Today, we’ll be talking about something that I for a fact know is bothering way too many players and just people in general – having wider feet than normal and in result, struggling to find a comfortable pair of basketball shoes to accommodate this. In this list, I’ll be breaking down the five best basketball shoes for wide feet.
SHOW TABLE OF CONTENTS
HERE’S WHAT TO EXPECT
We need to attack the wide feet situation from all angles
If you have read some of my previous posts, you know that I’m a huge wide footer myself, and I’ve been battling with it throughout all my years of playing.
I’ll give you guys some breathing room and personally pick out the 5 best choices when it comes to maintaining proper comfort and performance while playing.
I know that’s hard to achieve when the shoe’s upper and overall construction is not allowing a wider foot to feel comfortable and not restricted, as well as even causing pain on a never-ending break-in period.
But first, let’s quickly nail down the main key areas of what you should be looking for in wide foot-friendly hoop shoe when shopping for one.
This way, you’ll be at least briefly educated if you decide to get a new pair yourself down the line.
WIDE FOOT-FRIENDLY SHOES. WHAT TO LOOK FOR?
A few key points are all you need
There are only a few main aspects you should be giving your full attention to when it comes to a basketball shoe compatible with a wide foot.
However, there’s something you need to know first. Getting a shoe online for a wide foot will always be tricky – most of today’s mainstream ball shoes aren’t really focused on accomodating wide footers.
So it is always your best intention to first try a shoe on if you have the ability to. If you don’t – then your best bet will be to check up on shoe reviews, where testers mostly touch on the sizing and fit aspects.
Since I’m a wide footer myself, I always mention the shoe’s comfort & fit aspects from a wide footer’s perspective and give advice on which size to go for in my shoe reviews.
So if you’re not able to try a shoe on first and the reviews are lacking in information, here are the main key areas where you should be looking for.
I. A WIDER CONSTRUCTION
The very first thing I’d encourage to look for is the shoe should have a slightly wider construction than the usual, specifically in the forefoot area.
This is the factor that’s likely going to have the largest impact but is also the most difficult to spot by eye, without having proper education on the shoe. Brand websites usually don’t cover this too well, and it can get quite tricky to notice a difference yourself while just looking at the pictures.
However, you’d need a good example to have some idea of how a wider forefoot looks like.
The first picture consists of a pretty wide forefoot area, wider than the standard – the front is stretching just a tad bit out of the carrier and you can see the forefoot is a bit wider than the rest of the shoe.
You can also pin-point the fact that wide foot-friendly shoes usually have a more rounded base, including in the forefoot, which also helps sit the foot more comfortably inside the frame.
Notice the very tip of the forefoot area, the toebox – it’s still relatively wide and does not thin out at the end as most shoes do.
The second picture consists of a relatively narrow forefoot, closer to today’s standard. The shoe’s width is pretty much even though the forefoot area is rounded, the toebox quickly narrows down at the end, making it more difficult for wide footers.
I know it can be a bit tricky to spot this on certain models but if you really can’t get a proper review on it, this is the #1 thing you should be trying to locate.
Drop me a comment under the post or contact me if you think you have a shoe in mind but you’re still not quite sure!
II. SOFTER, MORE FLEXIBLE MATERIALS
Another EXTREMELY important factor that’s just as critical is the shoe’s upper materials.
This sometimes can be a deciding factor when it comes to purchasing a hoop shoe for wide feet. Let’s say the shoe’s upper is some very rigid synthetic leather or nubuck, which barely stretches.
You take that shoe and pair it with a regular/narrow base and it’s going to be very hard to stuff a wide foot inside them, and even more so feeling comfortable in it.
On the other hand, take a shoe with a much softer material such as a knit, which stretches a lot and easily molds to your foot shape. Pair that with the same narrow/regular construction and you’re not in that much trouble this time.
These softer uppers are designed to have almost non-existing break-in periods – you play in a woven or soft mesh for a few games and most shoes’ uppers can adjust to even extremely wide feet.
