Best Shoes for Narrow Feet Reviewed
In this article, you will find the best shoes for narrow feet and will, also, learn to distinguish between some of the more common aspects of size differentials. Surprisingly enough, the types of shoes heavily dictate the norm for narrow, medium, and wide (i.e. athletic, dress, casual, and etc.) and can sometimes be misleading. Moreover, within each type, there remains a chance for shoe-width labeling to vary from one company to the next.
- Easy Spirit Traveltime Mule
- Removable Foam Insole
- EVA midsole
- Birkenstock Gizeh
- Vamp Strap
- Contoured Footbed
- ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17
- Heel-Clutching System
- Impact Guidance System
There are differences in width, the corresponding labeling, and the type of shoe, as it were. These all work in conjunction with one another. As such, you might have found one pair of shoes fit completely different than another pair you have previously bought; yet, they had the exact same labeling. Do not worry, however, we understand your pain and have comprised a list of the best shoes for narrow feet.
10 Best Shoes for Narrow Feet
1. Easy Spirit Traveltime Mule
The upper is made to allow your feet to breathe. Moreover, the fabric leather helps your feet to remain cool. For anyone desiring a day of leisure in style, this pair of clogs will not disappoint.
First, the EVA midsole will help you gain more support through the aid of shock absorption. Secondly, this midsole is great for adding comfort; thereby, promoting good foot health. Lastly, when comfortability rises, you are more likely to feel better in the long-run.
Cost and Value
These shoes are budget-friendly, and their inspired tennis shoe design makes them a great choice; for purchasing a pair of 'feel-good' clogs. With an EVA midsole to aid in support and a removable insole, this pair of best shoes for narrow feet is an excellent buy.
- EVA Midsole
- Fabric Leather Upper
- Removable Insole
- Rubber Outsole
- Casual-wear only
2. Birkenstock Gizeh
The cork midsole adds cushioning to this pair of thong sandals; making them one of the best shoes for narrow feet. Add to this fact the sandals have a contoured footbed to help raise comfort levels even higher, and these shoes then become a must-have.
Adjustable Vamp Strap with Buckle Closure
Firstly, the adjustable vamp strap with buckle closure is a promoter for foot stability. Secondly, with the addition of the rubber toe post, comfortability rises. Lastly, this overall design looks great with the care taken in stylish awareness.
Cost and Value
These thong sandals are budget-friendly with regard to the high-quality and stylish design they are made of. Moreover, this pair of best shoes for narrow feet is well-equipped to aid in both comfort and stability. As such, these shoes are well worth the purchase price.
- Cork Midsole
- Contoured Footbed
- Adjustable Vamp Strap with Buckle Closure
- Rubber Toe Post
- Casual-wear only
3. New Balance 990V4
The mesh upper is made of pigskin; having leather overlays. This, in essence, allows an environment conducive to breathability while, simultaneously, adding strength and support. Moreover, your feet will remain cool and more stable.
Dual-Density Foam Collar
First, the dual-density foam collar will help you to achieve a better, snugger fit. Second, this type of design promotes more stability. Finally, with dual-density foam at the helm, your feet are certain to reap the benefit of comfort.
Cost and Value
The associated cost variables with this pair of running shoes range between mid-to-upper. The design, however, provides a great fit, stability, and cushioning. As such, this pair of best shoes for narrow feet is a great addition to any runner's gear collection.
- Breathable, Mesh Upper
- Dual-Density Foam Collar
- ENCAP PU Ring with EVA Core
- Multiple-Color Variety
- Mid-to-upper in cost association
4. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 17
This pair of running shoes comes equipped with a gait-enhancing impact guidance system. This means from the moment your heel touches the ground, to the moment when your toe lifts, this pair of best shoes for narrow feet will have your foot health in mind.
