Welcome to our quick guide to some of the different wide fittings available.
We spend a lot of time working with wide fitting walking boots and shoes and as a result we know lots about how the different wide fittings on the market compare.
This article aims to introduce some of the differences in these wide fittings in order to help you find which walking boot brand or model might be best for you.
First things first though, you need to get your size right, everything will feel tight if you are wearing footwear that is too small, feet change and walking boots need more toe space than everyday shoes so check our ‘how to measure your feet’ guide to be sure you are in the right size.
Meindl Comfort Fit
Probably the biggest selection of different wide fittting styles from any brand, the Meindl comfort fit range has everything from full leather mountain boots to super light trainers all in wide fittings.
They roughly break down into 2 families, the European made ones with the cork supportive footbed and the Vietnamese made lighter mids and shoes, but there are lots of subtle differences from one model to the next.
The footwear with the cork footbed tend to have a wider, square toe box and vary in the amount of depth or volume from model to model. Meran, Asti mid etc have lots of room at the forefoot but are snug in the mid foot and heel. The Sulden and Bernina are wide and square and have lots of depth too.
The lighter mids and shoes without the cork foot bed are a bit less wide accross the toes but have more depth and volume in general, the journey mid and Rapide fit in here.
Hanwag Bunion Fit
The Hanwag Bunion Fit is not as wide and deep as the comfort fit. It is designed to have the width and depth in a very localised area around the big toe joint, the rest of the foot is snug and low volume so this fit is ideal for people with a slim foot other than the bunion. It’s not for everyone but it’s excellent for people that need it.
Altberg 5 Widths fittings
This system allows us to go up and down in width and length (size) so is very versatile.
As you go up in width the depth, and therefore volume, increases too and in the extra wide fittings you start to get quite a lot of forefoot volume. The toe profile is quite similar to the lighter Meindl footwear, less square than the cork footbed Meindl boots but with more depth.
The sketch below is from altberg and shows a rough comparison of the different widths
It varies from model to model but I would say that the Altberg Extra wide fitting has a similar toe prifile and volume to the Meindl shoes and mids like the Journey Mid and Rapide, though the Altberg boots have less depth right at the end of the big toe. This would put the Extra wide somewhere around the sketch below.
How do they compare?
Below is a very approximate comparison between the differnt profiles, The red line represents both the lighter meindl shoes and mids and the Altberg Extra wide but remember that both of these have more depth than a lot of the squarer Meindl cork footbed boots (Black line). The blue line is the Hanwag bunion fit. The Meindl Sulden and Bernina Have the profile of the black line but with lots of depth and volume and are the roomiest boots we sell, especially the Sulden.
Other Wide Fittings, Lowa, Hanwag, Keen etc
There are other wide fittings available and they all have a place, we find that the wide fits from most other brands are not as wide as the Meindl comfort fit and Altberg Extra wide fittings so don’t work as well for us when we are fitting wide feet..
Hopefully this has helped to explain some of the basic differences in wide fitting footwear, there is nothing like trying them on though!
In particular you need to make sure you are in the right size as everything will feel tight if it’s too small and this is the most common mistake in walking footwear, check out our guide to measuring your feet at home to check your size.
If you would like to know more please get in touch and we will be happy to help.