Category Archives: Wide Feet

A Cycling Shoe for Wide Feet

Cycling shoes are notoriously narrow, which is why cyclist with wide feet can have such a hard time finding cycling shoes that fit. TC came in today wearing a new pair of fi’zi:k cycling shoes whose fit he wanted me to approve, to which I immediately did. His model, R5B Uomo Boa, was a perfect fit for his wide feet.


Surprisingly, I had never heard of the fi’zi:k brand before, but their description impressed me as much as their shoes did. I found the following information on their website:

Fizik: Born in 1996 as a brand made for high performance fi’zi:k was designed in the USA, and handmade in Italy by the world’s largest saddle manufacturer, Selle Royal. Fi’zi:k is the phonetic spelling of the word physique, referring to the form or state of the human body.

If you have wide feet and are at a loss for a well-designed, well-made cycling shoe, check out fi’zi:k. Several specialty cycling stores carry this brand as does R5B Uomo Boa, Black/Dark Grey Although this model is sized medium, it runs wide.

With an MSRP of approximately $150, this is definitely one shoe you will want to try on if you have wide feet.

Stay tuned for my next cycling post where I’ll be discussing the top 5 most common cycling foot injuries I treat. In the meantime here’s a link to some of my previous cycling posts:

Cycling Shoes And Sesamoid Pain

Spin Class and Forefoot (Sesamoid) Pain

Cycling Shoes and Bunions

Cycling Shoe Brand Review – DZR

Life happens. Don’t wait.

Hiking Boots & Bunions

Hiking boots are designed to resist side-to-side motion. This is typically accomplished by using a stiff upper and reinforcing the shoe both laterally and medially. Although this is great for support, it can make the shoe feel like a vice grip for those hikers having bunions or needing extra forefoot width. If you have bunions, then you will want to make sure your shoe doesn’t have additional trim over the bony prominence.

Hiker with Tailor's Bunion with hiking boot trim removed over painful area.

Hiker with Tailor’s Bunion with hiking boot trim removed over painful area.

If it does, then removing the trim can mean the difference between comfort and pain. The following image is a hiker having a Tailor’s bunion. As the image above shows, it was easy to remove the trim, making the boot more forgiving in those otherwise tight areas.

You can also modify the lacing as the last tutorial in the following video shows.

When Zero Drop Doesn’t Work

Zero drop minimalist shoes are all the rage right now. Unfortunately, just because a shoe has zero height differential — between the ball of the foot and heel — doesn’t mean it will work for you.

Case in point: One patient I saw today is an ultrarunner who switched from a structured shoe to a zero drop minimalist style two years ago to reduce unilateral infrapatellar pain. Fortunately, the pain resolved, but within the last several months he started to experience increasingly painful peroneal (outer foot) pain and medial (inner) meniscal knee pain. He did not have either pain prior to training in the zero drop shoes.

A quick evaluation of his zero drop shoes, identified an hourglass-shaped midsole/outsole.


The arrow shows the narrow midsole width and the rectangle shows how much of his midfoot was only being supported by the upper (25%). This significant lack of support mid-arch caused his arch to negatively drop below the plane of the heel and forefoot, altering his knee and foot mechanics enough to produce compensatory pain in other areas.

The following image shows the top view of his foot in the shoe. As you can see the grey midsole disappears from the entire arch — and this is where support is needed the most.


If you’re running in minimalist or zero drop shoes, you will still want to match the shoe to your foot type — otherwise new injuries can occur.

Tennis and Bunions — Nike Zoom Vapor 9

Finding a tennis/court shoe to accommodate a wide foot with a bunion, is no easy task. Fortunately, Nike Zoom Vapor 9, is just that shoe. Although sized for the male foot, it will work for women, size 7 and beyond.  If you are a woman with a size 7 foot, order size 6 men’s which is the equivalent size. Now, on to the features that make this such an outstanding shoe.

  • Mesh near the bump — Most tennis-specific shoes have an entirely leather upper with reinforced trim and/or stitching over the bunion area. Zoom Vapor 9 has mesh, which allows for a wide forefoot and expansion over the bunion area.


  • Not only does this feature help to decrease pressure along the bunion, it also helps for those players having hammertoes. Beyond that, mesh makes this shoe lightweight and more responsive for being on your toes.


  • Wide waist — Tennis players with a wide forefoot, arch collapse and excessive pronation need support, especially mid-arch. Zoom Vapor 9 doesn’t hourglass in at the waist — and that provides stability and maximum support.


  • Torsional stability — Tennis is a sport with lots of side-to-side motion, primarily on the forefoot. Because of this, the shoe needs to be stable lengthwise, which Zoom Vapor 9 is.

All in all, this is a terrific shoe. If you have a wide foot — with or without a bunion and/or hammertoes — then you will want to check this model out.

