Athletic Shoes
January 1, 2004 7:22 PM   Subscribe

I wear a 13 6E in whatever goofy sizing New Balance uses. I need something wider and I can't find anything out there. Does anyone make anything above a 6E width or am I screwed? Would moving up to a 14 6E give me some extra width?
posted by @homer to Shopping (10 answers total)
I think it wouldn't--that would go longer but not wider. I'm a 9 1/2 AA in new balance, and I thank god for them--they're the only sneakers that fit right. (also, Joe's New Balance Outlet is great if you want to buy them online for less)
posted by amberglow at 7:46 PM on January 1, 2004

also, their shoes are cut wider than the sneakers, even in the same size and width, I've found--maybe you could try those.
posted by amberglow at 8:03 PM on January 1, 2004

I rediscovered recently while buying some Dr. Martens that sizing varies dramatically between shoe manufacturers. I thought I wore a 14, but a 13 works with some brands. So maybe that applies to widths as well.

There are people online that do custom shoes (and inserts) and if they're good, resolable shoes, the $300 might not hurt too much knowing you'll have them for 15 years.
posted by mecran01 at 9:35 PM on January 1, 2004

Shoe sizing and width is -- in theory standardized, but fit is more individual to the manufacturer, based on the style and quality of the shoe ... however, going to a reputable shoe store and having your foot professionally measured (with a Brannock device, just like when you were a little kid) will give you a good place to start.

Buying your shoes longer will not give you more width. What it will give you is more length between the instep and the toebox, so the 'narrow part' of your shoe will fall in a different place on your foot.

NB's size, BTW, is not 'goofy' ... they have a solid reputation in the industry for making their shoes 'on spec' and paying special attention to good fit in wider widths. The reason many shoes fit badly is either style -- see most women's dress shoes, which preference design ("This shoe would be prettier if it was narrower here") over fit) or a lack of attention to the design of the last in what is called "scaling" (basically they make a size 6 or 8 last and then just 'blow it up' (make it bigger all around) to make a larger shoe, ignoring the way people's feet actually work).

6E is about the widest I've seen out there, but I'd highly recommend starting by getting your foot measured at a really good shoe store. Make sure they measure both feet, as its not unusual to have one foot larger than the other.

The best source of extra-wide shoes on-line I know of is Hitchcock Shoes.

I fit shoes over the phone for a major catalog retailer for many years, plus I have a 16EE asleep in my bed at the moment, which is why I know so much about this stuff.
posted by anastasiav at 9:54 PM on January 1, 2004

Response by poster: Actually I had my feet measured not too long ago. My left is a little bigger than my right but it's close enough to not worry about the difference too much. 13 7E is what the guy said but he pretty much told me there is no such beast. The shoe guy seemed surprised at how wide my feet were. I was too!

I looked at a couple of the custom shoe options but the styling put me off. I know, beggars can't be choosers. I was just hoping there was a ready made option out there that I missed.
posted by @homer at 10:07 PM on January 1, 2004

I'll put in a word for Wissota Trader, which makes their own walking, dress, and athletic shoes as well as selling brands like Rockport and New Balance via their catalog. Standard yadda for me now: I used to hate buying shoes, mainly because of the painful break-in period that made me hate anything I thought I'd liked in the store. One day 20 years ago (!) I got a Wissota catalog passed my way, and found that (accounting for my high instep, which is the biggest problem) an 11┬ŻEEE was the perfect comfortable-from-day-one shoe for me. I've since bought almost all my non-athletic shoes there (regular store tennies don't bother me); I'm especially addicted to the Walkabout and its relatives. Also, if you sign up for their catalog there's a cooperative arrangement I don't dislike whereby you get the Hitchcock and a couple of other specialty-shoe catalogs as well.

Still, I've never seen wider than EEEEEE.

For your needs, @homer, I'm not sure but I'd call the 800 number and see what they say. They might have a suggestion. Otherwise, troll here.
posted by dhartung at 11:26 PM on January 1, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks for the leads. I fired off a few emails. I'm crossing my fingers!
posted by @homer at 12:14 AM on January 2, 2004

Response by poster: So far nobody even heard of anything bigger than a 6E. One place directed me to the Nike Custom Shoe program. I'm trying to find out any info I can about it. Thanks again folks!
posted by @homer at 10:36 AM on January 2, 2004

@Homer, have you tried using an aftermarket insole? I used to sell footwear, and found that many times people's foot problems were caused by a lack of support - arch or otherwise.

If you could find a comfortable insole that FITS a 13 triple E, it might be able to keep the mass of your foot up so it's not oozing down the sides of the shoe and demanding more room :-) Try Superfeet, although I'm not sure they make a 13 quad E.

Or you could just take Mecran01's advice and shell out money for a permanent shoe. If you need a sandal, I bet you could get a Chaco custom made - they apparently special order for all sorts of stuff.
posted by Happydaz at 12:32 PM on January 2, 2004

Heck, the whole running shoe sizing system is goofy. There's a reason the catalog I have at home gives "size adjustments" for each shoe model, such as 0, +1/2 size, +1, etc.
posted by smackfu at 6:43 AM on January 9, 2004

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