The demand for women’s wide shoes is on the increase according to footwear experts but what exactly do we mean by wide shoes?

Interestingly, a wide shoe isn’t about the width of the sole. The extra width is actually the girth of the shoe – i.e. the measurement around the foot, called the 'circumference'. This is because studies have shown that wide or swollen feet generally have the same sized sole, but a larger circumference.

Just as when you size up on a shirt collar and get a fuller torso and chest, sizing up in footwear width will actually increase the overall volume of the shoe. If the shoe is wide enough, it will be able to fit feet that are swollen or very misshapen due to conditions such as arthritis or bunions.

Shoes come in two measurements – the length and the width. The length is usually a number and the width is an alphabetic letter. If you have very wide or swollen feet we would recommend looking for footwear that is at least a EEEEE fitting for women and a HH for men.