When it comes to shoe sizes, 4E (also means EEEE) represents the extra-wide width. Some common abbreviations of 4E are WW or EW or XW.
As you might know, there are different terms and abbreviations used to describe wide shoe sizes. Therefore, it is typically really confusing for beginners. You might bump into such abbreviated letters as M, E, D, or even letters with numbers (such as 2E, 2A, 4E, etc.) There are also different sizes, including wide, normal, extra wide, and medium. So, the question “what does 4e mean in shoes?” will be explained in this article, together with other sizes’ meanings.
Table of Contents
- Shoe Width Size Explanation
- What Does 4E Stand for? What Does It Means In Shoes?
- How To Find Out If You Need Wide Width Shoes?
- Do Feet Increase or Decrease Width?
- Women’s and Men’s Shoe Widths: What Are The Differences?
- What About Having Too Large/Wide Shoes?
- What If Your Shoes Are Too Narrow/Tight?
- How Can I Measure the Shoe Width?
Shoe Width Size Explanation
The wide shoe is the variation of the regular size shoe, where the general length is equal, but the forefoot and toe box widths are especially increased to fit wider feet. As some of you might know, people having wider feet typically have the same heel width but larger toes and forefoot. Therefore, wide width shoes tend to offer a greater depth as wide feet are often taller too.
And like clothing, the chances can be high that you can get confused when looking at the shoe width charts. This is because the widths vary depending on different shoe styles and brands. They usually use dissimilar methods for their shoes’ measurements.
But, in general, there are two common methods of shoe width measurements, including using word-based and letter sizing systems. Letters often go in with sizes, and the chart below indicates the most popular sizing conventions.
|Width Letters||Women’s Shoe Width||Men’s Shoe Width|
|2A or A||Narrow||Extra Narrow|
|E or 2E||Extra Wide||Wide|
Read more on detail about the wide shoes size chart.
What Does 4E Stand for? What Does It Means In Shoes?
The 4E is a common width letter used to represent extra-wide in shoe sizing charts. Two of the most popular E letters in this range are 2E and 4E. Just like the width letter A, the more Es are added, the wider the overall width will be.
While 2E is marked as wide when it comes to men’s shoes, and 4E or wider widths are considered extra-wide. On the other hand, for women’s shoe sizes, 2E or wider already means extra-wide. And 4E width is not usually common for ladies’ shoes.
Besides, you can see other shoes available in sizes even wider than 10E, which is more popular for diabetic sneakers.
Which size is wider, 2E or 4E?
When it comes to shoes’ widths, US shoes often come in 9 sizes. The width is varied and usually between 3A/AAA, which is considered the narrowest width, and 3E/EEE, which is marked as the widest size. However, some shoe companies even offer shoes with wider widths, such as 4E and even 10E.
As a general rule, the more E letters are added, the wider the shoes’ width will be. So, in this case, 4E shoes will be wider than 2E shoes. Let’s take a look at the following table to see what sizes 2E and 4E are.
|EE or 2E||W||Wide|
|EEEE or 4E||EW or WW or XW||Extra-Wide|
What are the differences in width between 4E and 2E?
Usually, the difference in width between 2E and 4E is not really large, which is around ½ inches. This is also applied to other width letters, including B, D, and 2A. But between 4E and 6E widths, there is a ⅜-inch difference.
This difference happens on the foot’s ball area and is considered the largest difference in width. Besides, when you move toward the tip and heel of the shoes, there will be a slight width difference.
Do I really need 4E-wide shoes?
When you wear a pair of shoes with a standard width but feel too snug in the upper area, you might need a pair of wide shoes. In other words, this case requires you to wear E or 2E-wide shoes. However, if you feel like your foot is spilling over the medium-width shoes, chances are you will need extra-wide shoes or 4E shoes. But remember that the width can be a little bit different, depending on the shoe manufacturers.
What Do A, 2A, and 4A Widths Mean In Shoes?
When it comes to ladies’ shoes, A width letter is signified as either narrow or extra narrow, but A represents extra-narrow width for men’s shoes. When extra A letters are added (let’s say AA, AAA, AAAA, etc.), the shoes will become tighter. Or you can also see other forms of these. In particular, AA equals 2A, AAA means 3A, and AAAA is 4A. But some shoe companies will also use slim or super slim as another meaning for narrow or extra narrow.
What Does B Width Mean In Shoes?
As you might know, the B width letter is considered the most popular width among women’s sneakers. It is usually denoted as a standard or normal or medium width. However, B means narrow in the category of men’s shoes.
What Does D Width Mean In Shoes?
In contrast to the B width, D width is seen as the standard, or medium, or normal width for men’s shoe sizes. Nevertheless, a pair of women’s shoes with a D label on them means wide.