This is why it’s important to nail down this combination – if you can get a softer upper + a wider construction – then it’s going to be your ideal option. However, sticking with a soft upper even though the forefoot/midfoot areas look pretty narrow is still a good idea.
III. WIDE SIZES
Another tip would be to look for specific wide sizes that some stores offer for some shoes.
This will be pretty rare for basketball shoes realistically, but I’ve seen some models in the past couple of years that have this available, mostly on Amazon.
If you see a basketball shoe that you like have these “Wide” sizes, then it’s your best to go for that instead. As I’ve mentioned, today’s mainstream shoes have this option very rarely but it’s still a good idea to check it up on Amazon, as you’d be going the safest route.
IV. SHOP FOR CHINESE VERSIONS
If you’re looking for a particular shoe but you’re not sure how it’ll fit a wider foot, one option is to shop for that shoe in a Chinese-based brand or store. Most of the kicks sold overseas are built on a wider last.
So if you have the ability to shop for a shoe on a Chinese retailer, chances are you’re getting a slightly wider construction and that will ensure a better fit for wide footers since the Chinese population generally have wider feet as opposed to the U.S.
Now mind you – this isn’t always the case and some shoes will still offer the same exact build, so it’s best to inspect what you’re getting first and possibly reach out to the retailer, asking if it’s the standard or the wider version.
Chinese versions also commonly have XDR rubber outsoles slapped on for better durability outdoors. Something you’d find on an EP version of the shoe in the U.S.
Now, onto the shoe list!
BEST BASKETBALL SHOES FOR WIDE FEET
9 picks, in no particular order. Last updated on the 17th of March, 2021
I. NIKE LEBRON 17
The latest of LeBron’s shoe army, the 17th model, just like most of his released product, is very friendly for wide footers. The shoe’s base is rounded and pretty wide all-throughout, and the upper is pure knit with some Fuse reinforcements on key areas.
The interior of the shoe is also roomy, which awesome for a wider foot, plus you can of course adjust the laces to find your perfect fit if you find your foot to be a bit looser than you’d like.
This combination works wonders for us flat footers – I’ve found the LeBron 17 to deliver one of the most fun and comfortable experiences I’ve while playing in the last couple of years.
The cushion setup on the shoe is Zoom Air in the forefoot and Max Air in the heel. It’s springy and so much fun to play in. Pair that with stellar support, and it’s a great package for a lot of heavier/above-the-rim players.
KEYS TO REMEMBER
Traction is something some users had issues with. I’ve personally experienced solid traction on all surfaces, but the rubber on the outsole isn’t the most durable – don’t take these outdoors if you’re looking to save your 200 bucks.
Also, speaking of the 200 dollar range – this is among the priciest shoes you can get, so be aware just in case you’re getting them for some light shootarounds every few days. You’re getting what you pay for though.
II. NIKE HYPERDUNK 2017 FLYKNIT
The latest iteration of the discontinued Hyperdunk line, the 2017’s Flyknit model is the shoe to go, if you’re looking for a good wide footer’s shoe, a good shoe overall, and if you’re not looking to break the bank either. I always loved the simplicity and barebones approach in the Hyperdunk line – it simply worked. Most of the time.
The shoe’s toe box area is nice and roomy, it’s rounded and the upper is pure Flyknit which is as soft and flexible as it can get. Expect a very short break-in time, and your wide feet will thank you for this experience.
The Hyperdunk 2017 FK is no slouch in terms of performance either – traction, cushioning, support, and overall fit are fantastic. The shoe’s firm React cushioning is not as fun to play in as in a LeBron 17, but this one’s catered towards pretty much any player out there, so versatility is on point.
The shoe comes in four versions: there’s a mid-top and a low-top, and both of the versions come either in a synthetic upper or a Flyknit upper. If you can find the Flyknit one, go for that one as it will allow for more stretching, so a quicker break-in for footers.
KEYS TO REMEMBER
Speaking of firm cushioning, the React setup on these is definitely on the firmer side, some players don’t like this, as it takes away most impact protection and it’s overall not as fun of an experience.
However, if you’re looking for pure mobility and maximum court feel, while still having some protection underfoot, these ones will be great for you!
