PSA: This is Jarrett’s wide shoe roundup and this is a safe space. As all wide foot runners know, we’ve been shunned for far too long. There are dozens of us, dammit! So this a place where my fellow wide fam can view all the good options that work for us folk who can’t squish into those “normal” width shoes.
These are all shoes that I’ve run in for the first eight months of 2020. Now, this is technically not a “Best Of” list (although my favorite shoes are indeed in here). This is a list of almost every wide shoe I’ve run in that’s currently available. I’ll give you the good, the bad, and everything in-between. Some shoes will have links to my full review, and others will be brief summaries of shoes I have worn but received after others on our team reviewed it (turns out very few companies care about doing pre-production runs of wide shoes).
As any runner with wide foot problems knows, the list of companies who cater to us is quite brief. You’ll also notice that the following list is New Balance-heavy, as they consistently offer the most diverse options in the wide segment (for that, we thank you, New Balance).
We’ll keep updating this list throughout the year (organized alphabetically, btw), so check back for new additions from time to time. Should you have any questions or shoe requests, leave a comment below or hit me up on the gram!
Altra Torin 4.5 Plush
- Weighs 9.6 oz. for a US M10.5
- 0 mm drop (28 in heel, 28 in toe)
With just an update to the upper, Altra knocked it out of the park with the Torin 4.5 Plush. The new knit upper is softer and more breathable. Oh, and it looks pretty damn sleek too! It felt slightly snug at first but loosened to allow more room in the midfoot. I’m annoyed the second eyelet was removed so there goes my heel lock lacing, but that’s a personal problem.
The midsole and outsole are the same as the previous iteration and that’s a ok with me. The ride is comfortable and cushioned for recovery easy runs or going the distance. Plush is an understatement. The cushion is real here. I also absolutely love that Altra cut 1.1 oz. to make this come in under 10 oz. Altra has a hit on their hands with the Torin 4.5 Plush.Read The Review Shop The Shoe
Altra Provision 4.0
- Weighs 10.7 oz. (303 g) for a US M10.5
- 0 mm drop (27 in heel, 27 in toe)
Although Altra doesn’t make wide options, they are known for their foot-shaped toe box (Kurt Cobain wishes he used that for a song title) and more accommodating fit. That’s why I’ve been able to wear the Torin, Duo, and Escalante. The Provision 4 continues to be a viable option for people who need width, but it is on the snug side in the midfoot because the structural overlays wrap around both sides.
This may be weird to say, but the stand-out element of the Provision 4 is the textured insole. It’s extremely comfortable and cushioned. I could get down with more shoes having an insole like this. Even though the midsole felt firm, the insole does a great job offsetting it and overall, I enjoyed my miles. The guide rails and InnovArch support system provide excellent stability, although it’s already very stable thanks to the firm midsole and wide base.
The main issue I have with the Provision 4 is that the heel collar is very low and so my heel slips more than any other shoe on this list. Normally I’d just heel lock lace, but there isn’t an extra eyelet. Zero drop fans should be happy to have a good-looking solid stability option with the Provision 4.Read The Review Shop The Shoe
ASICS GEL-Cumulus 22
- Weighs 10.3 oz. (292 g) for a US M11 (I was sent a regular width half size larger which worked. Would have preferred the 10.5 2E)
- 10 mm drop (31 in heel, 21 in toe)
The Cumulus 22 might win the award for most-improved shoe, especially since its regular sizing still works for my 2E foot. ASICS took everything wrong with the 21 and fixed it. The 22 is almost an ounce lighter, has more flex grooves on the outsole, and uses a softer FlyteFoam midsole. The upper is great (as is the case with most ASICS) and while running, the toe-off was smooth as butter.
ASICS has a gem of a traditional daily trainer on their hands. No, it’s not the most exciting shoe, but it works great and is an excellent option for someone who doesn’t feel the need to have a multi-shoe rotation.