Breathable, Mesh Upper
The mesh upper is created to allow your feet to breathe and remain cool. Furthermore, the overlay system is designed to flex in conjunction with your stride. This provides both comfortability and stability. Lastly, the design is beautiful and aesthetically pleasing.
Cost and Value
These shoes are absolutely budget-friendly and made from high-quality standards. They are perfect for anyone desiring to start a jogging/running regimen, or for the more experienced athlete. As such, this pair of best shoes for narrow feet is a great buy.
- Breathable, Mesh Upper
- Padded Collar
- Vertical Flex Grooves
- Gait-Enhancing I.G.S.
- Supportive Heel-Clutching System
- Recommended for running only
5. Ariat Heritage Roper
ATS advanced torque stability in the shank allows for your feet to remain stable throughout your ride. More than this, however, your feet will remain protected because of the shank's sturdy design. This technology takes the cowboy way; work hard and enjoy it all the way.
Pull-on Loops and Stirrup-friendly
This pair of best shoes for narrow feet features pull-on loops and an outsole ready for stirrups at any time. Western-inspired, this pair of performance riding boots is well-equipped for any cowboy/cowgirl heading home from the range.
Cost and Value
These riding boots are budget-friendly and are designed well. With the full-grain leather makeup, these boots are sure to last. As such, this pair of best shoes for narrow feet is worth the purchase price.
- ATS Advanced Torque Stability
- Roper Toe Shape
- Full-Grain Leather
- Stirrup-friendly Outsole
- Pull-on Loops at Scallop
- Minimal color-variety in certain sizes
6. Lowa Renegade GTX
A firmer fit results from the padded tongue and collar. This creates an environment which allows your feet to feel more secure and stable. Furthermore, your feet will remain comfortable, as you traverse trails in style.
Vibram Evo Outsole
The Vibram EVO outsole allows for better traction, more stability, and gives you both of the previous with comfort. Designed for trails, these shoes will not disappoint when transitioning from dirt to rock, or vice versa.
Cost and Value
This pair of hiking boots prices from upper-mid to lower-high in cost range. Made with high-quality materials, these boots are justifiable in their pricing. As such, this pair of best shoes for narrow feet is worth their price.
- Padded Tongue and Collar
- Vibram Evo Outsole
- Speed Lacing Hardware
- Climate-control Footbed
- Minimal color availability in certain sizes
7. Danner Acadia
The upper is made with strength in mind; that is, these boots are designed for action and are ready to handle most tactical situations. Also, waterproof, the upper allows your feet to breathe while in stressful situations.
This lining is made to allow your feet to breathe. Additionally, it is in place for comfort. With these two working in tandem unison, you will be able to concentrate more on the task-at-hand.
Cost and Value
The cost-range associated with this pair of tactical boots is in the mid-to-upper end. With that being stated, these boots are made from high-quality, durable material. Additionally, they are designed with elemental resistance; waterproof. As such, this pair of best shoes for narrow feet is worth the purchase price for anyone interested in tactical footwear.
- Full-grain Leather
- 1000 Denier Coated CORDURA® Nylon
- Gore-Tex Lining
- Fiberglass Shank
- Upper-cost range
8. Irish Setter 808 Wingshooter
Hunting requires being exposed to the elements. These boots are ready for Mother Nature in all of her glory. The UltraDry waterproof technology resists water. Moreover, when dampness strikes, you will be armed with quick-drying results.
The top of the boots replaces eyelets with speed-lace hardware. Every hunter understands the importance of being able to relax when you can, and the need to be quick during the other times. As such, this speed-place system is perfect for the call of the wild.
Cost and Value
These hunting boots range in the mid-to-upper in cost association. With their high-quality build, however, they do not seem overpriced. AS such, any hunter would do very well in adding this pair of best shoes for narrow feet to their hunting collection.
- Removable Polyurethane Footbed
- Waterproof Leather
- Contrast-Stitched Moccasin Toe
- UltraDry Waterproofing Technology
- Speed-Lace Hardware
- Mid-to-upper in cost-range.
