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I know the struggle. Finding squat shoes that fit your wide feet can be tiring. And you can’t just wear any pair. It won’t only be uncomfortable, but it’ll also affect your squat kinematics.
If you need the widest shoes in the market, go for the Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes (click for availability and today’s price on Rogue Fitness). They have a sturdy leather construction and they feature double support straps.
Curious about my other recommendations? keep reading! In this article, we’ll discuss the 4 best squat shoes for wide feet in the market. Let’s get going!
Do You Have Wide Feet?
The traditional shoe size describes the length of your feet rather than the width. Therefore, you can purchase shoes that feel comfortable at the tip of your toes yet tight at the sides.
So, how can you tell if your feet are wider than average?
Measuring Your Feet
Luckily, you can simply measure your feet at home and compare it with size charts. To get the most accurate result, it’s better to measure at the end of the day.
Why? Your feet naturally swell a little bit after any physical activity. This is due to muscle activity and subsequent vascularity increase. This becomes even more evident after exercises that involve the foot and the ankle like the squats.
To start, put your feet on a flat piece of paper. Then, trace your feet outline with a pen. You can do it yourself or ask someone to help you if you can’t keep your feet still while you lean forward.
On your foot tracing, measure the distance between your longest toe and your heel. This is your foot length. As for the width, measure the distance between the two widest parts near your toes.
Conditions Associated With Wide Feet
In most cases, your wide feet are born like this, nothing more. However, if you’ve been choosing tight shoes for a while, your anatomy might’ve become abnormal. In that case, you should consult a physician before choosing shoes.
A bunion happens when the big toe bone rotates outward. As a result, a bony bump forms on the side of the feet, causing it to be wider. This condition is usually treated by surgical intervention.
A hammertoe has deformed muscles and ligaments that make it rest in a bent position. This happens as a result of prolonged curling of toes inside tight shoes. If treated early, it doesn’t need more than stretching exercises and toe straighteners.
What To Look For In Squat Shoes For Wide Feet?
Ok, after making sure that you have wide feet, let’s get to the important part. How can you shop for the right shoes?
Brands usually try to oversell their shoes by claiming that they fit any condition, wide feet, flat feet, anything! You have to be equipped with the necessary knowledge so you can tell for yourself.
Is this the first time you’re buying squat shoes? If yes, we have to discuss what you should look for in squat shoes generally before actually talking about wide feet.
I want you to pause reading for a second to try this. Squat like you normally do but barefoot and without any weight. Slowly raise your heel above the ground until you fully stand on your toes. What happened?
If you’re doing it right, you should be squatting a lot deeper and with a straight back. This happens due to the decreased dorsiflexion and increased knee flexion. Weightlifting shoes can change your squat kinematics.
Commercially, the heel height ranges between 0.3” and 1”. I’d suggest going with the average 0.75” until you decide what feels more comfortable.
Imagine you’re squatting on a cushion, how will this feel? You’ll be directing a lot of your force to compress the cushion instead of lifting the weight.
A compressible sole dampens the forces to protect your knees. That’s why it’s optimal for running shoes. But for squat shoes, a rock-solid sole will provide the necessary support to make you lift more.
Squat shoes have to tightly grip your feet. Otherwise, your feet might slightly move within the shoe, especially with heavier weights.
That’s why brands have equipped the squat shoes with a velcro support strap together with the laces. Some went the extra mile and put two straps, one in the middle and one over the balls of the feet.
It’s fairly common for these straps to have poor stitching. Hence, you should only buy shoes from reputable brands to ensure that you’re paying for a durable product.
Ok, now that the basics are covered, let’s see what criteria would fit your wide feet.
Wide Toe Box
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, the toe box is the part that extends from the end of the laces to the tip of the shoes. If you have wide feet, the increased width will be most likely contained within that area.
A wide toe box won’t only make your feet more comfortable, it also enhances your squatting mechanics.
How? Well, to perform a good squat, your feet must grip the floor like a tripod. In other words, your big toe, pinky, and heel should be in maximum contact with the floor.
This way, you’d be able to properly push the ground and transfer all your force to the weight you’re lifting.