NOTE: Although the standard width worked for me, 2E and 4E options are available on ASICS’ website.Read The Review Shop The Shoe
New Balance FF Beacon 3
- Weighs 8.7 oz. for a US M10.5 2E
- 6 mm drop
I can’t help but get all giddy when the Beacon gets mentioned. While I didn’t love the first version, I put about 400 miles in v2. Once I heard that Fresh Foam X would make its debut in the v3, I was pretty much sold.
Upon step in, it’s clear that the v3 is softer than the v2. FFX provides a more cushioned and bouncier ride. I was testing it on easy runs, long runs, and speedwork. They all felt great in their own way. While moving slower, the ride was cushioned and soft. Once I sped up, it got more bouncy and responsive.
In my opinion, the upper fits better. The wide width is great in the midfoot, and the toe box isn’t nearly as sloppy as the v2. I should note that my 10.5 felt long and I could have easily run in a size 10 and still had some room. The Ground Contact Fresh Foam outsole is almost the same as the v2 and still provides sure footing at faster speeds.
While I’m not pleased that the Beacon v3 has gained .7 oz. from my v2 pair, finding a wide shoe that comes in under 9 oz. is a treat. This shoe will 100% stay in my rotation.Read The Review Shop The Shoe
New Balance 860v11
- Weighs 12.4 oz. for a US M10.5 2E
- 10 mm drop (31 in heel, 21 in toe)
You want a stable shoe? Here you go. At 12.4 oz. for the 10.5 2E, it’s on the extra hefty side, but that’s down .4 oz. from the previous iteration.
The new knit upper works well and the new Ultra Heel is 10x better now that it flares out instead of curling in. Finally New Balance brought the 860 out of the past by introducing some Fresh Foam X which sits above a firm medial post and full blown rubber outsole. This provides just a bit more cushioning and your feet will be pleased.
Minus the weight, it really is a great update and worth buying if you liked the v10. Shoes that provide this much stability usually don’t run this smooth. A good option for bigger guys/gals worried about foam compressing and not lasting.Read The Review Shop The Shoe
New Balance 880v10
- Weighs 11.5 oz. (326 g) for a US M10.5 2E
- 8 mm drop (30 in heel, 22 in toe)
I keep going back to the New Balance 880v10 for long runs or easy miles. The Hypoknit upper is soft in all the right places and breathes well. Most importantly, I found the 2E width to be very accommodating within the midfoot.
Even though the shoe is on the heavier end of the spectrum (especially for a neutral shoe), the Fresh Foam X midsole provides a nicely cushioned ride that’s responsive enough to keep the legs feeling fresh (hence the name, duhhh).
This. Is. Your. Workhorse.Read The Review Shop The Shoe
New Balance Fresh Foam More V2
- Weighs 10.2 oz. (289 g) for a US M10.5 2E
- 4 mm drop (34 in heel, 30 in toe)
Here’s a shoe that felt super-cushioned while walking but turned out to be firmer and stiffer while running. It’s true what they say– if it walks like a More and quacks like a More, More is sometimes less.
The engineered mesh upper is both simple and efficient, while the midfoot and toe box is spacious in the 2E width. Somehow New Balance made this giant shoe over an ounce lighter than the 880v10.
I struggled with the FFM V2. The heel collar was a bust because the protruding padding irritated me. Also, the shoe feels firm and clunky. Not exactly what I envisioned for a max cushioned shoe.
In case you are still interested, although it is a neutral shoe, the wide base and firm midsole allow it to be more on the stable side.Read the Review Shop The Shoe
New Balance FuelCell Propel V2
- Weighs 10.2 oz. for a US M10.5 2E
- 6 mm drop (27 in heel, 21 in toe)
All these FuelCell options can be confusing since there is such a wide range in firmness. While the Propel v2 midsole feels soft to the touch, the NDurance rubber outsole gives it a firmer more structured feel. Don’t worry, it’s not nearly as firm as the 890. It actually feels quite nice.
