September 14, 2022

Best Running Shoes For Narrow Feet

While most running shoes are designed to be supportive and comfortable, they’re also designed with medium to wide feet in mind. So where does this leave runners with narrow feet?

Well, if you’re a runner with narrow feet you know how frustrating it can be to find shoes that fit your feet well. Even medium width shoes can feel quite ‘loose’ while you run.

Roomy shoes can cause your feet to move from side to side which can be uncomfortable at best and cause blisters at worst.

No matter the width of your feet, there are basic important factors to keep in mind when buying narrow running shoes.

You’ll need a supportive shoe that has plenty of cushioning to keep your feet protected, as well as breathability to ensure your feet are kept cool and dry on long runs.

When your feet are narrow, it’s also crucial to have a good midfoot and heel fit which can be difficult to find.

Since narrow running shoes are difficult to find, the thought of heading to your nearest shoe store and trying to find a pair can be daunting, but this is where our article comes in!

Below you’ll find seven of the best running shoes on the market right now, as well as a buyer’s guide to buying running shoes, and how to tell if you have narrow feet as well as other FAQs!

So without further ado, let’s get into it!

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 is a stable running shoe with a sleek design that gives you the ideal balance of support and cushioning.

The newest version of this shoe makes use of a specially engineered mesh upper to give you the best, most streamlined fit.

The Adrenaline GTS 22 also has guide rails for pronation control which gives it further support, while making the shoe lighter and giving it a more durable mid and outer sole.

If you have narrow feet you’ll love the enhanced ride that is more flexible, has softer cushioning, and improved heel to toe transitions.

Both comfortable and fashionable, the GTS 22 gives you support you can always count on via the guide rail system. This improves alignment and plenty of support for those with narrow feet, and particularly those with low to flat arches who overpronate.

Women’s shoes (Amazon)

Pros

  • Excellent support particularly in the arches.
  • Durable enough that you can wear them every day.
  • Lightweight and comfortable.
  • Fashionable.
  • Well-balanced.

Cons

  • If you’ve worn the previous versions of the Brooks Adrenaline you may find this version doesn’t fit as well.

Also Available At

New Balance 1080V12

The 1080V12 shoes from New Balance come in a variety of width options, from narrow to extra-wide. Furthermore, it’s one of the most cushioned running shoes out there, especially if you have narrow feet.

When designing these shoes, New Balance researched what runners want from their shoes, and one thing runners wanted from their running shoes was cushioning.

Needless to say, New Balance delivered on that front! The cushioning includes a full-length ‘Fresh Foam’ midsole that absorbs impact for a comfortable run.

What makes Fresh Foam unique is that it’s a single piece of foam that is carved to fit the shoe, which sets it apart from other running shoes that use multiple layers of foam glued together.

This doesn’t just make the 1080V12 shoes unique, but also more environmentally friendly as there is less waste created in the manufacturing of these shoes.

The Fresh Foam of the 1080V12 makes it one of the softest, most responsive running shoes New Balance has produced to date!

It is also made with mesh for a more breathable, flexible shoe with mild arch support, making the 1080V12 a running shoe that supports the foot while remaining comfortable.

Women’s shoes (Amazon)

Pros

  • Ideal for Plantar Fasciitis.
  • Extremely breathable.
  • Comfortable.
  • Incredibly supportive.
  • Available in a wide variety of widths.

Cons

  • Heavier than most shoes.
  • May feel stiff when you initially wear them.

Also Available At

New Balance Fresh Foam 880V11

Designed as an everyday sneaker, New Balance’s 880V11 sneakers have excellent cushioning and fit.

It has a Fresh Foam midsole with a 32 mm stack height at the heel and a 22 mm in the forefoot provides an effective shock-absorbing cushion with every step you take.

It has a lightweight, breathable seamless mesh upper with large perforations to keep your feet cool no matter the weather.

It also has a wide toe box with enough space to spread your toes, and a molded heel counter which keeps your foot secure and in place.

However, this can take away some comfort. Plus, the blown rubber sole provides amazing traction.

Women’s shoes (Amazon)

Pros

  • Soft, seamless upper.
  • Soft, responsive cushioning.
  • Molded external heel counter.
  • Lightweight shoes you can wear every day.

