Thank goodness, Brooks has debuted Adrenaline 10. I count on Adrenaline to fit the most narrow foot, which is why the Adrenaline 9 was such a disappointment. Prior versions were perfect, but version 9 had changed so much from prior versions that it would no longer fit the narrow foot properly. Here’s my post about it.https://drshoe.wordpress.com/2009/02/04/shoe-review-brooks-adrenaline-gts-8-vs-gts-9/.
Now however, I am happy to report that Adrenaline 10 rises to the level of fit for the narrow foot that all versions prior to 9 had. What a relief. This is a classic case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and Brooks has been restored to their rightful first place in helping runners with narrow feet find a perfectly fitting running shoe.
As an added bonus, the overall look is much more stylish and sleek making this shoe even nicer. Thanks Brooks and thanks JY for bringing these shoes in for me to evaluate.
This is a great shoe for the narrow foot. However, if you wear this shoe, you will want to pay particular attention to forefoot wear. BT came in today with this pair which were only 6 weeks old. When placed on a flat table, the heel counter is no longer upright, tilting to the outside, indicating excessive wear.
Looking at the forefoot sole on the bottom, excessive wear is also evident. This causes the shoe to pronate causing metatarsalgia (forefoot pain) and in this case worsening plantar fasciitis.
Surprisingly the rearfoot outsole wear is unaffected and is evenly worn.
In this case, the worn shoe can cause foot pain and problems so carefully evaluate your shoes monthly for excessive wear.
It seems many running shoe companies do not put the same effort into trail running shoes as they do non-trail running shoes. In fact, similar to hiking boots, trail shoes are often heavy, wide and a poor anatomic match to most feet. Asics 2130 Trail shoe was in this category, however the new 2140 Trail shoe is much improved and I recommend it whole heartedly for those trail runners wanting support as well as a more form fitting design.
It easily accommodates an orthotic which is great. An inflexible, firm EVA midsole makes this a stable shoe as does the firm heel counter. The upper is made of lightweight mesh, which is not too deep in the toe box and the sides are nicely padded for a comfortable fit. It comes in both medium and wide widths, which accommodate most feet unless your foot is really wide.
Brooks Adrenaline has been the exact same shoe version after version since the GTS 6. Now however, they have changed not only the version number (8 vs. 9) but also the shoe.
- The Adrenaline 8 is much narrower in both forefoot width and throatline opening which is identified by arrows below. If you have a tendency toward heel slippage, than the wider throatline as found in the 9 will be more difficult to secure snugly.
- Width – Overall, GTS 9 is wider than GTS 8. Again this will be a problem if you are counting on the GTS 9 to be a good match for a narrow foot.
If you have a narrow foot and found the perfect fitting running shoe in Adrenaline GTS 8 , you will be disappointed with the extra volume found in GTS 9. In fact you may want to try Asics 2140 in narrow width instead. If you hve a wide foot, however you will like the changes GTS 9 provides.
Here is my Adrenaline GTS 10 post https://drshoe.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/shoe-review-brooks-adrenaline-gts-10/
I recommend Saucony Grid Stabil 6 daily for narrow feet needing a lot of support. This year Grid Stabil was replaced with Progrid Stabil as Saucony’s ultimate support shoe. Unfortunately, Progrid Stabil is nothing like Grid Stabil and if you wear this shoe, you may be headed for injury if these differences matter to your foot type. Here are the major differences.
- As the image shows below, ProGrid Stabil is flexible whereas the Grid Stabil is not. Rigidity is important if you pronate excessively or have forefoot pain.
- Medial Midsole – The Grid Stabil has a firm medial midsole whereas the ProGrid Stabil has a less firm (softer EVA) midsole. If you are a heavy pronator, you need a firm medial midsole.
- Deeper Upper – The ProGrid Stabil has more more mesh, is wider and has a deeper uppr than the Grid Stabil, making the shoe much wider overall. This is not good if you have a narrow foot and will cause your forefoot to move side to side motion more, which may cause pain.
