Comfortable Heels for Wide Feet

The Most Comfortable Heels for Wide Feet | CorporetteWhich are the most professional, comfortable heels for wide feet?  Reader N wonders:

I always have trouble finding a pair of comfortable but fashionable shoes, for two reasons – 1) I have wide feet and can only buy wide sized shoes, of which there is limited selection, and 2) I also have flat feet/collapsed arches. Could you suggest some brands that have nice shoes in wide sizes (especially ones that are available in Canada?) and which are also comfortable and affordable? And any other tips on shoe inserts, perhaps? Thanks!

We’ve talked about how to find shoes for your weird feet, as well as the best general shoe brands (and tips) for buying comfortable heels, but we haven’t talked about wide heels for a few years now.  (I would recommend treating flat feet/wide feet as two different issues, but your podiatrist can advise you best there — we’ve talked before about women’s shoe inserts to make heels more comfortable.)

Readers have generally sung the praises of these brands as being comfortable heels; they also come in wide sizes — a lot of these have great arch support built in:

As noted before (either in our 2010 article or by commenters there), these online stores focus on shoes for wide feet:

Readers with wide heels — particularly those of you in Canada! — which are your favorite brands for work?  Which are the most comfortable heels for wide feet?

Comments

  1. I’ve noticed that when I get wide sizes in some brands, like Ivanka Trump and Cole Haan, they’re basically normal width and the normals are narrow. Is it just me?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I haven’t had any luck with those brands either. The wides fit my feet like regular width shoes in different brands. I think they are just a narrower brand in general.

    • No, I think some brands just run narrower than others. I haven’t noticed this with Ivanka Trump but it sometimes is the case with CH and often the case for me with Stuart Weitzman.

      My feet are “normal” but run on the wide side at the toes. Wide shoes are usually too wide but regular shoes in certain brands can be too narrow.

    • Never purchased the Trump shoes, but the Cole Haan shoes have been hit or miss for a couple of years now. They used to be consistently high quality and predictable in fit, but not any more.

  2. Sydney Bristow :

    No idea if you can get Payless shoes in Canada but I wear and love the Karmen pumps in wide. They are my most comfortable heels and the fact that they are so cheap is just a bonus.

  3. Diana Barry :

    I have wide forefoot (bunions) and narrow heels and I wear the following:
    – ballet flats, pre-stretched, variety of brands, primarily Nine West;
    – boots, pre-stretched or W, clark’s, born, and timberland;
    – cole haan MEN’s oxford shoes or women’s wide shoes (Yes, the women’s wide are basically regular width)

    I don’t wear heels except for super special work occasions (fancy conferences etc.), which are rare. If I had to wear them more often, no idea what I would do.

  4. Wondering :

    I am still nursing my 11 month old son and would like to try for baby #2. How do I figure out when I am ovulating, given that I haven’t started up my period yet? I realize that there are these ovulation tests but it seems like I would go through quite a few before I figured out the right time (and each box is $40, so this would quickly be an expensive habit). Thoughts?

    • I am no expert but I am told that measuring your basal body temperature is the only way to tell whether you’ve ovulated. People on here often reccomend the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Back in the day I had great luck relying on the consistency of my cerical mucous. Stretchy and like raw egg whites = ovulating.

    • Why “try” when you can just have $ex without premeditation or schedule (inasmuch as unscheduled activities are possible with an infant)?

    • Diana Barry :

      I would start temping now to see if your temps change. YMMV, but I didn’t ovulate *and* didn’t get my period until about 1 yr postpartum. Many women don’t ovulate at all when they are nursing.

    • If you aren’t having a period yet then you aren’t ovulating. There is no way to really “try” until your cycle returns. You could start charting to try to catch your first ovulation, but thats going to be tough. Your best bet, if you want to conceive soon, is to wean.

      • Agree. I have 6 kids and my periods came back after about 10 months even when I was nursing. Even if the OP doesn’t want to wean, cutting the volume and/or frequency of nursing might cause regular cycles to return.

