For a lot of people, running has been the only way to get out of the house in this troublesome time. While words and phrases like “masks” and “social distancing” may hopefully soon be nothing more than a distant memory, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your new running hobby.
Of course, as you became more enthusiastic about running, you may have realized that standard running shoes were too tight for your feet. If you have wider feet and you need something that won’t squeeze your toes during your daily jog, then you need a good pair of wide toe box running shoes.
And you’re in luck, we’ve made this list of the best wide toe box running shoes to help you stay comfortable while you enjoy that runner’s high. By the time you finish our list, you’ll wonder how you ever ran in anything else.
Carry on reading to see our full list of the best wide toe box running shoes, followed by a recap breaking down what makes each product on our list stand out. Or jump straight to our number #1 pick here.
Why Should I Buy a Pair of Wide Toe Box Running Shoes?
As we mentioned above, wide toe box shoes are perfect for anyone with wider feet who feels that typical running shoes are too restricting. But it’s not just a matter of width. There are other advantages as well. Wide toe box shoes let your toes splay out the way nature intended, and they allow you to feel like you’re running barefoot.
In pursuit of this goal, a lot of wide toe box shoes have almost zero support in the heel. This means that your heel and your toes will be at the same level while you’re running. While this doesn’t sound helpful, there are a lot of health benefits to it, as being as close to barefoot as possible is actually better for your feet. Of course, you’ll definitely need to get used to the feeling of a pair of wide toe box shoes, so it might be better to keep your first few jogs in these running shoes a bit shorter than what you’d usually do.
What Should You Look For in a Wide Toe Box Running Shoe?
I don’t know about you, but I used to put zero thought into my running shoes. I’d try on a pair or two, and as long as they fit decently, I’d be on my way. But we don’t want that here. We want to make sure you walk away with the absolute best pair of wide toe box running shoes that you can possibly find.
Of course, the first part of that process of knowing what to look for. That’s why we’ve laid out all of our criteria below so that you can easily understand what separates the good running shoes from the bad running shoes. In just a few short minutes, you’ll feel like an expert, and you’ll be ready to make your purchase.
Criteria#1: Design – Obviously, we need running shoes with a proper wide toe box, or you could just get any old pair of running shoes. We also need shoes that offer the perfect design that will protect your feet as much as possible without coddling them too much. Remember, there are actually disadvantages to having too much support in the heel. We want protection from the ground, but that’s mostly it. The right design in your running shoes will improve your running and help you break all of your personal records while preventing any long-term damage to your feet.
Criteria #2: Aesthetic – Running shoes are a fashion statement just like any other article of clothing. You should enjoy what they look like and feel confident wearing them in public. While I can’t pretend to be a fashion expert or know your personal tastes, I will try to include varying options in this list so that everyone can find the wide toe box shoes that will fit the rest of their wardrobe. I’ll also make sure to explain what each shoe looks like so that you know you’re buying and you don’t get stuck with a pair of running shoes that clashes with the rest of your clothing.
Criteria #3: Price – We’re not here to make you spend a ton of money for no reason. Meeting this criterion is less about being cheap and more about justifying your price. We’d rather buy an expensive product that’s cheaper than it should be than waste money on a cheaper product that isn’t worth the money and that will just break on you or not perform well.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Wide Toe Box Running Shoes
We measured the specs of the top products on the market against our listed criteria to see how they held up and if they’re worth buying. We then checked customer reviews, blog posts, and “best wide toe box running shoes” articles to see if the products on our list performed as advertised. We also made sure to include options that satisfy a variety of different niches and fit in a wide price range so that everyone can find the product that’s absolutely perfect for both them and their wallet.
And without further ado, here is our list – tailored to your specific needs – of the best wide toe box shoes.
#1: Altra Escalante 2.5 Road Running Shoe (Best Value – All-Purpose)
Our list gets started with the Altra Escalante 2.5 Road Running Shoe, and you should take a second to get used to the name Altra. Altra specifically specializes in wide toe box shoes, and they’re one of the biggest names in the business. That means that you know you’re getting an excellent pair of shoes to fit your sider feet if you buy an Altra product.
As for the Altra Escalante 2.5 Road Running Shoe, our number one pair of running shoes features a zero-drop design that will keep your feet even and help you feel the road or path. The Altra Escalante 2.5 Road Running Shoe has a 6-millimeter footbed to help you keep a low-profile and stay close to the ground for a natural feel.