9. Aravon Katy
ABZORB cushioning is a removable, full-length insert which adds additional support to the already supportive Primalux comfort cushion. In essence, these shoes are made for warmer days when comfort and a great fit are desired.
The leather upper is built to both last and look good for the time you wear your sandals. They are easy to slip on; yet, retain the added benefit of being able to quickly create a firm fit.
Cost and Value
The cost range for this pair of best shoes for narrow feet ranges in the mid-to-upper. With the leather material, cushioning system, and overall design, however, these shoes are well worth the purchase price.
- Removable Velocor Footbed
- ABZORB Cushioning
- Leather Upper
- Polyurethane Wedge Sole
- Mid-to-upper in cost association
10. Naturalizer Reilly Espadrille
These sandals are equipped with a gorgeous, heel strap that features an elastic stretch; meaning they provide both comfortability and flexibility. More importantly, this system adds stability while you walk; not to mention, it is well-placed and looks good.
The lace-up front in these sandals takes the design to another level; that is, the design is both practical and beautifully placed. Furthermore, this design ensures this pair of best shoes for narrow feet will have a better fit.
Cost and Value
These shoes are very, budget-friendly. Furthermore, they are made with high-quality materials and are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. This pair of best shoes for narrow feet is a great addition to any wardrobe.
- N5 Technology
- Heel Strap
- Woven Detailing
- Front Lacing
- Slip Resistant
- Minimal color choices in certain sizes
It is important to understand the best shoes for narrow feet should be properly labeled and clear-cut on whether or not there are any size variables to be considered; especially, against the norm for a specific region. There are shoe-size standardizations, per se; and familiarizing yourself with each company’s labeling can better help to get a feel for the best shoes for narrow feet. Also, consider a title with the name: narrow. The name, itself, does not dictate the shoe is truly narrow. Always check for the correct size and never make a decision based on a title. In doing so, you will be more prepared for purchasing the best shoes for narrow feet.
Most importantly, the best shoes for narrow feet do not compromise comfort in any way. They are not too tight or too loose. They fit your feet, as though they were made specifically for you. Moreover, as the day wears on, your feet will not ‘notice’ any negative returns; that is, your feet will be able to reap the benefits of wearing shoes which fit correctly. In addition, among reducing your aches, there are other healthy elements to consider when wearing the best shoes for narrow feet. As such, comfort does matter and so do you. This is why we have put together a frequently asked questions and criteria section to help aid in your journey, as you consider the best shoes for narrow feet.
Criteria Used for Evaluating the Best Shoes for Narrow Feet
The fit is highly important, as this determines foot health and safety against injury. The fit is recognized, in general, as attributes involving heel, toe box area, arch layout, length, width, and overall support. To get a better idea of each attribute, let’s examine them.
- Fit (Arch Layout) – Arch Layout is a mathematical term used in relation to a compass drawing tool. Starting a pivotal point, the compass is set to a degree (e.g. 30 degrees, 40, degrees, etc.) in order to make an arch line. The resulting line is, in essence, the arch layout. For feet, however, there is an easier method to help determine which type of arch (normal, flat, or high) you have. It is known as the wet test and requires very little in way of supplies.
Supplies needed for wet test – You will need a piece of paper (bigger than your foot; like a brown paper bag from the grocery store), a reservoir to hold water (a small pan works wonders), water, and your feet.
- Fill the pan with shallow water; just enough to cover the bottom of your foot.
- Place the paper down flat; next to your pan.
- Place your foot into the pan of water.
- Remove your foot from the pan and place on paper; bearing even distributed weight on both of your feet (normal stance).
- Remove your foot and look at the paper. There will be one of three patterns (normal, flat, or high) you will see. This is your arch type.
Examining the results of the wet test – There is one of three separate results you can achieve via the wet test. By examining the pattern left behind, you can determine your arch type.