      • Wondering :

        Hmmm, this is really interesting. I’ve heard of so many people who got pregnant even while breastfeeding (and all those books that say nursing is not really a good birth control). They must have been ovulating even while nursing, if they got pregnant? Thanks for the information, ladies.

        • OCAssociate :

          You can definitely ovulate/get your period while nursing, I have friends whose periods returned at 3 months and at 9 months, even while breastfeeding. However, my period didn’t return and I didn’t ovulate until 6-8 weeks after I completely weaned.

          You may also ovulate before your period returns, but it would likely be the typical 2ish weeks before your period – my SIL got pregnant after weaning when she ovulated while waiting for her period to return.

          Temping/cervical mucous are a good way to check whether you ovulate, but there’s a good chance you won’t ovulate until your period returns. Good luck!

        • You ovulate roughly two weeks before your period starts. In cases where people get pregnant before their periods return they just catch heir first cycle. In each case, if they hadn’t gotten pregnant on their first postpartum egg they would have had a period two weeks later.

        • Breastfeeding is not *good* birth control, but it is more than nothing for most people. It definitely reduces the chance you’ll ovulate and hence temporarily diminishes fertility. Once your periods return, it probably means you’ve reduced the amount of nursing to a level at which you’re fertile. This, of course, is going to vary from person to person.

    • When it becomes relevant: you can get the cheapie OPKs on amazon for much, much less. They are a bit more fiddly to use, but for me, still much less of a hassle than remembering to track body temp/mucous/etc.

  5. Nine West also works well for my wide feet.
    Geox makes wide width shoes and focuses on comfort.

  6. Personal Safety and Being Home Alone With Contractors – Threadjack

    Apologies for this sombre threadjack topic, but how do you deal with having contractors come to your dwelling to do work and feel OK? You don’t always know if they’ll bring an assistant that you didn’t meet when you got an estimate, so you may be surprised with someone who wasn’t subjected to your “gut check.”

    It sounds paranoid, and yet, I feel like it’s a huge disconnect — all the personal safety stuff telling women not to trust strangers in train stations, how to not walk in dark/unsafe places, and yet it seems like this is a huge glaring potential safety issue. I googled “Adrienne Shelly” and found that really, really awful. Even worse is that she isn’t the only case. There have been a few, some regional, others getting national attention.

    • saltylady :

      I do worry about this, but less so when I deal with someone from an actual company that’s licensed and insured, as opposed to some solo guy who puts a handyman ad in the local paper. They have records of where each repair guy went so it would be hard to commit a violent act and not get caught. But what I worry about more is that they’ll come back some other time. I think what’s more common is regular burglary– I’ve had friends get their houses broken into shortly after having work done.

      • I’m going to be a little bit of a devil’s advocate and say, plenty of people commit violent acts and don’t get caught. Adrienne Shelly was a murder; authorities tend to take a dim view of murder because it makes them look bad.

        Sadly, many countries take a very negligent attitude about rape. Victims don’t report at very high rates for lots of reasons. Even reported cases are very hard to convict. In a country where the legal standard puts the onus on the accuser to prove the accused guilty of rape, it’s very, very hard to convict. Not just in the acquaintance rape scenarios, but even in stranger-rape scenarios. It’s his word against yours. You were a “s#x happy housewife/whatever looking to have casual s#x and now have regrets.” How could you prove you weren’t?

    • I work at home and we have an old house so I’m the default ‘project manager’ for a lot of the work we do. For me, it helps to have my husband be involved in setting up the times/details of the work. I also don’t think I’ve ever used anyone who wasn’t recommended by a friend or our female relator. We of course also make sure they’re licensed and insured. I find realtors (if you have one) to be excellent sources – they recommend people multiple times and seem to get lots of candid feedback.
      Other than that – can you be on the phone/on calls with husband or work when you have people around? Having the workers know that you’re in contact with other people routinely throughout the day might help you feel safer.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I had two really creepy guys deliver my furniture once. I can’t really put a finger on why they were creepy. It was a gut thing. They wandered a bit to much from where they were supposed to be. They stared a bit too long and talked a bit too close. They just had a leering eye.