One reviewer reviewed this pair of Altra running shoes for being a huge improvement over its predecessor, and one of those big improvements is the addition of a breathable top layer. Thanks to this thin mesh material, your feet will be able to breathe while you run, and you’ll be saved from the horror of horrible, sweat, stinky feet after your daily jogs. The Altra Escalante 2.5 Road Running Shoe also features a sleeker heel cup that will keep your heel in place so you don’t suffer too much rubbing and chafing while running.
In terms of fit, the Altra Escalante 2.5 Road Running Shoe comes in both men’s and women’s models, and it has a wide range of sizes that starts at 7 and goes all the way up to 15, so you should be ready to go no matter what.
This pair of Altra running shoes also comes in several different color schemes, so you’ll always be able to find something that goes with your wardrobe. The Altra Escalante 2.5 Road Running Shoe comes in blue-and-lime, forest night, grey, lime-green with a black base, majolica blue with a white base, and plain and sleek black.
Altra’s popularity speaks for itself, and you’ll find that pretty much every list of the best wide toe box running shoes is littered with Altra products, with multiple lists featuring the Altra Escalante 2.5 Road Running Shoe. This pair of wide toe box shoes comes in at a solid price that’s competitive with the rest of the field but will vary depending on which size you get. This price combined with the variation in color schemes and the top-tier function makes the Altra Escalante 2.5 Road Running Shoe the best option on the market in terms of return for your dollar. That’s why it was the easy choice to be our number one pick and earn the title of the best wide toe box shoes out there.
#2: Altra Torin 4.5 Plush Road Running Shoe (Better Comfort, Better for Larger Feet)
Just because the Altra Escalante 2.5 Road Running Shoe is our number one pick, doesn’t mean it’s perfect for anyone. If that were the case, our list would stop after just one product. But we understand that everyone has different needs and different tastes, and that’s why we’ve included the Altra Torin 4.5 Plush Road Running Shoe as an alternative to the Escalante 2.5 Road Running Shoe.
While it didn’t earn our number one spot, there are a few reasons you may decide that the Altra Torin 4.5 Plush Road Running Shoe is more deserving of your money. Here are the main features that just might convince you to skip our top product and go for the Torin 4.5 Plus Road Running Shoe.
Reason #1 to Choose This Product: Extra Cushioning
As the “Plush” part of our runner-up shoe might imply, the Altra Torin 4.5 Plush Road Running Shoe has some of the most padding out there, so it’s perfect for those of us whose feet have taken their fair share of abuse and who want to add some padding in between them and the road. Of course, some customers might deem this extra padding as defeating the purpose of zero-drop shoes, so that is the tradeoff you’re working with here. But if you’re skeptical of the newer zero-drop trend and you want to make sure that your feet are protected from the elements and the rocks on the path, then the Altra Torin 4.5 Plush Road Running Shoe is perfect for you.
Reason #2 to Choose This Product: Larger Size
There’s honestly not a whole lot to say here. The Altra Torin 4.5 Plush Road Running Shoe comes in a larger size than its Escalante 2.5 counterpart. While the Escalante 2.5 tops out at 15, Altra’s Torin 4.5 Plush Road Running Shoe goes up to 16. Obviously, this is a very small difference, so unless you’re exactly a size 16 and can’t squeeze into a size 15 shoe, it won’t really matter. If size is the big factor, then I’d only go with the Altra Torin 4.5 Plush Road Running Shoe if you absolutely need a 16 and exactly a 16.
In addition to the extra padding and the larger size, the Torin 4.5 Plush Road Running Shoe features the same 6-millimeter footbed and an overall similar design to our number one running shoe. This is to be expected since they’re both Altra products. The Torin 4.5 Plush Road Running Shoe comes in 6 different color schemes – black steel, majolica blue, light gray/red, black/lime green, dark red, and light grey. There’s very little overlap in the style compared to the Escalante 2.5, so that could really be what it comes down to for you.
The Torin 4.5 Plush Road Running Shoe is also a tiny bit heavier than our number one pair of running shoes with a wide toe box, so that could be another deciding factor. At the larger sizes, the Astra Torin 4.5 Plush Road Running Shoe is a bit more expensive than the Escalante 2.5, but not by enough that I’d let it affect your decision unless you’re already pushing your budget to its limit.
If you want a more classical wide toe box experience, then go with the Escalante 2.5, but if you need a larger size or if you want the extra padding, then the Torin 4.5 Plush Road Running Shoe from Astra is calling your name.
#3: New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V11 Running Shoe (Best for Wide Heels)
While all wide toe box running shoes are, obviously, geared towards runners with wider toes, they aren’t always great for people that have all-around wide feet. If your heels are just as wide as the front of your feet, then you’ll need to buy the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V11 Running Shoe for your morning jog.
