6 Best Hiking Shoes For Wide Feet in 2023

Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto on
6 Best Hiking Shoes For Wide Feet in 2023
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Give your feet a break from getting squished every time you hit on the trails. Get a glove-like feel with a dependable pair of hiking shoes for wide feet. Ill-fitting shoes can ruin an otherwise great outdoor adventure and put your feet and ankles at risk of injury or bruised toenails.

Having a wide-foot problem can be a real challenge when going for a day hike or a backpacking trip. Thanks to footwear manufacturers like Danner, Oboz, KEEN, and Vasque, to name a few, you no longer have to suffer from unnecessary discomfort while tackling challenging terrains.

To help you find the ideal shoes that’ll suit your feet, we’ve rounded up and tested 30 pairs of the best hiking shoes for wide feet. We took them on our on-foot journey on different hiking routes and did all sorts of typical hiking activities in them to properly establish our opinions about them in all possible aspects. Take a quick look at our top picks in different categories.

Best shoes with a wide toebox for water hiking

Nike ACG Watercat+

What makes it the best?

We put wide-toebox hiking shoes to the test and found Nike ACG Watercat+ to be the best for water hiking. It shines the most in and around water with its effective drainage system, easy-to-maneuver build, and reliable traction on slippery surfaces.

The wickerwork upper keeps our feet dry from water and sweat because the woven cords have large ventilation holes. Amazingly, the bottom part has drainage holes for faster drying too. 

We felt as nimble as a cat maneuvering through slippery rocks and tricky underwater surfaces. Watercat+ has a flexible build and low stack providing good ground feel for better balance. In our lab bend test, it needed 30.7% less force than the average hiking shoe to bend to 90 degrees. Its heel and forefoot cushion stand lower than the average, resulting in a more leveled 4.7 mm drop. This makes us more sensitive to the ground.

Enhancing our control further is the generous toebox that offers 7.9 mm extra space than average. Even at the big toe area, it gives 10.8 mm more room than the average — allowing our natural toe splay. We have no doubts about grip because the sticky patterned outsole keeps us steady through all conditions.

Unfortunately, the holes in the upper leave room for small rocks to get in.


  • Outstanding water drainage
  • Immensely breathable
  • Excellent abrasion resistance
  • Very light on foot
  • Amazingly grippy on wet
  • Very grounded platform
  • Bends along with the foot
  • Adaptable fit with a roomy toebox
  • Easy on-and-off
  • Comfy in-shoe feel
  • Bold aesthetics


  • No arch or ankle support
  • Catches debris and small pebbles easily
Full review of Nike ACG Watercat+

Best lightweight hiking shoes with a wide toebox

What makes it the best?

Is there such a thing as a breathable hiking shoe that’s uber lightweight and suitable for wide feet? There is indeed, and it’s called the Adidas Terrex Trailmaker! Our feet feel light and airy, thanks to their lightweight, breathable upper and the wide toe box allows ample airflow to keep our feel fresh and comfortable, not to mention wiggle room! The Adidas Terrex Trailmaker is undoubtedly our best lightweight hiking shoe with a wide toe box!

Lightweight and flexible, it’s easy to forget we’re wearing shoes in the Trailmaker! The scales don’t lie; when we weighed them in our lab, we found them to be 9% lighter than the average hiking shoes! They keep our feet fresh while hiking, and our legs still have energy to burn at the end of the day.

Even at a glance, the Trailmaker is noticeably wider than the competition. Back in the lab, our calipers cinched it. Measuring 102.7 mm at the forefoot, they are 3.3 mm wider than average, leaving plenty of space for hikers with wider feet. It carries the advantage through to the toe, as well. Measuring 79.8 mm at the big toe, there is also 3.3 mm extra space at the end of the shoe. We found our toes could spread out more comfortably than in a narrower shoe.

This shoe is a cut above the rest on a hot day! Its durable upper may not look especially breathable, but our feet didn’t overheat on our hikes, and they dried out quickly after a soaking. When we pumped smoke into the shoe, it exited through the tightly woven upper quickly and evenly, taking us by surprise! In fact, we rated it a solid 4/5 for breathability, one of the more breathable shoes that we have tested.

In order to keep the weight down, this shoe lacks cushioning underfoot. The midsole is comfortably soft, but the stack height measures 3.1 mm less than average below the heel. Combined, this makes for slightly less cushioning (and more ground feel), which is why we don’t recommend the Adidas Terrex Trailmaker for long hikes or backpacking.


  • Extra lightweight
  • Amazing in-shoe comfort
  • Highly breathable
  • Balance of cushion and ground feel
  • Stable for a light shoe
  • More flexible than average
  • Welcomes wide feet
  • Secure lockdown (bootie upper)


  • Outsole lacks durability
  • Not enough grip on wet terrain
Full review of Adidas Terrex Trailmaker

Best budget hiking shoes with a wide toebox

What makes it the best?

