Help keep me shod!
September 19, 2017 1:08 PM   Subscribe

I need some new shoes, but I'm not sure how to describe what I want. And of course my feet are unique snowflakes so of course there's more details inside.

Hi there! I am looking for a new pair of fall/winter shoes, and while I can sorta conceptualize what I want, I don't have a way to describe them succinctly. I was recently diagnosed with having tendonitis in my foot, for which one of the treatments is wearing wide shoes with wide toe boxes.

For the summer, I've been wearing Brooks and New Balance running shoes, but I want something a little less running-shoey for the fall/winter. Here's my specs:

1. We are a carless family, so I walk a lot of places. I typically walk 3-4 miles a weekend on various errands and whatnot, and at work I walk several blocks between buildings a few times a week.
2. I live in Portland, OR, so the shoes need to be waterproof/durable.
3. I don't need boots - I have those. I want something low-cut.
4. I don't want loafers. I like shoes that tie.
5. As mentioned, I have wide feet (EE or EEE, depending on maker), but I also need shoes that have a wide toe box.
6. Even though I may wear them to work every now and again, they don't need to be dressy - something like a Merrell or a Keen might work if they're wide enough.
7. As for price, I would say anything around or less than $125.

I appreciate any suggestions.
posted by pdb to Shopping (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have really wide feet, too, and recently discovered: Hitchcock Wide Shoes. Their house brand is nice without being too pricey. I would email customer service with your measurements before you buy because their checkbox for 'FitMe' didn't seem to change anything about my order (I guessed wrong for size). I like their oxfords and their boots.
posted by carrioncomfort at 1:23 PM on September 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

I have a pair of Bogs chukkas that quickly became my favorite wet winter walking shoe. They're waterproof and have super grippy rubber soles and mine are a few years old and going strong (and I'm pretty hard on my shoes). I don't immediately see wide width on their website, but it's worth checking out to see if they have something that'll work for you. They fit almost all your criteria. My Bogs might be the only shoes I've never fallen in.
posted by phunniemee at 1:25 PM on September 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

If you need them to fit and be comfortable, I think you really need to try them on. I would go to a store that specializes in comfortable and custom footwear rather than trying to order them.

I'm not familiar with your area, but this is what google suggests for specialty shoe stores in Portland OR.
posted by Vispa Teresa at 2:07 PM on September 19, 2017

My primary wet weather shoes are Eccos, and I love them. They have a wide variety of styles (though your budget might be a limiting factor).
posted by primethyme at 2:14 PM on September 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Are you looking for men's shoes or women's shoes? For men's shoes, I can give you some brand recommendations for shoes made in wide that aren't dress shoes, but are nicer than running shoes and are weather resistant or weather proof:
* Abeo (The Walking Company house brand)
* Rockports Rocsports - (Most Rockports are hideous, but there are some exceptions).
* Clarks
* Cole Haan (Some)

Merrell sells some shoes that wide-ish, but not sure if they specifically sell wides. Keens can be wide, though they tend to be extremely stiff. Ecco tends to be long and narrow. Teva makes a few models that might work, but they sometimes run almost a full size small, so you have to size way up.

A lot of Amazon shoes can be returned for free if you don't wear them outside. Same with Zappos. The Walking Company you can return in store. you can return if you pay shipping.

One last tip - Amazon has 3D sizing on many of the shoes they sell. It's up near the top of the page, and it gives you a wireframe model after you put in your normal size and width. It'll give you some idea of how wide the shoes run. Great technology, in my opinion.
posted by cnc at 2:18 PM on September 19, 2017

Hmmm.. I'm interested to see what people come up with, as I have some of the same constraints.

I am inclined to give an anti-recommendation to Merrell, or at least to the Merrells I've been wearing. They do come in a wide width and large size which fits my feet and shopping is limited where I live, so I picked them up despite not being terribly happy with my last pair of Merrells either. But the new ones have been a real disappointment -- I started the new pair around Memorial Day and the leather upper already on one boot has a tear in it and the waterproofing is compromised as well. We've had a wet summer here but I should still have been able to get three months out of a pair of boots before they began falling apart.

I also dislike them because they've got soles which have thin crevices in them which pick up gravel like you wouldn't believe -- every time I go out for a walk I come back with small pieces of stone tightly wedged into the sole which I have to pry out with a screwdriver I keep by the door, otherwise the embedded bits of gravel chew the hell out of my floors.

On edit, in response to the previous response: Merrell definitely do sell wide widths.
posted by Nerd of the North at 2:19 PM on September 19, 2017

Response by poster: cnc: Looking for men's shoes.
Vispa Teresa: I fully intend to try things on in person, I just had no real idea where to start focusing my search, which is what these answers will do for me.
posted by pdb at 2:22 PM on September 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Birkenstock is selling some very nicely made women's casual dress shoes this season, which have a good roomy toe box and good arch support. My favorites are the Iona maryjane, the Tickel T-strap, and the Bennington half-boot. The Bennington runs true to size compared to Birkenstock sandals, whereas the Iona and Tickel require you to buy one size up.

Oops, sorry, failed to preview. They have some good men's shoes, too, but that's less remarkable.
posted by artistic verisimilitude at 2:44 PM on September 19, 2017

I walk a lot and love the Brooks Addiction Walking shoes.

Its closer to a sneaker then a running shoe (no bright colors, heaver weight) . They are available in wide sizes, and I've found them roomy. They do OK in the rain, but not as well as shoes designed to be for bad weather.

If you've had luck with the brooks running shoes, these might be a good bet.
posted by nalyd at 4:45 PM on September 19, 2017

Oboz have a wider toe box than most shoes, at least in my experience with the women's sizes. Very comfortable for logging several miles a day and they hold up well.
posted by Kalmya at 5:43 PM on September 19, 2017

My family has superwide feet, and my dad likes skate shoes, as the laces go so far down the toe and can expand further than normal shoes. Worth a look.
posted by kjs4 at 10:23 PM on September 19, 2017

Dr Marten's casual (ie leather shoes that aren't boots) range have some cool, comfy shoes. They accommodate my weirdly shaped wide/high feet so may be a contender.
posted by cholly at 11:55 PM on September 19, 2017

Softstar shoes are minimalist shoes that come wide & with a wide toebox
posted by Jaclyn at 10:27 PM on September 21, 2017

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