A tight toe box will constrain your pinky and big toe. Hence, you’ll lose two-thirds of your squat support.
Heavy Outer Construction
Wide feet are more likely to apply heavier lateral forces on the shoe outer construction than normal feet. If the material isn’t strong enough, you’ll lose much of the support you need to perform a good squat. Not to mention that it’ll wear out much faster.
Don’t get me wrong, though. It shouldn’t be too strong that it fully constricts your toes. It has to have a good balance between breathability and durability. I find the combination of mesh and leather to utterly deliver this balance.
4 Best Squat Shoes For Wide Feet
After we covered the basics, here are the shoes that I recommend for people with wide feet. For every product, you’ll see the technical features that can improve your squat mechanics.
I’ll also mention the shortcomings I found from the online reviews to give you the most detailed and thorough picture.
Do-win Weightlifting Shoes are widely known for their wide toe box. In fact, weightlifters with normal feet purchase a pair that’s 1/2 size smaller than their regular size. They are also named as the Pendlay shoes after the iconic weightlifting coach Glenn Pendlay.
People with wide feet have a crucial problem that happens with nearly every pair. The toe box usually gets torn up in a couple of months. But you can forget about this if you go with the Pendlays.
Why? They lined the toe box and the heel with strong synthetic leather that’s highly resistant to stretching and tear. Moreover, the shoes maintain a breathable environment around your feet thanks to the nylon mesh construction around the laces.
For extra support, these shoes have two outer straps, one at the midfoot area and another near the ball of the feet.
Considering the sole, these shoes feature the standard .75” heel height with rigid TPU construction.
And above all, these shoes are notably cheaper than the other models. Frankly, having these features at this price is quite a bargain.
- Wide toe box
- Leather and mesh construction
- Double support straps
- 0.75” heel height
- People with normal feet might find it oversized
This is another option that will be super comfortable around your wide feet. It weighs around 20 ounces, which will provide the necessary anchorage during the squat.
What I really like about them is how their upper is designed. These shoes feature leather construction around toes and the sides of feet. This helps to keep your wide feet in place when you try to lift heavier weights.
It also features nylon mesh around the heel to give some breathability. However, Reebok makes sure this doesn’t compromise the stability by adding a plastic frame that wraps around your heel. Reebok calls this Exoframe technology.
Considering the support straps, these shoes have two of them. One in the middle and one just behind the toes.
But Reebok added a simple, yet effective tweak that I didn’t see in any other pair. They made the support straps run in two opposite directions. This makes it incredibly easier to achieve a tight fit.
The heels are made from non-compressible TPU with 0.86” height. The slight increase over the average 0.75” allows for deeper and more upright squats.
On a side note, I really like how Reebook designs its shoes. This pair has a simple white upper with red/blue heel. The Reebok logo is printed largely on the side, which adds a lot to the overall shape.
The Legacy Lifter also has a women’s powerlifiting shoe option.
- Leather/mesh construction
- Slightly heavy
- Exoframe technology
- Double support straps that run in two directions.
- 0.86” heel height
- Slightly expensive
- The velcro straps wear off quickly
These shoes have been amazingly successful in their initial two generations, and the third one is no different.
They offer a wide toe box, but not as wide as the previous shoes I mentioned. The heel comes with a 0.6” height. This, alongside the 15 ounces it weighs, makes them suitable for people who are trying heeled shoes for the first time.
The lightweight construction comes from the high-density EVA sole. And this is something that I don’t really appreciate in these shoes.
Why? Well, EVA is great in terms of durability. But it’s not as stiff as TPU. Therefore, it will allow for slight movement under heavy loads, which is totally bad for your squats.
Aside from this, the shoes function properly. Leather constitutes the biggest part of the upper, leaving the padded mesh around the heel only. This allows for a balanced experience between the leather support and the mesh breathability.
Though they have a single support strap, Adidas made up for this by making it notably wider. It also lies just above the midfoot region.
Considering the color, I’m in love with the white/gold edition. It adds a lot to your look and makes you feel luxurious around the gym.
- 0.6” heel height
- Leather/mesh construction
- Wide support strap
- Luxurious white/gold design
- EVA resilient sole
Old is gold, right? Chuck Taylors were the go-to shoes for nearly all the powerlifters back in time.
