Shoe Width [Meaning for All Sizes – AAAA thru EEEE]

Shoe Width

I usually buy standard shoe sizes, yet there are a wide varieties of shoe widths. Each shoe size may have a different width, although the width name or abbreviation may be the same.    

For each shoe with you may see an abbreviation for the size inside your shoe. The standard sizes are 4A, 2A, B, D, 2E, and 4E. For each size men and women will have different standard widths. See chart for sizes meaning and abbreviations used for both men and women.

Size (Standard Sizes in Bold)

Men’s (Abbreviations) 

Women’s (Abbreviations)


Extra Narrow

Extra Narrow (SS, ES, X)


Extra Narrow

Extra Narrow

AA (2A)

Extra Narrow (X)

Narrow (N)


Extra Narrow



Narrow (N)

Standard (M, A)





Standard (M, A)

Wide (W)



Extra Wide

EE (2E)

Wide (W)

Extra Wide  (WW, XW, EW, X)


Extra wide

Extra Wide


Extra Wide (WW, XW, EW, X)

Extra Wide (XX)

Abbreviations for Shoe Sizes- SS – Super Slim, EX – Extra Small, X – Extra narrow, N – Narrow, M – Medium, A – Average,  W – Wide, WW – Extra Wide, XW – Extra Wide, EW – Extra Wide, X – Extra Wide

For most shoes sold in shoe stores, you will find these sizes shown on the inside of your dress shoe and sometimes your sneakers. Brands bought through one store only may have different sizing, so refer to their website for more information. 

Measuring Your Foot Width

Measure foot Width

If you are looking for a shoe that is a better fit for your foot, finding the right width can be very helpful. In general, a shoe with one or more E is wide and a shoe with one or more A is narrow. You can find your width at home by carefully outlining your foot on a piece of paper or cardboard.

Then you measure your foot at the widest part near the ball of your foot. For most people, this will give you a range between 3-5 inches. Then you can determine the width of your shoe bases on men’s and women’s sizes.

Directions for measuring (See video below for visual)

  •  Place a paper of something to draw on, on a flat surface.
  •  Place your foot on the paper.
  •  Use a pen or pencil to outline your foot. Try to keep the pen at a 90° angle to the paper or straight up and down. 
  •  Use a ruler or do your best to make straight lines parallel to your foot and to each other. The lines should touch the widest part of your foot on either side. 
  •  Use a ruler to measure the distance from one line to the other. You can mark a dot on either side if that’s helpful.
  •  Try to be as precise as possible and line up the 0 mark on the ruler for the first line. Then look at the second line and see what mark it is closest to. That will be how wide your foot is. 

(Remember each inch usually has 16 division marks. Count each mark to find out what percent of the last inch will be in the final width measurement)  

Finding Your Optimal Shoe Width

Men’s and Women’s width sizes will be different. The standard width for men is wide on a woman’s shoe. The shoe length may be the same but women’s and men’s shoe widths are different. 

For example, a men’s size 12 has a standard width of  4 5/16, while a women’s size 12 standard width is 4 1/16. so to find the optimal width use a chart that corresponds to your gender and correct shoe size.

  • Find the width – When I measured my foot it was about 4 6/16 inches wide. 
  • What’s the normal size shoe that you wear? – Measure your foot length if needed. My foot is 11 1/2 inches but I get a size 12 shoe. 
  • Use a shoe width chart – Use a generalized width chart or you may need a specific chart from the manufacturer. Check the company’s website. Some may have a sizing chart.

Shoe Width Chart

This is a generalized shoe width chart of narrow, standard, and wide shoe widths. The shoe brand you buy may vary in width but they should be very similar to each other. This chart shows widths in inches. 

Shoe Size

Men’s (N-Narrow, S-Standard, W-wide)

Women’s (N-Narrow, S-Standard, W-wide)



N-3 1/16  S-3 3/16  W-3 5/16



N-3 2/16  S-3 4/16  W-3 6/16


N-3 6/16  S-3 8/16  W-3 10/16

N-3 3/16  S-3 5/16  W-3 7/16


N-3 8/16  S-3 10/16  W-3 12/16

N-3 4/16  S-3 6/16  W-3 8/16


N-3 8/16  S-3 10/16  W-3 12/16

N-3 5/16  S-3 7/16  W-3 9/16


N-3 9/16  S-3 11/16  W-3 13/16

N-3 6/16  S-3 8/16  W-3 10/16


N-3 10/16  S-3 12/16  W-3 14/16

N-3 7/16  S-3 9/16  W-3 11/16


N-3 10/16  S-3 12/16  W-3 14/16

N-3 8/16  S-3 10/16  W-3 12/16


N-3 13/16  S-3 15/16  W-4 1/16

N-3 9/16  S-3 11/16  W-3 13/16


N-3 13/16  S-3 15/16  W-4 1/16

N-3 10/16  S-3 12/16  W-3 14/16


N-3 14/16  S-4  W-4 2/16

N-3 10/16  S-3 12/16  W-3 14/16


N-4  S-4 2/16  W-4 4/16

N-3 12/16  S-3 14/16  W-4


N-4  S-4 2/16  W-4 4/16

N-3 13/16  S-3 15/16  W-4 1/16


N-4 1/16  S-4 3/16  W-4 5/16



N-4 3/16  S-4 5/16  W-4 7/16

N-3 15/16  S-4 1/16  W-4 3/16


N-4 3/16  S-4 5/16  W-4 7/16



N-4 3/16  S-4 5/16  W-4 7/16



N-4 4/16  S-4 6/16  W-4 8/16



This chart tells you if you should get a narrow, standard, or wide shoe. If you don’t see the width for your shoe size you can estimate it as extra narrow or extra wide. When you go to a shoe store you can say I’m an extra narrow or extra wide and tell them your foot width measurement.  

