Best Shoes for Narrow Feet Reviewed 2020

If you’re lucky enough to have slender feet—finding the ideal footwear can be exhausting and infuriating.

Our guide to the best shoes for narrow feet takes away the pain.

Ill-fitting footwear can cause blisters and increase the chance of injury. Don’t suffer—instead, take a look at our top picks below.

 

Here our top 7 picks of the best shoe brands for narrow feet

1. Asics Women’s Gel Kayano 24 Running Shoes

An ideal shoe for the female runner with slimmer feet—available in standard, wide and narrow fittings from sizes 5 to 12. With a proprietary heel clutching system, the back of the shoe will remain secure. These runners cushion from impact and provide a bounce to your toe-off.

ASICS Women's Gel-Kayano 24 Running Shoe, Blue Purple/Regatta Blue/White, 6.5 2A US
  • I.G.S (Impact Guidance System) Technology: ASICS design philosophy that employs linked componentry to enhance the foot's natural gait from heel strike to toe-off.
  • Fluid Ride Midsole: Fluid Ride provides the ultimate combination of bounce back and cushioning properties with reduced weight and exceptional durability.
  • Fluid Fit Upper: ASICS Fluid Fit upper technology combines multi-directional stretch mesh with stretch reinforcements that adapt to the athlete's foot, creating a truly customized glove-like fit.
  • Heel Clutching System Technology: Exoskeletal heel counter provides improved support and creates improved heel fitting environment.
  • Rear foot and Forefoot GEL Cushioning Systems: Attenuates shock during impact and toe-off phases, and allows movement in multiple planes as the foot transitions through the gait cycle.

 

2. Birkenstock Women’s Arizona Suede Sandals

It’s a classic sandal which molds to the shape of the wearer’s foot. Available in regular and narrow sizes, the natural materials of cork and leather allow for breathability. Super-soft foam cushioning promotes agreeable and pleasurable steps.

Birkenstock Unisex Arizona Velvet Gray Sandals - 43 N EU/10-10.5 2A(N) US Men
  • Original BIRKENSTOCK soft footbed; anatomically shaped
  • Surface material: suede
  • Lining: suede
  • Soft Footbed - Contoured cork footbed conforms to the shape of your foot and features pronounced arch support with an extra layer of super soft foam cushioning; a deep heel cup and roomy toe box; lined with suede
  • Details: strap with two individually adjustable metal pin buckles

 

3. New Balance Men’s MC806 Tennis Shoes

A tennis shoe which makes time on the court more satisfying. Anti-moisture features promote fresh and healthy feet, while the herringbone outsole improves traction and allows for fast pivoting. Available in four widths, including narrow.

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New Balance Men's 806 V1 Tennis Shoe, White, 10.5 N US
  • ABZORB cushioning
  • C-CAP midsole
  • Lightning Dry Liner
  • For tennis players looking for superior stability and support, New Balance serves up the New Balance MC806.

 

4. Saucony Women’s Grid Omni Walker Sneakers

Narrow fittings combined with an extensive range of sizes means that finding the ideal shoe isn’t tricky. A breathable mesh tongue elevates comfort while a grid cushioning system makes walking on hard sidewalks effortless.

Saucony Women's Grid Omni Walker-W Sneaker, White/Silver
  • Walking sneaker featuring lace-up vamp, mesh tongue, and logo applique at sides
  • Engineered asymmetrical sole for bio-mechanical fit
  • Walk Trac patented outsole design for smooth transition
  • Visible rearfoot grid system for cushioning and stability

 

5. Nike Men’s Air Zoom Pegasus 34s

Air-cushioned soles allow for low-impact running, while the choice of four different widths means even those with narrow feet can enjoy a Nike shoe. The low-profile bootie-style design may suit those wanting the lightest of footwear.

Nike Men's Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Running Shoe Pure Platinum/Photo Blue Size 10.5 M US
  • Dynamic Fit technology delivers a one-to-one fit.
  • Engineered mesh upper offers lightweight ventilation.
  • Zoom Air units provide responsive cushioning.
  • Partial mesh bootie wraps the foot for a plush, comfortable fit. Notches at the tongue provide easy on and off.
  • Fitsole sockliner conforms to the shape of your foot to provide comfort and underfoot support.