The upper is constructed from canvas, a material that’s breathable, yet strong enough to support your feet. The sole is made from non-slip rubber. However, it doesn’t provide the best traction to the ground.
The firm sole slightly compensates for this issue. It provides the necessary anchorage and stability for your feet. The flat heel fits people who squat in a wide stance with a low bar. This means that you should have superior ankle and hip mobility.
Most importantly, they’re the cheapest option out there. But this doesn’t mean a bad quality that won’t last.
Converse supplies these shoes with durable double stitching that runs throughout the shoes. Moreover, they feature a firm rubber toe cover to protect this area from wear and tear.
This edition comes as an all-black with a high top. I find the high top to slightly improve the fit around your heel and ankle. However, this doesn’t make much of a difference in squat mechanics.
Personally, I don’t like how they stuck with one design over all these years. Yeah, it looks good and authentic. But I still wish for a redesign, even a tiny one.
- Firm sole
- Superior fit
- Toe box rubber cap
- Canvas construction
- Slightly low traction
- Classic design
The Importance Of Using Your Feet While Squatting
As we were talking earlier, you should maintain a tripod contact with your feet to perform the right squat. Actually, this is one of the squat cues that will improve your technique. But why?
Clawing the floor with your pinky, big toe, and your heel will guarantee optimal fixation to the ground. As a result, you can maintain the barbell directly over the midline of your foot. This position has the optimal transfer of force and, consequently, the most benefit.
Shifting the weight forward will load on your lower back, which is totally hazardous in the long run. On the other hand, shifting it backward will most likely lead to loss of balance and subsequent slippage of the weight.
Most people maintain the correct weight position at the beginning of their squat workout. However, as fatigue builds up, they will tend to shift forward or backward. If this happens, remind yourself to “claw the floor” and you’ll hopefully restore the right stance.
If you don’t have good squat shoes with wide feet it will be hard to implement this squat cue as your pinky and big toe will be constrained.
Is It Better To Squat In Flats Or Heels If You Have Wide Feet?
Squatting is among the most variable exercises. You can squat in a way that’s very different from the norm, yet achieve the same beneficial value.
Therefore, when you’re deciding between flats and heels, you should be considering how you squat. It mostly depends on your ankle mobility, your stance width, and bar position
If you can naturally achieve high dorsiflexion, consider yourself lucky. If you can’t, you’re still able to achieve the deep squats you dream of by using heeled shoes.
How exactly does this happen? Weightlifting shoes change your squat kinematics by decreasing dorsiflexion and increasing the knee flexion. Knees are, of course, far more flexible than ankles, which allows you to reach the deepest possible squat.
However, you should investigate the cause behind your limited ankle. Most commonly, ankle movement is limited by bony articulation. It’s just how you’re born and there’s nothing to do about it.
On the other hand, it can be due to limited muscles and ligaments. In that case, exercise your ankles to increase their mobility. Don’t just go with the easy solution of using heeled shoes.
As you squat wider than your shoulder width, your hips open and your back straighten naturally. Therefore, using heeled shoes, in that case, will improve your feet support and anchorage.
On the contrary, narrow squats force you to lean forward by closing your hips. Using heeled shoes will correct this and improve your squat depth at the same time.
High bar squats, the ones with the barbell placed on your traps, have the weight aligned with the middle of your feet. While this is the most beneficial position for a squat, it requires a great deal of ankle mobility to perform. Therefore, high bar squatters can benefit from heeled shoes.
Low bar squats, on the other hand, are not that straight forward. They’re usually performed with a wide stance, so flat shoes would be best, as we agreed. However, it forces you to lean forward, which requires heeled shoes to correct. Hence, using either option is left to your own judgment.
Finding a well-fitting pair of squat shoes for wide feet is not that easy. But once you get the right one, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your performance.
In my opinion, the best squat shoes for wide feet are the Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes. They are brilliantly designed with a leather/mesh combination. They also have the widest toe box out there.
Reebok Legacy Lifter Shoes are also great. I like how their double support straps run in opposite directions.
Lastly, I wish this article answered your question. I hope you have a pleasant day and a perfect workout!