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A struggle that will forever remain unknown to the “normal” person? Living with pizza-shaped feet: Feet with wide toes and narrow heels. Not only can it be a humiliating experience being called Donald Duck by a friend. Or asked by some wise guy if you still have your flippers on at the beach…
The search for a pair of running shoes with a wide toe box and narrow heels is a frustrating, time-consuming experience. When you’ve spent countless hours trying on different pairs in different clothing-stores without any luck….
… it can make you lose all hope of ever finding the perfect pair.
And if you decide to settle for a pair that is even slightly the wrong size? Your toes will either be so painfully tight it feels like your feet are being crushed. Or you will have too much space in your heels causing painful blisters.
But not all hope is lost!
There are a couple of running shoes out there made for people just like you and me. Based on my personal experience and the experience of other “sufferers”, I’ve reviewed the best men and women running shoes with a big toe box and narrow heel. And made a list of the 3 best choices.
While the fit was the most important criteria, I also looked at some other things to write the review:
What other criteria were used to write the review?
1. Flexibility & Stability
Flexibility & stability are even more important for running shoes than regular shoes. Because when the running motion doesn’t feel smooth? Then it won’t motivate you to go for a run. And, of course, you want to prevent running-injuries, like runner’s knees, at all costs.
Just because a running shoe fits, it doesn’t mean it’s comfortable. Things that make a running shoe comfortable include its design, the material, its cushioning, its ventilation, its weight, and more.
And lastly, value was an important criterion. Does the shoe have a good price-quality ratio? Because the last thing you want to do is overpay just for the brand name. Or pay for shoes that break down after just a couple of wears.
The 3 best women’s running shoes with wide toe box and narrow heel
The 3 best men’s running shoes with wide toe box and narrow heel
Here are the full list of the best women’s running shoes with wide toe box and narrow heels.
If finding the right fit for your everyday running shoe is a struggle, then check out the full list of running shoes for both men and women. For all of us with triangle feet – wide forefoot and narrow heel – there are plenty of excellent running shoes out there that will make every step feel better.
And having the right fit can definitely improve your performance!
Women’s ASICS Gel-Excite 4 Running Shoe
- Rearfoot GEL Cushioning System: Attenuates shock during impact phase and allows for a smooth transition...
- Removable Sockliner: A sockliner which can be removed to accommodate a medical orthotic.
ASICS makes several women’s running shoes with a big toe box. And, out of all those options, the Gel-excite 4 came out on top. Why? Because it’s so perfectly shaped they simply feel fantastic on your feet. And its cushioning system absorbs shocks like a champ. This shoe is as close to running on air you’re going to get. You can also get them for a very affordable price.
The shoes are slightly bigger than a regular size: So, make sure you go half a size up. And say goodbye to blisters and cramped feet!
- Flexible mesh material
- Great arch support
- Available in different widths
- It has a plush cush cushioning
- Lots of color options
- It has a sock liner which you can remove if you have a medical orthotic
- Not great on wet surfaces
- It takes a while to break-in
Women’s New Balance 990v5
- Heritage Style: The 990v5 is an iconic sneaker, built with a pigskin and mesh upper in a classic running...
- Built-In Cushioning: Made for top performance as much as style, these running shoes include a REVlite...
New Balance is known for making superior running shoes. But many don’t have a big toe box. What’s great about the 990v5 is that it comes in many different widths: You can choose between a size wide or X wide, depending on your specific needs. But the shoe also has the perfect mix of flexibility, stability, comfort, and style.
While the 990v5 is not the cheapest option, there’s a lot of craftsmanship that went into these shoes: They last longer than cheaper brands. And, ultimately, they’re one of the most comfortable running shoes on the market: You might not want to wear any other type of running shoes ever again.
The New Balance 990v5 is slightly smaller than a regular size. So, make sure you get them half a size bigger.
- Made in the US
- Flexible sole
- Great shock absorption
- Also great to use as everyday shoes
- Durable materials
- Stylish look
- One of the more expensive options
Women’s ALTRA Intuition 4
When you think of running shoes, the first brands that pop into your head are probably well-known brands like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, and Asics. They have done a great job at marketing.
But that’s also exactly why lesser-known brands like ALTRA sometimes get overlooked. And that’s a damn shame. Because there’s a good reason why The Intuition 4 gets recommended by podiatrists.
ALTRA put all of their focus on functionality when they designed the Intuition 4. And all of that effort paid off: The Intuition 4 has the perfect balance of support and comfort. And its shape is perfect for those of us with narrow feet and wide heels.
Buy the shoes half a size or one size bigger than you normally would.
- Very affordable
- Breathable material
- Plenty of room in the toebox
- Great balance of support and comfort
- Rubber toe box for extra protection of the forefeet
- Not a lot of color options
- Basic design
Women’s Altra Olympus 3
- More breathable and durable upper
- More flexible midsole due to the addition of InnerFlex
If comfort is number one on your list, then the Altra Olympus 3 may be the shoe for you. These shoes feature unbelievable, plush cushioning for supreme comfort.