A superbly versatile shoe, the Adidas Terrex AX4 won us over with a wide variety of features which make it the best budget hiking shoe with a wide toe box. With a starting price of $90, it doesn’t break the bank. $21 cheaper than average, its wide forefoot offers a good amount of wiggle-room for our toes, and it finds the sweet spot between water repellency and breathability. Its firm but protective cushioning keeps our feet safe and comfortable while out hiking.

Out hiking, our toes felt free to move in the wide toe-box of the Terrex AX4. Back in the lab, we measured the width with a caliper, discovering the forefoot is an impressive 102.1 mm wide, compared to the average 98.3 mm! Combined with a stiff heel counter - which we measured as the stiffest 5/5 - our feet felt firmly locked into the shoe whilst not cramping our toes.

This is a seriously adaptable all-rounder which finds a balance between water repellency and breathability. In our lab tests, we pump smoke into the shoe and watch to see how much smoke permeates the upper. The Adidas Terrex AX4 scored a respectable 3/5 for breathability - a good middle ground. We took a close look at the mesh upper through a microscope too - the tight weave is responsible for keep light rain and morning dew out of the shoe, while still allowing air to flow through.

A firm and protective shoe, our feet had no problems hiking or sharp rocks and scree. In the lab, we tested the midsole with a durometer. It measured 39 HA, 19% firmer than average in hiking shoes. It kept our feet protected from sharp objects as well as providing a stable foothold.

On colder days we felt the midsole stiffening up, so we put it in the freezer for 20 minutes to simulate cold weather. When we tested it again with a durometer, we found it had become 26% harder - quite a jump for an already-firm shoe. We don’t recommend it to hikers looking for a high-performing winter hiking shoe.


  • Excellent value for money
  • Feels like a trail running shoe
  • Breathable
  • Water-repellent
  • Solid grip
  • Durable for the price
  • Stable platform
  • Contains recycled materials


  • Lacks toe protection
  • Flimsy insole
Full review of Adidas Terrex AX4

Most comfortable hiking shoes with a wide toebox

What makes it the best?

Teva Grandview GTX Low is a gem for day-long hiking adventures. Trekking for long distances was such a dream with this hiking shoe as it liberated us from concerns like tender spots, violent landing impacts, and compressed toes. Ultimately, we named it the wide hiking shoe with unbeatable comfort.

The substantial amount of foam beneath our feet was noticeable right from the kickoff. As it turned out, the cushioning of the Grandview GTX Low is close to the mean, with a 33.6 mm heel stack height and 23 mm thickness at the forefoot. This is the right amount for both all-day on-foot delight and impact deadening. What also helped with comfort is the 15.3 HA soft midsole. Not only did it trounce the average softness by 46.7% but it also made our trips much more enjoyable.

Our toes could also comfortably spread in the confines of the Teva Grandview GTX Low. We took the width of the toebox which was 103.8 mm. This was indeed wide, even wider than the average by 3.8 mm. We’ve established that comfort is not an issue for extended hikes but sadly, outsole durability is. Our Dremel caused a 1.4 mm dent on it, which is 27.3% deeper than the others we’ve tested. Keep this in mind when going for rugged and harsh trips.


  • Excellent waterproofing
  • Softer than average cushioning
  • Great impact protection
  • Remains soft and flexible in low temps
  • Very stable and supportive
  • Deep lugs with top-notch grip
  • Comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Good wear resistance
  • A dream for wide feet


  • Heavier than average
  • Not for narrow feet
  • Heel lock is fiddly
Full review of Teva Grandview GTX Low

Best overall hiking shoes with a wide toebox

KEEN Targhee II

What makes it the best?

More room for toe maneuvering and no likelihood of constraint – this is KEEN Targhee II. It is the most phenomenal wide-fitting hiking shoe we’ve brought along on our adventures. And to sweeten the pot, it didn’t display any signs of backing down no matter the intensity of our hikes. 

Challenging trails must just be a walk in the park for KEEN Targhee II as wherever we navigated, it could hold its ground. From soft soil and waterlogged grounds to slippery stones and tree roots, we remained up on our feet. 

Even more fascinating is the tank that KEEN Targhee II was. We couldn’t even believe how tough the terrain was and how long the miles it survived unmarred. We found that it demonstrated durability even in the transition from dry settings to wet. 

It’s a pity that KEEN Targhee II is 12.4% heavier than its peers because it would have been fantastic to trek with the feeling of nothing on the feet.  If you also prefer the sense of being barefooted on hikes, we can not vouch for Targhee II.


