When it comes to shoe size, W means wide width. So, if you have wide feet, it is recommended to go for shoes with W width for the best fit.
When coming across the letter W in shoe size, you might wonder what W means wide or women and if W and M are the same things. Chances are you might happen to see other letters labeled on shoes, such as M, D, B, A, E, 2A, 4E, etc. This can cause confusion for a lot of people buying shoes online for the first time. So, what does W mean in shoe size? Keep reading to discover its meaning so that you can choose the right fit for your next pair of shoes.
So, What does W Mean in Shoe Size?
The Men’s Shoes Width Chart
|Extra Narrow||Narrow||Medium||Wide||Extra Wide||Ultra Wide|
In shoe size charts, W is a very common abbreviation for wide. So, if you come across shoes that don’t show any width on them, the chances are high that you are holding a pair of shoes with W width. In other words, that shoe comes with normal or medium width.
Most of the time, you will also see the letter M on shoes, and it simply means medium. So, if your shoes are marked with W on their tag, it might also mean that it has a wide width. In fact, lots of shoe manufacturers signify W and M as they are popularly known acronyms. The reason they do this is that it can help minimize or remove confusion among worldwide customers. Not all countries have the same shoe size charts. So, if they want to buy shoes from US brands, this will absolutely help them out in deciding the right foot width.
Other Common Shoe Width Categories
So now you understand what W means in shoe size. But there are a lot of abbreviations that you will come across when shopping for shoes. For example, in the United States, shoe widths are basically designated from the narrowest (classified as 3A/AAA) to the widest (classified as 3E/EEE).
Here I will give you a brief meaning of these width letters, from A to M.
A Width in Shoe Size
If you typically wear a pair of shoes with an A width, then you are likely to have narrow feet. Actually, this shoe width is very common among women’s shoe sizes but unusual among male’s shoe sizes. This might be because men usually have wider feet than women have. But if you happen to see any men’s shoe labeled with A width, then it has an extremely narrow width.
So, you might wonder what the measurement of a pair of A-width shoes is. This depends on shoe sizes and shoe brands, but it is usually from 3.4 to 3.9 inches across the foot’s ball.
AA/2A and AAA/3A Width in Shoe Size
Generally speaking, the more letter A is added, the narrower the shoe will be. In other words, A means narrow in women’s shoe size, then AA/2A means extra-narrow, and 3A is even narrower than 2A. For each A letter on the shoe tag, that means the shoe width is diminished by 0.25 inches each time.
In fact, you might sometimes come across AAAA-width shoes. However, it is really uncommon as not many ladies have those small feet.
B Width in Shoe Size
Women who have medium-sized feet usually wear B-width shoes. This means that B represents normal or medium width in women’s shoe size. However, B-width shoes are exceptionally narrow in men’s shoe size. Therefore, it is not really common among males because not many men have such narrow feet.
A shoe with B width is usually from 3.6 to 4.1 inches wide. This width is measured across the lower of your foot’s ball. Of course, the accurate shoe width depends on your feet’ size, and it also varies among different shoe brands.
Usually, the width letter is labeled on the shoe tongue or shoe box. However, if you don’t see any letter on your shoes, the chances are high that it has a standard or medium shoe width, which is B width. Of course, this applies to women’s shoes only.
Sometimes, you might run into shoes with a B(m) label. But what does B(m) mean in shoe size? It is simply average or medium width for ladies’ shoes, not for men.
See also: Explaination of Wide Shoe Size
C Width in Shoe Size
When a man wears C-width shoes, it means that he has narrow feet. This can be translated as shoes with a C width representing narrow in men’s shoe size. Despite that, if a pair of women’s shoes is labeled with the C letter, then the shoes are wide fitting.
Because most males have wide feet, shoes with a C width are usually uncommon for men. And, of course, it might not be popular among the female population. This is because women who wear shoes that have a size larger than the standard sizes tend to get shoes with D width.
D Width in Shoe Size
The fact is that D-width shoes are common among both women and men. However, while D denotes wide for ladies’ shoe size, D in men’s shoes represents standard or medium.
Also measured from the bottom area of your foot’s ball, a pair of D-width shoes have a width ranging from 3 to 5 inches. For instance, men’s size 10D shoes will come in 4 inches wide from the ball of your foot, but the width will be approx. 4.5 inches in men’s size 14D shoes. So, this means that the shoe width is highly dependent on shoe sizes.
E Width in Shoe Size
For men’s shoes, it will be wide if the shoe is marked with the letter E on its tag. Since women’s shoe sizes are typically smaller than men’s, E-width shoes denote extra-wide for females.
As you might all know, the measurement of shoe width is calculated based on the foot’s size and from the bottom of your foot’s ball area. In this case, a pair of E-width shoes is usually from 3.2 to 5.2 inches wide. For instance, a men’s 14E size pair of shoes measures 4.7 inches wide, while it will be 4.2 inches for a pair of women’s 10E size shoes.