Not only do the Altra Olympus 3 shoes offer a roomy toe box, they also feature a zero drop from heel to toe, making them perfect for people suffering from plantar fasciitis or other types of foot pain.
- Very stable
- Light and flexible upper
- Great option for anyone suffering from foot pain
- Few color/design options to choose from
- Run slightly small
No matter if you run on a treadmill, track, or trail, these shoes feature excellent out soles and traction, which will keep you supported and comfortable on any terrain.
Women’s Hoka One One Clifton 4
Hoka One One is a fan favorite for runners of all types, and the Clifton 4 is ideal for runners who like some extra wiggle room for their toes.
The curved arch also keeps your midfoot well-supported, and the top-notch cushioning minimizes the impact when you run. Plus, the shape actually propels you forward, so you’ll have an incredibly smooth running experience.
- Superior responsiveness
- Lightweight and breathable
- Thick cushioning for maximum comfort
- Great traction
- A bit bulky
Here is the full list of the best men’s running shoes with wide toe box and narrow heels.
Men’s Brooks Ghost 12
- THIS SHOE IS FOR: Neutral runners looking for a lightweight shoe and a smooth ride without sacrificing...
- SUPPORT AND CUSHION: The neutral support type provides high energizing cushioning. Ideal for road...
Out of the thousands of running shoes on the market, The Brooks Ghost 12 is one of the most sold. And not without good reason: Its excellent cushioning ensures you have a smooth running experience. And the 3D printed mesh helps the shoe fit perfectly around your feet, besides providing plenty of support.
Because it’s also available in size wide and extra-wide it’s one of the best big toe box running shoes for men. The Brooks 12 fits true to its size, so you don’t have to buy a size smaller or bigger.
- Great arch support
- Fairly lightweight
- Great shock-absorbing cushioning in the heel
- Comfortable 3-D printed mesh
- Many color options
- Not great on uneven surfaces
- Longer shoelaces
Men’s ASICS GT-2000 8
- AHAR Outsole is placed in critical areas of the outsole for exceptional durability
- Flytefoam Lyte midsole provides continuous cushion thanks to organic nano fibers
Asics specializes in sportswear. And they’re known for making some of the best running shoes on the market. They also have a great option for us with wide-feet: The GT-2000 8. The GT-2000 goes all the way up to size extra wide. And it’s noticeably more comfortable than its predecessor, the GT-2000 7. Mainly thanks to the flyte foam material.
The GT-2000 8 fits true to its size.
- Lightweight and flexible
- Comfortable flyte foam and gel pads
- Nice supportive cushioning
- Lots of color options
- Stylish look
Men’s Altra Provision 4
- Weight: 8.2 oz / 232 g
- Insole: 6mm Contor Footbed
Altra also made it to the men’s list. Because they hit another home run with the Provision 4: The wide toe box, the perfect shape, the high balanced cushioning, and the materials used make his shoe extremely comfortable for us with wide feet.
But that’s not all. What this shoe also excels at is helping you improve your posture while you’re running. And providing plenty of stability to prevent running injuries. One thing will get clear pretty fast when you start wearing these shoes: Altra truly values functionality above anything else.
The Provision 4 is true to its size. So, you can get it on your regular size.
- Great value
- Great arch support.
- Good stability thanks to the Guiderail foam
- Helps a natural alignment of the body
- Feels natural on the feet
- Fairly lightweight
- A removable 6mm footbed
- Resilient midsole
- A comfortable roomy toe box
- Not that many colour options
Men’s Brooks Ghost 11
- SHOE SIZE: "D" = Medium width, "EE" = Wide width
- FOOT SUPPORT: Ideal for runners with a medium to high arch looking for neutral support.
Are you a runner or active person who needs extra room in the toe box and a narrow heel?
The Brooks Ghost 11 shoe highly recommended. These highly responsive running shoes are perfect for active people who appreciate advanced cushioning with a new crash pad technology that evenly disperses impact throughout the foot no matter where you land.
Large range of colors and designs – these shoes look as good as they feel!
Trusted traction and a structured mesh upper, you’ll feel snug and secure through your run.
- Wide toe box
- Perfect for narrow heels
- Versatile, all-around running shoe
- Plenty of design and color options
- Comfy cushioning and crash pads
- Great traction
- Secure, stable fit
- A bit heavy/bulky
- Little on the pricey side
Men’s Running Asics GT-2000 6
- I.G.S (Impact Guidance System) Technology - ASICS design philosophy that employs linked componentry to...
- Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Technology Cushioning System - Attenuates shock during impact and toe-off...
While a wide toe box is important, it’s equally important to have a narrow heel when your foot is more triangular in shape.
