Best running shoes for wide feet

by Solereview editors
Published: Last Updated on

The toe-box of the Asics GT-2000 10.

This article has been updated with current models for April 2022. The New Balance 1080V11 and Saucony Kinvara 12 have been replaced with their updated versions. The Brooks Hyperion Tempo has been removed. The Brooks Cascadia 16 and Saucony Ride 15 are new additions.

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 and Saucony, in particular, offer 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. In this update, we have also included the Brooks Cascadia 16 – a trail running shoe with a wide toe-box.

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) Saucony Ride 15

Our review made it clear that a lot has changed on the Saucony Ride 15. When compared side-by-side with the previous model, the updates become obvious.

The new Ride has a higher midsole stack, as well as an insole made of expanded PU (Pwrrun+) foam. However, despite all the added foam, the Saucony Ride 15 is still a neutral trainer with firm cushioning.

The removable Pwrrun+ footbed of the Saucony Ride 15.

The transition groove of the Saucony Ride 15.

New design features like the deep midsole channel and flush outsole lugs help achieve smooth transitions.

An accommodating upper is also a part of the update package. Even though the upper is fully sleeved, both the outer and inner mesh layers are thin and do not make the interiors narrow.

The interior toe-box of the Saucony Ride 15.

Like many recent Saucony releases, the broad toe-box has plenty of room for toe splay. And while the forefoot is secure, it never squishes the foot.

There’s also an optional wide sizing, just in case.

3) 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 18.

4) 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 with side panels. Along with an updated heel collar, the plastic clip in the back is larger as well.

Saucony_Endorphin_Shift_outsole

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.

5) 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 a good problem to have, 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.

6) Brooks Cascadia 16

The previous edition of this buyer’s guide did not have a trail running shoe, so let’s change that.

The Brooks Cascadia 16 has a roomy fit through its forefoot to the midfoot, so that adds comfort to long-distance trail runs.

The toe bumper of the Brooks Cascadia 16 Gore-Tex.

The toe-box fit is just right, and doesn’t squeeze the foot. A fused bumper offers protection on the trails.

The ballistic Rockshield and Trailtack outsole of the Brooks Cascadia 16.

For a trail shoe with a solid rubber outsole and a flexible rock shield, the proprioception isn’t bad at all.

This versatile trail running shoe gets many things right.

The midsole has a generous amount of ride comfort for high-mileage trail runs, and performance features like the ballistic rock shield keep the foot protected on the off-road terrain.

The spacious Cascadia 16 is also available in a waterproof Gore-Tex version. Like the non-waterproof version, even the GTX Cascadia has a wide fit. Our in-depth review is here.

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.

The toe-box of the Asics GT-2000 10.

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. You can read our wear-tested review here.

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. Our wear-tested review covers the GTS 22 in greater detail.

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 comes in optional widths.

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 midsole of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22.

Brooks dropped the medial post in favor of ‘Guiderails’ – elevated midsole edges that cup the foot on either side.

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 1080V12

Given the soft and stretchy mesh upper, the 1080 V12’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. Our review of the 1080V12 is here.

The stretchy mesh of the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 V12.

Only the top of the forefoot is noticeably elastic, whereas the lower sections are thick with minimal stretch. Wearing the shoe expands the mesh, and also the vents on the top.

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.

We can think of a couple of use cases for the 1080V12. Its high level of ride and upper comfort makes it a daily trainer as well as a running shoe for long-distance runs.

5) Saucony Kinvara 13

The last year’s version (Kinvara 12) had an accommodating fit, but the Kinvara 13 takes it one step further. We recently had an in-depth look at this 4 mm drop trainer.

Even though both the models are very similar due to the shared midsole, the Kinvara 13’s upper is slightly more spacious.

The inner sleeve of the Saucony Kinvara 13.

The half-sleeved upper is secure, soft, and breathable. The partial gusset also opens up space inside the upper.

The toe box of the Saucony Kinvara 13.

The broad toe-box has adequate ceiling clearance for the toes.

That’s because the Kinvara 13 only uses a partial gusset instead of a full sleeve. This opens up some room inside the forefoot. Also, the toe-box has a wide profile – thanks to the internal bumper and last design.

The rest of the Kinvara is the same as the previous version. The firm and lightweight midsole makes this an excellent running shoe for tempo runs, all while delivering the necessary ride comfort for mid-distance runs.

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

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