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
- Globe Sabres
- Lakai Griffin
- New Balance Numeric
- New Balance
- Supra stacks II
- 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.
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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. One shoe I know of that has a wide cut are the 2E Globe Sabres (Amazon link), they don’t hurt your toes like most skate shoes do when you are blessed with wide feet.
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.
Picking 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.
Skate Shoe Width
Here’s the tricky part, picking the right width. Skate shoe brands don’t really make shoes for wide feet and often don’t provide the widths. This makes it very hard for people with extremely wide feet (EE and up) to pick the right shoes. There aren’t any skateboarding shoes for EEE and if this is you try to search for non-skate brands instead.
|D||E||EE (2E)||EEE (3E)||EEEE (4E)||EEEEE (5E)||EEEEEE (6E)|
|Normal fit||Wide Fit||Extra Wide||Ultra Wide|
Width D: I’ll skip the smaller sizes and start with D which is considered medium width and is around 3 to 5 inches when you measure across the bottom of the ball of your foot. No issues finding skate shoes if you’re a D.
Width E: is considered wide but still not an issue when looking for skate shoes, you won’t fit all of them but it’s doable. E is between 3.2 inches and 5.2 inches when measured across the ball of your foot.
Width EE: is still considered a wide fit but already a bit problematic for skateboarders. If you measure between 3,4 and 5,4 inches across the ball of the foot you have fewer choices.
Width EEE+: I couldn’t find any skate shoes above 2E and I’m sorry but I have to disappoint you. One option is to find a non-skate shoe, though I’ve seen someone with 4E mention Globe Sabres (not perfect but acceptable). Others mention shoes like Puppy Heath sneakers, Nurse Mates Falcon, and Sperry Stripers. They all come in wide sizes but I have never tried them myself.
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 could solve your problem. I personally wear some of them and can recommend them to anyone. I’ll stick with two types of shoes (vulcanized and cupsoles) that are highly recommended by skateboarders and myself.
If you’re a 4E you have a problem and you might need to look for a different type of shoe. There aren’t any dedicated skate shoe brands that make them.
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 if you need a lot of support, 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 I noticed my feet started to feel a bit sore, specifically my heels (heel bruise veteran here). This is just me though if you don’t have any issues or old injuries they are probably fine for walking.
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.
Unfortunately, Andrew Reyolds left Emerica so I wonder how long these shoes will still be available.
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.
- Rubber fused on toe caps for extra durability
- Decent support from the Pro Foam 1 insoles
- Super strong outsole (Michelin collaboration), superb grip
- The padded collar and tongue feel very comfortable
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.
New Balance Numeric 913
The New Balance Numeric 913 is made for extreme street skating, which is designed by professional skateboarder Brandon Westgate. Being his pro footwear, Brandon wanted this model to be able to hold its ground against the harshest skateboarding conditions. As such, he came up with Numeric 913 that’s packed with features, taking your game to soaring heights.
- FantomFit upper in suede or mesh
- REVlite midsole
- Side mesh panel
- Brandon Westgate tongue detailing
As a cupsole skate shoe, the board feel is pretty decent. It needs a break-in so at first, it can be stiff as a brick. Once you’ve used it after a few times, the sole becomes flexible, which improves your board control. Of course, it is still not comparable to vulcanized soles. The Ndurance rubber helps keep it grippy. There is some texture on the ollie which provides some resistance to abrasion.
The first impression you may have on this sneaker is that it is quite narrow si perhaps an issue if you’re at the end of the 2E specteum. It tapers off to the toe area, but forms into square edges instead of having a pointed tip. As such, it gives you more control of the board, with your foot properly planted onto the sole. During a 10-hour test, the Numeric 913 preserved its shape as well as the strength of its suede.
This shoe is as attractive as its New Balance relative, which is the Numeric PJ Stratford 533. However, this one has more updated features. In any case, the Numeric 913 is perfect when you decide to wear it casually.
The REVlite Eva midsole foam has been added to the shoe to protect it from impact. It also has a heel stabilizer, N2 heel, and ventilation mesh to give it overall comfort. The sole is a bit stiff, but softens after several uses.