- Flex Grooves – The Progrid Stabil has an additional flex groove which create more forefoot flexiblity. One of the reasons I like the Grid Stabil isthat it doesn’t flex in the forefoot. The same cannot be said of the Progrid Stabil. The Grid Stabil is also narrower overall than the Progrid Stabil.
In summary, the Progrid Stabil is not the same as the Grid Stabil. It’s wider, deeper and less stable. If you have a narrow foot and you need firm medial support and an inflexible forefoot, then the Brooks Addiction is a better choice than the new ProGrid Stabil. If you have a medium foot, then Saucony Guide is a much more stable shoe.
The new Gel-Kayano 15 recently debuted and at first glance I was very excited. The Gel Kayano is at the top of my list for narrow, shallow feet and is narrower than any other of the current Asics available now.
1. Toebox Depth and Length – The 15 has a deeper toebox than the 14 which helps for those whose 5th (baby) toes were getting crowded or develop a corn when wearing the 14 which was the biggest problem I found when people switched from the 13 to the 14.
It also is slightly longer which helps if your heel to toe measurement is bigger than your heel to ball measurement. https://drshoe.wordpress.com/2007/12/05/size-matters-heel-to-ball-vs-heel-to-toe/
2. Midsole Construction -This is a significant change from the 14 and may create problems for many runners who were otherwise running pain free in the Gel-Kayano 14. The design is more like the Gel-Nimbus 10 which is one of my least favorite shoes.
The 14 has much more EVA in the lateral (outside) midsole than the 15. This means longer wear and greater support at heel strike with the 14 than the 15.
This difference is HUGE, so make sure if you decide to upgrade, you have a professional evaluate you in both pair as the 15 may make your heel strike more wobbly causing things like ankle sprains or tendonitis. Everyone doesn’t necessarily need firm lateral EVA but if you do, you would be better off with the new 2140 than the Gel Kayano.
3. Asymmetrical Lacing – According to Asics this system of lacing “conforms to the bony structure of the foot for an enhanced fit” – My findings and common sense both say, No. In fact this lacing tends to pucker the toebox area for a worse fit, creating an elf-shoe-like appearance with no benefit whatsoever, except maybe irritation at the base of the toes. In fact, I wound up re-lacing as below to simulate a normal (and better) straight lacing design. If you wear this shoe, I would recommend that you do this too.
All in all, I’m very disappointed in the Gel-Kayano 15 and will probably not be recommending this shoe for as many of the runners that come in as I did with the 14.
Note – I have also reviewed Gel-Kayano 16, the post can be found at https://drshoe.wordpress.com/2010/01/31/shoe-review-gel-kayano-15-vs-16/
Finding a hiking boot for a narrow foot can be a challenge. MB came in today with the Ecco Lo, which fit her narrow foot to a T.
This is a very supportive shoe and comes in a low top version (Lo style) and a high top version (Mid style). It comes in men’s and women’s sizes and is made with Gore-Tex so is waterproof.
My only hesitation with this boot is it does not have a firm heel counter, so if you pronate excessively, this shoe may not work for you, especially if you plan on hiking over rugged terrain.
Otherwise, it’s a terrific shoe for an otherwise challenging narrow foot to fit.
Hiking boots are notoriously wide and deep, which can be a huge challenge if you have a narrow foot. North Face Men’s Fire Road is one of the few hiking boots which are narrow and shallow. It’s also lightweight which is a plus, as Vasque hiking shoes, which are also narrow are a bit heavier. Comes in both men’s and women’s sizes.
If you have a narrow foot then I don’t have to tell you how frustrating it can be trying to find a pair of boots that fit. If you’re looking for a stylish, waterproof boot, then Aquatalia’s Wasabi knee high boot is not only fashionable but narrow and shallow as well. It has a great rubberized sole to help with shock absorption and will get you through even the wettest days.
Aquatalia also makes a patent leather loafer on the same last, with the same low volume upper and narrow outsole – Whoopie3 which is shown below.