 

6. Birkenstock Essentials Unisex EVA Sandals

Pronounced arches, a deep heel cup, and a raised toe bar provide an all-around foot-hugging sandal. Available in narrow sizes, this footwear comes in 17 different colors and incorporates a lightweight EVA sole.

Birkenstock Men's Sandals, Mocca, 37
  • Birkenstock Milano
  • Birko-Flor Nubuck Straps
  • Cork/Latex Shock Abrsorbing EVA Outsole Unit
  • Hard Wearing Easy To Break In Materials
  • Single Adjustable Ankle Strap

 

7. Brooks Women’s Ghost 12s

A heavily treaded outsole combined with extensive proprietary technology provides both high-traction and a light stride. The 3-D printed overlays, with no glue or stitching, prevent shoe distortion. Comes in regular, narrow, and wide fittings.

Brooks Womens Ghost 12 Running Shoe - Peacoat/Blue/Aqua - B - 10.0
  • THIS SHOE IS FOR: Neutral runners looking for a lightweight shoe and a smooth ride without sacrificing cushioning. Whether you’re a Ghost loyalist or are lacing one up for the first time, you’ll find plenty to like.
  • SUPPORT AND CUSHION: The neutral support type provides high energizing cushioning. Ideal for road running, cross training, the gym or wherever you might want to take them! Predecessor: Ghost 11
  • BALANCED, SOFT CUSHIONING: BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning work together to provide a just-right softness underfoot without losing responsiveness and durability - yet it feels lighter than ever.
  • SMOOTH, STABLE RIDE: No matter how your foot lands, our Segmented Crash Pad - an integrated system of shock absorbers - will cushion every step and stride for smooth heel-to-toe transitions.
  • SOFT, SECURE, FIT: The newly engineered mesh and 3D Fit Print practically disappears on your foot with strategically placed stretch and structure.

 

 

Reviews

To make finding the ideal shoes for your slender tootsies trouble-free—here are our top 7 picks of the best shoes for narrow feet.

 

1. Asics Women’s Gel Kayano 24 Running Shoes

Asics is an acronym for the Latin phrase anima sana in corpore sano—healthy soul in a healthy body. This shoe, with a narrow fitting, will also contribute to healthy feet.

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This is because the vast range of fittings means that finding the ideal shoe for your feet won’t be difficult. It comes in standard, narrow and wide versions—and is available in sizes 5 through to 12, in half-size increments.

If you suffer from footwear slipping at the back of your foot—this shoe has you covered. It incorporates heel-clutching system technology—that is, an exoskeletal heel counter, which both boosts support and grips your heel.

Furthermore, the manufacturer has used its bespoke FluidFit technology in the sneakers’ upper. This includes a multi-directional mesh—stretching to accommodate the foot. Hence, if you slightly over-tighten the laces for a snug fit—the shoe can compensate and prevent cramping or pain.

The rearfoot and forefoot gel cushioning system may appeal to the serious runner. Not only will it absorb shock when pounding the hard concrete, but it’ll also promote a ‘spring’ during the toe-off stage. The reinforced FLYTEFOAM technology fibers allow complete bounce back.

Pros

  • Includes IGS (impact guidance system) to improve gait.
  • Available in 12 colors.
  • Heel grip.
  • Wide range of sizes and widths.
  • Lightweight (9.3 ounces).

Cons

  • A narrow toe box in the regular shoe may be too tight for some users.
  • Heel grip may be restrictive.
This women’s running shoe offers narrow fittings and a heel grip for those with slimmer feet. The cushioning system provides a comfortable and effortless run, while the expansive range of colors means it’ll suit your style.

 

2. Birkenstock Women’s Arizona Suede Sandals

The German Birkenstock brand is synonymous with sandals. Since 1774, it’s become notable for its contoured rubber and cork footbeds, which mold to the individual shape of the owners’ feet.

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Starting at a size 5, they increase in half-size steps to the largest shoe of 10.5. In addition to its regular fit sandals, the company offer a narrow option in the majority of sizes.

