Are "wide" shoes always the answer?

We receive a lot of questions regarding shoes with "wide" widths. While many people do in fact need a wider than normal shoe, it has become increasingly common for people to think that they need a wide shoe when they really just need more wiggle room for their toes.

Sneakers with a tapering toe box can cause deformities and foot issues like bunions.

To compensate for a cramped, tapering toe box many people (sometimes unknowingly) purchase a larger size shoe, or seek those that are labeled as "wide" (example: EE).

I myself can attest to the fact that it's easy to think we need a larger size than we actually do. Before wearing SOM Footwear, I was wearing a size 7.5-9 depending on the shoe. It wasn't until I began wearing SOM that I figured out that I am actually a size 7 in American standard sizes. All these years I've been wearing larger sizes to help my toes feel less claustrophobic.

According to, D width is considered medium for men, and B is medium for women (which is what we currently use). Depending on the size of the shoe, the width of our shoes ranges from 3.7 inches to 4.25 inches across the bottom of the ball of the foot. Shoes with an EE width (extra wide) measure across the bottom of the ball of the foot between 3.4 inches and 5.4 inches.

So while our shoes may not be considered wide by industry standards, our roomy toe box and "medium" heel dimensions can accommodate a lot of people, including some who usually wear a "wide" shoe.

Until you try on our shoes for yourself, you won't really understand how comfortable they are. Until then, check out these customer testimonials-

"I immediately put them on and I cannot tell you the sense of relief I felt when I realized my toes were not cramped by the toe box and the relief of pressure that occurred within 5 minutes of wearing them! I appreciate the design, quick shipping and overall great experience!!

Keep up the good work,"

O.H.- Canal Fulton, OH


"Thanks again for making such great shoes. I finally found something to fit my funny feet."

P.S.- Fresno, CA


"Just wanted to tell you I got my shoes and I absolutely love them. I think these are the shoes my feet have been waiting for. I have what they call Barney Rubble or Fred Flintstone feet and the wide toebox area of the shoes are exactly what I need!

I am so excited, I already ordered another pair."

B.B. - Grand Island, NE


"Don't know how I ever thought I was comfortable in all my cramped, heavy shoes before."

T.P. - Laredo, TX


"I received my SOM', and when I put them on it was instant love.  I finally found the toe freedom I've been searching for!  I've tried so many different brands of running and hiking shoes, and either they were too big, or too tight on my outer toes."

B.B. - Peninsula, OH


 "I enjoyed wearing the shoes yesterday.  The wider toe-box is just what I need for my developing hammertoes."

C.P. - Bowie, MD





  • Thanks for the kind words Ray. We need to retrain our brains on what we should consider “normal”!

    SOM Footwear
  • To have healthy feet, the widest part of the shoe needs to be at the ends of the toes. Even if you buy a wider width shoe, American standards, you are buying your width at the ball, and not the ends of the toes, where true foot health requires the widest part of the shoe to be. Go SOM!
    Ray McClanahan – concerned podiatrist

    ray mcclanahan
  • I’m glad our shoes bring you comfort Sean! Shoes should embrace the perfect shape of our natural feet, not deform them!

    SOM Footwear
  • I’ve always worn a double wide shoe, so I always assumed I was a genetic mutant with super wide feet. But when I measured my feet according to the SOM sizing chart I discovered to my amazement that I’m exactly normal! It was the shoes that were wrong this whole time. I got my SOMs last week and they fit great – a whole size smaller than I usually get.


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