Boot Width Guide (B vs C vs E vs EE vs EEE)

Want a comprehensive boot width guide?

Awesome stuff, you have landed in the right place!

In this blog, we will show you:

  • What all the letters mean
  • How to measure your foot correctly
  • Some tips on choosing the correct boot size
  • And So Much More!
Boot width Guide

Before we delve deeper into the intricacies of various boot widths and what they represent or even mean for you, read the table of contents below.

Why this specific boot width guide 

As an engineer, I often frequent construction sites quite a bit, and one of the frustrations that I have experienced is having work boots that are the correct size for my feet. However completely terrible when it comes to width (i.e I have terribly suffered from boots that were not wide – as I have flat feet).

So this got me wondering, could I possibly be the only person with this issue, and how does someone go about getting the perfect boot size, both width and length just by analyzing the label?

I was also quite puzzled by the idea that with many people now shopping and purchasing their work apparel online, I really didn’t have the option of fitting my boots before I made the sizeable investment of purchasing them online.

Hence why I created this guide, to help demystify the entire topic of boot width and help you understand how the size of a boot is determined in correspondence to your exact foot. Enjoy the article – it was a lot of fun putting this together.

Read More:>>> Get more insight for proper shoes that electricians can use

The Letters (B, C, D, E, EE, EEE) What they all really mean anyway

Boot Width Guide

All of these letters represent standard shoe widths. With D being a men’s standard and B generally specifying a women’s regular width shoe.

What you will also find interesting is that a large majority of the public wear regular/standard shoe widths.

Now in America, the scale then tends to flow and fluctuate for 9 different shoe sizes, generally going from 3A/AAA which is narrowest width all the way to 3E/EEE which represents a shoe width that is very wide.

What is worth noting and I will touch on this in the coming sections is that the width is measured across the ball of the foot. So in America a D width corresponds to a foot width in the ranges of between 3.2 to 4.9 inches.

How to determine the best boot for your specific foot

When it comes to choosing a boot, most people only ever focus on size. You will often hear statements like “it is too tight but I will stretch it out”, or “It tends to pinch my heal, when I take a step. This shoe is uncomfortable”. These are all symptoms of a boot that is not suitable in terms of width for your specific foot.

So then, the best way to go about determining the best boot for your specific foot is to ensure that both the size and the boot width correspond to your feet parameters

Determining the parameters of your feet

Ok let’s look at how you go about measuring the parameters of your feet so that you can choose your work boots well.

Step 1 – Place your foot firmly on a flat surface

Start off by removing any socks, and place your bare foot on a flat surface. I have found this works best when I put my feet on a tile. This step is important especially if you have very flat feet. Putting your foot on grass or uneven terrain can gradually skew the results.

Step 2 – Use a measuring tape to measure the length

Once your foot is on a flat surface, use a standard ruler or measuring tape and measure from the tip of your toe all the way down to the back of your heal. Record this value for both feet. This will give you your SIZE

Shoe Size Chart

Step 3 – Use the same measuring tape to measure the width

Basically repeat Step 2, however now measure across the ball of your foot, record this value as well. This will give you your WIDTH.

Width of your feet

Step 4 – Compare the results to the table below

Now use the values that you got from both the length and the width to determine your size and your foot’s width in inches, as per the table below.

Boot Width Guide

Men’s sizing chart vs female sizing chart

Let’s look at the differences in sizes between the men’s sizing chart and the female sizing chart. As we have already mentioned D is the mid range for men.

Men and Women's Width

As you can see from the chart above, all the typical sizes are found in the various US, UK and EUR shoe length metrics.

For women on the other hand, B is considered normal width and this is standard across US, EUR and UK sizes and lengths.

What is quite interesting to note here however is that the boot size chart focuses on the majority of shoe sizes (98%) of all people. It is not all encompassing.

For example consider a women with a shoe size greater than 12 US or UK. In this case special attention will need to be taken to ensure that the correct size boot is selected for the width of the person involved.

Read More:>>>Wet shoes can be a mess, drying them is simple

Why choosing the correct boot sizes matters

Foot Health

Many a times, and I have most definitely made this mistake as well, we often think that boot size only affects comfort and style. However there are serious health considerations that one must consider when looking for a boot.

  • Neuropathy

Neuropathy is basically a foot disorder that affects what they call the peripheral nervous system. Think your hands and fingers. It was first noted by Dr Thomas Sydenham in the mid 17th century.

