Looking for narrow shoes – Tech & Product


I’m looking for new shoes and 99% of the shoes on the market are too wide. The lower boa/velcro/lace would not offer much support, which would partly lead to Achilles issues.

I’ve already tried quite a few things, that’s why I’m opening this thread now. The bike fitter I went to suggested fizik and giro. I ordered several fizik (terra powerstrap x4, terra x5) in half sizes but they didn’t fit. Giro didn’t have any that I would like in other aspects. I ordered several shimano and kept the SH-XC702 but they are now actually too narrow. They were the first ones that made me feel like they were snug, but after about 1h my left forefoot went numb a bit. I tried several other brands in the store – northwave, specialty, sidi – and they were hilarious for my feet.

I have size 45, women’s shoes are not an option. I’ve generally noticed that more racy shoes, both road and mtb, run tighter. I would prefer 2 bolt mtb/gravel shoes for walking but at this point I would also switch back to my Look cleats if that solves my issues!

I know most people need wider shoes and now companies are offering wider models when the standard model is still too wide for me.

Do you have any advice or experience? Help much appreciated!

I also have very narrow feet and wear a size 47 or 48 depending on the manufacturer (13 AA in Murcan size). Models that “run narrow” are still too wide for me. Specialized narrow shoes are the only standard, non-custom shoes I could find, but they are very rare and not cheap. Sidi was a narrow width. My bike fitter just shook his head when I asked to replace my narrow old Sidis. I ended up going through Luck cycling shoes in Spain for a semi-custom shoe. Non-refundable if you take this route, but beggars can’t be picky. It’s been a good experience so far and I’m 2 years old on the shoes. Thanks for raising this issue – we’ll be interested to hear others’ experience.

I recently added a post for the inverse problem. This shows how difficult it is for manufacturers to cover such a wide range of differently shaped feet. Sometimes it’s better to be average.

I wonder if a shoe with a woven upper could help solve your problem. Rapha makes a Powerweave shoe. Fizik offers a knit upper (“Volume Control system”). And DMT makes road and mountain shoes with a “3D knit upper.” They all claim that this construction can serve a wide variety of foot shapes. I just thought I’d put that in the mix. Good luck.

What didn’t you like about Giro? I have 4 of their different lace up shoes and love them very much. Add a thicker insole or specialized wedge, they may feel narrower. Giros tend to have thin, flexible shafts so don’t work so well with boa dials but are good with laces. Something like the VR70 might work for you.

I’m in the same boat (and I even found the XC7s far too wide). I also regularly break boas because I cry them too hard. I’m currently riding Specialized S-Works 7’s but hear the newer ones don’t fit the same (and yes the narrow width ones are vape) – my toes bump a bit on the front because that I reduced my size, but it’s not enough to cause me problems. For cyclocross, I have the previous-gen Bontrager XXX… But the current-gen is much wider. For both, when things get sharp in a run (or a whole CX run) I tighten them up a lot – the feet go numb but they stay put and don’t wrinkle in weird ways.

The best shoe that ever fit me was the first generation S-Works with Boas… A size and a half bigger than what I wear now. And I replaced the Boas every 6-8 months after they failed catastrophically.

I however have this problem when buying any shoe. In many other shoes (eg hiking shoes) I can wear women’s 11 shoes, but I have never found a W11 cycling shoes to try.


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