Best running shoes for wide feet

by Solereview editors

Best Running shoes for wide feet

This article has been updated with current models for December 2021. The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 has been replaced with its updated version.

On one hand, snug-fitting running shoes have their place in a rotation. Let’s say you’re running track intervals or racing a 5K. In both cases, a secure upper fit is a prerequisite.

However, for high-mileage workouts or daily runs, an easygoing fit works far better. The feet increases in volume during long runs, so having an accommodating upper makes the ride experience enjoyable.

So how does one go about finding a running shoe with a spacious fit?

Some brands do a great job of offering optional widths. New Balance, in particular, offers at least a wide (2E) for most of their running shoes. Asics and Brooks are catching up fast.

Though adidas now sells widths in some of their lower-priced products, and Nike does the same for a few of their popular models, the two shoe giants are nowhere close to New Balance or Brooks.

The problem with only a single width is that it’s based on the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. That’s one of the reasons why it is so frustrating to find a shoe that fits and feels right; footwear purchase is a highly personal choice.

And even if you found a pair that hugged your foot in secure comfort, that might change with the next year’s ‘redesign.’

There’s a similar guide on how to find running shoes for narrow feet, and we’ll stick to the same format. In other words, we’ll split our list of recommended products into two groups.

The first category has running shoes with a standard width that should fit most foot profiles. The shoes in the second group have a spacious regular fit and are sold with an optional 2E (wide) and/or 4E (extra wide) sizing.

There’s a trick that we often utilize to create more forefoot room. First remove the laces, and then re-lace the shoe by skipping the first row of eyelets. Most of the time, this works as an easy fix to free up interior space.

Some retailers also mention 2E and 4E as EE and EEEE. They might also use the terms ‘standard’, ‘wide’, and ‘extra wide’ instead of alphanumeric sizes. Don’t be confused; they all mean the same thing.

There is one difference between this and the narrow shoe guide. It is usually easier to find standard (D) width running shoes with a snug fit than it is to discover regular width shoes with a roomy forefoot.

It makes sense, though. After all, a running shoe with a sloppy interior isn’t a good one. Having too much space inside a standard D fit may cause the foot to move inside the shoe and potentially cause blisters.

We say this to manage expectations when we refer to an ‘accommodating’ fit elsewhere on this guide.

Also, we refer to the forefoot width here and not the stick length. Some shoes fit a half size larger (in the front) than they should, but that does not necessarily make the shoe wider.

At times, even 2E or 4E widths aren’t what they seem. For example, if a D width shoe is based on a very narrow last, then a 2E (wide) width will be snug instead of being roomy.

Though the ‘D’ width shoes featured here have a relatively easygoing fit, you should explore 2E and 4E sizing options to ensure adequate space.

But first, here are our recommended shoes that have an easy-going fit in their standard ‘D’ width. The list is sorted alphabetically for your reading pleasure.

Category 1: Running shoes with a roomy D (regular) fit

1) Brooks Addiction GTS 15

Before anything else, what is the Brooks Addiction GTS 15 even about? Honestly, the Brooks line is getting a bit confusing now.

Ever since they decided to do away with firmer medial posts on most of their shoes (like the Beast and Adrenaline), many of their shoes look the same due to the liberal use of the Guiderails. This refers to the raised midsole edge that’s meant to ‘guide’ the foot through the transition cycle.

The Addiction GTS 15 shares the same name as the Addiction 14, but features the ‘Guiderails’ instead of a medial post. Regardless, this supportive (and heavy) shoe has something in common with the Addiction 14 – and that would be a spacious interior.

A wide midsole translates into a roomy upper, and that’s what happens to the Addiction GTS 15. This orthotic-friendly stability shoe will accommodate runners with wide feet. For Clydesdale-esque feet, Brooks sells the much wider 2E and 4E sizing as well.

2) Brooks Hyperion Tempo

We think highly of the Brooks Hyperion Tempo, and that’s not just due to its surprisingly spacious upper. The Tempo is an extremely versatile running shoe.

The low weight makes the shoe disappear on the foot, and the firm ride gives it enough agility for speed runs. The Nitrogen-infused EVA foam midsole keeps the foot from getting beat down during tempo workouts, and the outsole traction is superb even on damp roads.

Interior of the Brooks Hyperion Tempo

The insides of this tempo shoe are surprisingiy accommodating.

And that’s why the spacious fit is surprising. Usually, such speed-friendly running shoes have a snug fit, but this one does not.

3) Brooks Launch 8

The Brooks Launch 8 has changed a lot this year. The updates are significant, so this is not a mere refresh. The ride quality is the highlight of the update; the midsole is a lot softer than the stiff Launch 7.

So while the lightweight (8.6 oz/ 244g) Launch 8 is a good fit for fast-paced training, it’s more comfortable than the 7. But that’s not what we’re here for, are we?

Inside the toe-box of the Brooks Launch 8.

Behold the interiors of the Launch 8. As you can see, the toe-box is breathable and accomodating.

The lightweight mesh upper of the Launch 8 is roomy enough to accommodate most foot profiles. The Launch uses an air mesh (sponge-filled) textile, so the seamless interiors wrap the foot in soft and breathable smoothness. This model now sells in a 2E width as well.

Our detailed review is here; go on, read it.

4) Mizuno Wave Rider 25

Mizuno often comes to mind when discussing interior space. Except for their speed trainers or road racers, daily trainers from this Japanese company have a relaxed fit.

In earlier times, the Wave Rider used to be a lot roomier due to an external toe-bumper and the lack of an inner sleeve.

Then in 2019, the Mizuno Rider 23 switched to an internal toe-bumper that made the forefoot a mite pointy. And now, the Mizuno Wave Rider 25 finally has an inner sleeve that results in a snugger fit.