- If you are able to see at least half of your arch width, then you are one of the lucky ones out there and have a medium arch with normal pronation. This means you are able to utilize most shoes out there, good for you!
- If you see most of your arch’s width, then you are most likely an overpronator and have flat arches. This means your feet have a tendency to collapse inward too much and are highly prone to ankle-related injuries. This means you need shoes having more stability and are designed with midsoles catering to overpronators, such as a dual-density midsole.
- If you see very little of your arch width, then you are known as an underpronator and have high arches. This means you will need shoes with very little arch support, little-to-no stability support, and is highly cushioned.
Understanding the type of arch you have directly determines what kind of shoes are eligible to be a better fit. Shoes for pronators, with medium arches, are not the correct shoe for an overpronator or someone with flat arches. An overpronator needs more arch support than what is found in a medium-arch supported shoe. Likewise, a shoe designed for an overpronator will never be good for someone having high arches. Take the wet test and determine your arch type. In doing so, you are better equipped to find the best shoes for narrow feet.
- Fit (Heel) – The heel fit is an attribute corresponding to up and down movement; as well as, lateral movement in conjunction with your heel. Shoes which are too loose will not play well when you begin your normal stride or a juke from side to side. For example, if you begin walking and you feel your heel rise from the shoe, then the pair of shoes you are in is currently too loose. They are not properly fitted within the heel area. Additionally, if you can switch your pressure to the ball of your foot and pivot, there should be no room felt in the heel area. If you are able to feel any form of your heel moving, not in tandem unison with your shoe, then you do not have the best shoes for narrow feet.
A properly fitted shoe in the heel area helps to prevent bruising, skin irritation, blistering, callouses, and other forms of heel-related health concerns. Also, a properly fitted shoe in the heel area will ensure proper shock absorption; thus, reducing the risks of shock-absorbent related injuries (i.e. ankle sprains, joint pain, and etc.).
- Fit (Length & Width) – Length is the measurement of your largest foot (yes, most of us have one larger than the other); from your heel to the end of the largest toe. Width is usually found in the area at the ball of your foot. Using a ruler, measure your largest foot.
A ruler works best, but a tape measure will suffice; especially, for those of us having larger feet.
- Lay the ruler down on a flat surface (floor) with the higher numbers facing away from you.
- Place the heel of your foot where you can barely see the one-inch mark. I find this is a more accurate placement than trying to figure out where zero is; that is, some rulers are nicer than others.
- Place the largest toe down at the other end of the ruler.
- Write down your measurement of the larger number and subtract one from it. This is the length of your foot.
- Like you did previously when measuring the length of your foot, you are going to lay the ruler down on a flat surface; only this time, lay it down horizontally. Make certain the lower number is on the left and the higher number is on the right.
- First, slip the ruler under your largest foot to the point where your foot is the widest (usually, the ball area).
- After you find the widest point, move the one-inch mark to where you can barely see the line at the left side of your foot.
- With your foot now relaxed, examine the number on the right side of your foot. Write it down and subtract one from it. This is the width of your foot.
Measurements should be taken at the end of your day. This is the time when your feet will be their largest, and the true measurement you will need to ensure a properly fitted shoe. If the width is too tight but the length is fine, then purchasing a shoe size bigger will not help. This is because the shoe length will now be too long. For anyone who is active, a shoe which is too long can lead to injury; especially, during a quick-stop and/or lateral movement. From experience, I understand this all too well. Take care and measure your feet at the right time of the day. After it is said and done, you will be even more ready to purchase the best shoes for narrow feet.
- Fit (Toe Box Area) – Hopefully, you have your measurements ready from the previous section. If not, you are going to wish you took the measurements, because you will need to add one-half inch to the total length of your foot. This is how much room there needs to be in order for the toe box area to be properly fitted; lengthwise. Now, for widthwise, you will only need the number you already have.
