If you ever get to see how your toes sit inside a conventional shoe, you’d be surprised at what you saw: your foot squished into an unnaturally tapered posture. This is because the pointed toe box of traditional shoes pushes the wearer’s toes together, causing injuries like hammertoes, bunions, and multiple other problems, all in the name of the latest trends.
Wide toe box shoes, however, offer enough room for the toes to spread within the shoe. Inside a wide toe box shoe, feet can splay in their natural shapes rather than getting twisted and squeezed. Ensuring a good foot shape is very necessary for the health of our feet, and a wide toe box is what will help you do that. Let’s talk more about the toe box and why it matters.
Why are Wide Toe Boxes Important?
Our feet are at their best when they move in their natural state – barefoot and unrestricted. People who mostly remain shoeless have shown fewer foot problems than people who wear shoes. As per the biomechanics of human feet demonstrated by scientific studies, our feet are meant to be splayed and not congested inside the shoes for two reasons:
A barefoot posture helps the foot achieve a wider base that further induces natural spine alignment and allows for proper walking and running. Next is that only in their most natural and free state can our feet avail the most help from natural proprioception.
Getting natural proprioception in its best form means that the tendons, muscles, and bones of the foot can properly receive critical brain signals on how to perform correctly.
Now that we know what foot stance is best for our health, it’s also vital to understand what traditional shoes do. Every person is born with perfect-shaped feet, with broad foot bases and toes spread wide. However, as we grow older, fashion restricts us from wearing tapered toe boxes and uncomfortable designs. Here’s where the foot misery starts.
Our feet are forced into crunched positions, causing the toes to curl and compress. This clears the way for foot deformities, weaknesses, balance and posture abnormalities, and an overall decline in walking and running paces.
Though wide toe box shoes also don’t allow the foot to go so much bare, it’s still a hundred times better than pointy toe box shoes. The table below briefly compares a few aspects between wide and narrow toe boxes to help you understand which is best for your feet’ health.
Wide Toe Box
Narrow Toe Box
Toes Forced too Close Together
Comfortable Foot Alignment, Toes are Free to Move, Good Blood Circulation Through Feet
Uncomfortable, Big Toe Joint Calcify and Bulges Outwards, Limited Toe Movement, Disturbs Blood Circulation
Fewer Chances of Injuries or Long Term Pain
High Risk of Injuries like Hammertoes and Bunions
Good Joint Alignment, Enhances Ankle Strength
Mobility and Balance
Splayed Toes are Strong and Grasp the Surface Better
Weak Grasp of Surface Due to Dismantled Structure of Toes
Things to Consider Before Buying Wide Toe Box Shoes
For those looking for the best wide-toe box shoes for basketball, here are the most crucial aspects to consider so you won’t end up with the ill-fitting one.
The first and most significant factor to consider before buying a wide-toe box shoe is its fit. This is because a wide-toe box shoe will only appear “wide” enough for splaying your foot if the shoe fit is ideal.
When choosing wide-toe box shoes for basketball or any other activity, make sure that your toes are not reaching the tip of the shoe, and there is sufficient room for your toes to move around. However, this doesn’t mean that you end up compromising on too much vacant space between the toes and the shoe’s inside edge.
If your shoe does not fit well, it causes discomfort that results in weak performance. Thus, your toe box must be wide; if not, it can lead to ingrown and wounded toenails that will negatively affect your performance.
Cushioning is another important aspect to be mindful of before choosing a wide-toe box basketball shoe. While a broader toe box keeps your feet in good posture, adequate cushioning will give them comfort and protection against shocks.
Be sure to look for solid support in the shoe option you choose. By support, we mean the shoe’s ability to back spontaneous moves, jumping, and running. Support also means giving the wearer’s ankle proper assistance and keeping it firm and protected during long playing sessions.
A pair of basketball shoes with all the support, as mentioned earlier, coupled with its wide toe box design will prove to be the best possible wear for your feet.
Wide Toe Box Shoes Vs. Wide Sized Shoes
When buying basketball shoes, people often confuse wide toe box shoes with wide-sized shoes. Though both seem to aid the same purpose, wide-toe box shoes are different from overall wide-sized shoes.
To be specific, wide toe boxes tend to serve all players who prioritize the health of their feet and especially the wearers who have narrow heels but a broader toe width. In contrast, wide-sized shoes are generally for wearers who have uniformly wide feet.
Thus, those intending to take advantage of wide-toe boxes just for the sake of keeping their toes splayed inside the shoes should opt for options with just broad-toe boxes. But if they end up with generally wide shoes, every other part of their feet except the toes will have a hard time playing.
This is because wide-sized shoes will not only give enough room for the toes to spread but also to the rest of the feet. Similarly, people whose feet are generally wide should choose from amongst the best sneaker brands for wide feet.
Best Wide Toe Box Shoes
These shoes are known for their flexibility and extra sufficient cushioning done from the inside. Though not a huge one, Charged Assert 8 has a broad toe box that is roomy enough to allow average foot size players to move their toes.
