Women know that when they hit the stores, looking for dresses or pants, they have to try them on. There are simply no standard sizes out there. You might be a size 4 in one store and a size 8 in another. Shoes are generally a little bit easier. If you wear a size 12, while they might be hard to find, at least you know a 12 will fit most places. But what about when they’re too tight across? That’s where the width comes in to play. Width matters too, but all those numbers and letters can get confusing! This should help.


M stands for medium or normal. This is the standard size. When you go to the shoe store, if the shoes are not marked, you can assume that they’re thisaverage, normal size. If they’re too tight as a norm, you can also assume that you need something different.


The E letter sizes increase the overall width of the shoe. The number in front of the E tells you just how much wider the shoes are. Adding more Es adds more with. For women, 2E is a wide shoe. 3E is an extra large. Men go up to 4E as a standard, but there are even sizes that go as large as 10E, but that ismore commonly used for diabetic shoes.

Shoe length is very important. You want your foot to fit inside the shoes nicely. But width isn’t a standard thing, either. Just as you might wear a size 10 shoe, you might wear a 2E instead of an M.

If you try on shoes that seem to fit lengthwise in the store, but feel cramped along the sides, it’s a safe bet to guess that you may need a wider width. Some people simply move up a shoe size, but that will feel like a clumsy fit with too much space in the length, just to get a wider fit across. The best idea is to find the right width.

Visit a show store and measure your foot width with the tool most stores have on the floor. They have a slide to measure length, but also one to measure width. And keep in mind that feet can change size over the course of your life. Feet commonly get wider as you age so even if you wear a normal width now, that could change later. If shoes start to feel tighter, even if they are broken in, trying wide width shoes might be in your best interest.

Your feet do a lot of work. They deserve to be comfortable. Check in on your foot size in both directions to get the right shoes for your feet.

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