I’m Picky About Comfortable Shoes, and These Chic Wide-Width Pairs Pass My Test
Despite the fact that I have a massive shoe collection, ashamedly, none of them really fit me right. For context, I’m anywhere from a size US 10.5 to a US 12. Add having wider feet than most on top of that, and it’s a recipe for disaster when it comes to well-fitting footwear. Over the years, I’ve spent more money than I can fathom on shoes that pinch my toes, give me blisters, or end up being downright uncomfortable. So when a friend asked me for wide-width shoe recommendations the other day, I was embarrassed when I said I didn’t have any off the top of my head. Naturally, as a curious editor, I knew I needed to find out so I’m not empty-handed when asked next time.
Over the last three months, I’ve walked over 60 miles in New York, Seoul, Copenhagen, and Porto while testing some of the best wide-fit shoes on the market. My requirements? Only two: They have to be comfortable enough that I last a full 12 hours in them, and most importantly, they have to be cute. (No orthopedics here!)
From runway-ready slingbacks that don’t make me want to cut my feet off to sneakers so good Bella Hadid approves, these five wide-width shoes are the ones I firmly stand behind.
When I thought of this story, I immediately knew I had to run (no pun intended) to Margaux to try out its beloved wide-width Demi ballet flats myself. After hearing fellow editor Eliza rave about how comfortable they are, I decided to get a pair myself and try them out. Spoiler alert: They might be the most comfortable pair of shoes on this list.
Margaux prioritizes comfort above all else, with special padded insoles and an adjustable opening to make sure your shoe fits to you. Plus, an exhaustive, expansive size range means that if you’re used to wearing shoes that are half a size too big or too small, you’ll find your perfect fit here.
WWW Pro Tip: I went half a size up to accommodate any end-of-day swelling I usually get once I hit my normal 10,000 steps. If you’re commuting by foot or on your feet all day, opt for a slightly larger fit than normal. There’s nothing worse than shoes that pinch your feet!
There have been few times in my life, as a person with larger, wider feet, that I’ve actively reached for heels. I usually rely on flat-footed styles, but after taking these ultra-affordable, incredibly chic ASOS kitten-heel slingbacks for a spin, I think I’m converted.
The pointed-toe, patent-leather style comes in a wide-width option, and I was surprised to find how roomy it felt—even going so far as to tighten the adjustable strap to the tightest setting. The micro kitten heel sits at just under an inch, meaning it’s perfect for walking all day (or, in my case, dancing all night).
WWW Pro Tip: Even though these slingbacks look incredible on their own, opt for a pair of colorful, runway-ready tights for a chic look. The most compliments I got wearing them was when I wore this pair in combination with red tights!
Anywhere you went this year and last, you probably saw a pair of three-striped Adidas trainers. Whether they were the elusive Bella Hadid–approved Sambas or one of the brand’s highly sought-after collaborations, the Adidas effect was inescapable. And frankly, for good reason: They’re incredibly comfortable. They’re usually the first pair of shoes I pack while traveling, and I anticipate my step count is in the tens of thousands. The most mileage I’ve put on these is about 14 miles while walking around Seoul for Seoul Fashion Week this year, and it wasn’t until hour 10 of wear that my feet slightly started to get sore.
While these sneakers don’t come in a designated wide width, their wider toe box and leather material mean they’e extra flexible and mold to your feet. The insole on these is slightly larger than that of other trendy sportswear sneakers, meaning they’re more wide-feet friendly than not.
WWW Pro Tip: If you can’t find your size in women’s, don’t be afraid to check the men’s section. These sneakers are fully unisex.
Mesh flats have sat high on my wish list for over a year now. Although my friends might side-eye me for falling in love with the sheer, see-through style, I’m a mesh-flat truther, especially after testing out Lookie Atelier’s custom shoe service. The Ukrainian brand has been one of my favorites of the year, and when I got a chance to design a pair of shoes for myself, I jumped on the chance. Although the price point on these sits a bit higher than most of the non-designer shoes I own, you can’t deny the craftsmanship and detail that goes into making a custom-fit shoe.
Nearly every single shoe from Lookier Atelier is fully customizable at no extra charge, meaning that every pair you get is fully created with your feet in mind. I was able to send my measurements in for a wider-than-normal toe box and expanded-sole width. Although they took longer to get here than other pairs I’ve ordered in the past, they were worth the wait— so much so, I’ve already ordered my second pair.
WWW Pro Tip: Ask a friend or loved one to take your measurements for a well-fitting custom shoe. I had to send in my measurements twice because the first time I did them myself!
If you have wide feet like mine, loafers are usually your arch enemy—it takes weeks of daily wear for the top flap to get stretched enough to wear them without pain after the first hour. After I spent too much money on a pair of Insta-famous designer loafers last year when I got my first job, I nearly swore off the shoe style for good due to how uncomfortable they were. It wasn’t until testing this pair from Time and Tru that I realized loafers could be comfortable for wider feet.
This patent penny loafer is one of my favorites when it comes to office dressing. They have an elevated ’90s vibe emulating Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, and I’m surprised at how often I reach for these. Whether it’s with a pair of jeans or in combination with socks and a miniskirt, they’re a “buy once, wear forever” kind of shoe. Plus, they’re under $25. I don’t think it gets better than that.
WWW Pro Tip: If you’re aiming to emulate Emma Chamberlain, opt for slouchy white school socks to pull together the cool-girl-approved vibe.