The key to these sandals is simplicity—cork bed, leather upper and two buckles. There are no extraneous bespoke technologies or gizmos.

The rear of the shoe incorporates a deep cup. This means that your heel can fit snugly into position and increase stability even with a narrower foot.

If you’re one of those people with a slimmer rear to midfoot—but a larger toe area—don’t worry. All these sandals come with a generous toe box to accommodate those precious digits.

Pros

  • 100 percent leather upper.
  • Anatomically shaped cork footbed.
  • Suede lining.
  • Foam cushioning for a comfortable step.
  • High-quality metal buckles.

Cons

  • Sizes run large.
  • Have a distinctive smell.
The Birkenstock sandal is a classic and ideal for those with narrow feet. The slimmer sizes, combined with its adaptability to mold to the foot, means a secure and comfortable experience.

 

3. New Balance Men’s MC806 Tennis Shoes

This USA-based brand has been at the forefront of sporting footwear for over 100 years. Furthermore, it’s known for its wide range of sizing and fittings—allowing the keen tennis player to have the ideal shoe.

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This sneaker comes in four widths—narrow, regular, wide and extra-wide. Additionally, the sizes range from 7 through to 16. Half sizes are also catered for—but stop at size 12.5.

When pushing yourself on the court hard—you need breathability. This tennis shoe incorporates a perforated toe box and rear side panels, allowing for increased airflow, reducing discomfort and foot slippage.

The outsole includes a herringbone design to elevate ground-grip. This enhances court traction and enables you to pivot quickly without fear of skidding or injury.

Furthermore, this tennis shoe includes many of New Balance’s proprietary features. It has Abzorb cushioning for comfort, Lightning Dry wicking to take away perspiration and Ndurance reinforcement to increase shoe life.

Pros

  • Available in four width fittings.
  • Perforated side panels and toe box.
  • High-traction feature.
  • C-CAP midsole to increase flexibility and support.

Cons

  • Even wide fittings have a narrow toe box.
  • Sole wears in as little as 13 months.
A tennis shoe available in four different widths for the perfect fit. The wicking feature and perforations allow for perspiration-free performance—however hard you push on the court.

 

4. Saucony Women’s Grid Omni Walker Sneakers

Saucony (pronounced as sock-a-knee) hails out of Pennsylvania USA. Its 120-year history backs its reputation for making quality training shoes.

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This woman’s walker, available in both white and black, comes in regular, narrow, and wide fittings. Half-size increments range from 5 through to 12.

Scientific research provides the backbone to these shoes. Saucony studied the biomechanics of top athletes—allowing them to create walking footwear that works in conjunction with the body.

The proprietary SRC impact zone lowers shock—especially useful if you’re walking on hard concrete or tarmac, reducing the stress placed on the ankles and knees. Furthermore, its XT-900 outsole is made from carbon rubber—proving enhanced traction and preventing deterioration of the underside.

The forefoot includes additional cushioning, while the heel cup promotes stability—even for those users with a slimmer heel. A rearfoot grid system adds bounce and improves stability.

Pros

  • Available in narrow fitting.
  • Mesh tongue promotes air flow.
  • Midfoot support bridge—one of the best shoes for narrow feet and high arches.
  • Inspired by biomechanical science.
  • Understated design.

Cons

  • Makes a distinctive ‘squeak’ when walking.
  • Heel may wear rapidly.
A woman’s walking shoe with choices of wide, regular and narrow fittings. The reserved design allows you to wear it for daily use. Numerous shock absorbing and cushioning features promote an easy stride—even on the hardest of surfaces.

 

5. Nike Men’s Air Zoom Pegasus 34s

Nike, one of the most respected names in sporting footwear, is renowned for its narrow-fitting shoes, even in the regular varieties.

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This men’s shoe, available in 27 different coloration designs, ranges in sizes from 5 to 12. It includes versions for regular, narrow, wide, and extra-wide foot shapes.

If you’re one of those people who prefers a more sock-like fit to your sneakers, this may appeal. The bootie-style construction means fewer materials are used in the footwear—providing for a lighter shoe (10.4 ounces).