It uses a mesh upper for enhanced breathability and durable leather on the rest to boost stability and design. Thanks to the EVA sock on the insole, Under Armour puts in more to your feet’ comfort during the long session of play.
With this, the manufacturer has worked even more for inducing comfort on the midsole. To do so, Under Armour has settled a leather coating on it. This coverage helps keep the wearer's feet in proper posture.
For basketball players who like to take charge of their game early in the match, the Charged Assert 8 Wide Toe Box Shoes are for them. Its weight is the least to enable players to stride swiftly in the court alongside a very breathable experience. However, the low-top design takes the cushioning and support off your ankle.
- EVA Sockliner for Added Comfort
- Mess Upper Enhances Breathability
- Lightweight Design
- Less Support For Ankle
Again an Under Armour sneaker but this time, it is a little basic in terms of qualities. These shoes offer everything you expect in a well-rounded wide-toe box basketball shoe. It’s comfortable, offers good mobility, strengthens performance, and comes with a robust sole.
The Lockdown 4 is ideal for all players, no matter what stance they play. It provides adequate support and feels incredible. As an extra, the design is trendy, plus there are many colors to select from.
The toe box provided with lockdown 4 is great for people who have newly learned what a wide toe box is and like the idea of giving their toes some freedom from getting clasped inside a former shoe. However, be mindful that only the toe box of lockdown 4's is roomy enough.
If you have overall broader feet, it’s good to size up to create more room for your heel. Once you get the right fit you’ll have a durable shoe excellent for all environments.
- Offers good mobility
- Attractive design
- Strong and long-lasting built
- Not true to size
Orthofeet's 'Proven Heal' sneakers are made with suede combined with full-grain leather, creating a super-solid-yet-lightweight upper. The Orthofeet Men's sneakers will provide great comfort and performance, whether you wear them on wood, concrete, or dust.
These are one of the lightest sneakers in this post and are super comfortable even for broad feet. By the manufacturer itself, these shoes are named the "Best Orthopedic shoes" in town, dedicatedly built for foot pain relief, and we are happy to inform you that it is true.
Orthofeet basketball shoes feature a well-designed breathable cushioning foam coupled with anatomical arch support for extended comfort. However, despite all the features and a roomy toe box, most people are let down because of Orthofeet's unpopularity. If you don't take brand names into account, these sneakers are an amazing choice.
- Has a lightweight sole and ergonomic design
- Multiple cushioning layers
- Roomy toe box
- Unpopular brand
The Oranginer Men's Barefoot Shoes are extremely versatile footwear that will accompany you anywhere you like, be that a basketball game or just your daily morning walk. Above all, though, they’re just incredibly comfortable.
They are flexible and lightweight, allowing you to engage your feet more. To promote muscle strengthening and allow your feet to feel the ground, Oranginer's have done minimum padding on the midsole. The shoe also adopts a minimalist appearance, but that effort is instead consumed in making it an ideal wide-toe box shoe.
However, to unleash Oranginer's true potential, users first need to master wearing it. This is because this Oranginer's product is not just any wide-toe box shoe but a relatively huge one. One another downside to this option is that it's certainly not ideal for professionals.
With too little cushioning on the midsole, a long basketball session can turn into a menace for your feet. In contrast, casual basketball players will feel like floating on the court with Oranginers on.
- Perfect for different activities
- Promotes feet muscle strengthening
- Need time to get used
- Not for extreme basketball players
BRONAX Men’s Stylish Graffiti Personality Sneakers is one of the best wide-toe box shoes for long working or playing sessions. They are a worthy investment due to their comfortability.
One of their great features is that they are super light. The padding alongside the tongue and the collar accounts for added comfort for the wearer. The sneakers come in various designs for you to choose what you like the most.
The outsole rubber gives you reliable cushioning and a sturdy comfort fit. Whereas from the beneath, it has got super unique traction patterns. Though these patterns are perfect for rugged landscapes, especially concrete, BRONAX will give players a hard time grasping slippery floors.
- Best tractions for concrete surfaces
- Available in multiple designs
- Not ideal for slippery indoor courts
A wide toe box is a great place to start when looking for your next basketball shoe; of course, what could be more important for a basketball player than added comfort for toes?. However, there is a lot to consider before finally deciding on one.
Your best toe box shoes should have a solid construction, adequate cushioning, decent support for joints and alignment, and most importantly, fit in size.
Though there are several different shoes on the market, our list of the best shoes with a wide toe box covers all of the aspects. Our recommended options will be sure to benefit you through your next basketball session in comfort and style.
However, if you are still uncertain, here’s what you should do: Go with Men’s Charged Assert 8 if you can neither compromise on the wide toe box nor flexibility that serves you in your intense basketball sessions.
On the other hand, if you are a not-so-formal player and would like to utilize your best wide-toe box shoes in activities other than just basketball, Orthofeet Men’s Sneakers are an ideal choice. Though not designed by a famous brand, this pair is a great shoe in comfort and performance.