A D width is considered the most common size for men and refers to the medium/standard/average width. For women, on the other hand, D means wide.
We all know that shoes come in different sizes, but we don’t always know exactly what those sizes really mean. Different regions of the world offer their own shoes or footwear charts. And it is not always obvious what exactly you are coping with compared to other shoe sizes from other nations.
For instance, US shoes usually offer a wide range of shoe widths, which are up to 9 variations. Their shoe widths are various, ranging from AAA, which is also known as the narrowest size, to EEE, which is considered the widest size available.
If you have ever come across the size ratings, such as D, it might be hard to work out exactly what it is meant to stand for and how it will fit certain sized feet. So what does D mean in shoe size? In this article, I will give you details about this problem, making it clearer to you so that you can easily choose the right width for your shoes.
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- Shoe Size Conversion Charts for Men, Women, and Kids
- Wide Shoes Size Charts for Adults and Children
Table of Contents
- Understanding Wide Width Shoes: What are They?
- So What Does D Mean In Shoe Size?
- What Does C/D Mean In Shoe Size?
- The Differences Between Women’s and Men’s Shoe Widths
- What Is The Average Shoe Width?
- How Do The Shoe Widths Compare Between Countries?
- How to Tell If You Need Wide Width Shoes?
- Do Feet Width Increase or Change Over the Years?
- Do All Shoe Brands Offer Standard Width?
- So What If My Shoes Are Too Large/Wide?
- What If My Shoes Are Too Tight/Narrow?
- Do I Really Need A Wider Shoe If My Foot Is Larger?
- How to Measure the Shoe Width?
Understanding Wide Width Shoes: What are They?
If you are a beginner, you probably find it really confusing to understand what exactly wide shoe sizes are, as these are usually described in many terms. For example, you might see shoe width by size, such as normal, medium, wide, and extra wide. In addition, some brands might offer shoe widths in letters, such as A, B, C, D, E, EE, etc. And sometimes, you will see letters with numbers when it comes to wide shoe sizes, such as 2A, 2B, 2E, 4E, etc.
Basically, wide width shoes are variations of regular sized shoes, in which the general length is equal, but the forefoot and the protective cap or toe box width are typically increased to adapt to wider feet. As you might know, people having wide feet normally share the same heel width as normal size but tend to have wider toes and forefoot. In addition, wide width shoes might feature a greater depth as wider feet are typically taller too.
Like clothing, shoe width might be extremely unclear since different shoe styles and brands have different shoe measurement methods. But usually, there are two common ways to measure shoe width. One is to use the letter or alphabetical system, and the other is the word-based sizing system.
Keep reading to figure out what the different shoe sizes are, what D means in shoe size width, and how wide shoes should fit.
Shoe Width By Sizes
Narrow or Extra Narrow Widths
For men, B letter sizes are considered narrow, while the A width refers to extra narrow. On the other hand, an A width is seen as narrow for women’s shoe width. And if you see any size greater than a 2A width, it means the shoe has an extra narrow width.
Sometimes, narrow and extra narrow are known as slim or super slim. In fact, there is no big difference between A and 2A width. Therefore, most shoe manufacturers usually offer 2A and 4A when it comes to shoe width.
Medium Widths (Standard/Normal)
For men, the letter size D is usually known as medium, standard, or normal size, whereas it is a B width for women. Therefore, if a shoe is not clearly marked in width, you can assume that it comes in medium width.
Wide/Extra Wide Widths
For men, E letter sizes are considered wide, and with any size greater than 2E, it is seen as extra wide. On the other hand, a wide width for women’s shoes is usually marked with the letter D, while anything starting from E or larger is considered extra wide. Besides, 2E and 4E are considered among the most common widths in this case, as not all shoe brands offer widths in every single increment.
Children’s Shoe Size Letters
|M||Average or Medium||M|
|XW||Extra Wide||XW, WW, OR EW|
Women’s Shoe Size Letters
|AAAA or 4A||Extra Narrow (or Super Slim)||ES, SS|
|AA or 2A||Narrow||N|
|B||Average or Medium||A or M|
|EE or 2E||Extra Wide||EW, XW, or WW|
Men’s Shoe Size Letters
|D||Average or Medium||A or M|
|EE or 2E||Wide||W|
|EEEE or 4E||Extra Wide||EW, XW, or WW|
Shoe Widths By Letters
For those who don’t know, the shoe size scale is not only for tracking the length of a shoe but also its width. If you have narrow feet, chances are you will need a narrow pair of shoes, and vice versa; wider shoes will be great for people with wide feet.
