Why You Need Wide Toe Boxes In Your Shoes

Our feet come in different shapes and sizes, and while most of us have feet that have normal widths and lengths, there are some people that aren’t lucky when it comes to feet shape and size, as they would have feet that are too narrow, have high arches, or have too wide. In the past, people that have wide feet would often have difficulties finding shoes that were suitable for them, as a lot of shoes, sandals, and flip-flops available back then were designed with normal foot width in mind.

Fortunately, in recent years, many brands now offer shoes that have wide toe boxes, which is perfect for people with wide feet and also for those that want to have more wiggle room for their toes. To know more, here are the reasons why you need wide toe boxes.

More Freedom of Movement for Your Toes

In case you don’t know, hammer toes are a deformity where your toes are bunched in a fixed position because the middle joint of each toe is bent upwards, forming an inverted “V” shape. On the other hand, bunions are a condition where the joint at the base of your big toe forms a bony bump on the side that forces your big toe to bend inwards. 

These deformities can be very painful, especially if you regularly wear shoes that are too narrow for your feet. When these deformities become much worse, you would need to get surgery in order to get them fixed, and if you are playing in professional sports leagues, you will be sidelined for several weeks or months to let the surgery heal.

In order to prevent your toes from getting these conditions or deformities, you would need a pair of shoes that have a wider toe box. With fewer restrictions, you are free to move your toes around and position them comfortably while you are walking or running using the shoes.

The Shoes Don’t Hug Your Feet Too Tightly

Because of how wide the toe box is, the shoes don’t hug your feet too tightly, unlike some shoes that are sometimes so narrow that the sides of your midfoot and toes feel painful after hours of walking or running. So, the wide toe box of shoes would allow your feet to feel less painful, which is beneficial if you need to walk or run for a few miles to do errands or to run for exercise.

The wide toe box is also beneficial for people that want to rest their feet in a natural state while standing or sitting. A lot of shoes today are very narrow, so they would hug your feet tightly even if you are just standing or resting your feet. With a wide toe box, you will be able to spread apart your toe in its natural position while the midfoot sits comfortably inside the shoe.

The Shoes Promote Proper Alignment for Your Feet

Due to how well the wide toe box allows your feet to be in their natural position, it is also great in promoting proper alignment for your feet. In addition to the proper alignment for your feet, your legs will also be in the correct position, as it isn’t compensating for the restricting qualities of narrow shoes.

Studies have shown that conventional shoes today, which are narrow by design, force different muscles and bones in our lower body to adapt to the improper alignment of our feet. The adaptation of our lower body could eventually cause major injuries, particularly on our knees, hips, and back. [1] To prevent these injuries from happening, you should definitely get shoes with wide toe boxes.

They Improve Your Balance and Mobility

Shoes with wide toe boxes can also help improve your balance and mobility, which are two essential factors in performing at your best in different sports and exercise routines. Balance is essential for almost any movement or position you perform daily, as it will improve how well you stand, walk, run, and jump. Without proper balance, our body will most likely stumble and fall, and this situation may cause minor to major injuries to our muscles and bones. Mobility, on the other hand, would then allow you to perform the stated movements at your best, as your moves won’t be restricted by your shoes due to being too tight or having improper alignment.

When wearing conventional shoes that are narrow, your balance will be affected because of how restrictive they are on your feet’s movements. In addition, your mobility would also be affected due to how limited your feet’s movements are and how your feet will feel more pain over time. By wearing shoes with wide toe boxes, you will be able to keep your balance in its normal or optimal state while also increasing your mobility, although your movements won’t be as free compared to being barefoot. 

Wide toe boxes have great benefits for people that have wide feet or experiencing pain and soreness on their toes. We hope that this article has helped you know more about wide toe boxes and see if they are suitable for your feet.


[1] Lems Shoes Blog. (2021, January 25). Wide Toe Box Shoes Are Pivotal to Foot Health. Lems Shoes. Retrieved December 13, 2022, from https://www.lemsshoes.com/blogs/news/wide-toe-box-shoes-are-pivotal-to-foot-health