When it comes to hiking, having the right gear is crucial. And for those with wide feet, finding the perfect pair of hiking shoes can be a challenge. Luckily, we're here to help. In this article, we'll explore the best hiking shoes for wide feet, comparing four top picks and providing tips on how to choose the right pair for you. We'll also answer common questions like how to determine if your feet are wide, if hiking boots stretch, and how much toe room you should have. Plus, we'll reveal the best brands for hikers with wide feet. So, whether you're a seasoned hiker or just getting started, keep reading to find your perfect pair of hiking shoes.
The Best Hiking Shoes for Wide Feet Overall
Adidas Terrex AX4 Read the full review of Adidas Terrex AX4 here
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A Comparison of the 4 Best Hiking Shoes for Wide Feet
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How to Choose Hiking Shoes for Wide Feet
Welcome to our comprehensive guide on hiking shoes with wide toe boxes! By the end of this article, you will understand the significance of the toe box and why width is essential when selecting hiking shoes. We will also explore what can happen if you fail to consider the width of your feet.
To accommodate wide feet, it is important to look for hiking shoes with one or both of the following characteristics:
- Wide width (2E/4E for men and D/E for women)
- Wide toe box
Determining if Your Feet Are "Wide"
Determining whether you have wide feet and finding a shoe that fits comfortably can be a challenging process. It may take some time and experimentation to find the right shoe for your unique feet.
One indicator of wider-than-normal feet is if your feet consistently feel cramped in most shoes you try. In such cases, your toes may not have enough room to move and spread out, or they may even curl up at the front of the shoe.
Other factors that can indicate wider feet include age, foot deformities, swelling, pregnancy, and genetics.
Our Feet Change Shape and Size with Age
As we age, our feet undergo changes in size and shape. They tend to grow longer and wider over time. This is because the ligaments and tendons in our feet loosen and stretch with age. Additionally, the arches of our feet may collapse more.
Foot Deformities and Injuries Affect Foot Shape and Size
Some individuals naturally have wider feet than others. Furthermore, foot deformities such as bunions can contribute to wider feet. Bunions are bony bumps that form on the joint at the base of the big toe. Prolonged pressure on the feet can cause the big toe to become compressed and push inward, resulting in a bunion.
Swelling can Occur
Our feet can swell in size and width due to long-term or short-term swelling in the feet and legs, known as peripheral edema. Medical conditions can cause peripheral edema, but it can also occur from prolonged standing or walking, such as during work or hiking.
Pregnancy Can Make Women's Feet Swell
During pregnancy, a hormone called relaxin is released into the body. Relaxin helps relax joints, ligaments, and muscles in preparation for childbirth. Swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet is common during pregnancy, especially in the later stages.
Genetics Plays a Role in Foot Shape and Size
Genetics significantly influence our physical characteristics, including foot shape and size. People inherit their foot characteristics from their biological parents, which is why families often share similar foot shapes and sizes. Individuals born with flatter feet tend to have wider feet due to the lack of an arch.
Q: How do you know if your hiking boots aren't wide enough?
If you experience sideways pressure along your mid and forefoot, particularly at the ball of the foot, it is likely that your hiking boots are not wide enough. While your hiking boots should fit snugly around the heel to prevent ankle rolling, any undue pressure along the length of your foot indicates that a wider shoe might be a better fit.
Q: Do hiking boots stretch?
Hiking boots do not stretch. If your hiking boots feel uncomfortably snug, it is recommended to choose a larger size or opt for a wider-width option.
Q: How much toe room should you have in hiking boots?
Ideally, you should have about a half-inch of length between your toes and the front of your boot. Additionally, there should be enough room on the sides for you to wiggle your toes. Keep in mind that feet can expand during long hikes and over time due to factors such as loosening ligaments and loss of fatty padding on the soles.
Best Brands for Hiking with Wide Feet
As an experienced hiker with wide feet, I have found several brands that work well for me. I have also researched brands that are highly recommended by other hikers with wide feet. However, please keep in mind that each individual's feet are unique, so it may be necessary to experiment with different brands to find the perfect fit.
My Personal List of Hiking Footwear that Accommodate Wide Feet
These brands have been my go-to options for years:
My Researched List of Wide Width Hiking Boots
These brands have received positive reviews from hikers with wide feet, based on popularity and expert analysis.