      I moved so I was standing near the open door with my back to our other door so I had two easy ways to get out if they tried anything funky. I also had my dog right near me who was growling a lot. I usually reprimand her and tell her it is okay and get her to relax but this time I let her keep growling if they came near me.

      I also refused to let the plumber in to my parents place once. I was staying there for the weekend and they forgot to mention he was coming by. My parents were out and this guy I had never met knocked on the door saying he was there to fix the tub. I made him wait outside, shut and locked the door and then called my parents to confirm. Then I let him in and apologized profusely. He was not at all offended and said he hoped his teenage daughters would do the same thing.

      I have no real solution, I just feel your discomfort. I guess my advice is have a safety plan. Stay alert. Don’t go take a nap in your bedroom while they work. Trust your instincts and don’t feel like you have to be nice. If they speak to close ask them to step back.

  7. Anyone have luck buying a mid-priced black, wool suit without buttons on the sleeves? I need a good court-appropriate suit, but have struck out. I’m 5’8″ but my arms are short. I always need to the sleeves shortened significantly. My tailor can’t shorten sleeves with cut button holes because the buttons and holes end up on the cuff of the sleeve leaving the fabric damaged.

    So far I haven’t been able to find a black wool suit without buttons. I struck out at Ann Taylor, BR, and J Crew. I found something that sort of works at Macy’s (Ivanka Trump brand) but its polyester and I’d really rather wool. Any suggestions? Anyone else have this problem?

    As an aside–Any thoughts on an Ivanka Trump suit? It seems okay but I’m not familiar with that label.

  8. This is related to the wide-shoes question: I have been diagnosed with Morton’s neuroma (which I think basically means that I’ve damaged a nerve in my foot by wearing shoes that squish all my toes together), and was told I need to be wearing shoes with a wider toe-box to try to reverse some of the damage. Are there any other ‘r e t t e s out there with this condition, who’ve managed to find shoes that work for them? What brands do you like? And have you had to just swear off heels altogether — and if so, what do you wear with dresses and skirts (ballet flats are apparently out)?

    I asked my doctor for some guidance, but he didn’t have much of a clue about women’s shoes. TIA!

    • I’m interested in any responses. I’ve also been recently diagnosed with Morton’s neuroma and am reevaluating my shoe choices.

      • I self-diagnosed myself with this condition and did a lot of reading. No shoe recommendations, but I rarely wear high heels anyway. My symptoms were occasionally very painful, but overall not enough to go to an actual podiatrist (though I will if they return and get worse). I do pad the space between the affected toes with cotton balls, which helps a lot. When the symptoms were worse, I found wearing a pedicure separator between the toes (when sleeping and generally walking around the house) really helped. I take Motrin when the symptoms flare up. Of course, your doctor may have given you other instructions.

    • Morton's neuroma :

      I have this. I wish I could say that there is a particular brand or style of shoe that works. Unfortunately, you have to try them on. I can still wear heels, just not as sleek or as high as I used to wear. Again, you have to try on to see what works – some round/almond toes are painful, while some more pointed toes are not (the opposite of what you might expect). I will say that flats are very painful for some reason, and shoes that slide around (so that your toes hit the shoe) can also really hurt… but too snug is also not good. There are MN inserts that I haven’t tried… maybe they would help.

      Good luck.

    • Yes, I have it. I was diagnosed by a physical therapist (and then confirmed by a podiatrist friend). My physical therapist recommended these little cushions that you put in your shoe–basically slightly behind the ball of your foot–that will help spread your toe bones a bit. I got some from Amazon and use them in one pair of shoes. I found one style of Me Too flat (the Nini, I just looked it up, can get at DSW) that is pretty wide in the front and works with the little pad. I just bought a pair of flat Merrell boots that are nice and wide in the front, and I also tried on a pair of Born boots (which I think had a heel) that were wide in the front as well.

      You really do have to just try shoes on. For me, I can typically tell right away if the shoe will work or not. You can also experiment with sock thickness. I have a pair of low heel Sam Edelman booties that I used to wear with wool socks with some pain, but if I wear them with stockings or tights, they are nearly pain-free.

