Here’s How to Know if You Have Narrow Feet vs. Wide Feet

narrow vs wide feet


Are you concerned about the size of your feet?

Many people worry about their feet for aesthetic reasons. They think that they’re either too big or too small and will clash with their overall look. Others worry about their feet as they can say a lot about their health.

What most people don’t know is that there are factors that can affect your look and your health. How wide your feet are can have different implications on many aspects of your life, but what’s great is that you can correct them.

How to distinguish between narrow feet vs wide feet, though? Read what’s below to learn all you need to know about your feet and their width today.

Measuring Your Feet

There are many ways for you to measure your feet. One of the best ways you can do this is by standing against a wall and on top of a piece of paper. This makes it easier for you to mark how long your feet are.

This should be the basis of the shoes you’re buying when you’re out shopping. However, we’re talking about the width of your feet here. So, how do you measure the width of your feet?

You can do this in two different ways. These are among the most accurate ways for you to measure foot width. The first way is to go back to the piece of paper and draw the outline of your feet.

Doing this is tricky on your own, so it’s better to have a friend do it for you. Have them trace your feet on different pieces of paper to get a more accurate measurement. You then get a ruler or measuring tape to measure the widest portion of your feet.

Another way for you to measure your feet is to get a tape measure and wrap it around the widest part of your foot. Divide the measurement in half to get another number to record as your width.

Between the measurements of your left and right foot, get the larger number. That number is your foot width. Now, look up a shoe width measurement chart and compare your shoe size with your measurement.

Comparing Your Feet on the Chart

Once you find your shoe size on the measurement chart, see where the number for your width goes under. This should tell you if you have a normal, wide, or narrow foot width.

Knowing this is important so you can adjust your shoes to the right size. It’s important for you to do this as, you may have noticed, there are some complications if you’re wearing the wrong size shoe.

The chart you’ve opened should tell you the right shoe size for your feet. Get the right ones to prevent your feet from feeling too snug or loose in your shoe.

Alternative Ways of Determining Foot Width

There are other ways for you to tell whether you have a narrow or wide foot width. The most obvious way to tell is with how your foot fits into the shoe.

If it’s too loose even if you tied the shoelaces as tight as you can, then you have narrow feet. If it’s too snug even at the widest possible setting for the shoe, then you may suffer from having wide feet.

You can also measure it through the help of technology. Nike has an app that you can install on your phone that will help you measure your shoe size. The app will then find a shoe in their store that’s right for you.

This app not only takes your foot size into consideration, but it also measures the width of your feet. It’s a surefire way to get yourself the best shoes for your feet.

How Does One Get Narrow or Wide Feet?

For most people, they get their foot width via genetics. If your parents had wide or narrow feet, chances are that you will also get your foot width from them. If it’s a mix between the two measurements, you can end up with normal feet.

Narrow Feet

Narrow feet can be a sign that you’ve worn shoes that were too tight for too long. This could have prevented your feet from growing as it would have with normal-fitting footwear. It can also be because of malnourishment as an infant.

We need all the nutrients we can get when we’re little. These will help build up our muscles and bones as we grow up. Not having enough nourishment can stunt our growth.

In some cases, only some parts of the body become stunted. The feet are among the most common body parts to become stunted because they’re the farthest from our hearts. The blood that reaches them doesn’t carry enough nutrients to help them develop.

Wide Feet

For wide feet, you can get them because of your lifestyle choice. Eating too much means that you gain more weight. If you don’t burn it off through exercise, you will become overweight or obese.

This takes a toll on our feet as they’re the ones who have to bear our weight. Our weight can press down on our feet, causing them to spread out and become wider.

This can also lead to having flatfootedness. This is a condition where your feet grow without an arch to support them. Same as above, it causes your feet to spread out and become wider as a result. If you have flat feet, here’s some info on fixing that.

Health Problems With Wide and Narrow Feet

The biggest concern with having wide and narrow feet is that it can bring many problems to your health. For narrow feet, it can bring fatigue because of the extra exertion needed to carry bigger shoes. It can also cause your feet to feel strained since they need to carry them, too.

If you have wider feet, though, there are many more complications that can come out. Among these, the worst you can get is bunions. Bunions develop because the bone-structure on your foot isn’t normal.

Wearing shoes that are too tight can hurry the process along and cause the bunions to get bigger. This can worsen the tightness you feel in your shoes and even bring more pain since the bone gets pressed in a tight space.

You can also develop blisters if your shoes are too tight. These often start out as corns or callouses and only become blisters later on. Either way, you will feel lots of pain if you’re wearing tight shoes with them around.

You can also develop hammertoes if you have tight shoes. This is because your toes curl into the most comfortable position they can find in the shoe. If it goes on for long enough, your toes will assume this as their natural position until you find toe straighteners to fix them.

Correcting Your Feet

Not remedying these problems as soon as possible will only make it worse for your feet. Buying new shoes or finding ways to correct them is essential to improve any condition that your feet have.

A good way to correct both wide and narrow feet is to buy shoes that have velcros on them. These are the best way for you to adjust the tightness of your shoes to the specifications you need.

Narrow Feet

For narrow feet, you can add extra padding in your shoes. There are many specialized insoles that you can wrap around your feet. This helps you have an easier time while you run, walk, or jog.

You can also buy specialized shoes made for people with narrow feet. The best running shoes for narrow feet will fit you right without any hassle. This is important if you want to prevent yourself from kicking off your shoes while running.

Wide Feet

When it comes to wide feet, there’s not much you can do to correct them. The only thing you can do is buy thinner socks and stockings to help your feet fit. Investing in bigger shoe sizes is also another option.

If you have wide feet because of flatfootedness, though, you have more options. You can invest in insoles that raise the arch of your feet. Doing this slims your foot down enough to prevent it from feeling to snug in the shoe.

You can also do some activities to remedy your flatfootedness. One way is to roll a ball along the bottom of your foot. Doing this can help promote the natural formation of your arch along the line.


Distinguishing between narrow feet vs wide feet is important if you want to know how to properly correct them. Know how to distinguish and correct your feet with the help of our guide above. Use it to learn how you can help yourself with your feet today!

Do you want to learn more about your feet and the implications it has on your health? Having narrow and wide feet are only a part of it. Check out more of our blogs to learn more about interesting health facts today.

Do you have wide, narrow, flat feet or maybe even a combination of two? What worked and didn’t work for you? Let us know in the comments below…

About Theresa Duncan

Originally from Detroit, MI, Theresa has been offering health and fitness advice for the last 30 years while working as an engineer. She decided to turn her passion into a profession, and finds nothing more satisfying than helping others reach their health and fitness goals.

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