General Tips for Shopping for Wide Boots
Before diving into specific brands, it is important to understand the key features that outdoor brands are known for. The brands recommended here offer wide-width options or wider toe boxes. However, it is crucial to learn how to shop for wide-width trail shoes.
- Refer to my tips before purchasing a pair of wide boots.
If you are new to hiking boots, read my detailed tips for selecting the right pair here.
Now, let's explore these brands!
Why Keen Boots Make Hiking with Wide Feet a Comfortable Experience
The diagram below illustrates the difference between original fit and contoured fit in Keen hiking boots and trail shoes:
Here is a specific boot that I highly recommend for day hikes with a day pack:
KEEN Targhee III Waterproof Mid Hiking Boots
You can find my detailed Targhee review here.
Salomon Hiking Boots if You Are Hiking with Wide Feet
These boots are ideal for hikes that require excellent traction and ankle support, whether it's a day hike or a multi-day trip.
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boots
Note that these boots have a high cut. If you prefer ankle protection, consider these Salomon trail shoes instead. They are perfect for straightforward day hikes on non-rocky, dry to moderately muddy trails.
Salomon X Ultra 3 Low GTX Hiking Shoes
Zamberlan Hiking Boots for Wide Feet
Zamberlan boots are built for rugged conditions and offer excellent performance. These boots are on my feet during multi-week backcountry treks because they are durable and can withstand water, rocks, jagged trail debris, and more. Although they are not explicitly labeled as "wide width," the toe box provides ample room for my wide feet. Hikers with conditions like hallux rigidus and arthritis highly recommend these boots.
Zamberlan Vioz GTX Hiking Boots
An important sizing note: I recommend ordering one full size up as Zamberlan boots may run a bit small. This allows room for foot swelling and wearing thick hiking socks.
Oboz Hiking Boots in Wide Widths
Oboz hiking boots are another great option for wide feet. These boots tend to run small, so it is important to order a full size up and select the wide width option.
Oboz Sapphire Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots
Remember to order a size larger than you normally wear to accommodate foot swelling and the thickness of hiking socks.
An Important Sizing Note
If you plan to use sole inserts or have concerns about a snug fit, it is advisable to order one size up.
Best Brands for Hiking with Wide Feet Recap
To summarize, the best brands for hikers with wide feet include:
Each of these brands offers wide-width options or designs with wider toe boxes to accommodate wide feet. However, it is important to take the time to find the right fit for your unique feet.
Remember, understanding how to shop for wide boots and following specific sizing guidelines are crucial to finding the most comfortable and well-fitting hiking shoes for wide feet.
LaSportiva boots for wide feet
If you have wide feet and need ankle protectors for your hiking trails that are covered in roots, rocks, and debris, then LaSportiva boots are a great choice. These boots have impressive traction that will allow you to navigate these challenging terrains safely. However, it's important to note that LaSportiva boots, like many European brands, can run narrow. So, if you have wide feet, it would be wise to take this into consideration and make the necessary adjustments when selecting your hiking boots.
Check out La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX Hiking Boots - Women's | REI Co-op
Altra Lone Peak boots
If you're in need of boots with a wide foot bed that provides ample space for your toes to relax and spread out naturally, then Altra Lone Peak boots are an excellent option for you. These boots are designed with a "Footshape toe bed" that ensures your toes have the room they need. Additionally, these boots are available in sizes up to 12, accommodating a range of foot sizes.
When you finally find the perfect wide width hiking boots that meet your needs and preferences, it's a good idea to consider purchasing two pairs if your budget allows. This is because brands often make changes to their designs, and you may find it challenging to replace your beloved wide boots with the same model in the future. Having a backup pair will ensure that you're prepared and won't be left disappointed.
Need insoles that fit wide hiking boots?
If you're in need of insoles that perfectly fit your wide hiking boots and provide the necessary cushioning and protection for your feet during your adventures, TreadLabs is a company that can help you out. They offer a wide range of insoles specifically designed to cater to the needs of hikers with wide feet. These insoles work hard to ensure your feet are comfortable and supported, minimizing the impact of your hikes. For more tips on how to optimize the use of hiking boot insoles, you can read this helpful resource: here. I also reviewed TreadLabs insoles in detail, which you can find here.