Never negotiate how the shoes feel on your feet; including, the toe box area. Shoes designed for narrow feet can cause medical health concerns with those having wider feet, such as bunions, hammer toes, and etc. Likewise, people with narrow feet should never wear shoes designed for those having wider feet. There is too much ‘play’ in the shoe and this can cause skin irritation, bruising, callouses, and promote foot-related injuries.
Just as the heel area is the first to land while you walk; the toe box area is the last to leave the ground during your stride. As such, properly fitted shoes will work with your natural gait. A shoe which does not fit correctly, however, will have the opposite effect. In other words, the toe box area is just as important as the heel area; especially, in relation to proper fit. Never negotiate how the shoes feel on your feet.
Overall support of the shoe will directly impact the fit of the shoe. As previously mentioned, a shoe specific to one pronation type will not properly support a foot of another pronation type. Moreover, if the shoes cannot support your feet in the proper way, in specific relation to you; then, they are not the best shoes for narrow feet. The best shoes for narrow feet will support all areas with equal prejudice; that is, your feet will be supported in the heel, toe box area, arch area, length, and width, respectively. If any or all parts of the shoe cannot give you the proper support you need, then the shoe never be considered a proper fit. After all, what good is a shoe if it fits in measurement but fails in support?
Support takes a few things into consideration, such as arches, heel, toe box room, load-rate, lateral movement, quick stop, and shock absorption. Although these characteristics are not the only assets when examining support, they are something to consider.
- Arches – You arches determine the type of shoe structure you can wear. It is not the other way around. As previously discussed, there are three types of arches (normal, flat, and high).
- Heel – Heel fit is an attribute which takes into account slippage (up and down) and lateral movement (side to side).
- Lateral Movement – Lateral movement is a shoe’s ability to absorb shock when you juke and/or move laterally. Furthermore, the shoe helps to stabilize; providing you with additional foot and ankle support. This type of support has a heavy presence in basketball shoes.
- Load-Rate – More specific to running implications, load-rate is the speed at which energy is spread from your feet to your joints (i.e. ankle, knees, and hips).
- Quick-Stop – Quick-stop is the motion you make when you are moving quickly and then, abruptly, stop. The motion can be forward or backward. For example, in a forward quick-stop, shoes which are too big can result in injury; as the toes will have a tendency to slam into the toe box area.
- Shock Absorption – Most centrally directed shock-absorbent technology is found in athletic shoes of various types. That is, dress shoes are less-likely to design their shoes around the concept of shock absorption when compared to a pair of athletic shoes. The best shock absorption utilizes multiple factors within a shoe to help alleviate impact load-rate; as well as, giving an overall energy return (bounce back, or a bouncy feeling when you walk, jog, jump, and/or run). The most common factor associated with shock-absorbent technology is found within a midsole.
Comfort levels are heavily weighted when choosing the best shoes for narrow feet. Let’s face it, the truth is when our shoes are uncomfortable, our day is uncomfortable. Furthermore, there are health concerns associated with uncomfortable feet, as a result of incorrect footwear. The risks include but are not limited to: ankle sprains and/or dislocation, athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), hammer toes, bunions, bruising, skin irritations and/or abrasions, joint pain (ankle, knees, and/or hips), and other factors.
Your body has a way of letting you know when something is not right. Moreover, if your feet are uncomfortable when wearing a particular pair of shoes, then the shoes are more than likely the cause for your body’s alarm to be triggered. The feeling of discomfort is your body’s way of telling you something needs to be changed, in order to prevent any short and/or long-term damage. Although sometimes irritating to us, the body is only talking to us; begging for a change.
When a shoe is properly fitted in all aspects (heel, toe box, arch, and etc.); then, the comfort level automatically rises. As such, comfort can only be achieved when shoes are correctly fitted. Furthermore, a properly fitted shoe must, also, be used for the job-at-hand. In other words, we don’t want to wear dress shoes to play baseball in. In following our body’s directive, we can be better equipped to find the best shoes for narrow feet.