What About Wide/Extra Wide Widths in Shoes?
As mentioned previously, a men’s normal D-width pair of shoes is seen as wide for ladies’ shoes, whereas any shoes with E are considered extra wide. In the men’s shoe department, wide-width shoes usually start at the letter E, and any width larger than 2E is viewed as extra wide. Of course, not all shoe companies will provide shoe widths in every single increment, but 2E and 4E are considered the most popular wide/extra wide widths in shoes.
Below is the chart showing the different shoe widths in kids’, women’s, and men’s shoes.
Children’s Shoe Width Chart
Usually, the children’s shoe width chart includes sizes for kids from a wide range of ages. And kids’ foot width sizes are not typically really large. So, there will be only average, wide, and extra-wide options in this table.
|US Size||Average (B) (inches)||Wide (D) (inches)||Extra-Wide (E) (inches)|
How To Find Out If You Need Wide Width Shoes?
When you wear a pair of shoes but feel a little bit tight at your toe box or forefoot areas, then you probably need wide width shoes. Just remember to double-check the length and width of the shoes you are going to purchase. This is because when you get an extra width, there might be a slightly extra room, typically at your heel.
Hence, if you wear these shoes for a long time, it can cause some serious issues related to your foot health. For example, your feet can get blisters or chafing, and even the possibility of tripping. Moreover, your gait might be negatively affected in the long run. So, always carefully measure your foot’s size again before deciding which shoe width you should get.
Besides the shoe width charts above, you can also use the Brannock Device (a popular tool for foot measurement) to check your foot’s size. Even though this tool is great for foot length measurement, it is still designed with a slider for width measurement.
Do Feet Increase or Decrease Width?
Many people think that they usually wear a pair of medium or normal width shoes. However, it turns out to be surprised that they are actually wearing shoes with wide widths. In many cases, an ill-fitting shoe is attributed to an extended break-in period. But the fact is they are truly the wrong size.
But another reason for the possible increase of foot is that when you grow up, your feet tend to be wider too. In addition, some normal changes in tendons and ligaments or weight gain might also contribute to the larger feet. Either way, consider buying another new pair of wider shoes if you feel like your sneakers are narrower than they used to be.
Women’s and Men’s Shoe Widths: What Are The Differences?
It is considered the general rule of thumb that females have narrower feet than males. And this is one of the key reasons for the availability of different shoe size charts for women and men. For example, shoes labeled with D width means wide for ladies, while it is medium or standard for men.
In addition, you are likely to find shoes marked with 3E/EEE or greater only in men’s shoes. On the other hand, the letter A and anything greater will be available in women’s shoes. Fortunately, lots of shoe companies have been adjusting this to accommodate ladies with wide feet.
What About Having Too Large/Wide Shoes?
If your shoes are too large, you will face some foot problems. Some of them include callus, bone spurs due to constant friction against the toe or heel area. Moreover, you will not get enough stability in a pair of too wide shoes. As a result, your feet tend to move side to side inside the shoes. This, as a result, can bring about blisters, chafing, sores, etc. Moreover, an overly-wide pair of shoes might lead to some popular foot issues, such as nail problems, hammertoes, etc.
What If Your Shoes Are Too Narrow/Tight?
Just like the too wide shoes, wearing too-tight sneakers can give rise to some foot issues, including sores, foot deformities, bunions, etc. What’s more, these shoes might limit breathability, which results in excessive perspiration. It also creates an environment conducive to bacterial or fungal infections.
How Can I Measure the Shoe Width?
Measuring shoe width, in fact, is not difficult, and there are also a lot of different methods to do this. However, the following way might be the most simple and probably precise one:
- Stand barefoot straight on paper over an even surface, such as the floor.
- Draw your foot’s outline with a pencil. Make sure the line should be as close to your foot’s contour as possible.
- Use a measuring tape to measure the widest part of your feet (usually the forefoot area).
So, in this guide, you have learned the meaning of different shoe width letters. And the most important question, “what does 4e mean in shoes” is now clear. You all now know that the letter 4e denotes the extra-wide width when it comes to sneakers. Besides, there are different “variations” of 4E, with the most common one being 2E (meaning wide in shoe sizing charts.
However, never rely solely on width when choosing shoes. Instead, you must combine both length and width for the best possible fit. This is because most US shoe companies make their footwear to fit a wide range of widths, based on the shoe sizes.
In addition, if you intend to buy shoes for workouts, training, or running, the measurement needs to be perfectly fit. Otherwise, it can cause some problems, even including injuries. People with diabetes should also consider wide width shoes to get the most comfortable feeling that fits their feet too.