  • True to size
  • Roomy toebox
  • Waterproof
  • Impressively durable
  • Grippy outsole


  • Loose fit
  • Rigid feel
  • Break-in period needed
Full review of KEEN Targhee II

Best minimalist hiking shoes with a wide toebox

What makes it the best?

We crowned Vivobarefoot Magna FG as the best minimalist shoe among wide-toebox hiking shoes. As its name suggests, it's all about the barefoot feel. It has minimalist written all over it with its light weight, flexible build, and zero drop. Yet despite its simple nature, it offers stability through its wide toebox and flawless traction.

Magna FG is very easy to maneuver because it's light on the foot and bends with our natural strides without resistance. It feels like it’s barely there in a good way. It has a close-to-the-ground stance with a thin layer separating our feet from the ground. This enhances ground sensitivity, which allows us to adapt quickly to whatever surface we’re on.

Ensuring steady landings is the wide toebox where our toes could splay naturally. This improves our surefootedness on uneven terrains. Further improving our balance is the reliable grip of the outsole. We hiked through rocky paths, loose dirt, and wet pavements and saw that the traction kept us steady every time.

Since this is a zero-drop shoe, we recommend beginners to build up mileage slowly since it takes time for our leg muscles to adjust to this type of shoe.


  • Extremely flexible
  • Super-light
  • Grips everything dry and wet
  • Breathable and comfy
  • Holds foot in place
  • Great ground sensitivity
  • Very versatile
  • Wide feet are welcome
  • More protected than other similar shoes


  • Laces are not durable
  • Too expensive
Full review of Vivobarefoot Magna FG

Comparison of the 6 best hiking shoes for wide feet

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How to choose hiking shoes for wide feet

Welcome to all our wide-footed friends!

You have successfully found one of the most informative guides on hiking shoes with wide boxes. By the end of this article, you will learn about the importance of the toebox, why the width of hiking shoes matters, and what can happen if you don’t take the width of your feet seriously.


To accommodate a wide foot, you need to look for one or both of the following:

  • Wide width (2E/4E for men and D/E for women)
  • Wide toebox

The importance of toebox width for wide feet 

"Toebox" is a technical term for the front of your shoe. As the name suggests, it is the part of your shoe that contains your toes.

The space inside the toebox should be large enough for your toes to spread out and wiggle. That way, your feet can properly function.

As you walk, your heel comes into contact with the ground, a natural process known as heel striking. As you finish stepping, your foot lowers and flattens. The flattening process, or the collapsing of the arches in our foot, is called pronation. As your feet pronate, your toes splay outwards.

Then, as you move forward, your heel lifts off the ground. Your muscles tighten, and the many bones in your feet lock. Your toes propel your body weight forward like a springboard. This process is called supination.


During both processes – of pronation and supination – your toes need room to work. They need space to stretch, flex, and move. When they cannot function properly due to a small toebox, they become susceptible to podiatric problems.    

Problems that can come from a cramped toebox

Selecting a hiking shoe with a wide toebox is more than just making your feet more comfortable. It is a major factor in preventing injuries.

Ill-fitting shoes with a cramped toebox can lead to various issues.

  • Black toenails, also known as “runner’s toe”
  • Calluses, corns, and blisters
  • Foot deformities such as claw toes, also known as hammer toes and bunions

Determining if your feet are “wide”

Determining whether you have wide feet and finding a shoe that comfortably fits your feet can be a journey. Unfortunately, finding a shoe that works for your unique feet can take some time and experimentation.

One indicator that you have “wider than normal” feet is if your feet consistently feel suffocated in the majority of the shoe you try out. When this is the case, your toes are not able to wiggle and spread out, or they even curl at the front of the toebox.

Other indicators of whether or not you have wide feet are age, unique foot deformities, swelling, pregnancy, and genetics.

Our feet change shape and size with age 

This is obvious, but throughout your life, your feet will change. They get larger as your body grows. But your feet continue to change, even after your body fully matures.

Typically, feet tend to grow longer and wider with age. This is because as you age, the ligaments and tendons in your feet loosen and stretch out. The arch of your foot also collapses more.

Foot deformities and injuries affect foot shape and size

Some feet are naturally wider than others. And sometimes, feet are wider because deformities take form, most notably bunions.

Bunions are bony bumps that form on the joint at the base of your big toe. They can be caused by prolonged pressure on the feet that compresses the big toe and pushes it inward. Due to its location, a bunion becomes the widest part of your foot.   

Swelling can occur

Our feet fluctuate in size and width due to swelling. Long and short-term swelling in the feet and legs, also known as peripheral edema, can be caused by a medical condition that requires treatment to fix. But swelling can also occur from being on your feet all day at work or on a hike.  

Pregnancy can make women’s feet swell

During pregnancy, a reproductive hormone called relaxin, which is produced by the ovaries and placenta, is released into the body. Its primary purpose is to relax joints, ligaments, and muscles to help the female body stretch to prepare for delivery.