Aquatalia’s website is http://www.aquatalia.com/ Check it out for new styles!
Physician and reader Eva asks “I have worn Danskos for years since residency, but have never been satisfied with them. I have a very shallow foot (but regular width) and have nearly sprained my ankles multiple times from the excessively loose fit. Can you recommend any brands that make a more snug-fitting clog for shallow feet?”
As Eva points out, clogs are a great shoe choice for people who stand on their feet all day. Only problem is, most clogs are too wide or deep for many people’s feet. It doesn’t matter whether your foot is shallow or narrow or both, you still need a lower volume clog than the typical ones sold.
If this is a problem you’re having you can always try the narrow Dansko clogs, which are much more shallow than the regular ones. Another choice are Sven clogs http://svensclogs.com/index.html, which beat Dansko hands down for a narrow and shallow fit. Even better, with Sven clogs, you can customize the fit and look including base, color of leather and upper.
Finding a trail shoe for a narrow foot is not an easy task. The Nike Air Max Assail Trail fits the bill even though it’s listed as a D-Medium width and not narrow. An added plus is torsionally stability (no side-to-side twist) and an inflexible, thick, shock absorptive sole. This can help alleviate ball of the foot pain. It will also accommodate an orthotic which is great.
Narrow, shallow hiking boots are usually difficult to find. The Adidas Terrex Low Hiker is a perfect match to this foot type. It is torsionally stable (doesn’t twist) and has an inflexible forefoot sole which you want, especially when hiking on irregular terrain.
Here is what the Adidas Terrex looks like from the top and side views.
The following images compare the Adidas Terrex on the left with the wider North Face Furry, Gore-Tex, XCR on the right. Notice the difference between the outsole width. The Adidas is much narrower and shallower than the North Face.
The Adidas laces also extend closer to the toes, which provides more adjustability in the forefoot width than the North Face.
If you have a narrow foot and need a great lightweight low top hiker, then this shoe may just be for you.
Saucony Grid Stabil is one of my favorite shoes and I recommend it at least once a day for the narrow (rectangular) foot. Surprisingly it works for shallow (flat) and deep (high arched) feet, because it comes in both medium and wide widths. For a refresher on foot width determination, refer to my blog posting https://drshoe.wordpress.com/2008/01/14/narrow-vs-wide-feet/.
As for the construction, this is one of the few running shoes which is proportional, meaning the heel to ball and heel to toe measurements are true to size (https://drshoe.wordpress.com/2007/12/05/size-matters-heel-to-ball-vs-heel-to-toe/). It’s also deep enough to accommodate a sport orthotic once you remove the sock liner.
It has a non-collapsible heel counter which helps guide heel strike and it has a firm inside mid-sole (grey above) which helps with pronation or foot collapse. Lastly the toe box is shallow meaning it will pass the pinch test (https://drshoe.wordpress.com/2008/01/15/pinch-test-shoe-toebox/), providing a secure fit, if your foot is lower volume than most.
This is one of my favorite shoes for shallow (narrow or wide) feet. Added bonus, it’s also very stable, with a firm heel counter (back of heel) and great torsional stability (doesn’t twist).
This shoe is narrower than the 2130 or the Gel Kayano. It’s also works if you have a wide foot or a foot with a bunion.
I recommend this shoe at least once a day. Only problem is, the women’s narrow (2A) size is almost impossible to find and doesn’t work too well with an orthotic because it’s too narrow for an average sport orthotic to fit in. The men’s narrow (B) easily accomodates an orthotic and has fit every narrow, shallow foot I’ve fit, perfectly.
At least once a month, someone brings in a shoe that is so fine, it needs its own shoe review.
This months shoe was brought in by Randolph and is so gorgeous, that everyone in the office had to stop and admire. It’s perfect for a narrow foot and comes in brown too.
A spectator style from the 30’s, this shoe is also part of Allen Edmonds, Custom Program. Which means you may order any current style in any color or leather in their line. You may decide to substitute one type of sole for another. They will also customize footwear for individuals with feet of two different sizes.