One of my runs was a 1 minute on 1 minute off repeat 15 times. I was surprised at how good the shoe felt when I was taking off. It rolled through smoothly from midfoot to toe-off and handled faster paces with ease.
The upper may not be the most luxurious material, but it gets the job done. The fit is great in both length and width. I know this because I didn’t even feel the need to use the second lace eyelet. The short tongue does bug me though. When laced, the knot sits right at the top of the tongue which makes it pretty hard to grab if you need to adjust. Thankfully it didn’t irritate my ankle.
While the FuelCell Propel v2 isn’t the fanciest wide option, the $100 price tag makes it an exceptional choice. It’s actually the cheapest retail priced shoe on this list. I appreciate that New Balance is providing a good, more affordable option to the masses that includes their new midsole foam.Read The Review Shop The Shoe
New Balance Fresh Foam Tempo
- Weighs 9.3 oz. (264 g) for a US M10.5 2E
- 6 mm drop (24 in heel, 18 in toe)
I’ll admit it, I wasn’t sold on the Fresh Foam Tempo after my first few runs. They felt too firm and harsh on my legs. Good thing I didn’t give up, because I’m enjoying them so much more now!
The FFT (yeah, I’m abbreviating) was the lightest wide shoe I’ve tried this year until the 890v8 arrived right before this roundup was posted. The Tempo isn’t as light as some other models from last year, but sub-10 oz. wide shoes are appreciated. Although the midfoot feels tight because of the stitching and ‘N’ overlay, it helps keep the foot in place. My biggest issue is actually that the toe box has too much room. Even though the shoe has great grip, it caused me to slow down a little when taking sharp turns. Lastly, the forefoot might be the most breathable of any shoe I own. During the cold morning or windy runs, my little toesies get quite chilly.
Fresh Foam X has felt so different in each New Balance shoe I’ve tried. Here, it provides a nice firm ride with a little bit of pop and just enough cushion to keep my legs from feeling dead. I love the low stack height as it gives a much better ground feel compared to the max stack shoes. The low stack also allows it to feel more stable compared to super bouncy neutral shoes.
The FFT is a great choice for the wide team as a fast trainer. I probably wouldn’t race or run any long distance or in them though, as the cushion is lacking. Oh, and at $110, it’s on the friendlier price side compared to the $150+ options out there.Read The Review Shop The Shoe
New Balance FuelCell TC
- Weighs 9.9 oz. (281 g) for a US M10.5
- 10 mm drop (30 in heel, 20 in toe)
Wait, hold up. How am I listing a carbon plate shoe here? It doesn’t come in wide! Yes, this is true, but it works. The curve of the shoe makes it so the lateral part of my foot stays in the shoe and doesn’t muffin top over. My arches are what hang over on the medial side. However, the structure of the upper keeps my foot held in and my wide feet can fit! As of writing this, the farthest I’ve run in the FuelCell TC is 8 miles. I’ve had wide shoes (*cough* Nike) where I couldn’t even make it a mile…
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s chat about New Balance FuelCell TC. This is hands down the most fun shoe I’ve ever run in. It’s also the only carbon plate shoe I’ve ever run in.
The upper is a lightweight mesh upper that I find to fit snug almost perfectly. The heel counter is lightly padded and I have no issue with the elf curl. The outsole has enough rubber in the forefoot to grip the road and the heel is mostly exposed FuelCell with some rubber.
The midsole is a massive stack of FuelCell with a carbon plate shoved in there which helps provide some stability. Although, runners who actually need stability may have trouble with the TC; it gets wobbly if you heel strike.
The bounce is real in the TC. It’s like a damn trampoline. Once I hit my stride, I’m propelled forward by the plate and up from the FuelCell. I can’t help but go fast in this shoe and it feels so easy!
Personally, I would (and will) race in the FuelCell TC. Why? Because it’s the only carbon plate shoe I’ve been able to run in. Yeah, they are heavy compared to other carbon racers out there, but most of the wide shoes weigh more than this so I’m used to it.