On some shoe size charts and on some shoe labels, you may need to convert sixteenths to the lowest terms


  • 2/16 is 1/8
  • 4/16 is 1/4
  • 6/16 is 3/8
  • 8/16 is 1/2
  • 10/16 is 5/8
  • 12/16 is 3/4
  • 14/16 is 7/8

Getting a Good Shoe Fit

A Good Fit

If you have measured your foot width and have looked at a chart for your shoe size. you should now have a close approximation of the type of shoe to get.

For example, my foot is 4  6/16″. When I look at the normal size I wear on the chart above, a size 12, I see that my foot width is between standard shoe size and wide. 

I can wear a standard shoe width and be fine in a size 12 for many shoe brands. The best way to check out if I’m right is to start trying on some shoes. For most shoes, the sizes will be similar, but sometimes you may find a brand of shoe that is tighter or looser than what you might expect.

That’s why you want to check to see if they have their own sizing guide online, so you can get the best fit for your foot. 

Ordering Custom Shoes  

Many shoe companies will only make standard shoe sizes that fit the sizes that most people wear. In the US these sizes are 4A, 2A, B, D, 2E, and 4E. Yet, you can get a custom-made shoe that fits your foot more precisely. 

You will need to go to a store or measure your foot yourself and get a shoe made that will fit your foot just right. You should consider how you will be using your shoes and if you will be doing a lot of walking and standing. Your feet tend to change a little throughout the day. Don’t buy shoes that are too snug, if you expect to do a lot of walking.

Be sure to get all your questions answered by the shoe company before you buy so you know exactly what to expect when your shoes arrive. A good pair of custom shoes might be a really good investment, but take your time to make sure it matches what you need.   

Shoe Size Conversions


Each country has its own way to determine shoe size. In the US, you will likely find it helpful to know the shoe size of the UK and Europe. You can find the conversion chart above at It can help you convert your size by gender, size, and country.

Things to Consider Before You Buy

When you are ready to buy a shoe, think about how you will be using your shoes and if your feet will swell as you wear them. Our feet should feel comfortable throughout the day in the shoes that we get. 

If you go to my article about a walking shoe checklist, you can find out if the shoes you are about to wear meet all the criteria you are looking for.

Think about the socks you will normally be wearing, if your feet might swell during the day, and if your shoes are comfortable if you need to walk for long distances.   

Getting a pair of shoes that fits just right can be great, but if it’s uncomfortable when you walk for 5 minutes, we should consider a shoe that fits well and is comfortable as well.   

Does Your Foot Size Change?

It’s a good idea to measure your foot size every once in a while. Your foot size usually doesn’t change after the age of 21. What might happen though is your foot shape and arch can change over time. Measure the length and width by tracing around your foot. (See video above steps to take.)

Get the measurements of your foot and write them down for reference when you need to buy shoes or get custom-made shoes. As your foot gets stronger, weaker, wider, or more narrow you can measure them again to get a more precise idea of your foot size and width.

Foot Size in the Morning and Evening

Measure foot Length

One way to get the best idea of your precise foot measurements is to measure twice a day. Once in the morning before you wear your shoes and then in the evening when you have used your shoes all day. Your feet will measure a little bit differently. 

Measure both the length and the width to be sure that your foot measurements are the same or different. It might give you a better chance to see what changes have occurred when you measure barefoot versus wearing a sock. 

You probably want to use the larger evening measurements when getting a new shoe. This will allow your foot some room the expand if needed unless the shoe you choose is stretchy and will be comfortable even when it’s fairly snug. 

Will My Shoes Stretch Out? 

Some shoes just don’t stretch while others can stretch some. Leather shoes can both stretch and shrink, so you will need to be careful around water when using them. Synthetic fibers tend not to stretch unless they are made to such as elastic.   

If your shoes end up being too tight and their custom shoes you might be able to get them to fit better by stretching them. In this article, I talk about ways to stretch your shoes

It’s best to try on your shoe before you buy them or return them if you can. If you can’t, stretching them might be a possible solution to tight shoes. 

Final Thoughts

Shoe width may be something you need to know to buy the best fitting shoes for your next pair of shoes. Measuring your feet is fairly easy and then you will have the exact measurement you need to get the right shoe width for your foot.

Various shoes have varying widths that are different from shoe company to shoe company. So, measuring and understanding the letters that represent shoe widths can come in handy when your about to buy your next pair of shoes.  

 Thanks for Visiting

References – Info on shoe width – Info on shoe buying tips


I enjoy many types of outdoor activities including running, hiking, and walking. I was a former elementary school teacher for 17 years and now enjoy writing and sharing my love of the outdoors.

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