High Insteps

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.

Happy Kids

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:

The Best Kids’ Shoe Stores – Where To Go For Proper Fittings

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:

How To Measure Kids Shoe Size From Home – In Less Than 30 Seconds!

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:

The Best Extra Wide Width Shoes for Women – Deep, Supportive, Flexible, and with a Round Toe-Box!

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.Children With Wide Feet

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 Best Sport Shoes For Children – The Best Soccer, Basketball, Baseball, and Football Cleats.

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:

-Ingrown toenails

-Hammertoe

-Aching feet

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.

Join the rest of the parents who are taking care of their kids’ feet and get my guide for free: The 5 Most Common Mistakes Parents Make when Buying Their Kids’ Shoes

63 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.

  23. What is the widest shoe style that you have fitted before? I need to fit a child that is a big boy size 3 and has an extra wide foot with a high instep. Please help!

  24. Hello! I was wondering if you have any reccomendations for extra wide super warm winter snow boots as well as fall booties? We live in Canada and our winters lately have gone as cold as -35. Need a pair for outdoor snow boots but also something for the car. We cirrently have xw stride rite in 7.5 and tsukihoshi, just for reference. Thank you in advance! Also just wondering what uou think about ecco – are they wide?

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