Comfortable shoes vary widely by individual even if they wear the same general size and shape.
I wear 13 EEEE - 13 EEEEEE, depending on brand and model, and most often the largest width of a particular shoe from a brand or model of either width designation did/does not fit. In the days before the Internet, I tried to buy my shoes on business trips from Fred Meyer. In fact, the men's shoe department manager used to call my cell phone whenever they got a shipment of shoes that (a) he knew would fit me, and (b) he thought I would like.
Additionally, I not only need width, I need depth as well. And, I have bunions. I had a bunionectomy on the left foot, and it improved things, but not nearly enough to justify the pain, recovery and expense of surgery. Moreover, despite assurances from the podiatrist that this would permanently fix the problem, the foot that had the surgery has gotten somewhat worse—but not as bad as it was prior to surgery.
(My younger brother who has similar problems with his feet has passed on the surgery as a consequence, and I have decided not to have the surgery on the right foot.)
I have also tried orthotics, but the depths problem has always made orthotics more trouble than help.
In the mean time, I've lost 110 pounds (in 89 weeks) and shrunk in height 2.5 inches (in 3 years). While my feet are slightly less wide, the general information about size, I gave, is still accurate.
I have tried Sketchers. I liked them early on. Later models have proven too narrow, and not providing enough support. They also have a bit of an authoritarian streak in terms of how they treat feedback online. I found this extremely distasteful. (That is a euphemism, that they do not deserve! Enough said.)
I have had the best luck with Propet, but even with Propet, I've had some problems with quality and usability. Some examples include:
* Tongues on some models are too short to keep them from slipping towards the toe, or bunching up.
* Different shoes from the same model—some will get separation of the sole from the last, or the lamina of the soles will separate from each other.
* They have no idea how to implement Velcro closures.
* The shoe laces they provide with their shoes suck. They bunch up and unravel in the middle. I always buy separate laces and replace them.
But, they fit, they are extremely light for their size, if you get a pair without defect, they last and last, and look good (or, as good as a huge, semi-athletic shoe can look). I have four pairs!
When I was still able to run, and play ball (up to age 55), I exclusively wore New Balance. They had the widest size/length availability, and you could buy them from the “factory” (warehouse!) in MA. But, then, they started to increase the height of the sole along the arch (for better support, and to prevent ankle rollover) and that made the shoes much less forgiving to my bunions.
BTW, I share my “lovely” foot characteristics with my mother and brother; so clearly there is a strong genetic component, here.
In brief, caveat oddpoditor.
Edited by: BOPPY_ at: 2/25/2013 (13:29)