The upper incorporates Nike’s proprietary Flymesh—generous breathable openings enhancing airflow over the toe box and beneath the lacing system.

Running in these sneakers will be comfortable due to the Cushlon foam sole with the Zoom Air (basically, an airbag) in the forefoot and heel. This reduces impact and provides spring in each stride.

Pros

  • Durable construction.
  • Low-profile design.
  • lightweight.
  • Expansive breathable mesh.

Cons

  • Large spacing in outsole tread may trap stones.
  • All shoes run narrow—you may require half-a-size larger.
An ideal Nike running shoe for those with narrow feet. Extensive air-cushioning promotes a pleasant run while the breathable upper allows for impressive airflow.

Available in 27 colors and four width fittings.

 

6. Birkenstock Essentials Unisex EVA Sandals

Birkenstock has developed its classic design sandal into this more contemporary looking shoe. The exposed cork has disappeared, being replaced by a PVC material, allowing for numerous color variations (17 in total).

 

The sizes range from 6 through to 13.5—including standard and narrow fitting.

For a sandal, the support and stability are impressive. This footwear has pronounced arch supports, a wide toe box, and deep heel cup—molding itself to your feet.

Furthermore, the raised toe bar encourages a natural gripping motion of your feet, preventing accidental ‘stubbing’ and promoting circulation.

A heavily-treaded outsole means that this sandal is equally at home on the pavement, beach or rougher terrain. The two metallic buckles enable you to secure your foot without risk of slippage.

As a unisex shoe, some women may find the shoes excessively wide—even in the narrow fittings.

Pros

  • Narrow fitting.
  • Contemporary design of a classic shoe.
  • High toe bar.

Cons

  • While unisex—may be too large for narrow women’s feet.
  • All synthetic materials, unlike the original.
A modern take on a classic sandal. Narrow fittings and a deep heel cup allow those with slimmer feet to walk with confidence. Includes a lightweight and shock-absorbing EVA sole.

 

7. Brooks Women’s Ghost 12s

With a history dating back over 100 years, Brooks is renowned for its running shoes, clothing and accessories.

 

This women’s shoe, retailed in sizes 5 to 12, is available in regular, narrow and wide fittings. It comes with a choice of 10 different colors.

The emblems on the upper are 3-D printed directly onto the footwear, without the use of stitching, adhesives or glue. This allows the top of the shoe to maintain the original shape as it left the production line—without being warped by extraneous trimming. Thus, providing a sock-like fit.

The sole includes Brooks’ proprietary BioMoGo and DNA Loft technology—promising a light and cloud-like running stride. Despite this hefty cushioning, the shoe remains lightweight at 9.3 ounces.

This shoe provides impressive breathability, with an expansive mesh toe box upper, which extends along a third of its flanks.

Pros

  • Sock-like fit.
  • Segmented crash pad.
  • Removable foam insole.
  • Plush tongue for comfort.

Cons

  • Narrow toe box.
  • Laces may wear out quickly.
This lightweight women’s sneaker comes in regular, narrow and wide fittings. The 3-D printed overlays prevent shape distortion allowing for a more secure sizing. A heavily cushioned crash pad enables effortless running.

 

Why Do I Have Narrow Feet?

shoes for narrow feet

If shoe manufacturer charts (measuring method described in the FAQs) are frequently indicating you’re in the narrow range—you may be wondering—why me?

I wouldn’t worry about it.

Although not ideal nor recommended, with some adjustments, you can wear standard shoes with narrow feet. It’s virtually impossible to incorporate a wide foot in a small shoe.

Furthermore, be thankful. Having dainty and elegant walkers is possibly more appealing than pounding the streets in something resembling a clown shoe.

The reason you have narrow feet is due to the old favorite—nature and nurture.

Firstly, if you’re not happy with your slim lower appendages—give your parents a call (or message them on social media) and make your disappointed feelings clear. Those skinny metatarsal and cuneiform bones are the reasons your feet are narrow—and you’ve inherited them from your parents.

In truth—it could be your grandparent’s DNA instead—but don’t blame them—grandparents are lovely.