Allen Edmonds – what a great Company!
If your legs swim in the shaft (top part) part of boots, you can always have them taken in. An old school shoe repair person can do this for you. The process is similar to tailoring clothes.
The above pair of boots were modified to narrow the shaft by Gino at Anthony’s Shoe Service, Union Square, San Francisco. Well worth the $80 cost of getting a perfect boot, calf fit.
If you have trouble finding boots that fit snug, a talented shoe repair person, can be your new best friend. Ask around, chances are there is just such a person in your City or Town.
I’m always on the lookout for men’s narrow running shoes. Searching through Zappos.com I found the New Balance 645 running shoes and the Brooks Infiniti running shoes for a patient of mine. Both have narrow outsoles with the New Balance being slightly narrower overall than the the Brooks.
Next comes the upper. The New Balance toebox is deep, whereas the Brooks toebox is shallow which was exactly what I was looking for.
I also like the Brooks Infiniti because it has a firm medial (grey) outsole. The Brooks Adrenaline (not shown) is similar in upper design, but will be much less long lasting because of its softer the outsole.
The only downside with the Infiniti? The price tag. $124 on Zappos. com. I usually prefer a more affordable running shoes (Asics 2130), but if this is your foot, then it’s probably worth it to you. Especially given how difficult shopping for a well fitting running shoe can be.
I was helping a runner find a new running shoe for her narrow shallow feet. Her old running shoes were Nike Air Zoom and fit her to a “T”.
The problem? Her perfectly fitting running shoes were discontinued and she was forced to buy the men’s version, which were similar, but much too wide for her narrow foot.
Armed with Zappos.com multi-view feature, I found two pair of potential replacement running shoes, both in a size 10.
Once again, even though both shoes were made by Nike and both shoes were sized 10, they were not the same length. The Katana Cage was easily 2 sizes shorter in the toe box and one size shorter in heel to ball measurement than the Air Refresh+. The Air Refresh+ on the other hand was proportional and fit perfectly, just like the original Air Zoom’s.
If you’ve got a very narrow, shallow foot, the Air Refresh+ is a great shoe for you. It’s also got the + technology, so grab your iPod Nano and go for a refreshing run!
Reader Becky writes:
I’m a female with a small, narrow foot. I have to wear boots at work, and many of the authorized boots I have found are too wide in the heel for me. I have no problems with day-to-day wear, but outdoors, I have to use a lot of moleskin on my heels to minimize blisters. Sometimes I get them anyway (once so bad I bled through my boots). Are there any inserts that I can buy to create a better fit in the heel? Do you know of any specific boots made with a narrow heel?
First of all – Thanks Becky, your question is great and lots of people who walk into my office have this very problem.
With respect to inserts, Superfeet (Green) may help, especially since they take up some of the excess space in the shoe. Also, wearing two pair of socks may help. However, if your heels still slip, then you’ll need to find a narrow, shallow boot.
Vasque hiking boots are made for both men and women and are one of the few brands of hiking boots which will give the narrow foot a snug fit. The top boot is the Switchback style and the bottom shoe is the Blur style.
Another outdoor boot I’ve found that works for this foot type is the Ecco Urban Flexor GTX. Although less hard core than a backpacking hiking boot, this lighter weight hi-top will also fit the narrow, shallow foot.
Both Vasque and Ecco brands are available at Zappos.com
It’s usually difficult to find a snug fitting running shoe if you have a narrow foot. Even harder if you have a narrow, shallow foot. Nearly impossible if you have a narrow, shallow foot with a bunion.
I was pleased when a patient brought this shoe in today, especially because it fits the narrow, shallow foot perfectly. The Asics 2130 comes in a 2A (narrow), B (medium) and D (width), and all work for a shallow (flat) foot type.
The Asics Gel Kayano also works for a narrow foot, but the 2130 actually is slightly more shallow and narrow and significantly lower in price.
Don’t miss my other 2130 posts: https://drshoe.wordpress.com/2008/08/10/womens-asics-2130-updated-styles/