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Advice for shoes for wide feet

Schnazel

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Hello dear forum members,
I always had relatively wide feet (at the ball, not girth), but when I started walking barefoot a few years back, my feet around the ball got wider. Problem is: I like good shoes, I dont wear sneakers or stuff like that (padded shoes hurt my feet and knees) and shoes are practical. For two years now I am in search of shoes that fit my feet, and at the moment its my last effort before going for made to measure.

I have some shoemaking skills by myself, resoling, hand sewing ("doppeln"), application of filler, building of stacked heels etc.) but I'am not there to build my own shoes yet, because the margin of error is small I think when it comes to the complexities of last construction and upper assembly.

So I'am looking for a robust pair of boots for hiking and workshop use and a pair of casual shoes for daily wear to have a minimum that I can build on. Ideally its available in europe (I reside in germany).

The problem is my foot: at 29,2cm long its around a european 46 us 12. My foot is relatively healthy looking, not to flat arch, straight toes. Walking barefoot I have no foot problems. But its 11,5cm in width at the ball, with a circumference of 27,4cm (my feet are unsually symmetric). That leads to the problem, that even wide width are to narrow regarding the insole (I dont know the correct term in english, the leather sole where the welt and upper are sewn to, "Brandsohle" in german), and then oftentimes too big in volume. Sizing Up is, apart from being a semi good solution, also not possible because I have a low volume ankle area. Then the shoes are way too wide around the instep.

I tried everything I could get my hands on, every time my small toe spills over the insole. Red Wing EE width is too narrow regarding th einsole, also too much volume. German K width like Dinkelacker: same problem, my small to gets mangled and hangs over the insole. I need at least 11cm insole width the plant my foot on it.


Does anyone have some tipps I didnt think of or a similar problem and found a solution? Iam generally ok spending good money on shoes, its just the step from well made ready to wear footwear at say 500€ to a made to measure pair is well four times the cost. Since its not a luxury item for me in the sense that "i want that because of the style" but something I need for practical purpose (for example in my workshop) using a shoe for 2000 euros changes the perspective.

Thank you for reading all this and thanks in advance for any tips.

Best regards
marcel
 

bengal-stripe

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The problem is my foot: at 29,2cm long its around a european 46 us 12. My foot is relatively healthy looking, not to flat arch, straight toes. Walking barefoot I have no foot problems. But its 11,5cm in width at the ball, with a circumference of 27,4cm (my feet are unsually symmetric). That leads to the problem, that even wide width are to narrow regarding the insole (I dont know the correct term in english, the leather sole where the welt and upper are sewn to, "Brandsohle" in german), and then oftentimes too big in volume. Sizing Up is, apart from being a semi good solution, also not possible because I have a low volume ankle area. Then the shoes are way too wide around the instep.

The 'width' of a shoe is the circumference of the last, not the width from left to right. Whenever you change the 'width' the circumference changes, the left/right measurement of the insole (Brandsohle) will changes accordingly, about 1 1/2 mm either wider or narrower. That change is so small that many factories use the same insole for two widths. It's the nature of 'grading' in ready-to-wear, when you change one measurement all the others will follow (if you increase the collar on a shirt, all the other measurements length, waist, sleeves will get longer or wider).

Here is a list of from the German last maker Spenle, showing all their last measurements, using French Points (6.67 mm each (European system)

Look at their catalogue, to become familiar with the system. What you will need is an individual adjusted last, presumably you pick a last that fits in volume over the vamp and heel and you adjust the last to give the adjust the last to be wider from left to right. This can be done manually by sticking well skived leather peaces to the places that need to be enlarged. (Alternatively Spenle can alter the last digitally before turning).
 

Schnazel

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Thanks for your advice. The link to spengle is a good one, appreciated.
I experienced that myself, that manufacturers use the same insole for different width for RTW shoes which is quite annoying.

I know that width codes the circumference, but that is the culprit for my problem. When I contact RTW manufacturers or even some MTM shoemakers, they operate according the the girth/circumference and I have to ask several times for them to aknowledge the fact that its the actual measurement from left to right that I need wider.
 

