- The width of your feet is measured by the two widest points on your feet.
- If you’ve wide feet, you should buy squat shoes specifically designed for wide feet for comfort and foot health.
- Shoes with a narrow fit will not just hinder the wider foot in assuming this stance; they will also lead to pain, chafing, and injuries.
Did you know your feet change shape and size throughout your life? And here we are clinging to our trusty number 10s from college, wondering why they aren’t as comfortable as they used to be.
Because our bodies bear about two to three times their own weight, thanks to gravity and our feet absorb all the effects, they become affected and change over time.
In this article, you can find my recommendations for the best squat shoes for wide feet. If you have wide feet but feel your needs are largely ignored, you came to the right place.
Do You Have Wide Feet?
What Is a Wide Foot?
So, the most basic test to determine whether you do have wide feet is by looking at them. The width of your feet is measured by the two widest points on your feet.
You might also find that most shoes, even if they are your numeric size, are uncomfortably snug. This is probably because they do not cater to the width of your feet.
What Causes Wide Feet?
Natural: The first reason you may have wide feet is genetics or how your body is structured. There really isn’t much you can do to ‘fix’ your feet in this case. And to be perfectly honest, why would you? Wide feet are like any other feet, all you need to do is be smart about your footwear choices, and you’re good!
Aging: As I mentioned above, the tendons and ligaments of your feet will loosen and cause your foot to become longer and wider as you grow older. That’s just nature at work again. Keep an eye on your shoe size to avoid discomfort, or worst-case scenario: pain.
Deformities: Bunions, hammertoe, crossover toes – these are conditions that can develop over time and with incorrectly-sized footwear. Unfortunately, these conditions may cause your feet to become wider and require you to revisit your shoe size.
Pregnancy: Pregnant women often find their feet swell and change shape or size during their pregnancy. While the feet will not stay that shape, size, or swollen forever, often they will become wider.
Why Do You Need Shoes That Fit Your Wide Feet?
So, I am just going to point at the big two here: Comfort and foot health.
If you do not realize your feet may need a wider shoe, you could be axing your own foot, as ill-fitting shoes don’t just cause short-term pain and discomfort; they are one of the causes of foot deformities.
Avoid chronic pain and possible calluses, corns, bunions, etc., by measuring your feet right now and figuring out if you have wide feet.
How to Measure Your Feet?
There is a super simple way to do this yourself, especially if you are buying your shoes online.
- Grab a piece of paper, and wear a pair of socks
- Trace both feet onto the paper
- Measure the widest part of your foot for the width
- Measure it longest toe to heel for length
- Check these measurements against sizing charts for the shoes you intend to buy
The best time to measure your feet is definitely at the end of the day to catch them at their largest, after a whole day of bearing your weight and all its activities.
5 Best Squat Shoes for Wide Feet
Now that you’re a little better acquainted with what wide feet are and why you need to consider your footwear choices for them carefully let’s move on to some recommendations.
While there are many great squat shoes out there, it is always a little harder to find squat shoes for wide feet.
I have tried to narrow down shoes that feature all the qualities of any good squat shoe but will cater to wider sizes comfortably.
1. Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes
Do-Win Weightlifting Shoe is one I would recommend for anyone looking for a wider style. They have a wide toe box, which will support all your tripods and toe splays for a long, long time. These are perfect for lifters with extra-wide feet looking for 4e weightlifting shoes as well, thanks to their toe box.
The shoe is constructed with synthetic leather and the upper features nylon mesh. Both these factors make it a durable, comfortable squat shoe for anyone.
- Durable leather construction
- Breathable mesh upper
- Two straps for added stability
- ¾” heel
- People with narrower feet may have to size down
2. Asics 727 Weightlifting Shoes
The Asics 727 blow my mind. They are hand-constructed and are one of the sturdiest, lightest, most flexible pairs you will ever find.
The main concern for you, if you are here reading up on squat shoes for wide feet, would be the toe box, and let me assure you, the toe box on the Asics 727 Weightlifting shoes is flexible and wider than a lot of the boxes on well-known brands.
The heel is made of wood, while the outsole is rubber. The exterior of the shoe is a fine, brushed suede which makes them quite good-looking. Overall, this is a squat shoe for the very serious lifter with wide feet.
