Best running shoes for wide feet

by Solereview editors
Published: Last Updated on

The interior toe-box of the Asics Gel-Kayano 29.

This article has been updated for December 2022. The Brooks Ghost 14 has been replaced with its updated version. The Mizuno Wave Rider 25, Saucony Endorphin Shift 2, and Skechers GoRun Ride 9 have been removed. The Asics Kayano 29 is a new addition.

On one hand, running shoes with a snug fit have their place in a rotation. For example, when running track intervals or racing a 5K, a secure upper fit becomes necessary.

However, an accommodating fit works better for high-mileage training or daily runs. The feet increases in volume during long runs, so having a spacious 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 Brooks, in particular, offer at least a wide (2E) for most of their running shoes. Asics and Saucony 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 locked the foot in 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 Saucony Ride 15 on the boardwalk.

The Saucony Ride 15 has an accommodating fit that doesn’t feel sloppy.

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.

Category 1: Running shoes with an accommodating 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 get rid of firmer medial posts on most of their shoes (like the Beast and Adrenaline), many of their shoes look the same because of ‘Guiderails.’ This is 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 – 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 (2E) sizing, just in case.

3) 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 Brooks Cascadia 16 Gore-Tex submerged in water.

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.

4) Brooks Ghost 15

The forefoot room was never an issue with the Brooks Ghost, and that doesn’t change for the 15th edition either.

The upper lacks a full inner sleeve or forefoot overlays, so the regular ‘D’ width is comfortable enough for most foot profiles. If you find the Ghost 15 narrow, it helps to know that an optional wide and extra wide is also offered.

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. The Ghost 15 isn’t all that different from the Ghost 14, so it’s hard to go wrong with either.

5) Asics Gel GT-2000 11

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 11.

While we’re here, we’d like to call out the few changes on the GT-2000.

Asics no longer mentions the ‘Duomax’ medial post, but a firmer foam wedge is co-molded with the inner midsole. The plastic midfoot shank from the older models (GT-2000 9 and prior) is also gone.

The GT-2000 11 continues to be a mild stability shoe and a great everyday trainer, except that it’s a marginally softer version of the GT-2000 10. Our review of the previous version is here.

6) New Balance Fresh Foam 1080V12

The soft and stretchy mesh upper makes the 1080 V12’s regular fit comfortably 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.

The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V12 on the road.

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.

7) Asics Gel Kayano 29

In its standard ‘D’ width, the Kayano 29 doesn’t have a roomy forefoot. It’s quite snug, but with an accommodating toe-box. Nonetheless, the upper is also offered in wide (2E) and extra-wide (4E) sizes for a customized fit. The interiors use soft-touch materials and padding for a smooth and plush fit.

The tongue of the Asics Gel-Kayano 29.

The Kayano has a secure and plush interior that’s also offered in optional widths.

The Lite Truss midsole of the Asics Gel-Kayano 29.

Regardless of what Asics says, the Kayano 29 does have a medial post.

The Kayano is one of Asics’s ‘traditional’ stability running shoes, which means that the inner midsole has a firmer wedge (now called LiteTruss, formerly known as Duomax). Since the outer sidewall (the Gel side) is slightly softer, the Kayano has a mild motion control ride character.

The Flytefoam Blast+ midsole of the Asics Gel-Kayano 29.

The FF Blast+ makes the Kayano 29 marginally softer than the 28.

A few updates on the latest version makes it the softest Kayano to date. The Flytefoam midsole and Ortholite insole add a plush feel to the ride, so this is a shoe that works best as a daily trainer of varying mileages. Our wear-tested review is here.

8) 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.

9) Saucony Kinvara 13

The last year’s version (Kinvara 12) had an accommodating fit, but the Kinvara 13 takes it one step further. Our in-depth review of this 4 mm drop trainer is here.

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.

The Saucony Kinvara 13 on the pavement.

The Kinvara 13 is one of the most popular trainers with a 4 mm heel drop.

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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