EE/2E Width in Shoe Size
In the case of 2E-width shoes, it means extra-wide for both women’s and men’s shoe sizes. However, of course, a pair of 2E-width shoes for women is narrower than that for men.
Actually, there were not many ladies purchasing EE-width shoes in the past. This is also one of the reasons why there was limited production at that time. There has been a considerable increase in the manufacture of women’s shoes for this extra width in the last 10 years, though.
A pair of 2E-width shoes will be from 3.4 to 5.4 inches wide, with the measurement record on the bottom area of your foot’s ball.
EEE/3E Width in Shoe Size
If we have EE-width shoes, then we also have shoes with EEE widths. However, this width is not really common for both females’ and males’ shoe sizes. But you can still get shoes with this extremely wide width. But in most cases, these shoes are tailor-made or made-to-order.
M Width in Shoe Size
So, by far, you get the idea of almost all common width letters in shoe sizes. So, what exactly does M mean in shoe size? M simply stands for medium when it comes to ladies’ shoe sizes. In other words, a pair of M-width women’s shoes are neither too wide nor too narrow, and it is just average, normal, or medium.
You will see another common acronym in females’ shoe sizing charts, which is B(m). You might think it is something associated with B-width shoes. So, what exactly does B(m) mean in shoe size? It represents the average or medium width for ladies’ shoes. As I mentioned previously, B denotes a normal width in women’s shoes, while M obviously stands for medium.
The same goes for the D(m) abbreviation on a shoes’ tag. But in this case, it is used for males’ shoes. But what exactly does D(m) mean in shoe size? Like the medium B(m) width in ladies’ shoe sizes, D(m) translates into average or medium width for males’ shoes.
As said earlier, the letter D means the average size when it comes to men’s shoes. Meanwhile, M is denoted to help you differentiate that the shoe comes with a medium width. As a result, the abbreviation B(m) and D(m) allows you to further be sure whether it is wide for men’s or women’s shoes.
The Differences Between M and W Width Shoes
Actually, there are not so many dissimilarities between M and W widths in shoe sizes. In other words, this variance is very small because you can see that only ⅛ inch makes a striking difference. Despite that, the minor change might create a big difference in the world of shoes for both genders. This is because when you are wearing a pair of wide shoes, they will provide you with enough space for your toes not to overlap and rub against each other.
Typically, the shoe width is measured according to the widest part of your feet, usually around the forefoot area. It can be done either by numbers or letters. And the one thing you need to remember is that not all shoe brands provide you with a wide range of wide-width shoes. Therefore, it seems to be a little bit challenging to decide which width is the best fit.
For example, you can see different letters labeled on the shoes from the UK brands. These letters include 3A, 2A, A, B, C, D, E, 2E, and 3E, with the AAA/3A letter being the narrowest width and 3E/EEE being the widest width.
Besides, the labels of the width letters in men’s and women’s shoes are also different. For instance, medium or normal size shoes in the men’s category are designated with the letter C or D, while women’s medium size shoes are labeled with the letter B. You will also find the letter D tagged as the wide width in the women’s section, but wider width shoes for males are designated as E or 2E/EE.
What About The Measurement of Wide Width Shoes
Typically, shoes that are designed for people with wider feet tend to be approx. ¼ inches wider than the normal shoe size. You will feel like your feet get extra space for better comfort without overlapping, thanks to the added depth. While the wide shoes in the men’s category are marked with the letter E or 2E, women’s wide-width shoes are labeled as D.
According to some research, there are only around 30-35% of the average population who wear the exact-sized shoes. On the other hand, the percentages of people who wear the wrong-sized shoes are up to 63-72%. So, below are some reasons why and when you have to accurately measure your foot measurements.
- Always measure your feet every time before you are going to buy a new pair of shoes/footwear. Some studies showed that your foot size could be changed in size and shape over time for some reasons. So, don’t pick shoes of the same size as your old measurements.
- Your feet can also get swollen due to all-day standing or walking. Therefore, it is best to measure your foot in the late afternoon or even at night.
- Some people might measure only one foot and think that the other foot has the same size. But in fact, it is wrong. Whenever you take your foot measurements, always measure both feet. This is because one foot might be a little wider or narrower than the other one.
- Never pay attention to the same size because different shoe brands might offer different shoe sizes.
- It is highly recommended to go for a walk after trying on a new pair of shoes. This way, you can check if your longest toes rub against the toe box or whether the shoes are well fitted.
When reading these words, I believe that you get the idea of “what does W mean in shoe size?”. The letter W simply stands for wide when it comes to shoe width fitting. Often, you will find shoes labeled as M. In fact, there is not much variance between W and M in shoe sizing, as both letters mean medium or normal width.
So, next time you purchase a new pair of shoes, always measure both the length and width of your feet. This is essential typically when walking or running are your daily physical activities. Even if not, wearing too tight or wide shoes can cause some foot issues, such as blisters, chafing, or even infections and other serious problems. After some time, you still should get the shoe that delivers ultimate comfort.