Cons

  • You may find the heel counter too firm and uncomfortable.

Also Available At

Brooks Addiction 14

The Brooks Addiction 14 running shoe provides the best support for a wide range of sizes, from narrow to extra-wide feet.

It uses BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning which is designed to adapt to your individual stride, making long-distance runs easier and more comfortable.

As well as comfort, the Addiction 14 provides incredible support to the whole body thanks to its Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar which encourages natural movement with more control than ever.

The heel-segmented crash pad and cushioned sock liner not only gives you a smooth transition, but super plush cushioning.

Women’s shoe (Amazon)

Pros

  • Incredibly soft and supportive cushioning.
  • Encourages better body alignment.
  • Adaptable.
  • Ideal for flat or low arches.

Cons

  • Not suitable for high arches.
  • Sizes are on the small side.

Asics GT-2000 10

Lightweight, cushioned, and supportive, the Asics GT-2000 is an excellent running shoe. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have narrow sizes for men, only a narrow ‘AA’ size for women. It has a snug heel fit so no matter how narrow your feet they will feel secure!

Their Convergence GEL technology gives you plenty of cushioning not just in the heel but your whole foot. Meanwhile, the midsole has extra light Flytefoam with more EVA foam on top to really put a spring in your step.

Compared to previous versions of the shoe, the seamless upper gets rid of more unnecessary weight and provides more breathability with a soft feel.

The GT-2000 10 also has a guidance line that helps you nail your stride and steps. These shoes were designed with overpronators in mind who need extra stability.

Pros

  • Convergence GEL technology provides more comfort to the forefoot and heel.
  • True to size.
  • Variety of width options.
  • The narrow midfoot is ideal for narrow feet.

Cons

  • The midsole is rather unresponsive compared to the rest of the shoe.

Also Available At

New Balance 840V4

The New Balance 840V4 is a classic running shoe by New Balance that is breathable, cushioned and comes in a wide variety of sizes, including sizes for narrow feet.

The seamless upper keeps the 840V4 shoe comfortable and cool while you run and the midsole cushioning gives you all the padding you need while not weighing the shoe down.

However, they don’t have built-in support so they are better suited to runners with medium to high arches and who have a neutral stride.

If you’re just after a pair of simple running shoes, then we recommend the New Balance 840V4.

Women’s shoe (Amazon)

Pros

  • Well-cushioned.
  • Excellent fit and high-quality design.
  • Well-designed.

Cons

  • Compared to other New Balance shoes you may find these less durable.

Also Available At

Brooks Glycerin 19

If you’re after an extremely cushioned ride, look no further than the Brooks Glycerin 19! Designed to give a plush feel, the ASICS GT-2000 is only available in narrow sizes in the women’s version of the shoe.

Although it is well-cushioned it is a very flexible and lightweight shoe. Its soft design has a plush transition zone in the outsole for a smooth run every time. Meanwhile, the midsole remains plush and durable.

There has been an update to the fit too, thanks to the 3D stretch print saddle. The seamless upper covers your foot comfortably and with a plush feel.

The Glycerin 19 also has Air Mesh with a four-way stretch that can actually expand with your foot for a truer, more comfortable fit.

Plus, it ensures that even in hot or wet weather, you’re always running in a breathable, dry shoe. Furthermore, the Glycerin 19’s pressure zones evenly disperse impact when you run.

Pros

  • The breathable, stretchy fabric keeps the shoe dry and well-ventilated.
  • Lightweight and flexible so you can move easily.
  • The pressure zones lessen impact.
  • Wide variety of width options available for women.
  • Snug and comfortable fit thanks to plush material.

Cons

  • Some might find the toe box too small.
  • Not budget-friendly.

Also Available At

Buyer’s Guide: How To Find The Best Shoes For Narrow Feet

Try A Narrow-Width Shoe

As we have discussed, there are some shoes that are specifically designed to fit narrow feet.

Narrow-width shoes tend to be around ¼ inch narrower than shoes considered a regular width, and they’re a ½ inch narrower than wide shoes. However, the width of a narrow shoe can differ from brand to brand.

For example, the standard width for women’s shoes is usually a B width. So the regular width of a women’s size 7 would be a size 7B, or 7M (meaning ‘medium’ width).

