The right shoe width - What is important?
Statistically, about 80% of Germans wear shoes that do not fit them properly. No wonder, because when buying shoes often only the shoe size serves as the sole guide value. However, this is based exclusively on the length of the foot. Equally decisive for the perfect fit is the shoe width: it designates the widest part of the foot and is based on the bunion measurement, i.e. the circumference between the balls of the big and little toe. While most fashion shoes are only available in one standard width, there is a large selection of models in different widths in the area of comfortable and healthy shoes. For example, the Birkenstock brand offers almost all models in two different widths. What you need to consider when it comes to shoe width and how you can find the perfect fit, you can find out here!
Why is the right shoe width so important?
Ill-fitting shoes are not only uncomfortable, they also mean permanent stress for the entire musculoskeletal system. Every person has different feet. Nevertheless, especially inexpensive fashion shoes are designed almost exclusively for Otto Normalfuß. For wide feet, they can lead to pressure pains, which in the worst case can result in permanent deformities and malpositions. Slender feet, on the other hand, find no support and are not adequately supported laterally. Frequent twisting can be the result, but also a change in gait and increased stress on the joints. The right shoe width is therefore not only for comfort, but also for foot health.
Narrow or normal? The perfect fit at Birkenstock
For the traditional German company, the topic of foot health has always played a major role. To ensure an optimal fit, Birkenstock offers its famous cork footbed in two different widths: the normal width for normal to strong feet and the narrow width for narrow to slender feet. The narrow version is about 0.5 to 0.8 cm narrower than the normal shoe width. In addition, the anatomical shape of the footbed supports the natural tissue and gives the foot stability. Adjustment options such as buckles allow an individual adjustment of the upper shoe. You can easily tell which width a Birkenstock shoe has by the foot symbol printed on the footbed and on the shoe box: A filled symbol indicates a narrow width, while an unfilled symbol indicates all Birkenstock models with a normal width.
How can I tell that my Birkenstocks fit well?
Unsure if your Birkenstock sandals fit properly? Make sure your foot is nestled into the footbed shape and not clearly touching or overhanging the edges. There should be a few millimeters of air between the heel and the edge, and your toes also need enough freedom of movement for a natural rolling motion. A shoe that is too wide, on the other hand, is easily recognized by the lack of lateral support, so that the foot can easily bend inwards or outwards. When trying on your Birkenstock sandal for the first time, you should open it, stand on the footbed and put weight on your foot. If the foot moves freely when walking without hitting the edge and still sits securely in the footbed, the fit of your Birkenstock sandal is ideal.
Things to know about shoe width
The shoe width in this country is usually indicated by the letters C to M, where M stands for very strong and C for very slender feet. The average foot corresponds approximately to the shoe width E to G. For children's shoes, the WMS system is often used, which divides shoes into the categories wide, medium and narrow. As with clothing, sizes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Especially with British and American brands, the term "wide fit" has become established for wide shoes, although the extra width of the shoe is often not defined in more detail. You can easily determine your own shoe width with a tape measure by measuring the circumference of the foot at the widest point of the ball of the toe. With the help of the manufacturer's size chart, you can read off your shoe width based on your measurements. In case of doubt, however, the only thing that helps in the end is to try them on!