Wide Shoes – Finding More Support for My Body

Some of you may remember that I had a full knee replacement surgery a couple of months ago. After going to the trouble of having elective surgery and then recovery, it occurred to me that I need to start wearing a real shoe. I looked around for a style that was not TOO homely, had support on both sides, and enough sole to support my 275 pounds. I wanted a shoe I could walk in for an hour if I needed to. I went with the Clarks Felicia Plum Casual Shoe.

I wore them Saturday night for the first time, and since we were going to two different events I took along my old shoes in case I started to get a blister, but there was no problem. They are a perfect fit, they were great for the early BBQ on the grass and the patio, and the more formal party in someone’s home, later in the evening. (I will be taking a black sharpie to the brown accents. A little too rustic for my taste).

For at least the last 10 years, I had been wearing Arcopedico Light shoes. They are slides with no support. I am sure they were not good for my career or my feet and knees, but I trying not to slide back into them, or black ballet slippers with no support.

I reached out to the FatToo Anonymous Community on Facebook (a private group which you can apply to join). I did not check every option to ensure that it had sole support or came in wide sizes, but there are a lot of options here. FatToo Anonymous is the best resource I have ever had and I love getting to know some of the regular posters. These are some of their suggestions:

  • Sperry’s boat shoes (they have great arch support)
  • Dansko (some people did not find them wide enough)
  • Merrell
  • Birkenstocks
  • Wallabies at journeys
  • Orthoheel (now Vionic)
  • The Walking Company
  • Kalso Earth Shoes
  • Toms
  • Softwalk shoes
  • Earth/Earthies
  • Taos
  • Skechers
  • New Balance
  • Ecco
  • Munro
  • Crocs
  • Chucks
  • Rohde (Birkenstockish)
  • Aravon


13 thoughts on “Wide Shoes – Finding More Support for My Body

  1. This is so timely for me. Thank you! I’m nursing a sprained foot, due to wearing shoes that don’t fit properly. My issue is that I try shoes on, they feel fine and then after a few hours of wear, they start to hurt or they are fine a few weeks and then stretch out and my foot slides. I now have approximately 20 pairs of 9 wide shoes that that I’ve worn a few times but now can’t wear because they hurt. If you happen to know of a shoe trading group (as I suspect many of us shoe wearers have at least a few gently worn pairs around), I’d love to hear about it.

    I want to check out the Clarks you’ve posted above. Two brands that you don’t have up there that I love are Keens (while they don’t have wide size designations, many of their hiking sandals are quite wide, however, I’ve noticed that they’ve been getting more narrow lately) and Blondo (which I buy from 6pm.com when they go really on sale)

    A few other comments about shoes:

    1. REI and RoadRunner sports both have a satisfaction guarantee and you can return anything, including worn shoes, within a certain time period (2-3 months, plenty of time to figure out if they fit right). I believe you must be a member of the stores to do this though. I am going this route more and more because of the problem I mentioned above. It’s hard to find fancy shoes at either place though. Road Runner also has something called Shoe Dog, which is a series of basic tests to see how you walk and where your balance is etc. They recommend shoes based on this profile.

    2. In the East Bay there is the Walk Shop: http://www.walkshop.com/main.asp (which I haven’t been to but I keep meaning to because I hear amazing things about them) that has a very educated staff to help people find the right shoes. They have wide sizes and a decent selection of attractive shoes.

  2. I’m a big Keen fan too and I’m sad about their narrowing styles.
    I am also a big fan of orthotics which have kept my knees pain free for years now. My orthotics guy told me that it’s not just an issue of width of the shoe. Be aware of the depth too. A somewhat narrow shoe can accommodate a wide foot if it has depth, especially if you use an orthotic.

    • One of my good friends swears by her orthodics and she thinks they have made her knee pain disappear. Thanks for the advice and for taking the time to comment.

  3. You always have great resources! I’m always on the hunt for cute comfortable shoes so thanks for some new additions to my tool box!

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