- Nailed rubber sole
- No breaking in required
- Double-lined toe box interior
- Signature lacing system for added stability
- Made-to-order, therefore longer delivery time
3. Pendlay Men’s 14PBlack Weightlifting Shoes
Like all Do-Win Shoes, the Pendlay Weightlifting Shoes feature a wide toe box. This is a good sign if you are looking for squat shoes for wide feet, but more features on this shoe make it a good pick.
I personally like how lightweight these are. We all like a little bit of weight on our lifting shoes for a sense of added gravity, but shoes on the lighter side allow you to move a bit more freely. For this reason, I find the Pendlays a good choice for beginners, who aren’t lifting heavier weights yet.
- Dual metatarsal strap
- Non-compressible TPU heel
- ¾” heel
- Breathable nylon mesh upper
- No wooden heel
- Too wide for narrower feet
- Synthetic leather construction
A few ounces heavier than the other shoes I have talked about so far, the Reebok Legacy Lifter assures you of added weight to lift confidently.
The shoe prepares for all your splays and tripods with leather around the toe box and sides and has breathable nylon mesh around the heel as well.
- Exoframe Technology: plastic that reinforces the heel
- Dual strap support
- Slightly higher heel for better lift
- Durable leather construction
5. Adidas Powerlift 3.1
You can’t really go wrong with this pair. I like how lightweight the Adidas Powerlift 3.1s are, and for this reason, I also find they could make a good ‘first pair’ if you are just starting to get into your powerlifting practice.
Constructed with a synthetic leather upper and synthetic sole, these shoes are durable and stable and great for feet that are wide overall.
- Extra-wide design
- Wide midfoot support strap
- Great for ankle support during squats
- Rigid sole
- Velcro strap may interfere with laces
Benefits of Squat Shoes for Wide Feet
When it comes to lifting or anything else in life, you have to sometimes get by with a little help from your friends. In the case of powerlifting and squatting, it’s no different. Allow the right gear’s assistance to improve your performance and minimize the risk of discomfort and injury.
If you have specific anatomical needs, you can and should address them in any way you can. For wide feet, that translates to procuring the right footwear.
Squatting requires you to get the posture right. Your spine should be straight, you should lift your chest, and your feet should be flat on the ground. These may sound simple enough to achieve, and they are, plus the correct posture allows you to get the most out of your squat by encouraging a deeper squat.
All shoes recommended for squatting will feature some common details, which enhance your squat and protect your feet, hips, and spine.
1. Better Spinal Care
Two of the biggest benefits of wearing a squatting shoe, especially with a slightly raised heel, is how it helps your back remain straighter as you squat while also keeping you from ‘leaning in’ too much. These small tweaks to your posture take the pressure off your back and lower back, keeping it better protected against strain or injury.
2. Raised Heel for Better Posture
A little lift in the heel that some squatting shoes feature will help you achieve a straighter spine and lifted sternum while allowing your hips to dip lower. The raised heel also aids a correct posture while lifting overhead.
Non-compressible soles for better lifting
The rigid soles of squatting shoes give you maximum floor-to-foot power transmission. This allows you to focus on lifting better, and if you are so inclined, lifting heavier weights.
3. Lock and Lift for Deeper Squats
Remember those 25 bones and 4 joints you have in your feet? A squatting shoe will limit their mobility while allowing you to optimize the benefits of your squat. The raised heel also helps your quads to engage, improving the depth of your squat.
How to Choose Wide Feet Squat Shoes
Before I get into what you should be looking for overall in a squat shoe, I’ll quickly sketch out the features the best squat shoes for wide feet will have.
1. A Wider Toe Box
Most people with wide feet will notice that the part of their feet just beneath their toes, from the big toe to the smallest, is the widest.
The toe box of a shoe goes up from where the laces begin to the tip of the shoe. It goes without saying that if your feet are wide, a wider toe box will go a long way to enhancing your comfort and performance.
One of the reasons for this, apart from the obvious, is that while you’re squatting, your foot will ideally be in the ‘tripod’ position, with your heel, big toe, and little toe most engaged. Shoes with a narrow fit will not just hinder the wider foot in assuming this stance; they will also lead to pain, chafing, and injuries.