New Balance is a brand that I’m sure needs no introduction, and these New Balance running shoes are some of the few shoes out there with a wide heel. These are the best running shoes for wide feet out there. They offer a low 8mm drop height that’s slightly higher than our Altra products, but will still help you feel close to the road. The upper mesh has no seams to give you the most breathable experience with absolutely no awkward rubbing or chafing. The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V11 Running Shoe also features a blown rubber outsole helps grip the road with “flex grooves” for traction.
My favorite feature of these New Balance running shoes is the variety of designs. These sneakers come in every size from 7 to 16, and each size comes in narrow, wide, and extra-wide versions. So no matter how wide or narrow your feet are, you’ll be able to find something that’s the perfect fit.
New Balance has become something of a meme for having what some customers might refer to as “dad aesthetic,” and these wide-heel shoes are no exception. They feature a plain black top with a white outer sole that is definitely not going to make you stand out too much. But if you prefer a simpler style in your running shoes, then these will be perfect for you.
While they’re more expensive than either of our top-two running shoes, they satisfy a very important niche. If you haven’t been able to find anything that fits properly until now, then the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V11 Running Shoe is perfect for you. These are the best running shoes for wide feet in terms of accessibility.
#4: New Balance Fresh Foam Roav V1 Sneaker (Best Low Cost)
New Balance makes a second appearance on our list with the Fresh Foam Roav V1 Sneaker. New Balance also earns the distinct honor of being the only non-Astra brand on our list. Buying a good pair of running shoes can feel like a big investment, especially if you need to get something with a wide toe box to fit your unique feet.
New Balance manages to keep things incredibly affordable this time around, and the Fresh Foam Roav V1 Sneaker is just about the cheapest pair of running sneakers out there. The biggest flaw of this product is that it features a 0.75-inch rise, which is much higher than our other products, so you’re not getting that same barefoot feel that our other shoes offer.
Other than that, the Fresh Foam Roav V1 Sneaker actually has two major traits that might give you the urge to buy them even if they were more expensive. The first trait is that this sneaker comes in every single color scheme under the sun. Seriously, I’m not going to bother naming them all, because we’d be here all day. The second big trait is that the Fresh Foam Roav V1 Sneaker comes in larger sizes than any of our other sneakers. This running sneaker comes in sizes from 7 all the way up to 18, and every size features a wide option.
So no matter how big or wide your feet are, the Fresh Foam Roav V1 Sneaker has something for you. And the fact that it’s the cheapest product out there is either a selling point on its own or the cherry on top. Save your money with the Fresh Foam Roav V1 Sneaker.
#5: Altra Solstice XT Gym Shoe (Best Gym Shoes)
Our fifth pair of running shoes brings us back to Altra with the Altra Solstice XT Gym Shoe. While all of the wide toe box running shoes on our list so far have been designed for road running, the Altra Solstice XT Gym Shoes are the best wide running shoes for anyone out there who prefers to get their exercise in the gym. They’re perfectly designed to give you the ideal amount of traction to help you react quickly and smoothly. The extra push-off strength you’ll get from these sneakers will help you get through that last leg press and bring your gains to a new level.
The Altra Solstice XT Gym Shoe has all of the classic features you’ve probably come to expect from Altra, including the breathable top mesh and the zero-drop design. The fact that they’re made for gyms also means that this Altra running sneaker is perfect if you prefer to do your running on a treadmill as opposed to the road.
The Altra Solstice XT Gym Shoe has a higher stack height than our other Altra products, so that’s something you may want to take into consideration, even if you do plan on hitting the gym. It has a pretty stylish design, but it also only comes in 4 different color schemes – navy with a light-blue trim, black, white with a black trim, and dark clay.
In terms of price, it’s definitely one of the more affordable options out there, so that’s definitely a point in the “pro” column. The Altra Solstice XT Gym Shoes are the best running shoes out there for anyone that appreciates the value of cross-training and wants to lift some weights after warming up with a run.
#6: Altra Paradigm 5 Running Shoe (Most Padded Shoe)
We’ve mentioned several times now that the big new trend is low stack-height and zero-level running shoes that will make you feel like you’re running completely barefoot. Of course, that might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and some more experienced runners may have seasoned feet that are in desperate need of something with more padding to keep them protected from the cold hard ground. The bottom line is that really intense running is not good for your feet, but Altra tried its hardest to minimize the damage with the Altra Paradigm 5 Running Shoe.
