fit and muscular man lacing his running shoes

Today’s question is about finding minimalist running shoes (some would say “barefoot style”) that are a good fit for wide feet

Minimalist Running Shoes for Wide Feet: What Are My Options?

I love your views on minimalist running in a realistic manner. Real basic shoes that promote a natural stride on a low budget. I followed your advice on the Saucony bullet and LOVE them except for the fact that they are slightly narrow for my feet. Any suggestions as to another option? I love the feel of that shoe, but it’s squishing my toes. Was hoping you might know of an equivalent that comes in wider sizes.

Thanks in advance,
Wide Willie

Hi Willie,

I know what you mean. Old school track shoes like the Saucony Bullet and Puma H Street aren’t particularly wide. Neither are newer shoes like the Nike Free.

The Feiyue martial arts shoes I have aren’t as narrow, but I think it would be a bit odd to run in them for any significant distance (as in, more than 10 yards).

Basic running flats are your best bet for staying within a budget. But it’s just plain hard to find these kinds of shoes for wide feet. They are all pretty narrow, especially in the toe box.

So guys with wide feet will need to look for brands that make minimalist shoes (and charge accordingly).

The Best Minimalist Running Shoes for Wide Feet

These minimalist, zero-drop, and/or barefoot style running shoes (and trail running shoes) are made with wide toe boxes that are especially great if you have wide feet.

New Balance Minimus

New Balance offers a variety of running shoes that are available in wide width. Some of these can be considered minimalist, but since model numbers change frequently, I recommend browsing them at a shoe store to see which ones actually look “minimal.”

They even have a new line that debuted in 2011 – the Minimus footwear line. It looks great, but expect to pay over $100.

Buy now: New Balance Men’s MT10V1 Minimus Trail Running Shoe

Altra

Altra offers shoes that might be exactly what you’re looking for – minimalist track running sneakers, but with a wide toe box. Prices range from $90 to $140.

Check out the Instinct model. It’s a zero-drop shoe with moderate cushioning.

Buy now: Altra Instinct 4.5

For a zero-drop trail running shoe with more cushioning, check out the Altra Olympus.

Buy now: Altra Olympus 3.5 Trail Running Shoe

Xero

Xero Shoes Prio offers a 5mm rubber sole, wide toe box, and zero-drop offset.

Buy now: Xero Shoes Prio

Softstar Runamoc

The Softstar Runamoc is essentially a running moccasin. It has an extra-wide toe box.

Lems

Built on a zero-drop platform and weighing in at an ultra-lightweight 6.9oz, the Primal 2 is perfect for minimalist lovers. With the Lems natural-shape fit and vegan-friendly materials your feet are sure to be healthy and happy.

Topo Athletic

Topo Athletic ST2 Running Shoe is a minimal shoe for wide feet.

Buy now: Topo Athletic ST2 Running Shoe

Vivo Barefoot

The Vivobarefoot Primus is a sort of weird looking, but very lightweight zero-drop shoe.

It’s not super wide, but wider than typical running shoes.

Buy now: Vivobarefoot Primus

Inov8

The Inov-8 F-Lite shoes are good all-purpose minimalist shoes.

It’s not super wide, but wider than typical running shoes.

Buy now: Inov-8 F-Lite 195 V2

Hopefully one of these choices allows your toes to move comfortably. None of those options are normal or cheap, unfortunately.

Does anyone else have any ideas on wider track shoes? Or at least ones that have a wide toe box?

This article was originally published on December 12, 2010 before minimalist running shoes became so popular. It was last updated on July 1, 2019.

4 Comments
  1. After a bad bout of posterior tibial tendonitis, I tried running barefoot on my usual forest trail. Worked wonders for the foot, but, after 6 wks, the tissue on the bottom of my feet stayed sore between runs. I’m 60 yo and have run 40 yrs, so I figured I might need to try a shoe. W/ very wide feet, I found no minimal shoes (this was 1 yr ago). Until I discovered Lady’s Keds Champions. The mens’ version doesn’t come in width. So I tried on a few, found a perfect fit, and have been running in them for a yr. I run in N FL so they are wet a lot. The canvas separates from the bottom after about 6 mos. But who cares? They run $30 a pair!

  2. @Bob

    Great find! It’s funny the kind of shoes that turn out to be good minimalist running shoes.

    I just looked up these shoes on Amazon.com and had a chuckle at one of the reviews – the shoes only got one star because there was no support and no padding! Oh the irony 😉

  3. Willie – if you try a store like City Sports (usually a better selection of interesting shoes than other stores) they might have something. Even if you do pay more it can’t be worse than collecting shoes that are too narrow.

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