Secondly, the size and width of your foot are determined by your upbringing and lifestyle. Scientists explain that conditions which can influence dimensions are:

  • Age.
  • Weight.
  • Parenthood.
  • Menopause.
  • Exercise.
  • Hormones.

 

Why Do I Need Specific Shoes For Narrow Feet?

A shoe that’s too wide for your foot—whether at the toes, midfoot or heel—can lead to issues.

Excessive movement within the footwear can mean increased friction which promotes blisters. Furthermore, if your feet aren’t secure in the shoes, more serious injuries such as sprains and twisted ankles can occur.

Conversely, choosing a ‘regular’ shoe that’s too small for the length of your foot—just to obtain a narrow width—is equally troublesome. This can give rise to cramping and bunions.

 

Can I Adapt Regular Shoes For Narrow Feet?

You can—although we don’t recommend it.

For the ultimate in foot health, comfort and safety—the ideal footwear is that which manufacturers have specifically designed for narrow feet.

However, if someone gives you, say, a rather expensive designer shoe, yet it’s too wide for your foot—there are some remedial methods.

  • Full-length inserts—you place these gels or pads inside your shoe. The pads raise your foot to make it fit more snugly.
  • Arch supports—not only providing a better fit but also giving you extra support. They can be stacked on top of one another to provide a more bespoke shape.
  • Heel inserts—ideal if the rest of the shoe is a good size, but your heel slips.

Just a quick word of warning.

Despite what you may read online, avoid stuffing the insides of your shoe with tissues or cotton balls. Yes, they’re cheap, but they’ll move around inside your footwear and possibly cause additional issues.

 

What to Look for in the Best Shoe Brands for Narrow Feet

What to Look for in the Best Shoe Brands for Narrow Feet

Selecting the ideal shoe means a pleasurable sporting or walking experience—and will provide years of use. In the long term—saving you money on replacement footwear.

Here are some factors to consider:

Narrow Fit

Okay—it sounds obvious, but it’s not always a requirement to buy a shoe branded as a narrow fit.

While some manufacturers have dedicated narrow products across many of their lines—others produce shoes which by design are slimmer than standard. Although, not marked as such.

Possibly the most common shoe brands for narrow feet, according to the reviews, include Nike.

 

Avoid Buying a Half-Size Smaller

If you have narrow feet—at some time, we’re sure a footwear salesperson has told you to drop half a size. This isn’t good advice, and is most likely said purely to make a sale.

The width of the smaller shoe will indeed compensate for your slim feet—but you’ll have footwear that isn’t long enough. This can result in jammed-in toes and discomfort.

 

Select Shoes for Your Gender

Women’s feet have a different contour and shape than those of men. Furthermore, a narrow size for ladies is slimmer than a guys.

This is especially worth considering when buying a running or walking shoe that’s stated to be unisex. The chances are it’ll fit differently on men and women.

Hence, try to purchase shoes angled for the male or female market.

 

Support

Irrespective of whether you have narrow, wide or standard feet—selecting footwear that provides sufficient support is crucial. There are numerous shoes for narrow feet and high arches available.

A shoe lacking arch support not only means an uncomfortable walk or run—but it can lead to foot-health issues such as plantar fasciitis.

 

Breathability

If you have a well-fitting shoe, this means there’s little air space inside the footwear itself. Hence if you’re prone to excessive perspiration or you play sports, this sweat can become trapped.

This isn’t only unpleasant, but can also induce bacterial, fungal and viral infections.

Look for shoes that promote airflow and allow your feet to breathe.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Designer Shoes Run Narrow?

The world of fashion is a strange beast—seeming to be bound by its own unique rules.

Let me explain.

Say you buy a 3/8-inch wrench. Quite reasonably, you’d expect it to fit a 3/8-inch nut. If it didn’t, you’d be straight back down to the hardware store from where it was purchased.

And then, if the shopkeeper explained that their wrenches are slightly smaller than standard—you’d be rightfully miffed.

In fashion—it seems perfectly acceptable.

 

In the case of designer shoes, many brands aren’t true to the size they state—and run narrow too. Perhaps they believe all their worthy customers have slender and lissom feet—who knows.

