Shoes in the United States are normally marked with a length and width inside the shoe. While a number indicates the length, a letter indicates the width. Length sizes for women range from a 5 to 12. Length sizes for men range from a 6 to 22, or larger in specially made shoes. If you are a male with a medium to wide foot, consider buying shoes marked with a C, D or E.
All shoes range from an A width to an EEEE width. The farther the letter goes into the alphabet, the larger the width. In addition, if the letter is replicated, such as in an AA width, the shoe is extra narrow, or in the case of AAA, very narrow.
The width of D in shoe sizing is considered a medium width for males, as is the width of C. The size D, of course, is wider than C in a male shoe. However, a D width in a female shoe is considered a wide shoe. Medium D, therefore, refers to the larger medium width for a male shoe. Medium D is measured across the bottom of the ball of the foot from 3 to 5 inches, depending on the length of the foot.
While E is a wide shoe for both men and women, EE is wider than E for males and extra wide for females. Wide EE measures from 3.4 inches to 5.4 inches across the bottom of the ball of the foot, depending on the length of the foot. For example, a male who wears a size 9 and has an extra-wide foot would measure approximately 4.3 inches across the bottom of the ball of the foot. On the other hand, a male who wears a size 12 and has an extra-wide foot would measure approximately 4.8 inches across the bottom of the ball of the foot.
Try Them On
While it may seem logical to assume that if you wear one shoe size in one brand of shoe you will also wear the same shoe size in all brands of shoes – don’t. Different materials and manufacturing techniques used in making the shoes may cause each brand to fit your foot differently. In other words, a D width made by one manufacturer may be an equal to a C made by another manufacturer, just as an EE in an athletic shoe may be equal to an E in a boot. Therefore, it is advisable to try on any shoes before you buy them to ensure that the length and the width suit your particular foot.
Patrice Lesco has been a writer since 2001. Also a certified teacher, she writes for newspapers, magazines, books, theater and film. Lesco holds a Master of Fine Arts in theater from Michigan State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in education and theater from Methodist College.