Just as bodies can be different sizes and shapes, so too can feet. If most shoes feel narrow or pinch and squeeze your feet, then it’s a definite sign that you need extra wide shoes. Having bunions, swollen feet, arthritis or problem toes means it’s unlikely that ‘normal’ fitting footwear will fit.

A common mistake made by people with wide or swollen feet is to buy bigger shoes just to get the extra width and depth that they need. This, however, can lead to further problems including rubbing, blisters and even falls. If you choose footwear that is extra roomy, you should be able to wear the shoe size you had before experiencing swelling or problems.

Wide feet are often due to genetics inherited from parents. Other reasons include bad shoes and changes in body shape, for example swelling due to pregnancy, medical conditions or the side effects of medication. Wearing high heel shoes, foot injuries and even old age can also result in wide feet and the need for wide fitting shoes.

Luckily, thanks to improved shoe design and production, having wide feet no longer means having to wear ugly shoes. There is lots of attractive, stylish footwear around that is specially designed to fit feet that need a bit of extra room.