Shoe Review – Capezio Canvas Dance Sneaker

I recently helped a modern dancer who was experiencing bunion pain whenever she danced barefoot — which was all the time. Although her bunions were significantly enlarged, she was pain free as long as she wore shoes.

The solution was to find her an appropriate shoe to dance in — finding dance shoes which can accommodate a wide foot with a bunion can be challenging, but Capezio’s Canvas Dance Sneaker does just that.

The upper is canvas, which — in addition to being lightweight and breathable — expands in the area of the bunion allowing for better fit. Lacing to the forefoot also allows for adjustments, an important feature for the wide forefoot.

This shoe also provides structure, which helps with alignment and promotes better function and less pain at the bunion site. Lastly, the thick, cushioned, forefoot and heel provide excellent shock absorption for not only the feet but the lower extremities in general.

Shoe Review – Asics Gel Foundation 10 Field Review

I recently compared Asics Gel Foundation 10 to version 9.

As the following field review of Asics Gel Foundation 10 highlights, this is one of my favorite shoes this season. It’s lightweight, yet structured and although it is no longer offered in narrow — medium and wide widths still provide a great fit.

Shoe Review – Asics GT-2170

I previously reviewed Asics GT-2170 and compared it to Asics GT-2160. The following video is a field review of Asics GT-2170, which has changed significantly from Asics GT-2160. Although GT-2170 fits the same volume-wise as GT-2160, structure-wise, it no longer supports the excessively pronated foot.

Shoe Review – Specialized© Expert Road Cycling Shoes

It can be a challenge to find a cycling shoe wide enough to accommodate a bunion. A patient came in today with Specialized© Expert Road cycling shoe, which has mesh in the forefoot, making it not only lightweight but ideal for a bunion as well.

This shoe runs wide, but if you still need a little more forefoot room you can always remove the leather overlying the mesh, since this is simply stitched on.

This shoe will also accommodate an orthotic. $200 suggested retail. There is a entry-level version, Comp Road, at $150; and a higher end  version, Pro Road, at $285.

Shoe Review – Mizuno Wave Alchemy 11

Lightweight, cushioned and compatible with a variety of foot types, Mizuno Wave Alchemy 11 is one of my favorite shoes this season.

Shoe Review – Brooks Addiction 10 vs. 9

Today’s video compares Addiction 9 to Addiction 10 and highlights the changes to 10 which may make a difference for you. Overall however, Addiction 10 fits similar to Addition 9 and still is a great shoe for the shallow, pronated foot.

Determining Proper Shoe Fit – Width and Depth

In order to achieve proper shoe fit, it’s important to take into account volume. Volume = length x width x depth and when choosing a shoe you should try to match the volume of your shoe to the volume of your foot. I previously blogged about length using the Brannock Device which is the first component of volume. The following video shows you how to evaluate width and depth, the final components of volume.

Athletic shoe companies never talk about the upper or depth of a shoe. Instead they categorize shoes according to the lower (midsole) using terms like motion control, neutral or cushioning. Approaching shoe fit in this way only tells half the story and when you don’t take into account overall volume shoe fit and performance are compromised.

Shoe Review – Brooks Ariel

Brooks Ariel is a great shoe for the excessive pronator who also has a wide, deep foot. Brooks has kept the shoe the same for the past several years which is great for those women who rely on this shoe for serious support. Here is my latest video on Brooks Ariel. Additional posts follow the video.

Shoe Review – ProGrid Stabil CS vs. ProGrid Stabil CS 2

When Saucony changed the Grid Stabil design to ProGrid Stabil CS, I was underwhelmed as the ProGrid Stabil CS whas not nearly as stable or supportive as the the Grid Stabil Fortunately, the ProGrid Stabil CS 2 has reinstated the features I was so fond of with the earlier Grid Stabil. These include:

A less deep toebox for better fit, while still retaining ample upper width for toes or orthotics if necessary.

The ProGrid Stabil 2 midsole is thicker and firmer than the prior version which makes for a much more structured, stable shoe.

The most important change with ProGrid Stabil CS 2 is a firmer, more durable outsole. The prior version’s outsole was thinner and softer, causing the shoe to wear out more quickly than it should. It was also not not very effective at pronation control whereas the CS 2 is.

If you’re a runner with a wide foot looking for lightweight support, then Grid Stabil CS might just be for you.

Shoe Review – Mizuno Wave Renegade 4

Mizuno Wave Renegade 4 is one of my favorite shoes for a wide foot needing serious support. The generous amounts of mesh in the upper make this shoe light weight in addition to being bunion and hammertoe friendly.

The outsole retains it’s width throughout the waist area which is also great for a wide foot, especially if you pronate excessively or have a history of posterior tibial tendonitis.