Sam Hober

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A great thread. I have wide feet and New Balance has running shoes with a SL-2 last which fit well. their hiking boots do not have the same last as they are another brand that they own Dunham.

I have tried there Extra wide 6E boots and they are not perfect but not bad. Also not expensive less than $200.

I am not sure but probably you can get these boots in Germany - here is the US site that I order from as a reference point: https://www.aperfectdealer.com/4_dunham
 

Schnazel

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Iam looking for shoes/boots that are sewn like handsewn or goodyear welt, blakestitch etc.
Thanks for your input anyway, aprreciate it
 

bicycleradical

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On this side of the Atlantic, we have Allen Edmonds who sell shoes in all sizes and widths. Being a wide footed individual myself, I have a decent collection of AEs because I know they'll fit and look good.

Hitchcock also sells very wide footwear however I do not know how they handle shipping to Europe:


Good luck!
 

Schnazel

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I ordered a pair of Grant Stone brass boots in 12 and 11,5 EEE to find out if that works.

I know that allen edmonds has some wide sizes, as do many of the pacific northwest workboot companies. But I find it rather difficult to decide which model and size to choose without trying the boots/shoes on in person. Shipping most of the time is around 80 dollars one way, on top of that comes the custom fees of around 25%-30%.

I try to avoid any footwear that is just glued, I hate inferior materials and like the repairability of welted footwear, be it blake, goodyear, handdstitched what ever because I can repair that by myself.

I also do think that quality footwear pays off in the long run, be it through foot health as money saved because it lasts longer and is repairable. Besides, I cannot stand soft padded and cushioned material unter my foot like insoles - prefer a vegetable leather.
 

yorkshire pud

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I wear Uvex S3 boots in the Workshop (Auto Mechanic), I've tried a whole bunch of expensive boots over my 35 year career but I like these best.
 

Schnazel

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Will look into them, thanks.

The Grant Stone boots are good regarding actual width/ tread width. But way too roomy overall (heel and instep). I had to send them back unfortunately. Customer service was exceptionell though.
 

comrade

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On this side of the Atlantic, we have Allen Edmonds who sell shoes in all sizes and widths. Being a wide footed individual myself, I have a decent collection of AEs because I know they'll fit and look good.

Hitchcock also sells very wide footwear however I do not know how they handle shipping to Europe:


Good luck!
Allen Edmonds does not go beyond 3E or G width. They don't work
for me, who wears 4E running shoes.

Hitchcock dress shoes are and look very cheap. As for their
work shoes and boots, I am not sure.
 

bicycleradical

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Allen Edmonds does not go beyond 3E or G width. They don't work
for me, who wears 4E running shoes.

Hitchcock dress shoes are and look very cheap. As for their
work shoes and boots, I am not sure.
Yeah you're right about AE. I thought that they had gone wider than EEE in the past but I could be wrong about that.
 

JFWR

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If your foot is larger than EEE, you'll have to size up in length in order to get width.
 

comrade

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If your foot is larger than EEE, you'll have to size up in length in order to get width.
Or luck out. I have two pairs of Ludwig Reiters from 15 years ago which happened to fit.
When I returned to the shop a few years later, the last had been discontinued and nothing
fit me. I understand that a similar last has recently been introduced. If I find myself near
one of their shops I'll try it. Ordering it from the US is too problematical, since I might need
a different length, etc.
 

JFWR

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Or luck out. I have two pairs of Ludwig Reiters from 15 years ago which happened to fit.
When I returned to the shop a few years later, the last had been discontinued and nothing
fit me. I understand that a similar last has recently been introduced. If I find myself near
one of their shops I'll try it. Ordering it from the US is too problematical, since I might need
a different length, etc.

There is a LR store in Munich near Marienplatz. I have no idea where you're located so that might be useless for you.
 

comrade

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There is a LR store in Munich near Marienplatz. I have no idea where you're located so that might be useless for you.
I live near San Francisco, USA
There was one in London that closed during Covid. My shoes came fromn the main shop in
Vienna. I've also been to the shop in Salzburg.
 

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