I’d like 12 more pairs of these in all different colors. Please, NB say that the RC is going to be the same fit because I’m losing my mind here that I’m somehow able to wear a standard width carbon shoe for my 2E feet. Until someone comes out with an actual wide carbon shoe, the FuelCell TC is a more than acceptable substitute.Read The Review Shop The Shoe
HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 4
- Weighs 10.8 oz. (306 g) for a US M10.5 2E
- 5 mm drop (32 in heel, 27 in toe)
So far this year, HOKA has a hold on having one of the lightest wide stability shoes on the market. It does this even with having that patented HOKA stack height.
The Arahi 4 isn’t a big update from the previous model. The midsole and the outsole are the same. The upper was tweaked and is slightly more breathable.
The EVA J-Frame provides the weak ankle pronators with the stability needed and the early stage meta rocker gives a smooth toe-off. Don’t expect the super plush marshmallow that everyone talks about as this is on the firmer side for a HOKA, but still responsive, and can work well as a daily trainer.
In my opinion, the wide Arahi 4 runs a bit large. I could have easily gone with a size 10 instead of the 10.5 and I think this may have been partially why I was getting some blisters on my longer runs. Also, the midfoot was tight, so my very wide foot friends may struggle with this one.Read the Review Shop The Shoe
HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 4
- Weighs 11.9 oz. (337 g) for a US M10.5 2E
- 4 mm drop (32 in heel, 28 in toe)
When trail shoes get talked about, the Speedgoat is usually in the conversation. It’s a shoe I was never able to wear because of the standard width, so I got pretty jazzed when I saw it was being made in wide. Spoiler alert: the width is great!
The EVA midsole cushion is amazing and I didn’t feel rocks or sticks while on the trails. This is normally a worry because I’ve gotten a super gnarly bruised heel before which kept me from running for a week. I will say the Speedgoat did feel a bit unstable because of the lack of ground feel.
If I were to buy another pair, I’d probably size down half a size. Between the super-thin tongue, weirdly obnoxious overlay right above the middle of the toe box, and struggle to get a good tight fit, I ended my runs with a few blisters. I think a lot of that probably came from my feet sliding forward at times.
The Vibram MegaGrip outsole provided some super solid traction while running down the trails, around switchbacks, and over wet rocks.
There aren’t too many trail options that come in wide. HOKA throwing the Speedgoat into the 2E ring is a game changer!Read The Review Shop The Shoe
Skechers GOrun Ride 8 Hyper
- Weighs 10.2 oz. (289 g) for a US M10.5 wide
- 6 mm drop (30 in heel, 24 in toe)
Although the GOrun Ride 8 Hyper came out late last year, Skechers is finally putting out a wide performance shoe with the famed Hyper Burst.
Hyper Burst is unlike any midsole I’ve run in. It’s cushioned, responsive, bouncy, and light. Everything I look for in a shoe. I was able to do some slow miles and use the Ride 8 as a recovery shoe as well as rip some fast paces.
Even though I tend to heel strike more when I get tired, the mid-foot strike zone assisted me with keeping a better stride longer. Goodyear rubber gives the confidence to take turns sharply and doesn’t require the outsole to be completely covered in it.
Heads up for the wide bois, I’m normally a size 10.5 (wide obviously). I returned them for the 10 and still had a ton of room. A 9.5 wide would have probably fit great. Hopefully Skechers fixes this sizing issue on future models.
Take everything you thought you knew about Skechers and throw it out. They are for real and bringing the fire. Thank you for finally giving us wide footers some of the Hyper Burst love!Read The Review Shop The Shoe
As the wide-shoe reviewer for BITR, Jarrett is on a never-ending search for the Cinderella shoe to fit his Yeti feet. He currently lives in Baltimore where he enjoys running roads and trails with November Project and Faster Bastards. He also loves craft beer, donuts, and pretending to be elite in his NormaTec boots.