Meanwhile, for men’s shoes the standard width is denoted by a D and the narrow width is denoted by a B. So the regular width of a men’s size 10 would be a size 10D. This is in contrast to women’s sizes, where a D denotes a wide-width shoe.

Confusingly, some women’s shoes also come in extra-narrow widths which are labelled as AA or 2A, and can even go up to AAAA or 4A. These shoes are often referred to as slim shoes or skinny shoes. If you’re unsure about a shoe’s width, always ask a sales assistant.

Snug-Fit Features

Whilst shopping for narrow-width shoes you might notice that some shoes are not actually labeled as narrow-width although they do fit narrow feet. It may be labelled as a regular width shoe but it has features that fit narrow feet. Laces are also an important feature that can give you a snugger, more narrow fit.

Focus On Narrow Styles

When looking for running shoes, or any shoes that you can exercise or play sports in, it’s a good idea to look for shoe styles that naturally provide a narrower fit.

In fact, even when looking for casual shoes, you may notice that those with a higher arch, a shallower toe box, a narrow outsole at the arch, or a tapered heel will be a better fit for narrow feet.

Go For Different Shoes

Another solution is to think outside the box and try shoes that you normally wouldn’t go for. So for example, if you wear men’s shoes, try on women’s shoes instead.

This makes sense, as the regular width for women’s shoes is the same as the narrow width for men’s shoes. Plus, women’s shoes tend to have a slightly more narrow heel.

To find out what size you would need to try in women’s shoes, just add 1.5 shoe sizes to your regular men’s size. So if you wear a men’s size 9, try a women’s 10.5.

Socks And Insoles Are Your Friend

If you’re struggling to find a shoe to fit your narrow feet, you can always add an insole to achieve a firmer, more secure fit.

This works best with shoes that lace up, as insoles may push your foot up higher in the shoe and you can then adjust the laces.

It’s important to find an insole that gives you the right amount of cushioning and the right level of arch support.

Wearing an insole can prevent your foot from slipping or sliding and also prevent your feet rubbing against your shoes which can cause blisters.

If you don’t want to wear an insole, wearing thick socks is also an option. This may not be suitable for everyone, socks will help pad out the sides of your feet and keep them in place when wearing shoes.

How Do You Know If You Have Narrow Feet?

The easiest way to tell if you have narrow feet is of course to try on a pair of shoes and see how they feel. For example, if you’re trying on shoes with laces you may need to tighten the laces to the point that the panels meet or even overlap.

The question to ask yourself is, can you see any gaps along the sides of your feet? Then step from side to side and see how secure your feet feel in the shoes. If your feet are sliding from side to side, then your feet may be narrow.

However, there is a more accurate way to measure the size of your feet. At any shoe store, a sales assistant will use a Brannock device to measure the length and width of your feet.

If you have a narrow heel then getting accurately measured and receiving detailed information personalized to you about your feet can be very helpful.

If your whole foot is narrow then you can just buy narrow-width shoes, but if you just have a narrow shoe you need to look for shoes that fit the widest part of your foot then adjust as needed.

If you do have a narrow heel, then you can customize your shoes by placing a heel insert, pad, or orthotic inside to reduce the volume in the heel, wear socks with a padded heel to fill any gaps in your shoes, add a pad to the tongue of the shoe to make sure your foot is closer to the rear of your shoe, and opt for shoes with laces and use the additional eyelets to cinch your shoes closer to your ankle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do Some Running Shoes Not Have Narrow-Widths Available?

Not everybody needs narrow width shoes, which makes them quite hard to find due to the market for them being smaller.

Why Isn’t There A Wider Color Selection Available For Narrow-Width Shoes?

Just like the answer above, there are limited color options available for narrow-width shoes because not everybody needs them, so companies that do make narrow-width shoes will make them in fewer colors.

Are Some Shoe Brands More Narrow Than Others?

Yes, ASICS and Nike in particular are known for producing narrower shoes. Their standard widths are generally narrower than the regular widths of most other brands. So when shopping for narrow shoes, those brands are a good place to start.

A lot of runners with narrow feet find that they can wear a narrow running shoe by Brooks or New Balance, while also wearing a regular width shoe from ASICS or Nike.

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