Despite that, the all-mesh forefoot does a good job at accommodating most foot types. It’s worth noting that the removable insole is thinner than what it used to be, so that somewhat compensates for the inner sleeve.

The Wave Rider 25 has a softer midsole and a smaller Wave plate, so the ride is cushier than before. Though the midsole still has the unique ride signature of the plastic Wave plate, the shoe no longer requires a break-in period.

Also see: The Mizuno Wave Inspire 17.

5) Saucony Endorphin Shift 2

Admittedly, the Saucony Endorphin Shift V2 isn’t as roomy as the spacious and breezy Shift V1. The first version had an ultra-light upper with a very accommodating fit.

The V2’s upper is much busier than the V1. The lacing eyelets are reinforced with fused layers, and the mesh exterior gets reinforced side panels. Along with an updated heel collar, the plastic clip in the back is larger as well.

Despite these updates, the Endorphin Shift V2 retains a roomy fit. That’s because the midsole base hasn’t changed; underneath the upper is the identical stack of firm foam that we saw on the V1.

It’s important to point out that the Endorphin Shift 2 is nothing like the Endorphin Speed and Pro. Here, the midsole is single-density with no plate, so what we get is a firm and stable cushioning that lacks the ‘roll-forward’ character of the more expensive Endorphin models.

6) Skechers GoRun Ride 9 Hyper

Because of the upper and midsole changes, the Skechers GoRun Ride 9 fits narrower than the 8.

Still, most runners will find the fit to be relatively accommodating. The mesh upper isn’t overly layered, and the lacing pressure can be adjusted to achieve the desired level of fit.

Unlike several other running shoes mentioned on this guide, the Ride 9 has a firm ride. Skechers’s CO2-infused EVA foam midsole isn’t as soft and bouncy as PEBA (Nike ZoomX, Saucony Pwrrun PB) or E-TPU midsoles.

The firm ride is actually a good thing, as that results in a higher level of versatility. From easy everyday runs to high-speed workouts, the lightweight Ride 9 Hyper can do it all.

Category 2: Running shoes with optional 2E (wide) and/or 4E (extra wide) sizes.

1) Asics Gel GT-2000 10

The GT-2000 has always been a safe, please-all stability shoe with a medial post. The ‘safe’ character also applies to the upper fit.

In its stock D (regular) width, the engineered mesh forefoot offers a just-right interior volume. For runners with wide feet, Asics sells a 2E (wide) and 4E (extra wide) in the GT-2000 10.

While we’re here, a couple of notes on the changes that have taken place on the latest GT-2000.

While Asics no longer mentions the ‘Duomax’ medial post this time, we sense a firmer foam wedge that’s co-molded with the rest of the midsole. The plastic midfoot shank from the GT-2000 9 is also gone.

The GT-2000 10 continues to be a mild stability shoe and a great everyday trainer, except that it’s a softer and toned-down version of the GT-2000 9.

2) Brooks Ghost 14

The forefoot room was never an issue with the Brooks Ghost, and that doesn’t change for the 14th edition either.

The upper is devoid of a full inner sleeve or forefoot overlays, thus making its regular ‘D’ width comfortable for most feet shapes. If you find the Ghost 14 narrow, just know that this model also retails in an optional wide and extra wide.

There’s a good reason why the Brooks Ghost is such a successful running shoe. The single-density midsole (EVA foam, nothing fancy though) is very comfortable and smooth – a cushioning blend that’s excellent for everyday runs.

3) Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

The Adrenaline GTS 22 is a ‘supportive neutral’ running shoe with a just-right forefoot fit that will accommodate most foot profiles.

However, if the standard ‘D’ sizing doesn’t fit, the optional 2E and 4E widths will get you out of a tight spot.

The toe box of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22.

The Adrenaline GTS 22 has a just right fit, and offers optional widths too.

Just like the Ghost 14, the Adrenaline 22’s perforated mesh and lack of layering create a Goldilocks fit inside the forefoot. The GTS 22 has one thing that the Ghost 14 lacks – an inner sleeve that makes the midfoot smoother while preventing tongue slide.

The Adrenaline GTS hasn’t been the same since the 19th edition. Brooks removed the medial post of the V18 and substituted it with a ‘Guiderail’. Here, the midsole has raised sidewalls that cup the foot on either side.

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 has a similar midsole architecture as the past few versions, except for one change. The midsole is noticeably firmer than the 21, and so is the Guiderail. If you’re a rearfoot striker with a higher degree of pronation, then you’d be better off in the softer GTS 21.

4) New Balance Fresh Foam 1080V11

Given the soft and stretchy mesh upper, the 1080 V11’s regular fit is relatively snug. However, New Balance sells this model from a B (narrow) to 4E (extra wide) width for narrow and wide-footed runners alike.

Offering multiple widths isn’t the only trick up the 1080’s sleeve. This thick Fresh Foam midsole makes short work of long-distance runs by minimizing foot fatigue. The rocker shape of the 1080 also promotes smooth transitions.

5) Saucony Kinvara 12

This is the best Kinvara we’ve seen in years. We heaped praise on the K-12 in our in-depth review, and deservedly so.

The upper has been stripped down to its essence without gratuitous frills, so that results in a smooth-fitting upper with accommodating interiors. Even without resorting to the optional 2E (wide), the K-12 will fit most runners.

Inside the sleeved upper of the Saucony Kinvara 12.

The inner sleeve makes the toe-box smooth without making the interiors hot and stuffy.

The redesigned midsole and outsole translates into an improved ride quality that feels leaner than the Kinvara 10 and 11.

So if you’re in the market for a lightweight, low heel drop trainer with a comfortable fit, the Kinvara 12 gets a lot of things right.

Do you own any of these shoes? Improve this review by sharing your insights – submit a review here.

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