Finally, Mizuno Wave Renegade 4 has a firm heel counter which reduces pronation at heel strike promoting a more forward foot alignment.

All in all, I really like this shoe. It falls in the same class as Asics Gel-Evolution 5 and Brooks Beast. Great shoes!

Climbing Shoes

OD came in today with her climbing shoes. If you’re a rock climber then you already know how painfully short and tight these shoes are. Discussing the rationale behind this or the lack of a single scientific studies supporting this will be tabled to another blog posting on another day.

For now, I am going to return to the basics and remind you that a square peg is not designed to go into a round hole, especially if you have a bunion (wide forefoot) which OD has.

She has been wearing the Mad Rock shoes on the right for the past few years. Because they are starting to wear out, she purchased a new pair of Evolv shoes shown below on the left.

As you can see from the above image, these two shoes are not designed the same. The Evolv on the left is much narrower than the Mad Rock on the right, and the widest part of the shoe (forefoot) is not adjustable because it has straps instead of laces that don’t go as far down to the toes.

If you have a wide forefoot then you want the shoe to be adjustable at the widest point. Although laces are less popular than straps, this is a must-have design for a wide foot.

If you’re comparing two laced styles, check the width by turning the shoe over and comparing the width of the forefoot between the pairs. Again, in comparing the images below, with the Evolv on the left to the Mad Rock on the right, it’s easy to see independent of the upper, that the Mad Rock has a wider forefoot sole.

Now if you look at the side profile of both shoes, the rubber on the left Evolv comes up much higher on the foot, whereas the Mad Rock’s rubber is lower to the ground. This reduces forefoot compression, another plus for a wide forefoot

Finally, if you need even more forefoot room, you can always modify the lacing on your climbing shoes. This image shows what we did with OD’s shoes. Both feet are the same width, but the Evolv shoe on the left is essentially acting like a vice grip. You will not experience a loss of gripping ability with the modified lacing on the left, but an enormous improvement in overall comfort and fit.

Shoe Review – Asics Gel-Speedstar 3

Finding a running shoe that works as a racing flat is not easy. Finding a racing flat that fits a wide foot is nearly impossible. Fortunately, Asics Gel-Speedstar 3 qualifies.

Although it looks like it should be narrow, the mesh upper has extra depth which makes this a great match for a wide foot.

Even thought the midsole looks thick, it’s made of soft EVA which is lightweight, providing shock absorption. All this in a mere 9 ounces.

What a great shoe!

Shoe Review – J-41 Grand

The reason I don’t blog more about non-athletic shoes is that shoe manufacturers discontinue styles before you would actually be able to go out and buy any shoe I would recommend. Hopefully, this won’t happen with J-41 Grand. This shoe is in the category of Dansko clogs – wide and deep which typically is a hard to fit foot. The strap is Velcro so it’s adjustable, which is a design feature all Mary Jane styles should have. The forefoot is rigid and doesn’t flex which helps with ball of the foot pain (metatarsalgia) or pain under the big toe joint (sesamoiditis).


The insole is nicely padded and is removable so that you can fit in a low profile orthotic if you want to.


All in all, if you are looking for a comfy, cute wide shoe, then J-41 may just be the right for you. And, as of today, you can still get this style at

Shoe Review – New Balance 1123 Excessive Forefoot Wear

I have reviewed New Balance 1123 in a previous post


This has been one of my favorite shoes for the wide, deep foot. It’s especially good for walkers due to it’s wide base and seemingly firm midsole. Or, so I thought.

Today, someone came in having worn this shoe while walking for the few past months with a recent onset of ball of the foot pain (metatarsalgia). When I turned the shoe over, I was shocked to find that the thin firm, rubber outsole had worn clear through, exposing a butter soft EVA midsole. The midsole was so soft in fact that it provided little in the way of forefoot shock absorption, causing the ball of the foot to be pounded with each step.


If you own this shoe, make sure to check the outsole monthly. If it has worn down like this shoe has, replace it immediately or you may do your feet severe harm. Otherwise, I still like this shoe.

Shoe Review – Asics Gel Evolution 4 (Men’s)

Trying to find a shoe for a wide foot can be a problem, especially if your foot is deep and wide. Many podiatrists tend to go with Brooks (Addiction) or New Balance (1123) which isn’t always the best choice. In fact, Asics Gel Evolution in many cases is a much better choice, especially if you wear size 2E.


As this image below shows, the Gel Evolution in Wide (2E) is much wider than the Brooks Addiction in 2E. It is also has a firm heel counter making it much more stable than the New Balance and much better overall for pronation control in addition to being lighter weight.

evolution_addiction evolution_4_medial2

Bottom line, if you have a wide foot and are wishing for sleeker design, lighter weight, stability and motion control in your running shoe, then Asics Gel Evolution 4 may be just right for you.