III. ADIDAS DAME 3
Still one of my all-time favorite shoes on the court, the Dame 3 is both a legendary shoe and a shoe done well for a wide footer.
There are no soft upper variants such as knit or woven released, but the shoe’s very wide and flat base of the forefoot area was enough to be comfy as hell for me.
The midfoot area makes it a little tricky to put on since it’s an internal bootie construction (the tongue is not separated and flexes very minimally), but once they’re on – they feel awesome.
I don’t have to tell you much about their on-court performance – the Dame 3 is a straight killer. Fantastically balanced BOUNCE cushion works wonders ’till this day, amazing traction (durable for outdoors as well), stellar support as always from Adidas, and they are extremely durable.
KEYS TO REMEMBER
It’s really tough to nitpick this one as it’s that good but I should again mention that it can take a bit of time to get used to the bootie construction.
Not that it’s not common in today’s releases, it’s this particular variant that the Dame 3 brought that still gives me some trouble while putting them on. Though if you’re more patient than I am, you should be fine.
IV. ADIDAS D ROSE 6 BOOST PRIMEKNIT
The one and only OG in the amazing era that BOOST was for basketball shoes. This happens to be a very wide foot-friendly option. Notice the wide forefoot, the flat and wide base, and the high midfoot area, which helps us a lot.
Make sure to get the Primeknit version if you find it – it’ll further help the wide foot issue, and you should feel fantastic in these after a few days of playing.
The D Rose 6 is one of the last shoes to implement that god-like version of BOOST cushioning in Adidas’s basketball line, and man was it awesome.
The shoe is rocking a full-length BOOST midsole, StableFrame for additional support, a premium Primeknit upper, and other stuff that makes this one of the best shoes for EVERYONE still TODAY.
KEYS TO REMEMBER
These will be a bit trickier to find, especially the Primeknit version since we’re all the way up to the D Rose 10 and 11 now. I did see some options on Amazon and some overseas sites. But if you manage to find them – I would highly encourage you to go for it, forget the year released, these are still among the best.
V. ANTA RAJON RONDO RR5
I keep saying this everywhere: DON’T. SLEEP. ON. ANTA. A whole bunch of affordable, well-rounded performance hoop shoes are being built over there, and you should absolutely take advantage. As long as you can deal with the fact that there isn’t a Swoosh, a Jumpan or a Three Stripe logo slapped on it.
Rajon Rondo’s fifth signature shoe with the Chinese brand Anta is a banger, and now you know that Chinese brands make shoes with a wider construction, so it’s a good fit for a wide foot right away. Pair that with a very nice thick knit upper and the adjusting time needed becomes very minimal.
The rest of the shoe is just as fantastic: great traction that’s ready for outdoors, balanced A-Shock cushion that offers both response AND some spring back underfoot, strong all-around support without taking away mobility, and you can find these in the $85-$130 range in 2021.
KEYS TO REMEMBER
Since it’s a Chinese brand model, you won’t find sizes above 11 (US) unfortunately. Sorry big guys – you’ll have to skip this one!
VI. UNDER ARMOUR ANATOMIX SPAWN (2019)
The reborn Anatomix Spawn line by Under Armour came back with quite a bang. The 2019’s UA Anatomix Spawn (both mid and the low) is a fantastic shoe that happens to be a great fit for wide footers. The unusual fact about this one is it’ll fit a wide footer better than a regular/narrow footer due to the construction.
We’ve got a wide & tall forefoot area and a 3/4 bootie construction, making the shoe both secure-fitting and easier to put on if you’ve got a thicker foot like mine. The thin mesh upper molds to your foot shape and stretches out a bit but the Fuse overlays in key areas ensure the upper has enough structure to last a while.
MicroG cushion is packing inside, providing a very versatile ride with a little bit of everything: response, court feel, and some bounce for those explosive beasts. The traction is just as deadly as you’d usually see on an Under Armour shoe and these only retail at $110.