The affordable Altra Paradigm 5 Running Shoe features a stack height of 30 millimeters and a weight of 11 ounces that’s a bit heavier than some of our other products but won’t exactly weigh you down or make you feel like you’re running through wet cement. It has the perfect 5-millimeter footbed and the same zero-drop design we’ve come to love and the classic Altra breathable upper mesh.
The Paradigm 5 also utilizes foot-guiding technology to prevent fatigued and ill-positioned feet. Altra boasts that this shoe features StabiliPod Technology that “acts as a stabilizing tripod” and keeps your feet perfectly positioned in a way that’s safe and optimal for running. Of course, all that extra padding is perfect for anyone that isn’t particularly interested in feeling the smack of the concrete with every step.
Besides coming in at a cheap price, the Altra Paradigm 5 Running Shoe also has 6 different color schemes. These color schemes mostly fit with the general aesthetic of the Altra brand, with the gray and orange design offering a nice change of pace.
The Paradigm 5 sneaker is a big break from the trend of less padding and staying closer to the ground, so if you think that that’s what best for you, this is one of the few newer Altra products that will offer it. Stick with the Altra Paradigm 5 Running Shoe if you want to feel like you’re running on a cloud.
Verdict: Your Best Wide Toe Box Running Shoes
We’re reaching the end of our list, and you’re hopefully starting to get a good idea of which of our products is best for you. But if you haven’t made up your mind yet, not to worry. We don’t want to rush, and we know how important it is to make sure you’re getting the wide toe box running shoe that’s perfect for you. That’s why we’re going to recap all of our wide toe box running shoes and focus on their standout features. This way, you’ll be able to see the highlights and really know what each product has to offer for you.
If you want the best value for your money, pick the Altra Escalante 2.5 Road Running Shoe.
Our number one pick is basically the industry standard in zero-drop running shoes with a wide toe box. So if you have wide feet, then this is the first pair of running shoes you should look at. The 6-millimeter footbed will keep you close to the ground and give you that barefoot feel. You’ll eventually learn to stop relying on heel support, which will be better for you in the long run.
You get all of the features that make Altra the best brand out there, from the breathable top layer of mesh to the no-slip design that will keep your foot in place while you run. Plus, you have 66 great color schemes to choose from, so you don’t have to worry about these sneakers clashing with your outfit.
Just about the only problem with our top-ranked running shoe is that it stops a size below some other models, but the honest truth is that, unless you have massive feet, that won’t be a problem. No matter what you’re looking for, this fairly priced sneaker should be the first place you look.
If you need something with a wider heel, pick the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V11 Running Shoe.
If you have wide feet, that doesn’t always stop at your toes. If you need to find a pair of sneakers that has a nice, wide heel to give you the room you need, then look no further than the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V11 Running Shoe.
Honestly, even if you don’t have wide feet, these sneakers are probably perfect for you. The reason for that is that this shoe comes in every size you can think of. It ranges from a size seven all the way up to 18, and each size features narrow, wide, and extra-wide models. Get sneakers that feel like they were tailor-made with your feet in mind with the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V11 Running Shoe.
If you want to keep the spending cheap, pick the New Balance Fresh Foam Roav V1 Sneaker.
Just because you’re not willing to spend a ton of money, doesn’t mean your wide feet don’t deserve a good pair of wide toe box running shoes for your morning jog. If you need to keep things within a certain budget, then the New Balance Fresh Foam Roav V1 Sneaker will surely be what you’re looking for.
These running shoes are the cheapest option out there, and every size has a wide option available to let your toes splay out and make you feel like you’re not wearing anything at all. Plus, as a nice little bonus, you get more color options than you can count and the largest sizes available compared to the rest of the competition. With the New Balance Fresh Foam Roav V1 Sneaker, keeping things cheap isn’t just a compromise.
That brings us to the end of our list, and while we gave you a lot to work with, we hope you’ve made your decision. If the highlighted products above weren’t quite up to your standard, you may be more interested in the incredibly padded Altra Paradigm 5 Running Shoe, or the all-around high-quality Altra Torin 4.5 Plush Road Running Shoe. Of course, there’s also the Altra Solstice XT Gym Shoe that’s perfect for gym rats with wide feet.
All of these wide toe box shoes will let you run and lift the way nature intended, and you’ll be able to feel your toes enjoy the room they deserve. Remember to think about the shoe feature that’s most important to you while you make your decision. This will help you save time in the buying process by skipping the shoes that don’t offer the traits that are important to you.
That’s all for now. Enjoy the extra room in your new wide toe box running shoes and enjoy the running!