Anyway, the three main culprits are:

  • Louis Vuitton.
  • Manolo Blahnik.
  • Salvatore Ferragamo.

 

How Do You Lace Shoes For Narrow Feet?

With narrow feet, especially when using shoes that aren’t designed for the more slender foot—a tight lacing method is essential.

Here’s a video demonstrating the ideal technique.

Just a quick pointer.

If you’re running or participating in sports—you need to allow for a little more room in the shoe when lacing. Don’t overtighten.

Firstly, your foot will expand due to the increase in blood flow and heat that exertion creates. Secondly, although too much movement in the shoe may induce injury—the foot requires space to turn and twist. Failure to do so may result in discomfort or hinder performance.

Finally, excessively tight lacing may restrict normal blood flow—leading to paresthesia or numbness.

So, before you pound the concrete or get on the sports field—always flex your feet inside your shoes first—checking you’re comfortable with the movement.

 

Do Nike Shoes Come In Narrow?

Yes—they’re one of the best-known shoe brands for narrow feet.

Nike believes that for ultimate performance in sport, the better the fit, the greater the sporting returns.

Its narrow shoes are the same in style, function and features as the standard size—just with a slimmer design. Typically, they’re one centimeter (about 1/3-inch) narrower.

 

How Do You Know If You Have Narrow Feet?

If regular shoes aren’t comfortable, your feet are slipping around inside and you’re prone to blisters and irritation—the chances are you have narrow feet.

Furthermore, if other people are continually remarking about your slender tootsies—you may have feet that are slimmer than the regular Joe or Jane. Although, if they’re that interested in your physical extremities, I’d start considering their intentions.

However, there’s a slightly more scientific method:

What You Require

  • Two pieces of A4 paper.
  • A pencil.
  • A measuring tape or ruler.
  • Gym socks, standard socks and/or tights or stockings.
  • Your feet.
  • A friend (optional)—although, not the one from the above example who’s obsessed by your feet.
  • Manufacturer’s measurement chart.

The Method

  1. If you’re measuring for dress shoes—wear standard socks or tights or stockings. Conversely, if you’re planning on purchasing some sneakers—stick on those gym socks.
  2. Place the two pieces of A4 paper on the floor, lengthways, directly in front of both feet.
  3. Step onto the paper—be careful—if the paper is on a tiled or laminate floor, there’s the risk of slippage.
  4. Ask your friend to draw around both feet with a pencil. If you have good balance, are flexible and have strong thighs—you can do this yourself.
  5. Step off the paper—again, making sure you don’t slip or skid.
  6. Take the ruler or tape and measure the widest parts of both foot outlines—make a note of both results.
  7. Identify the larger foot and deduct 1/8-inch from its width.
  8. This is the number you’ll use for your actual foot size.
  9. Look at the manufacturer’s measurement chart.
  10. Locate your shoe size and width and see whether it declares your foot is standard, wide or narrow.

Here’s the deal.

While some feet are decidedly narrow—others can fit into narrow or standard categories—depending on the sizing from the shoe manufacturer. Hence, it’s always important to refer to their specifications before just assuming you need a narrow fitting.

There’s no exact definition of a narrow foot. Research shows that not only do feet and shape sizes differ between the sexes, but also width can vary depending on stature and current body mass.

 

The Final Fitting

Often, people with narrow feet opt to try and cope with regular-sized shoes.

It’s a bad idea.

It causes discomfort, ill-posture, encourages blisters and can lead to injury. Hopefully, our guide to the best shoes for narrow feet has made finding the correct footwear effortless.

While naturally, as it depends on your needs, your first choice may not match ours. However, for the ultimate in slender-fitting shoes, our favorite option goes to the Asics Women’s Gel Kayano 24 Running Shoes.

Coming in narrow sizes, this footwear also includes a heel-clutching system to prevent slippage on a slender rearfoot. Furthermore, the multi-directional mesh means that even if you over-tighten for stability, it’ll flex to increase comfort and maintain movement when required.

Don’t suffer in silence—get yourself a shoe that your feet deserve.

 

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