This shoe feels light with its synthetic material, yet highly durable. After a few skating sessions, the toe and ollie area showed very minimal wear. The Ndurance outsole helps avoid flat spots. Along with the abrasion-resistant suede, it accounts for the increased durability. The shoelaces remain intact despite the prolonged use, which is another plus.
The Number 913 comes in 5 colorway variants, namely: Black with Grey-Lime, Teal with Black, Sand with Blue, Navy with White, and Light Grey with Dark Grey.
The New Balance Numeric 913 is true to size. The toe, heel, and midfoot feel snug inside. Its heel collar is a bit high in order to keep your heel and ankle stabilized.
This pro model designed by Brandon Westgate exceeds expectations with its performance, durable quality and design. It may not be perfect, but whatever issues it has are pretty negligible. Anyone who plans to buy a cupsole version should try out this pair.
Can’t leave the Vans pro out. I just love these shoes but they are rather expensive. I need a lot of heel support and the pro models have DURACAP toe reinforcement and ULTRACUSH insoles. These shoes are wider than regular skate shoes (also wider than the Vans Sk8 High) and fit true.
- Duracap reinforced toe caps
- Ultracush insoles
- Double stitching
- Comfortable collar
The toe box consists of double stitches and some leathery material for extra protection without sacrificing board feel. It takes a while before the grip tape eats through these shoes.
The shoe is very flexible and I didn’t really need any time to break them in. I love how much support they offer and my feet don’t move around when I’m shredding.
I love the insoles, I wish Vans sold them separately but unfortunately they don’t. Vans ULTRACUSH insoles embed your feet deep in the shoe which helps your feet to stay in place for extra stability. It’s hard not to notice how they absorb shocks, perfect cushioning which is truly a blessing for skaters with heel bruises.
The classic Vans waffle pattern outsoles offer solid grip, not too grippy and not too slippery. You’re able to move around even on new grip tape and they stay sticky on older and worn grip tape.
Supra Stacks II
Supra Stacks bears the shoe company’s classic silhouette it boasts of a lightweight structure and a breathable exterior.
- Eva crash pad
- Suede and PU heel
- Double density insole
- Mesh tongue
- Heightened heel collar
The flexibility is remarkable with this footwear, which ensures you have an excellent grip and board feel better than other cupsole brands.
If you’ve seen the DC Mike Mo, The Stacks are very similar to it in terms of the shape, especially the toe box. And it is for a good reason because it increases its comfort and retains its form much longer.
I love the looks of these shoes, they are absolutely gorgeous which makes it even better because they offer everything you need in a skate shoe.
Cushioning isn’t great and could be a reason to not buy them. It’s not so bad, but with its thin insole foam it is best worn only when performing tricks on ledges, otherwise, your heel might take a lot of beating. You can always get some decent insoles if this is an issue.
The Stacks II shoulds hold up fine even after skating them for a couple if weeks, which is pretty amazing. In short, this one is a durable piece.
This low-top shoe can be worn by men and women and is true to size. For men, sizes begin from 7 to 13, while it is 8.5 to 11 for women.
The Supra The Stack is a great shoe to have, which combines all the qualities you want in a stylish yet durable footwear.
The Lakai Griffin shoes are recommended by many skaters with wide feet. I did not try these myself and (again) I recommend to fit them at your local shop before you decide to buy them.
Lakai is a great skate shoe brand that has been around for decades. This shoe fits most people perfectly and offers a lot of support around the heel and keeps your feet in place when you skate.
- Synthetic sole
- Seamless toe wraparound bumper sole
- Herringbone tread for extra grip
- Lightly padded collar and tongue
Make sure to pick the suede version. That goes for any skate shoe as you will rip through the canvas in a couple of skate sessions. I can’t really share much about this shoe but I will update this post as soon as I tested them.
The options for skateboarders with wide feet (2E+) are very limited and perhaps nonexistent. The skateboarding industry is small and I suspect it would be too expensive to produce wider skate shoes to get a decent return on investment. Your best bet is to look for non-skate brands that offer wide suede sneakers.
I suggest not to order online but go to a local shop instead and try a few shoes. Feet shape and sizes vary so this would be the best way to find a shoe that actually fits and offers enough support for skateboarding.
I hope I was able to get you some insight into what type of skate shoes you. Skateboarding is fun but sore feet can really ruin the experience. And for those of you with extremely wide feet, good luck finding a pair that fit.