But as with all discoveries it only became much prominent later when Jean-Martin Charcot, a French neurologist named it “Neuropathie”.

What this disorder in fact does, is that it causes weakness, pain and in many instances numbing in your extremities, more especially the feet.

This can get really bad, to give you an example – when you have neuropathy, very basic things that you often take for granted such as walking or even standing for short periods can become rather uncomfortable and challenging due to a lack of sensation in the affected areas of the foot.

And this can all be caused by a poor choice of boots.

This can be further exasperated by the constant rubbing of the feet and shoes against the desensitized foot.

Leading to serious complications such as chronic infection and open wounds which left unhandled could result in more problems further down the line. Fortunately many institutions now have treatment plans for this conditions. The University of Colombia - Department of Neurology is worth having a look at if you suspect symptoms above. 

  • Deformation of the foot

Another foot health issue you may encounter that can wreck havoc on your feet and cause real problems are deformities, causes primarily by very tight footwear.

Let’s be honest – nobody really wants corns, calluses or any other odd shaped protrusions being added to their toes, however if you are not careful with your boot selection this will definitely be the case for you.

Fortunately, there are simple ways to avoid this all together, when fitting your boot for the very first time, make sure it is comfortable and fits snugly around your feet.

Also make sure that the heel fits properly and you can feel enough space at the head of the boot by your toes, without them feeling to squashed when you walk around.

I always use one tip, try on multiple boots at once, you will quickly be able to tell which one is for your feet, and which one is not a good fit.

Read More:>>> Are Doctor Martens reliable in snowy conditions?

  • Flex point

The Flex point is an absolute necessity when selecting a boot. In fact without a good flexpoint (hence flexibility in your feet and ankles), these boots may as well be made from hard masonry or concrete.

The flex point serves the purpose of ensuring that your feet have a comfortable range of motion whilst you are wearing your boots.

Plus, a great flex point also helps if you are in an environment whereby you have quick sudden movements. Especially if you are working. This flexibility can make or break your work day in terms of overall comfort.

  • Heel

This is an item, that is usually understated and mostly misunderstood. To many people, a shoe is just a shoe. But if you really want to pick a quality boot, then the heel is a very integral part of understanding boot width and how it affects the overall boot.

When you are wearing your work boots, it’s very important that the heels are sturdy and reliable, if you are wearing boots that do not fit your feet, you’ll often find that the weight on the heels in very unbalanced – hence you will not benefit from the extra support and cushioning effect. In extreme cases this contribute to lower back pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Boot Width?

Boot width is a measurement of the distance between your foot and the inner edge of your shoe. It's important to find a boot with the right width for you, because it can make a big difference in terms of comfort and support when you're out in the snow.

How Is Boot Width Measured?

Boot width is measured in inches and can range from between 2.5 to 5 inches. To measure your boot width, you'll need a tape measure or ruler.

Place the end of the measuring device at the widest part of your foot and then measure across to the inner edge of your shoe. Make sure that you don't press down on the measuring device as this could result in inaccurate results.

What Should You Look for When Choosing a Boot?

In addition to finding the correct width, you should also make sure that your boot will fit comfortably. Make sure to try them on with socks of the same thickness that you plan to wear when skiing or snowboarding.

Also check the lacing system, it should be able to snugly fit your foot without being too tight. Finally, make sure that the sole is comfortable and offers traction when you step on slippery terrain. 

Final Thoughts On The Boot Width Guide

When it comes to the question of "what boot width should I choose?", my final thought is: don't overthink it!

The truth is that everyone's foot shape and size is different, so whatever feels good and comfortable to you is the right answer. Just take your time when trying on boots, making sure there's no pinching or rubbing against any parts of your feet.

All in all, take the time to find what works best for you and most importantly, have fun exploring new possibilities!

Mogale Modisane, PrEng

Mogale Modisane, PrEng

Mogale is a professional engineer (PrEng). With experience working on large-scale Solar, Wind, and Hybrid Projects. He has been exposed to multiple tools throughout his career and has a keen interest in breaking down the often murky world of power tools, machines, and measurement equipment making them more accessible and understandable to everyone.

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Mogale Modisane, PrEng

Mogale Modisane, PrEng

Mogale is a professional engineer (PrEng). With experience working on large-scale Solar, Wind, and Hybrid Projects. He has been exposed to multiple tools throughout his career and has a keen interest in breaking down the often murky world of power tools, machines, and measurement equipment making them more accessible and understandable to everyone.

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