If you have a child with extra wide feet you are probably aware how frustrating and time-consuming it can be to find shoes that fit. Most parents find themselves trying several different shoe styles just to end up empty handed.
I have helped hundreds of children find shoes to accommodate the shape of their fabulously large, thick feet with high insteps.
The most common mistake I see parents make is to assume that once they provide their children with a shoe that is labeled as extra wide, that shoe style will automatically fit the shape of the child’s extra wide feet. There are other two key factors that your kids’ shoes need to provide and I will explain them shortly.
Do you feel like you always have a hard time getting your child’s shoes on? Have you noticed marks on the top of your child’s feet every time your child takes the shoes off ? Those are some of the most common signs that your child’s shoes are not wide enough.
I receive emails from parents from all over the world explaining me how the only piece of footwear that their children with extra wide feet are able to wear is Crocs. Parents keep emphasizing to me how there are no other shoes wide enough to accommodate the shape of their children’s extra wide feet. Crocs tend to be very roomy and they will accommodate the shape of a child with extra wide feet, but they are not the type of shoes a child should wear on an everyday basis.
Even if your child has the widest feet with the highest insteps, there is always at least one particular pair of everyday shoes out there that will accommodate the shape of your child’s extra wide feet.
You must make sure that you provide your child with extra wide feet with shoes that are wide enough, in order to prevent your child’s toes from overlapping and rubbing against one another or the side of the shoes. This will end up creating all sort of issues to your child’s feet that range from blisters, calluses, and corns to general foot and leg pain.
Some children have extra wide feet with a high instep, which makes it even harder to find shoes that properly fit. Do you know what the instep of the foot is? The instep is the top part of the foot, and when it’s really high, it requires a shoe that is really deep in order to prevent it from rubbing against the top part of the shoe. See image below for clarification purposes:
I have found that there are certain children’s shoe brands that tend to be more consistent when it comes to fitting a child with extra wide feet. I have been working for a specialized children’s shoe store for over 10 years now, and this experience has afforded me many insights into children’s shoes and the way they fit.
Our store specializes in shoes for children with foot and leg problems, but we provide regular shoe fittings as well. From my experience fitting thousands of kids, I have become familiar with the best shoe brands for children with extra wide feet and the best styles among those brands.
Several parents seem to have one question in common: What is the best shoe brand for children with extra wide feet?
If you have tried extra wide shoes in different shoe brands for your little one but still feel like the shoes are not wide enough for their feet, there are two shoe brands that have proven to be the best ones when it comes to manufacturing shoes for children with extra wide feet.
New Balance ✅
Specifically for toddlers and older children. I have found that New Balance makes some of the deepest shoes with the roundest toe-boxes, in addition to being labeled as extra wide. There are 2 specific shoe styles that I have found to be the most effective ones from New Balance, and I will describe them shortly.
Specifically for babies. I want to clarify that I have found Stride Rite baby’s shoes to be effective for babies with extra wide feet, but not for toddlers or older children. With that said, Stride Rite definitely makes some of the widest babies’ shoes, but please keep in mind that there are only a few shoe styles that will work for your babies’ extra wide feet, and I will also describe them shortly.
I want to clarify that not all shoe styles from these two shoe brands will fit a child with extra wide feet. There are specific shoe styles among those 2 brands that fit a lot wider than others and I will describe them shortly.
Shoes for Kids with Extra Wide Feet – 2 Key Features!
In addition to finding a pair of shoes that come labeled as extra wide (“XW”), there are 2 other key features that the shoes must provide in order to keep your kids’ feet healthy:
✅ Extra Depth: This will allow your child’s feet to fit deeply inside the shoes, preventing the top part of the child’s feet from rubbing against the top part of the shoes. I want you to be able to visualize the difference between a shoe that provides extra depth versus one that doesn’t. For better visualization purposes, there is an orthotic fitted inside the shoes below. Do you notice how the orthotic is fitting deeper inside the shoe on the first image?
✅ Rounder Toe-Box: This feature will prevent the child’s toes from overlapping one another or rubbing against the side of the shoes. Let’s compare the difference between a shoe that provides a round toe-box versus one that doesn’t. These shoes are the same length and width, but do you notice how the shoe in the first image has a rounder toe-box?
In addition to finding shoes that are labeled as extra wide, provide extra depth and a round toe-box, it’s important to provide your child with the correct shoe size, otherwise your child won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer.
How to Figure Out Your Child’s Exact Foot Size – Let’s Find Out!
Another common mistake that parents seem to make is to provide their children with shoes that are too long in order to take the pressure away from the widest area of the shoe. Providing children with longer shoes means that they won’t complain about the shoes feeling too tight, but they end up compromising your children’s stability, making your children more prone to falling down and hurting themselves.
I always recommend parents to take their children to their local specialized children’s shoe store. Start by taking a look at a map that I created that showcases the best fitting children’s shoe stores by state. Go to the link below:
If after looking at that map you still can’t seem to find a store in your area, then take a look at an article along with a video that I created that describes the simplest, yet most effective way to figure out your child’s actual foot size from home:
Now that you know your child’s exact foot size, let’s take a look at the best widest shoe styles among New Balance and Stride Rite.
Best Shoe Brands for Kids with Extra Wide Feet
New Balance ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
New Balance is my to-go shoe brand for children who have extra wide feet, high insteps, or need an orthotic to be fitted inside the shoes.
The deepest and widest shoe styles are the 990V5 and the 680v5. You can find a breakdown of both these styles below:
Children can wear any of these shoe styles as their everyday pair of sneakers, since these shoes are supportive,lightweight, flexible, and durable.
All of these shoe styles fit true to size, which means that you need to provide your child with a half a size longer (3/8 of an inch) of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes in order to allow for growing room.
Best Shoe Brands for Babies with Extra Wide Feet
Stride Rite ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Stride Rite is my to-go shoe brand for babies who are learning how to walk. Most babies have wide to extra wide feet, since they still carry some fat pad on their feet.
You can find a breakdown of the best extra wide shoes for babies below:
These shoe styles all come with sensory pods on the soles to allow your baby to get a better feel off the ground and feel more confident and stable when taking those first steps.
All of these baby shoes also fit true to size, which means that you need to provide your child with a half a size longer (3/8 of an inch) of space between your child’s longest toe and the end of the shoes in order to allow for growing room.
How to Check if the Shoes Are Wide Enough for Your Child’s Feet?
With your child’s shoes on, have your child stand up and look straight ahead. Inspect the widest area of the shoe, which is where the pinky toe (small toe) ends. Do you notice a small bump around that area? This is a sign that the shoes are not wide enough. Take a look at the image below for clarification:
Still not sure which shoe style is best for your child’s extra wide feet? Email me your child’s shoe size (length and width), along with any photos you might have of your child’s feet and I will send you specific shoe recommendations: firstname.lastname@example.org