- Eyelet Positioning – A very good indicator your shoes are too wide is the shoelace test. If you tie your shoelaces and the eyelet flaps are touching (or very close), your shoes are too wide. Likewise, if the eyelet flaps have a pronounced vee-shape (after lacing your shoes), then your shoes are too narrow.
- Size is not Width – Size is not width, it is the length. Your shoes may fit well from heel-to-toe but remain tight, as a result of the shoe’s width. Width size, in and of itself, may mean a four-inch wide foot is narrow in one shoe but is a normal width within a larger shoe size. One of the ways you can gauge a shoe’s length is to check where the ball of your foot aligns in conjunction with the widest part of the shoe. In other words, if the widest part of your foot does not align with the widest part of the shoe, then your shoes are either too short (the widest part of foot sits closer to you than the widest part of the shoe) or too long (the widest part of foot sits further away from you than the widest part of the shoe).
Also, familiarizing yourself with a particular brand does not necessarily mean a larger shoe size will still require a narrow choice. With size changes, the meaning of your foot’s width can, also, change. Feet can continue to grow the length of your lifespan. As such, it is important to take new measurements prior to purchasing your shoes. In doing so, you are well on your way to choosing the best shoes for narrow feet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How can I tell if I need a smaller width in a shoe?
A. Sitting down with your shoes on, take one foot in your hands. Try and move the shoe back and forth against the sides of your foot. If you can feel the shoe slipping away and touching again, the shoe is too wide. Also, if the insole is removable, take it out. Place the insole on the floor and then put your corresponding foot on top of it. If you can see plenty of room on the sides, then the shoe is too wide. Also, as previously mentioned, if your shoes have shoelaces, and the eyelet flaps are near to touching after you tie them, then your shoes are too wide.
Q. What do the letters mean when looking at sizes (e.g. 7-AA, or 7-2A)?
A. The letters AA (or 2A) is a shoe’s width. For women, this shoe would typically be conducive to a narrow-fitted width. In this case, the shoe would be a size-7 with a narrow width. The following shoe width chart might better help to clarify this. Please keep in mind this is only a standardization in the U.S. and a shoe company’s geological location may directly impact this standard.
|Shoe Width||Extra-Narrow (X-Narrow)||Narrow||Standard||Wide||Extra-Wide (X-Wide)||Extra-Extra-Wide (2X-Wide)|
Q. Do shoe widths vary among different shoe manufacturers?
A. Yes; and not only do they vary among different shoe manufacturers, but width can fluctuate among various shoe types within the same manufacturer. Always pay close attention to the manufacturer’s recommendations for your region when viewing a size chart.
Q. How do I know if my foot is narrow?
A. As previously mentioned, foot width is subject to change, according to variables such as manufacturer, region, and shoe type (e.g. dress, athletic, etc.). Generally speaking, however, shoe width is in direct correlation with shoe length; that is, your foot width may be narrow in one shoe size, but medium-width in the next size up. As we get older, our feet continue to grow. Some people may not realize they should be taking new measurements each time they purchase a new pair of shoes. Take the time to measure yourself when you are online shopping. In doing so, you will be ready to buy the best shoes for narrow feet.
Q. How can I transfer my measurement to the width letters?
A. Width varies across different regions. When making an online purchase, it is important to understand where your shoes are both manufactured and being shipped from. These two elements can have a direct impact on correct shoe size and width. More importantly, you need to examine the available shoe chart; according to the shoe you are purchasing. Each company can vary such as a men’s size 5.5 can be equal to a women’s size 7, but this is not always the case. In other words, subtracting 1.5 from a men’s size will, generally, give you the correct women’s size in that particular shoe. At the end of the day, you will need to examine the size and width chart for the shoe you are interested in purchasing; and remember, each company’s idea of width-to-lettering symbols can be different.
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