Shoe Width Explained

We’ve all been there. You find the perfect pair of shoes, try them on, then feel like one of Cinderella’s ugly sisters when they don’t fit. Cramming won’t work, nor will trying to stretch them out.
One of the best ways to find the shoe that fits you is by understanding what UK shoe widths are and what the different categories and sizes mean. This guide will explain everything you need to know.


Why do my shoes not fit?

UK shoe widths vary between men, women and children. The style of footwear can play a big role too- fittings that may apply to one style may not apply to another.

The shape of your feet can also impact how a pair of shoes fit. Broad feet require a wide fit shoe, while those with a high arch need flexible fastenings in order to comfortably wear them.


Why do shoes come in different widths?

No two people have the same foot shape and size. That’s why you’ll find varying widths to allow a larger variety of people to wear a certain style of shoe.

Different shoe widths mean that the tread on the soles of shoes changes from size to size. For example, with wide fit shoes, the sole has a greater width and the toe box is deeper than a standard fit.


What are the shoe width sizes?

For women

C= narrow fitting
D= standard fitting
E= wide fitting
EE= extra wide fitting
EEE= ultra-wide fitting


For men

E= narrow fitting

F= standard fitting

G= wide fitting

H= extra wide fitting

For children

D= very narrow
F= standard fitting
G= wide fitting
H= extra wide fitting


Does shoe width matter?

Choosing the right shoes width is key to your foot health.

Shoes that are too narrow can cause sores, cramps and bunions. They’re also likely to be too tight, increasing the chance of sweating and the risk of bacterial infection.

Shoes that are too wide won’t secure your foot properly, causing friction while walking, potentially leading to sores and blisters. To walk properly, your toes need to be gripped. If they’re not, it can lead to issues such as hammer toe and nail problems.


How can I measure my shoe width?

Follow these steps to measure your feet and find a pair of shoes with the right width:

  1. Wrap a tape measure around the widest part of your bare foot.
  2. Place a foot on the ground as if you were standing normally.
  3. Mark the width of your foot in millimetres on the tape measure.
  4. Use this measurement to determine the shoe width you need.

This UK foot width chart should give you a good idea of the shoe width you require:

UK Size Narrow Medium Wide X Wide
3 7.2 cm 8.1 cm 9 cm 10 cm
4 7.5 cm 8.5 cm 9.4 cm 10.3 cm
5 7.9 cm 8.8 cm 9.7 cm 10.6 cm
6 8.3 cm 9 cm 10 cm 11 cm
7 8.6 cm 9.4 cm 10.3 cm 11.3 cm
8 8.8 cm 9.7 cm 10.6 cm 11.6 cm
9 9.1 cm 10 cm 11 cm 11.9 cm
10 9.6 cm 10.3 cm 11.2 cm 12.3 cm
11 9.7 cm 10.6 cm 11.6 cm 12.7 cm
12 9.9 cm 10.9 cm 12 cm 13.1 cm
13 10.2 cm 11.2 cm 12.4 cm 13.5 cm

Does shoe width increase with shoe size?

Generally speaking, the bigger your foot, the wider it is. Shoe width doesn’t just apply to the distance between the widest part of your shoe, but also how deep it is too.

Shoe size and shoe width tend to be proportional in standard sizing, so large shoes may run a little wider than necessary if you have long, but narrow feet.

However, we’d advise against opting for a larger shoe size, solely for the purpose of getting a wider fit, as this could cause a trip hazard.