Welcome to McCulloch's Wide Shoes
685 S. Brea Blvd. Brea, CA 92821 714-529-7872 1-888-MCC-WIDE
MON - FRI 10AM - 7PM
SAT 10AM - 6PM SUN 11AM - 5PM
I’ve been fitting shoes to “problem” feet for more than 20 years, and in that time I’ve seen a remarkable variety of feet, but more interesting than the differences are the similarities. As wide shoes specialists, there are certain things we look for in shoes – certain features, certain characteristics – that make our job a little easier. These same rules of thumb should help as you attempt to shop for a fit-based product without actually trying it on.
There are several basic things you already know: size (meaning length) and width (meaning across the ball of the foot), but don’t forget depth or girth – meaning from bottom to top. The depth of a shoe is often the difference between a decent fit and a great fit.
Certain shoes on our website are distinguished as “depth” meaning that they have been designed to provide more depth than is usually provided. These models often have multiple liners built in that allow you to adjust the depth even further.
Another characteristic to look for is the difference between the two types of lace shoes – bal and blucher. “Bals” are stitched across the bottom of the instep (top of the foot) and the two sides are held very close together; however, “bluchers” are designed with a “butterfly” style opening and allow the shoe to open both wider and deeper.
Once upon a time, there was a standard U.S. “last” and a person shopping for shoes could be measured for both length and width with confidence. Unfortunately, this time has passed. Today, every shoe manufacturer in the world uses their own last and, in most cases, they use several different lasts. Because of this and a few other factors, it is my professional opinion that size measuring devices work only moderately well in determining length and not at all in determining width. Knowing the differences between certain lasts can be vital in fitting shoes. For example, New Balance uses two basic lasts when designing shoes; these are most commonly referred to as the SL-1 last and the SL-2 last, and can be found printed on the insole of every pair of New Balance shoes. The difference is that the SL-2 is deeper in the instep, broader in the toes, and fuller in the arch. Whenever a style is made on a specific last that affects the fit, we have distinguished it as such on our website.
Similarly, there is no longer any “standard” width designation that can be counted on. For example, what Florsheim marks as a W fits exactly the same as the styles Florsheim marks 3E, while Hush Puppies W (for men) is actually an E width and their XW is the 3E. To further complicate matters, both Florsheim and Hush Puppies use the 5E designation for their next width. How do manufacturers expect the consumer to keep track? One of our goals at McCulloch’s Wide Shoes is to act as translator. Please see our width cart for our complete translation.
Whenever you attempt to fit an orthotic or arch-support into a shoe, the most important thing to look for is whether or not the style has a removable liner. Without a removable liner, the likelihood of the style being able to accommodate a custom or after-market inserts is very low.
When attempting to fit a foot with any type of deformity (bunion, hammer toes, etc?) it is always best to select a style with as few seams ass possible. A plain-toed shoe will mold itself to the foot much easier and if a seam hits the foot in the wrong place it can cause serious irritation.
I hope these tips help out, and if you have any questions more specific, please email me.
Jack McCulloch Jr., C.Ped