Our Top Pick for the Best Shoes for Wide Feet
Why? Because the new Keen Targhee III hiking boots have undergone a pleasing transformation. Their oiled nubuck leather exterior now looks sleeker while still providing enough space to accommodate wide feet. From the moment you put them on, these boots offer enhanced comfort and support.
Best for Men
Best for Women
KEEN Targhee Hiking Boots
KEEN Targhee Hiking Boots
100% Leather and synthetic
100% Leather and synthetic
Best for Men
KEEN Targhee Hiking Boots
100% Leather and synthetic
Best for Women
KEEN Targhee Hiking Boots
100% Leather and synthetic
Do I Have Wide Feet?
If you often experience discomfort when wearing standard-size shoes, particularly in the toe box region, it may be an indication that you have wide feet. In such cases, trying half-inch sizes can provide some relief. However, if you still feel restricted and uncomfortable in the toe box area even with half-inch sizes, it confirms that you have wide feet. To ensure a proper fit, it's recommended to look for shoemakers who offer wide-foot shoes and boots specifically designed to cater to your needs.
What to Look for When Buying Hiking Boots for Wide Feet?
Going shoe shopping can be a fun experience, but it can quickly turn into a nightmare if you have wide feet and struggle to find shoes that fit you properly. When shopping for hiking boots for wide feet, it's crucial to look for certain qualities in the brand and design of the boots to ensure a comfortable and secure fit. Here are some features to consider:
1. Lining and Insoles
One important aspect to consider when buying shoes for wide feet is to ensure they have a removable lining option. This allows you to customize the fit and make any necessary adjustments for optimal comfort. In addition, the insoles play a vital role in providing support and cushioning for your feet. Investing in orthotic footwear with removable insoles can provide an extra layer of comfort and support. You may also want to explore the options for the best insoles specifically designed for hiking boots.
2. Avoid Slip-on Shoes
While slip-on shoes may appear convenient and comfortable, they are not the best choice for individuals with wide feet. When walking, slip-on shoes may cause your foot to slide forward, resulting in overcrowding in the toe box area. This can lead to discomfort and an unpleasant hiking experience. Instead, opt for hiking boots with lace-on or Velcro closure systems that allow you to adjust the fit and provide better stability.
3. Extra Arch Support and Cushioning
Wide feet often benefit from additional arch support and cushioning. Look for hiking boots that offer these features to provide extra comfort and help alleviate any foot conditions or discomfort caused by wide and flat feet. Boots with a wide toe box and a well-designed arch curve can offer the necessary support for your feet. Additionally, soft padded insoles and cushioned collars can provide added comfort during your hikes.
How do I Measure the Width of my Feet?
Measuring the width of your feet can be done using a measuring tape and a simple tracing method. Here's a guide:
- Place your foot on a plain sheet of paper and trace its outline using a marker or pen. Ensure that you maintain your foot's natural width and avoid squeezing or spreading it.
- Measure your feet without wearing socks, ideally in the evening after a day of walking, as your feet tend to be slightly larger due to swelling.
- Identify the widest part of your foot, typically located after the toes and before the foot arch.
- Take this measurement and compare it to a standard foot-wise shoe sizing chart to find the corresponding width.
Best Hiking Brands that Run Wide
If you have wide feet, several top hiking brands cater to your needs by offering a wide range of hiking boots. Some of the best brands that produce high-quality hiking boots for wide feet include Merrell, Skechers, Vasque, and Keen. These brands are known for their exceptional craftsmanship and commitment to providing boots that accommodate wider foot sizes. For quick recommendations, take a look at the wide-toe box men's hiking boots below. And don't miss out on the options available for women's wide toe box boots.
First Know Your Feet
It's essential to have a clear understanding of your feet before selecting the right hiking boots. While you may assume you know your shoe size, there are a few factors to consider. Did you know that adults' feet can actually get wider as they age? It's a natural occurrence that can impact the fit of your shoes. Additionally, weight fluctuations can also affect the width of your feet. Interestingly, your feet are actually larger at the end of the day compared to when you wake up in the morning. This is because your feet tend to swell throughout the day from the pressures of walking. This swelling can also occur during hiking trips. To avoid discomfort and the pinching sensation caused by boots that constrict your feet, it's advisable to measure your feet at the end of the day, particularly when shopping for hiking boots. It's important to note that when it comes to overall comfort, width is just as critical as length. So, make sure to prioritize the right width for your feet.