      My understanding of the treatment options, aside from wearing wider shoes, are cortisone shots and surgery (although my PT said that can leave you with pain due to scar tissue). I am not particularly interested in either, but I’d be curious to hear if anyone’s had experience with these options.

  9. Where in the OP’s question did she ask only for HEEL recommendations? I’d like to see more recognition of the fact that many women can find comfortable and professional flat shoes that will also fit wide or tricky feet. This reminds me of the thread a while back about dressing more professionally where Kat only recommended heels and there was a good discussion in the comments about how flats can be just as professional. They can also be far better for your feet.

    I’ve ordered a pair of Rockport Ashikas in a C/D width, but they haven’t arrived yet so I can’t comment on the fit or quality.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Good point that I totally didn’t notice. I’ve tried various brands from Zappos with mixed results within each brand. Gabriella Rocha, Romantic Soles, and Fitzwell all have some good flats choices in wide. I’ve also found the brand Blowfish runs wide so I buy those in regular width. I seem to go through flats quickly and all these brands get stretched out though. I might just be really hard on them.

    • Also didn’t notice and glad you pointed that out. I usually have an easier time finding comfy flats than heels, but I realize there are trickier-footed people out there than me.

    • Good point. I have to say that for flat fleet, nothing helped until I got custom orthotics. Foot pain = gone.

    • HappyHoya :

      Thank you for pointing this out! There is nothing wrong with flats. I have flat, although normal-width feet, and I find that flats are almost always better than heels for a shoe I am going to wear all day. Not necessarily completely flat shoes, but a small graduated platform (like a small wedge) is the most I’d commit to for a full day of work wear. Having flat feet means theres is less contour to keep your foot from moving around inside of a shoe, which means my feet are always sliding forward in heels. Not a huge problem is the shoe is well constructed and theres good pressure relief on the ball of the foot, but it’s also not the way we’re designed to walk. I do sometimes wear heels, but I am finding the times when looks are more important than health are getting fewer and farther between. Work certainly doesn’t seem like a time when it’s worth it. In real life, I see many more working women in flats than heels. I’d love to see the advice directed at us reflect this.

  10. We have Payless retailers in Canada but Payless online shopping won’t ship here.

  11. My prior comment was for Sydney Bristow. Reply didn’t chain properly for some reason.

    Kat: Zappos no longer ships to Canada. They had too much trouble dealing with customs to stay in this market.

  12. SO many of my followers have questions about shooz for wide feet. Thank you!! *hearts*

    The Working Girl’s Shoe Closet
    http://www.workinggirlsshoecloset.com

  13. Spirit of Kk :

    If you would loose weight, you’re feet would not be to fat for your shoes.

  14. I live in Canada and have wide feet. For wide sizes, try:

    – Naturalizer.ca
    – Aerosoles (us site but ships to Canada)
    – Lands End (ditto)

    They have some non-frumpy styles, I promise!

    I’ve also had some luck with regular Nine West flats by sizing up a half size.

    Good luck!

    • DC Lawyer :

      Walking on a Cloud has Canadian locations. I buy their Beautifeel shoes in Wide. I can’t say enough about the brand. If you keep the caps on the heels in good repair, they last forever. The styles are simple and very business appropriate. They’re incredibly comfortable and supportive.

  15. Shoot. I need info on shoes that are best for feet that are normal width across the forefoot but super narrow / low volume everywhere else. I have to stuff my dress shoes with so much padding to keep them from falling off when I walk, it’s ridiculous. But “Narrow” shoes cramp my forefoot and going down a half size squishes my toes. First world problem, but still …

  16. Late posting – but if anyone else digs in – if you live in the Washington, DC area, you might give “Wide Shoe Outlet” in Marlow Heights, MD a try. It’s just off the beltway. The shopping center and neighborhood it is in don’t look like much, but the service in the store is very good. They will go through their inventory, make suggestions, measure your feet, and help with fit.

    They carry Ros Hommershon, Clarks, and Naturalizer. a few others. Most of the shoes are plain, the chance of finding a shoe you love are honestly pretty hit or miss. But, if you have wide feet like I do, that you can go in and find something that fits makes up for a lot.

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