5 Tips for Shoe Shopping with Wide Feet

My feet have been a source of frustration and insecurity for a while now. I’m not sure when it happened, but my feet have become incredibly hard to shop for. This difficulty stems from their width and the impending bunion. Yes…I said it, bunion. It’s not exactly a cute word, and it doesn’t really look all that cute either. But hey, it was the hand I was dealt. Could be a lot worse.

About 90 percent of shoes rub me the wrong way, and I mean that literally. Shoes are usually far too tight around the base of my toes, which has resulted in a lot of returns and lonely shoes in my closet. Sometimes they feel alright when I first try them on, but about 20 minutes into walking around my feet are killing me. It’s pretty frustrating, especially because I love shoes! I would kill to simply order a pair of shoes online, and have them fit. It’s the simple things, right?

It has been a struggle, but I have come to terms with my feet. “Strong castles need strong support structures,” my grandma would tell me when I would complain about their size. It’s a little saying I have been telling myself more lately. Anyway, I know there are a lot of wide footed people out there, and I want to offer a few tips I have learned when it comes to buying shoes for my difficult feet.

1. Always shop the “wide” selection first. The worst part of having wide, difficult feet is there are some shoes you simply will never wear. It’s just not gonna happen, unless you feel like hobbling around all day due to the pain (don’t do it!). Luckily, finding shoes for wide feet is pretty easy thanks to the internet. I always shop this category first, that way if I find a pair I like, I won’t be as tempted by the other cute, non-wide pair I find later in the general section. If I’m shopping at an actual store and there is somebody who can help me, I will ask them if they have any wide shoes in the style I’m looking for.

2. If they feel a little “iffy,” walk away from them. I have wasted so much money on shoes that I really wanted to work for my feet. But my wanting didn’t make them any wider, or my feet more narrow. If you try a pair of shoes on and they feel like they are rubbing the wrong way, don’t buy them. It’s true that most shoes stretch and become more comfortable, but this can take months. And if you’re in pain for more than a few days, I’m beting you are not going to wear them for a few months. They are going to sit in your closet, unless you bought them from a store with an awesome return policy. If you think they are gonna hurt, they probably will.

3. Find a brand that works for you. For me, I find that Naturalizer works pretty well. I have also had decent luck with Aldo flats, which is kinda surprising. If you find a pair of shoes that make your feet sing with glee, stalk that company’s website and buy from there! Most likely other styles will work as well.

4. Invest in good shoes. This is something that I still need to work on. When I buck up and spend a little more on shoes that are quality, they usually don’t bug my feet. Those cute flats at Forever21on the other hand? I wore them once and my feet died a little. It’s so hard to resist a cute pair of shoes at a good price, but if you are not going to wear them, what’s the point? Sure, they look cute in your closet, but you know what looks even better? Money in your wallet! Or a cute pair of shoes on your feet. All that being said, if you find a pair of cute,  cheap and comfortable shoes…buy a pair in every color!

5. Love your feet. Yes, your feet are wide, but they are pretty good to you. They carry you around all day, and put up with being stuffed into shoes that are probably too small. They help you run, skip, swim, dance and do cart wheels. Paint your toes, convince somebody you like to give you a foot rub, scrub off that dead skin, and show them some appreciation!

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