📏 How Do You Measure Your Feet?
If it has been a while since you last had your feet measured, it's a good idea to do it again. You can either visit a shoe store and ask for assistance or measure your feet at home.
Here's a simple method to measure your feet at home:
1. Place each foot on a separate sheet of paper.
2. Use a pen or pencil to trace the outline of your foot.
3. Compare the tracings to determine if one foot is noticeably larger than the other. It's normal for one foot to be slightly larger than the other, so focus on the larger foot for measurements.
4. Measure the length of your foot by measuring from the tip of the longest toe to the heel.
5. Measure the width at the widest part of your foot.
6. Subtract 3/16 of an inch from each measurement to account for the width of your pen or pencil marks.
7. Compare your measurements to a sizing chart to find the right size for your feet.
👣 How to Tell If You Have Wide Feet
Now that you know your foot size, it's important to determine your foot width. There are charts available to help you with this measurement. Manufacturers commonly use different notations to denote width. For example, A and B represent narrow widths, C and D represent medium widths, and E, EE, EEE, etc., indicate wide widths. Sellers often describe shoes as N (narrow), M (medium), and W (wide). These designations may also be included in the model number.
💡 Two Quick Ways to Tell If Your Shoe Is the Right Width
Apart from checking for general discomfort, there are two simple ways to determine if a shoe is the right width:
1. Lace the boot up normally and rock forward onto the ball of your foot. If the boot creases at the widest part of your foot, it indicates the proper width. If it creases elsewhere, the width is incorrect and may cause discomfort on your hiking adventures.
A Wide Last vs. Wide Widths
If you're having difficulty finding specific hiking boots in wide widths, there's still hope. Some regular-width boots from brands that run wide may work for you. This is because different manufacturers use slightly different lasts, which are molds used to shape shoes and boots. Some lasts are naturally wider than others. If you know which brands and models run wider, you may find a comfortable fit with a medium-width hiking boot. However, keep in mind that sizing can vary within the same brand and model, so it's always a good idea to try on boots before making a purchase.
Brands That Run Wide
If you're looking for hiking boots in wide widths, there are three brands that are known for running wider than others: Merrell, Skechers, and Vasque. These brands offer a variety of hiking boot models that are available in wide widths, ensuring a comfortable fit for individuals with wide feet.
The Process of Selecting the Best Hiking Boots for Wide Feet
To determine the best hiking boots for wide feet, we followed a comprehensive approach. This involved analyzing our own experiences as hikers with wide feet, drawing upon the boots that have been particularly effective for us. Additionally, we considered expert reviews and sought insights from real buyers who have made purchases.
For the purpose of this review, we focused specifically on mid-range hiking boots that are suitable for all-purpose hiking. It's worth noting that backpacking boots and walking shoes will be addressed separately on another occasion.
|Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boot, Walnut, 12 M US||Check Price|
|Timberland Men’s Chocorua Trail Mid Waterproof, Brown/Green,…||Check Price|
|Skechers Men’s RELMENT-PELMO Hiking Boot, khk, 8 Wide US||Check Price|
|Salomon Men’s X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boots, Black/India…||Check Price|
|KEEN Women’s Targhee II MID WP-W Hiking Boot, goat/crown…||Check Price|
|KEEN Women’s Gypsum II MID WP-W Hiking Boot, Earl…||Check Price|
|Columbia Newton Ridge Plus||Check Price|
|Timberland White Ledge Hiking Boots||Check Price|
|Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, Granite,…||Check Price|
Overall, finding the best hiking shoes for wide feet can be a game-changer for outdoor enthusiasts. Not only will it provide the comfort and support needed for a successful hike, but it will also prevent any discomfort or pain that comes from ill-fitting footwear. By understanding your own feet and knowing the key factors to consider when buying hiking boots for wide feet, you can confidently choose the perfect pair for your adventures. Whether it's the reliable and versatile Keen boots, the durable and sturdy Salomon hiking boots, or the comfortable and reliable Zamberlan hiking boots, there are plenty of options available to cater to your specific needs. So, lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails with confidence, knowing that your wide feet will be well taken care of.