As a person with wider than average feet, I feel your struggle when picking proper skate shoes. I had many shoes that were too tight and it makes skateboarding very uncomfortable. In order to pick the right skate shoes you need to be aware that not all shoes fit the same.
Especially when you have wider feet you need to make sure your skate shoe has the right cut. Fortunately, you’re not the only one that has this problem and there are many great shoes out there.
To save you the trouble of going through the entire post, here’s a list of great skate shoes suitable for wider feet:
- Emerica Reynolds
- Etnies Marana
- Emerica indicator low
- Emerica Westgates
- Globe CT-IV’s
- Lakai Griffin
- New Balance Numeric
- New Balance
- Supra stacks II
- Vans Sk8 Hi
- Vans Pros
- New Balance All Coasts 574 (EE)
I haven’t tried all of these but I know the Reynolds, Marana, Vans and New Balance skate shoes never caused stress on my feet. The rest of the shoes listed is from recommendations from other skaters. You’ll notice Nike and Adidas aren’t in there because they can be very narrow from my experience. I really like their shoes but my feet are just incompatible.
At the end of the post, I’ll tell you why I specifically like Emerica Reynolds and Etnies Maranas. I consider these one of the best skate shoes out there. They are durable, provide a lot of comfort and can deal with impacts. Most importantly, they are perfect for wider feet.
So What Makes a Good Skate Shoe?
There are a couple of important things to consider when picking skate shoes, especially if you have wider feet. Some shoes just look awesome but if you can’t break them in, you’ve picked the wrong shoes. I won’t go into lots of detail because I already covered this with a comprehensive guide about skate shoes. I’ll let you have the gist of it but if you want to educate yourself, check out my skate shoe guide.
Anyway, a great skate shoe needs to be flexible, lightweight, provide board feel, offer ventilation and stability. If you suffer from heel bruises also make sure to pick a shoe that has quality insoles! There are a couple of insoles you get additionally just remember that they only last for a couple of months if you skate regularly. After while they can’t deal with impacts as much.
Shoe Cut for Wider Feet
Probably one of the most important things to look at is the width of the shoe cut. If you have wide feet this area can’t be too narrow. A wider cut may offer less stability to narrow feet but not in your case. Too narrow will hurt and there’s no way of breaking them in.
In this example the shoe has a wider shape cut than average, these Vans we’re a blessing for my feet but unfortunately didn’t last very long.
Lacing Can Make a Difference
There are so many combinations possible when it comes to lacing your shoes but one pro tip I got was lacing your shoes in a way that your feet get more room. Check out this image to see what I’m talking about, lacing for wider feet can be a game-changer so before you go out and buy new shoes, try this first.
Stability, Balance, Pronation
One of the key features a shoe must-have is stability. If your feet are all over the place in your shoes it’s harder to do tricks and you’re more likely to make errors. Runners, for example, know all about pronation (natural movement of your feet) and proper pronation is needed to absorb shocks.
In short, your feet need to still be able to move a little, but not too much. Overpronation causes tightness and stress to the muscles. The forces that come with skateboarding should be distributed as efficiently as possible.
Shoes Need to Breath
Skate shoes start to develop a bad odor over time and this is something which is hard to prevent. You sweat a lot and so do your feet, don’t wear your skate shoes around your girlfriend and when you do, leave them on! It’s not just the smell, make sure to pick shoes that provide proper ventilation.
You can spot this by checking for perforations usually at the nose and side of skate shoes. If your shoes are still in good shape you can try to apply powders or spray that takes the smell away, it usually works.
Vulcanized, Cupsoles and Board Feel
Cupsoles are usually a but sturdier than vulcanized shoes, they are more durable and offer more support. They also deal better with impacts and offer better arch support. However, you’ll sacrifice board feel. Vulcanized offer way more board feel because the sole is more flexible and thinner compared to cups.
If you need a supportive shoe and have flat feet, a cupsole is usually a better choice. When it comes to wider feet it doesn’t really matter, both vulcs and cups can be bought with wider cuts.
Pick the Right Size
If you already know what size you need you can probably skip this part. Not all feet are the same and feet swell and shrink during the day. The best way to pick the right size is to go to your local skate shop and try them, preferably in the afternoon. You really notice a difference between brands even though they are the same size.
Once you have a shoe that is perfect you might want to stick with it. When you fit shoes, make sure that your toes can still move. Pay attention to the inner and neck of your big toe, outer pinky toe, the inner and outer arch and they need to feel comfortable around your ankle. If you can check all these, you found a great shoe.
Best Skate Shoes for Wide Feet
I won’t go through all of them but I might as well list a few skate shoes that solve your problem. I personally wear them and can recommend them to anyone. While I also love my Vans pro, I don’t think I should recommend them because they’re rather expensive and seem to wear down a little bit faster. I’ll stick with two types of shoes (vulcanized and cupsoles) that are highly recommended by skateboarders and myself.
Emerica Reynolds (Vulcs)
Like I said these are my favorite shoes and I’ll tell you why. It’s not just because they’re named after Andrew Reynolds. These shoes are very durable (suede) and comfortable. The sole has an excellent grip and the shoes are lightweight. Lots of board feel and they offer great ventilation. I didn’t really have to break them in, they felt great from the start which is also a confidence booster. They don’t look as nice anymore as in the picture but they’re holding up fine!
I don’t recommend them for daily wear though, the soles are thin and flat which is great for skateboarding but not for long walks. It’s fine to wear them for a day but you’ll notice your feet start to feel a bit sore, specifically my heels (heel bruise veteran here). There are a few ventilation holes on the side and top of the nose. The nose is seamless so no stitches cause the shoes to fall apart. Here’s a link to Amazon if you want to take a closer look.
Etnies Marana (Cupsole)
Not as flexible as the Reynolds but they are one of the best cupsoles skate shoes on the market. The toes are reinforced which makes them more resilient against friction from grip tape. I use these for transition skateboarding mainly and I love the heel support. Even though they are cupsoles, they feel very comfortable and also provide a lot of board feel.
The outer soles will take a while to wear down because Etnies collaborated with Michelin and created a premium rubber for the outsoles. It will take a long while to eat through that rubber. The insoles can deal with a lot of shocks which makes impacts much more comfortable. You can take them out and swap them once they start losing their shock-absorbing ability.
Unlike the Reynolds, these shoes can also be worn like regular shoes and offer arch support. Ventilation on the sides and nose that help your feet breath and no visible stitching. They’re a bit more expensive than the Reynolds, check prices on Amazon, sometimes you can get a great deal.
Oh, if you are one of those that need EE, make sure to check out the New Balance All Coasts 574 (Amazon link).
I hope I was able to get you some insight into what type of skate shoes you need to be looking for. Skateboarding is fun but sore feet can really ruin the experience. I still have sore feet sometimes (mostly at the beginning of the season) but that usually goes away after a while. Whatever shoe you decide to get, make sure you take care of your feet!