Human feet are as unique as humans, varying in all dimensions including length, width, and arch height. While the length of the foot is usually the primary consideration when buying shoes, the width of the foot is equally crucial. Individuals with narrow or wide feet often struggle to find shoes that fit comfortably, which can lead to discomfort, blisters, and even long-term foot problems. Recognizing this diversity and catering for it is an essential step for footwear brands who want to provide a holistic customer experience.
StrutFit categorizes all measurements into a width category from extra narrow to extra-wide - based on the SATRA Width Standards. From 1.5 million foot measurements across Europe and America, StrutFit has determined that 30% of Male Feet and 32% of Female Feet are wide or extra-wide.
People with wide feet can usually get away with standard fitting footwear. However, when it comes to Extra-Wide feet width becomes very important. These people either need to size up in styles that don’t come in multiple widths, or ensure they are purchasing from brands that have wider options available. For Males, this is 14% of feet, and for Females this is 15% of feet!
Let’s delve into why different shoe widths matter, the benefits they bring to both customers and brands, and showcase some notable brands that excel in providing a wide range of widths.
Enhanced Comfort: Offering shoes in different widths ensures that customers can find a pair that fits snugly without causing discomfort or pain. People with wider feet might experience pinching or rubbing if they wear shoes that are too narrow, while those with narrower feet may struggle with stability and support if their shoes are too wide.
Better Foot Health: Ill-fitting shoes can lead to various foot ailments, including bunions, corns, and calluses. By providing a range of widths, brands can contribute to improved foot health, as customers can find shoes that support their natural foot shape and minimize the risk of developing these issues.
Improved Performance: For athletes and active individuals, proper shoe fit is crucial. Shoes that are too tight or too loose can hinder performance and even lead to injuries. Brands that offer different widths in their athletic footwear lines help customers achieve their best performance by providing the right level of support and comfort.
Style Diversity: Feet of varying widths should not limit fashion choices. By offering different widths, brands empower customers to choose from a wider range of stylish options, ensuring that everyone can enjoy trendy footwear without compromising on fit.
Competitive Advantage: In a highly competitive footwear market, brands that prioritize inclusivity and diversity in sizing gain a significant edge. Customers are more likely to choose brands that understand and cater to their specific needs, leading to higher brand loyalty and positive word-of-mouth marketing.
Expanded Customer Base: By offering shoes in different widths, brands tap into a previously underserved market segment. This includes people with narrower or wider feet who have often struggled to find properly fitting shoes, as well as individuals with specific medical conditions that require custom footwear.
Increased Sales: When customers find shoes that fit well and provide comfort, they are more likely to make repeat purchases. Brands that offer a wide range of widths see increased customer satisfaction, leading to higher sales and revenue.
Positive Brand Image: Companies that prioritize inclusivity and comfort in their product offerings build a positive brand image. Such brands are seen as customer-centric, empathetic, and responsive to consumer needs, enhancing their reputation in the market.
Hoka One One is a brand that has gained prominence for its innovative approach to running shoes. Their primary focus is on delivering maximum cushioning and support to runners. They offer Standard, Wide, and even Extra Wide shoes to ensure runners can purchase a size that provides comfort, stability and reduces the risk of injury.
To help online customers, Hoka has integrated StrutFit’s sizing technology to their website. StrutFit allows users to take a photo of their foot, the photo determines the foot length and width and appropriately places them into a size based on how a shoe fits.
Hoka One One's dedication to pushing the boundaries of running shoe technology while catering to various comfort requirements sets them apart as a brand that values both innovation and inclusivity.
Clarks is renowned for its comfortable and stylish footwear, and they also recognize the significance of offering various widths. They provide widths ranging from Narrow to Extra Wide, ensuring that their customers can find the perfect fit for their unique feet. From formal shoes to casual sandals, Clarks caters to a diverse range of preferences.
Sole Bliss excels in creating chic and comfortable footwear for women with wider or sensitive feet. Their commitment to offering both Standard and Wide shoes ensures that customers can enjoy both style and comfort without compromise. By catering to diverse foot shapes and widths, Sole Bliss redefines fashionable footwear, proving that comfort is achievable without sacrificing aesthetics.
Dune London, a fashion-forward brand, stands out for its attention to diverse footwear needs. Offering a range of widths, from Narrow to Wide, Dune London ensures that everyone can enjoy their stylish creations. Their understanding of varied foot shapes, making Dune London a sought-after choice for both fashion and comfort.
SAS (San Antonio Shoemakers) is dedicated to crafting handcrafted footwear with comfort as its core focus. This brand offers an extensive range of widths, including Super Slim, Slim, Narrow, Wide (D), and Double Wide, across various shoe styles. Their commitment to catering to diverse foot shapes and widths has earned them a devoted customer base.
Renowned for their exquisite designs, Rainbow Club excels in providing footwear for various widths. With options from Narrow to Wide, their commitment reflects an understanding of diverse foot shapes. This inclusivity combines elegance with comfort, establishing Rainbow Club as a go-to brand for stylish and accommodating footwear.
In a world where customization and inclusivity are valued more than ever, offering different shoe widths is no longer a luxury for footwear brands – it's a necessity. By prioritizing comfort, style, and the unique needs of individual customers, brands can establish a reputation for understanding and accommodating diversity. The benefits, both for the customers and the brands themselves, are immense – from improved foot health and customer loyalty to increased sales and positive brand image. As we continue to celebrate diversity in all aspects of life, the world of footwear is certainly no exception.
StrutFit has the ability to handle width in various ways. Sometimes styles only come in standard sizing where the size changes only based on length. Other times, styles are available in multiple lengths and widths.
When a style is offered multiple widths, StrutFit uses the foot width measurement to provide the best length and width fitting for the customer.
When a style is not offered in multiple widths, StrutFit has the ability to size customers up to the next size if their foot is too wide.
These sizing methods along with toe space, helps paint a complete picture of how a shoe would fit for online shoppers before they complete their purchase.