A wide toe box accommodates your feet without letting the walls of the shoes squeeze your feet. If you feel your feet adjusted well in the shoes but in a squeezed manner, they are just big size shoes and not true wide shoes.
In the case of a true wide toe box, your feet rest perfectly on footbeds and gently touch the walls of the shoes without getting a strain. The width of the shoes is also able to take in the flattening of the resting feet.
A true wide toe box shoe uses its own last, looks identical to the anatomy of your feet, and you do not have to order a size bigger than what you usually wear. You may mistake big size shoes for wide toe box shoes. The reason being is that the ample space inside the shoes creates an illusion of them being made for wide feet. In the short term, it is no problem but in the long run, it may cause some foot issues such as calluses and ball of the foot pain.
So, better know the difference between the two and guard yourself. Before you make your next purchase for wide toe box running shoes, make sure they are true wide shoes and not just big size shoes. I wrote this guide to equip you with the necessary knowledge to distinguish between the two types and make an informed decision.
Companies make wide shoes but use the same last they do for their regular width shoes. This results in a pair of shoes that is roomier in terms of depth but not in terms of width. This room inside the shoes is able to accommodate the volume created by your squeezed foot. On the other hand, true wide toe box shoes are made using their own last.
This results in a pair of shoes that will have a wide enough platform that your feet can rest on without getting squeezed. The additional benefit of using a dedicated last for making wide toe box shoes is that the shoes follow the natural profile of foot anatomy. They are wide at the forefeet area but regular size at the heel area. Such shoes will fit your feet like a second skin and improve your performance on the track.
So, next time you are going to shop for wide toe box shoes, observe if you feel any squeezing to your feet with the shoes on. If yes, they are just big size shoes and not true wide toe box shoes. Probably, you should pass on the pair and continue your search somewhere else. Another quick test to know for sure if the shoes have a wide toe box is to put them on and try to spread your toes. If you can pull your toes away from each other and wiggle them well, these are the shoes worth considering. Otherwise, reject the idea of buying them. Thanks!
Also, read our Article about: Do wide shoes have a wider toe box?
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