2. Stronger Construction
You should definitely look for shoes made with leather or a leather-and-mesh hybrid with wider feet. Why is this important? When you’re in a squat, you will often find yourself bracing your feet against the sides of your shoes while you get them in the tripod position or splay your toes for maximum grip.
This bracing – regardless of the width of the feet – will exert more pressure on the shoe. So what you need is a shoe with solid construction: durable materials and quality stitching, so your shoes can last you longer and be worth the investment.
3. A Raised Heel
A slightly raised heel helps your posture and helps you squat deeper. Many lifting shoes will come with a raised heel and even top competitors use these shoes.
4. Supportive Straps
I like shoes with strap support simply because I know being laced into a pair alone will not keep my feet in place for power moves. For squats specifically, I want a shoe that will hold everything in place while I grip down with my heels and toes.
The best squat shoes for wide feet will have that extra strap support. This will not only structurally brace your feet’s movement but also allow you to adjust your shoe to be as tight or loose as you want it to be.
5. Thin Midsole
As I’ve mentioned, a slight heel-to-toe drop is desirable. This also means that your squatting shoe should not be cushioned around the middle. Instead, the midsole will be thin, while the heel may be denser, and non-compressible.
6. Rigid Heel
The heel of your shoe should be rigid and non-compressible, allowing you to get the most floor-to-foot transmission of power.
7. Grippy Outsole
Your squat shoe’s outsole has to be made with sturdy materials and constructed to allow you to grip down as solidly as possible. The outsole’s grip ensures you can lift without slipping and hurting yourself.
Importance of Feet in Squats
Our feet complement the movement of our bodies. So, while it would be awesome if we could all assume a neutral arch when squatting, it might not always happen that way.
As you work on your squatting posture, you will find sometimes that you may be leaning in a little, or leaning out just a jot. Both positions tend to take away from this neutral arch, thereby reducing the efficiency or effects of our squats.
What you want while squatting is to ground down through your heel, big toe, and base of your pinkie toe. This is of course the tripod position I mentioned earlier. You also want to maintain the natural arch of your foot: no flattening or over-arching.
As you squat, you will notice how your feet drive your squat – and this is where the assistance of a good squat shoe comes in. From lifting your heel a bit too securely strapping your foot in, a squat shoe takes you a few steps closer to the position your feet should ideally be in.
You will especially notice the benefits while your foot is in tripod position, as the shoe will support the stance, as well as protect your feet as you drive down.
Read more about 11 Best Front Squat Alternatives (+ How To Videos)
Heel or Flat Shoes for Squat If You Have Wide Feet
There are a few things other than just the width of your feet to consider if you are choosing between heeled and flat shoes for your squats.
First, examine your femur length. If it is longer than your torso or tibia, you will tend to lean in while squatting. Here, I would recommend a heeled shoe, to improve your posture, allowing you to straighten your back and squat more deeply.
Similarly, if your ankles’ range of movement is not great, you will benefit from a heeled shoe which will allow for deeper squats.
Your stance – If regular and hip-width, will work well with heeled shoes. So, wider stances benefit more from flat shoes.
In fact, high-bar squatting styles require you to be upright and require higher dorsiflexion, which necessitates wearing a heeled shoe. Low-bar squats can be performed in heeled or flat shoes, so examine the other variables to see what would work best for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
I believe very strongly that you need to be as safe and comfortable as possible while you are powerlifting, and squatting is no different. Your feet really come into play as you squat, and I would highly recommend wearing shoes for squats while you do so. The shoes will protect your toes and heel from chafing and injury. For wider feet, this comes with the added concern of a narrow toe box restricting movement or causing injury or pain over time.
So, when you are picking squat shoes, and have wide feet, carefully check out sizing charts and figure out which size would serve you best.
I’d recommend Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes. I like the Do-Wins for their wide toe box, and lightweight comfort, and would recommend them to anyone in a heartbeat.
Your feet play a super important role in any powerlifting moves you practice. Shoes help us to protect them from external injuries, as well as from additional strain. If you have wide feet, you should look for, and invest in a pair of squat shoes that cater to them, so you are as comfortable as possible while squatting, without really risking injury or compromising your practice.