That’s where the Asics GT-2000 6 shoe comes in. These shoes have a fitted heel with a “clutching system” for an improved fit that offers maximum stability and support.
You’ll also appreciate the gel cushioning that absorbs shock and the impact guidance system that promotes a natural gait.
- Narrow heel with excellent support
- Lightweight and breathable
- Enhances your natural gait with patented impact guidance system
- Moisture wicking sockliner
- Toe mesh isn’t as durable as expected
Men’s Brooks PureFlow 7
- The Brooks® PureFlow 7 running shoe has a sleeker, lighter weight construction with a comfortable...
- Predecessor: PureFlow 6.
If you like a flexible shoe that still provides just enough support, check out the Brooks PureFlow 7 running shoes. This sleek, lightweight shoe features a wraparound heel collar to keep narrow heels secure.
Perhaps one of the best features of this shoe is the Omega Grooves, which allow for ultimate flexibility and balance while you’re running.
- Good value
- Ideal amount of flexibility and responsiveness
- Removable sockliner
- Secure heel
- Not as wide of a toe box as some
Men’s Topo Athletic Fli-Lyte 2
- 4 mm rubber outsole
- 14 mm EVA (heel) / 11 mm EVA (ball) midsole
This shoe may be the ultimate choice for anyone with triangle feet. The wide toe box is extra roomy, so even the widest feet will be happy in a pair of Fli-Lites. Plus, they’re unbelievably light and comfortable.
And if you have any foot pain, the zero heel to toe drop will keep your feet and legs pain-free through longer runs.
- Excellent cushioning
- Breathable and lightweight
- Extra wide toe box
- Zero heel to toe drop
- Few color or design options
Men’s Newton Gravity 7
Do you have a foot that seems impossible to fit? Then this shoe is for you. The Newton Gravity 7 running shoe features a stretchy metatarsal panel for a customized fit, no matter the shape of your foot.
And thanks to the breathable mesh, your feet will stay cool and comfy. These shoes also have a moulded heel counter and heel lace lock to help keep your heel in place and prevent any slipping.
- Lightweight and breathable
- Stretches for a customized fit
- Very comfortable
- Responsive foam cushioning
- Very few color options
How to choose the best running shoes for you!
Frequently Asked Questions:
A: It all depends on the type of shoe and brand. Most shoes are only available in one size. Sometimes this size has a naturally wide toe box. But some brands and some shoes of certain brands are available in multiple sizes:
E: Extra wide
The letters of running shoes can sometimes be confusing. But it’s actually quite. What you need to know is the letters stand for the width of your feet. In men sizes:
D/M/R: Medium or standard
4E: Extra wide
In women’s sizes:
B: Medium or standard
2E: Extra wide
Yes, because your feet are uniquely shaped. That’s why there is no one-size-fits-all. There’s a good chance you already know this from personal experience.
However, the advantage of ordering online is that there are usually more sizes available than in regular stores. And Amazon has a 30-day return policy.
As a last resort, you can use shoe stretchers to make some final adjustments. Or use Ankle Pads if the shoe doesn’t fit your ankle.
A: The toe box is the front part of the shoe where your toes are, and toe boxes come in many different shapes. While you may have heard of wide width shoes, these aren’t the same as shoes with a wide toe box.
Wide width shoes are for people who have uniformly wide feet. Shoes with a wide toe box are designed specifically for people with a wider forefoot.
When you have a wide toe box, your toes can spread out naturally – as if you’re barefoot.
Shoes with a regular or narrow toe box may cramp your toes together and make walking or running a really painful experience.
A: You may think your shoes should be snug in order to give you plenty of support. But beware: You may be buying shoes that are just too tight! When trying on shoes, your forefoot should have room to splay out, just like it would if you placed your barefoot on the ground.
Not sure if your shoes have a wide enough toe box? Take out the insole, place it on the ground, and step on it barefoot. If your foot hangs off the sides of the insole, then the shoe’s toe box is too narrow.
Finding the perfect pair of running shoes with pizza-shaped feets is a frustrating process: It feels like none of them are made to accommodate your shape. But there are some perfect options out there!
Based on the experience of people just like you and me, I’ve reviewed the best women’s and men’s running shoes with big toe boxes and narrow heels. And made a top 3 list based on the following criteria:
- The fit: Is it recommended for people with wide toes and narrow heels?
- Flexibility & Stability: Does it run smoothly and prevent running injuries?
- Comfort: Does the shoe feel comfortable on your feet?
- Value: Does it have a good price/quality ratio?
Founder of EWS. Research writer and test performance hacker, avid intermittent faster, and weight loss specialist. Improve your health and torch fat by clicking here and downloading FREE Intermittent Fasting guide for weight loss. (Testing NEW I-Fasting method, eBook & formulated tracking sheet available for download coming soon!)