According to the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, the need for wide fitting footwear is on the rise. One of reasons behind this change it that our bodies are getting bigger and with that extra weight to carry, our feet are spreading.
Increased weight gain places more pressure on the feet and means ligaments and joints need to work harder to maintain the foot's structure and keep you mobile. Over time, if you gain weight, your feet splay to try and accommodate the increased pressure.
Thanks to changes in diet, which are making us bigger and heavier, the average shoe size for women which was a petite 3 ½ in the 1950’s, is now a size 6. Another factor is that we are simply starting out bigger from childhood. Better nutrition is the key factor. A richer diet increases growth and brings earlier puberty, boosting further growth. The more that children eat, the more their growth hormone is stimulated, resulting in taller adults with bigger and wider feet.