Usually, the letters in the shoe size scale are familiar to shoe widths, which serve as standard width measurements allowing you to measure the width of the shoe. Let’s take D as an example. The letter D is considered the standard width for males, and it can be a little bit wider than the average size for females.
These letters are different in various nations in the world, with each letter in proportion to a separate width. Nevertheless, most of them follow the common pattern of A, B, C, D, and E letters, with very slight variations for intense cases. Besides, the shoe size scales can be varied depending on age and gender. This means that some might have a separate standard/medium width than others.
A/AA/AAAA Width (A/2A/4A Width)
For women, the A letter size is considered a narrow or extra arrow width, whereas it is extra narrow for men. Therefore, the more As are added (such as 2A, 3A, 4A, etc.), the tighter or narrow the shoes will be. Sometimes, you can see these letters appearing in the pure letter form, such as AA means 2A, AAA means 3A, AAAA means 4A.
Plus, you can come across women’s shoes with slim or super slim widths. This simply means that the shoes are narrow or extra narrow in width.
This is considered among the most popular letter sizes for women. When you see the letter B on the women’s shoe size tag, it means that the shoes have medium/normal/standard width. On the other hand, B means a narrow width for men’s shoes.
Shoes with C widths are typically only used for ladies’ shoes as it doesn’t really show up very often in men’s shoe sizes. C-width shoes for women are usually a little bit wider for females.
While B width is the most common shoe size for women, men’s shoe sizes typically have D width. This letter is also seen as the standard/medium/normal width for males. But for women, D-width shoes are typically known as wide.
E/EE/EEEE Width (E/2E/4E Widths)
EE and EEEE or 2E and 4D are considered the two most popular E letters in shoe width. Just like the A letter sizes, the overall width of the shoes will increase when adding more Es. For women, a 2E-width shoe or larger is considered extra wide. On the other hand, 2 width is only wide, and 4E and wider are seen as extra wide for men’s shoes.
In addition, you can find some shoes coming in sizes bigger than 10E. These sizes are typically more popular for diabetic shoes.
Children’s Shoe Width Chart
|US Size||Average (B) (inches)||Wide (D) (inches)||Extra-Wide (E) (inches)|
Women’s Shoe Width Chart
|US Size||Narrow (AA) (inches)||Average (BB) (inches)||Wide (C/D) (inches)||Extra Wide (E) (inches)|
Men’s Shoe Width Chart
|US Size||Narrow (C)||Average (D)||Wide (E)|
So What Does D Mean In Shoe Size?
The D letter size is considered the average, standard, or normal width for men’s shoes. This also means that people wearing D-width shoes have average-sized feet. On the other hand, D means wide for a female’s shoe width.
Some brands might not offer different widths for their shoes. That is to say, and these shoes will typically use the letter D as a standard width for men’s shoes.
What Does C/D Mean In Shoe Size?
Now you know what D means in shoe size. But sometimes, you might happen to see a C/D tag on the shoes. So what does it mean? Well, C/D in shoe size refers to the combinations of two different widths of the feet. It includes the size of the heel (in this case is the letter C), and the other letter D is considered the size of the foot’s ball. So, you can also see other combinations like this, such as C/A, D/B, E/C, and many more.
The Differences Between Women’s and Men’s Shoe Widths
Generally speaking, males have wider feet than females. That is why we have different shoe size charts by gender. For instance, a D-width shoe is considered medium for men, whereas it is classified wide for women.
While EEE and anything greater than is typically found in men’s shoe widths, you will mostly only see A width in women’s shoe sizes. Nevertheless, a lot of shoe brands are now changing this to adapt to ladies who have wider feet.
What Is The Average Shoe Width?
It is widely known that approximately 90% of the popular comes in a “normal” or “standard” width. That is to say, if you are not clear about your foot width, then you can wear shoes with a normal width, which will be a D for men and a B for women.