KEYS TO REMEMBER
This particular 2019 model of the Anatomix Spawn seems a little tricky to find these days, so checking at all fronts like eBay, Amazon or even StockX will be required if you can’t find your size at the usual sports retailers.
Also, don’t take these outdoors too often – the rubber used doesn’t feel very strong and while it would be fine for occasional sessions, regular play will likely wreck the outsoles all too quickly.
VII. ANTA GORDON HAYWARD GH1
Once again: Chinese brand model built on a wider last – check. Quality materials that make use of stretchy synthetics in key areas – check. All-around performance – check. Affordable at just $100 – check. It’s hard not to love ANTA if you can get out of the “mainstream brands are the only brands” rut.
So much like the ANTA RR5, the forefoot area is widened and fairly tall, so both a wide and a thick foot should find this very welcoming. The upper is synthetic leather at the front, while the midfoot and back areas are a mix of textile & stretchy neoprene.
Takes a bit of time to break in but once it does – the shoe feels really nice and almost one-to-one even for a wider foot.
A-FlashFoam was used for cushion and while it’s nothing mindblowing from a bounce/comfort standpoint, it provides everything you need performance-wise while staying comfy. Traction is also great, as well as security.
KEYS TO REMEMBER
Just as the RR5, you won’t find sizes above 11 (US) due to the Chinese population being generally smaller/shorter in comparison. Big guys up at the frontcourt will have to skip these.
VIII. AIR JORDAN 34
Another extremely premium from a premium shoe line, and happens to be an excellent shoe for wide footers. AJ is generally known for putting out wider, more bulky shoes overall. This can sometimes work for, sometimes against them but the AJ 34 seems to be fantastic all-around, plus offering a great experience for a wider foot.
The whole base of the shoe is larger than a more traditional low-profile sneaker, there’s a ton of room inside if you need it and the upper is layered woven which can easily adjust to your foot in time.
The shoe’s cushion setup is Zoom Air units in the heel and forefoot, and they feel awesome. Traction is also stellar, as well as the shoe’s support & containment areas. It’s a killer all-around package and something pretty rare when it comes to superb pure performance basketball models from AJ.
KEYS TO REMEMBER
Once again, take note that the shoe retails for $175 which is on the steeper side. Also, be prepared for a short break-in period. Since the shoe is not purely made of raw woven, the shoe’s materials will need some time for a wider foot to properly adapt. After that though, you’ll be good to go!
IX. AIR JORDAN 35
A direct successor to the Jordan 34 – there’s not a lot different about the 35th shoe but in this case, it’s a good thing. It’s hard to top greatness but even then, a couple of tweaks were made to the new model, while retaining that wide footer-friendly fit & construction.
The Air Jordan 35 underwent the biggest change in the materials used – a leather & textile combo or a suede & textile combo is available, and both feel great after a short break-in period. Even for a wide footer. A bit of weight was shaved off but the shoe turned out to be even more supportive due to more structure in the materials used.
Similar tech specs in the cushion department, though the ride feels a little firmer & faster this time (while still retaining a good amount of bounce). Traction is still phenomenal and the retail price tag was upped by a measly $5.
KEYS TO REMEMBER
A similar break-in period awaits you when compared to the Jordan 34, albeit a wider foot will likely take a bit more time to soften up the leather/nubuck this time. However, there’s one slight issue people have been experiencing in the 35, which is not present in the 34.
If you lace the shoe up really tight, the nylon lace loops that are attached to the laces internally might dig into the arches of your feet, sometimes even at an extreme level, causing pain upon movements. It wasn’t a very strong case for me personally but something you should be aware of. More details in the full review!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE WIDE-FOOT FRIENDLY SHOE?
Thanks for staying with me all the way to the end, that’s it for today’s list! I truly hope you enjoyed it and found it informative. My personal favorites are the Jordan 34, the Dame 3, and the D Rose 6 Primeknit. Even though they’re a little older now, I can’t stop playing in those!
I’ll leave you with links to dedicated reviews of each in case you’re interested in getting a pair and need more insight.
Maybe you already got your favorite shoe? Or perhaps you got any questions?
Leave a comment down below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!