As a result, it is common for swelling in pregnant women's legs, ankles, and feet, especially during the second and third trimesters.   

Genetics plays a role in foot shape and size

Your genetics play a vital role in all of the physical characteristics you inherit. That’s why it's common for children to look so similar compared to their biological parents. This is true for shapes and sizes of feet also.

Depending on their genetics, some people will have naturally wider feet than normal. Interestingly, individuals born with flatter feet will also have wider feet due to the lack of an arch. 

Fitting tips for selecting hiking shoes for wide feet 

Trying on hiking shoes involves more than just putting on a pair of shoes and looking in the mirror. You can do specific things to ensure you get the best-fitted shoe.

  • Take your time. Try not to rush when you try new shoes. Instead, enjoy the process, and remember that you plan to hike hundreds if not thousands of miles in whichever pair you select. That’s important and worthy of your time.
  • Try shoes on in the afternoon. Your feet swell throughout the day, especially if you stand a lot for work or are hiking all day. So try new shoes in the afternoon or evening when your feet have had time to swell up. That way, you are not surprised when your shoes fit in the morning but feel too tight in the afternoon.
  • Try on both pairs. It is common for your feet to be different sizes. They can vary in length, width, or both. So try to avoid settling on a pair until you’ve tried on both shoes, even if the first one went on perfectly like a glove.
  • Buy multiple pairs. We recommend buying multiple pairs in a variety of sizes. That way, you can try on various sizes at one time. This strategy is beneficial for shopping online. Just make sure you double-check the return policy of the e-commerce website you are patronizing.
  • Wear your shoes around the house. To get a feel for your new shoes, we recommend wearing them around the house as you cook meals or do chores. You can learn a lot about shoes by wearing them before taking them on a proper adventure. Also, remember to avoid wearing them outside so you can keep them clean if you need to return them.  
  • Consider the materials. Some shoes will stretch while others will not. It all depends on the material that the shoe manufacturer uses. So, consider the materials, and if they stretch a little bit, for example, leather, select a size that will work with your feet even after a little stretch. 

Frequently asked questions 

Which hiking shoe with a wide toebox has the least heel-to-toe drop?

Most shoes position your feet so the heel sits higher than the toes. This is due to the cushioning in the midsole. The difference in elevation between the heel and the toes is called a heel-to-toe drop or heel drop.

Of the hiking shoes with wide toeboxes that we reviewed in this article, the Xero Shoes Aqua X Sport has the least heel-to-toe drop.  

Can a toebox be too wide?

Yes, too much room in the toebox can be a problem. For example, if your feet are “swimming” in your shoes, then too much movement occurs, and your foot is not secure. In such cases, you become more susceptible to injuries such as the runner’s toe, blisters, and Achilles tendonitis.

How much room do my toes need?

Your toes need room to wiggle and spread out then you make a step. A good rule of thumb to follow regarding wiggle room for your toes in the toebox is to reserve ⅜” to ½” inches of space between your longest toe and the front of the shoe. And remember, your longest toe may not be your big toe. 

Which brands are best for wide toeboxes?

Some hiking shoe manufacturers are more well-known than others when creating shoes with wider toeboxes. We’ve included many great options– Danner, Salomon, and Keen. However, it’s important to mention that different shoe models from the same manufacturer may have different-sized toeboxes. Therefore, when you find a brand and shoe model that works well with your unique feet, we recommend sticking with them.

Which shoe with a wide toebox is the most waterproof?

If you frequently hike in wet climates and terrain, having waterproof shoes may be worthwhile. Of the shoes we reviewed with wide-toeboxes, there are two notable mentions regarding waterproofing, the Keen NXIS Evo WP, and the Salomon Odyssey GTX.

How we test hiking shoes

Reviewing all the pairs of hiking shoes for wide-footed people requires hours of research and performance tests in the field. Before giving each one its overall rating, we take the shoes on a series of hikes and off-road adventures, covering 30-50 miles across different terrains.

Our selection method includes doing the following:

  • Investing time, energy, and our own resources to buy wide-toe box hiking shoes from trusted brands. This guarantees the 100% objectivity of our comprehensive reviews.
  • Clocking up the miles wear testing the shoes on the trails. We specifically determine their real-life fit, comfort, traction, heel protection, waterproofness, durability, and more. We also subject all the models further to technical terrains, murky routes, and tough weather conditions.
  • Seeking more data inside our shoe testing lab. We utilize our self-invested tools and equipment to measure the parameters of the shoes. Moreover, we divide the shoes in half and into pieces using our saw machine. This is to put all the elements on display for us to criticize. 
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto
Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and run all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyzes every detail of the shoes that you might buy.