However, some shoe manufacturers don’t mark letters on their shoes. It is assumed that the shoe comes in a standard width in this case. But it is not always the case. If the shoes have non-standard widths, you can find the width on the shoe box or on the label below the tongue of the shoes.
How Do The Shoe Widths Compare Between Countries?
When looking at the average shoe width charts US stores follow, you can see some small differences. For instance, for men’s shoe widths, the US stores will consider lots of sizes to be larger than those in the UK, even if the shoe lengths are the same.
Due to the different shoe width charts in different countries, you will need to convert the sizes if there is not a “standard” chart that you can depend on.
How to Tell If You Need Wide Width Shoes?
If you usually wear shoes that are just the right length but feel slightly or really cramped on the sides, that might be an obvious sign that you probably need a pair of shoes with a wide width. It seems that switching to a longer pair of shoes is a popular fix as it will provide you with a little bit of added width. However, it will be hard to fit the extra space in the toe box or heel.
Actually, this is not a good way as it can cause some foot issues, such as blisters or chafing, changing your stride, or even resulting in tripping. So, it is always best to get a pair of shoes that perfectly fit, both length and width.
Besides, you can use a smart tool called Brannock Device to measure your feet. Even though Brannock Device is most popularly used for foot length measurement, it is also equipped with a slider for foot width measuring.
Do Feet Width Increase or Change Over the Years?
The simple answer is yes. Even when you stop growing, your foot width can still get larger. There are different reasons resulting in this situation. Some of them are when you are retaining extra water. Besides, foot size tends to increase when you gain weight and reduce when you lose weight, or your insulin resistance is removed. Pregnancy and diabetes might also affect foot width and size.
Do All Shoe Brands Offer Standard Width?
Absolutely no. A lot of European shoe brands offer only medium or standard widths. While many shoe manufacturers have started providing more options when it comes to shoe widths, lots of US brands also don’t release narrow or wide shoes.
So What If My Shoes Are Too Large/Wide?
Your shoes will not fit snugly and can rub against the rear of your heel, leading to a callus or, more seriously, bone spurs. Moreover, it doesn’t provide you with enough stability when you are walking. Your feet will also move around inside the shoes, resulting in friction during the movement. As a result, you can get blisters or sores. Overly-wide shoes can also cause some common foot problems, including hammertoes and nail issues.
What If My Shoes Are Too Tight/Narrow?
If you wear a pair of narrow shoes, chances are you can get a wide range of health issues, such as bunions, foot deformities, hammertoes, foot sores, etc. Too tight shoes can also lead to excessive sweating and cramps. As a result, it creates a beneficial environment for fungal or bacterial infections.
Do I Really Need A Wider Shoe If My Foot Is Larger?
Yes, you might need a pair of wide shoes if you have wider feet. But it is not always necessary. It is common to know that wider shoes come in a slightly large width than smaller shoes. Of course, the shoe still holds the proportion. For instance, a pair of size 12D men’s shoes will be larger than a shoe with 10D width since the size 12D shoe is overly wider.
Nevertheless, I don’t recommend picking a wider shoe size just to have a larger fit. If doing this, it can pose a risk of tripping and other similar problems. At the end of the day, it is better to choose shoes with the length and width that perfectly fit your feet.
How to Measure the Shoe Width?
There are different ways to measure your shoe width, but here is the most simple and probably accurate way.
- First, take out the socks and shoes.
- On a flat surface, put a piece of paper and place your foot on it.
- Draw an outline/contour of your foot using a pen/pencil as close to the foot’s contour as possible.
- Measure the largest part of your foot using the measuring tape.
So now you get the answer to the question, “What does D mean in shoe size?”. It means the standard size for men’s shoes, referring to the medium width. On the other hand, D means wide for women’s width shoes.
And you also know that the shoe length is only half of the story. Almost all US shoe brands produce their shoes or footwear to fit a wide variety of widths, depending on the shoe sizes.
Chances are you can get the best possible fit if you buy shoes based on the accurate length and width. This is typically important when buying training or running shoes. If you suffer from diabetes, picking the right shoe width is also really significant.
You also learn that each shoe width letter denotes a specific width, ranging from A to E, with the A being the most narrow width while E will be the largest. I hope this article gives you helpful information about shoe widths.