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Comfortable Shoes for Narrow Heels? Reader Question

Hello Kirsten:

I am a new reader and am I glad I found your site. I have trouble getting shoes to fit properly. I know you have heard that before. I have flat, narrow feet except for my bunion. I also have a double A heel. From reading your site I found out that there is such a thing as an A Medium width that I did not know existed. My question is can you recommend shoes with a narrow heel or a good fitting brand that may help with my narrow heel problem. I have been getting B width shoes for years and then putting 3-4 inserts in them to keep me from walking right out of the shoes. I can't seem to find shoes anymore. Thanks for the great web site. I now have hope that I can find smart looking shoes without resorting to lace up shoes. Thanks again. Barbara

Dear Barbara,

I'm so glad you took the time to write to us at Barking Dog Shoes.  You've heard of combination skin, Aravon well some of us are blessed with hard-to-fit combination feet (narrow heel, wider forefoot or bunion). It sounds as if you're a true narrow but the obnoxious bunion is causing fit problems.

Through research and my own experience, I must recommend Aravon by New Balance. As you probably know, New Balance is the g0-to shoe recommendation of podiatrists and orthopedists for their patients with foot problems. But up until a few years ago, that meant confining your problem feet to lace-up sneakers as that was the only option offered by NB. Aravon is a new line of dress-casual shoes by NB with all the comfort technologies you'd expect from the brand.

One of the best features of Aravon is their "total comfort" fit. Many customers, including myself, find these comfortable shoes are made for our combination feet: a narrower fit in the heel with a roomier toe box. I recommend the Aravon Mia and Maya for closed-toe Aravon phoebe options and the Phoebe sandal for the summer. 

A few other brands to try for narrow heels and wider forefoot: Arcopedico (Shawna style), Beautifeel, Wolky

Readers, do you have a combination foot? We'd love to hear from you with recommendations of shoes that have worked for you.

About the Author

Blogger, Wife, Mom, Dog-Lover, Coffee Drinker, Owl Watcher.

21 Responses to Comfortable Shoes for Narrow Heels? Reader Question

  1. Le says:

    Help! I do indeed have “combination feet” – narrow heels and wide forefeet. With my wide forefoot, though, the thought of buying and shoe in a narrow width sounds like a nightmare! Which brands would you recommend for me?

  2. beachlady says:

    Just found this site and it is interesting and informative. I read so many reviews that I felt I should share my own. Like many others, I really wanted the new toning Sketchers. when they first came to my area, I purchased a size 10 (I wear a 9) because it was the closest size in the store. My narrow heel just walked out of the shoe and adjusting the strap to a tighter fit made the shoe hurt. Today I returned the shoe after my purchase in April (never wore the shoes but waited for the new stock to come in and it never did). So my next hunt was for a pair of MBTs. Since they also run small, I am having the same problem with the mary jane style and some of the sneakers hurt my ankle. Today I found the Avia toners and tried them and found them to be a better fit than the Sketchers and MBTs. Price point aside, I actually like the feel better so I am looking forward to wearing them. Now…regarding dress shoes…like many others, I have combination issues including a bunion, recovering from plantar faciatis (ok, I spelled it wrong!), narrow heels and knee surgery. I have been unable to find comfortable dress shoes for several year. I have been on a serious hunt for dress shoes and stumbled across the aravon brand. they are not carried by many stores in my area, but after locating them, and trying them on, I could not believe my feet! They are incredible! Very comfortable. Yes they are expensive, but so is buying shoes and wearing them once, only to give them away and starting the process again. Unfortunately, I have had a very tough time finding my size. The New Balance folks are wonderful and after several sizings, it was determined that I need a 9D. I was able to locate the Aravon shoes (Mia) on the New Balance site and ordered them. Not only was service good, but their prices better than the stores. I can not believe how excited I am to get these shoes. I will report back after getting them and wearing. I am also looking forward to trying the New Balance toners. This is long winded, but I hope it helps someone else.

  3. SB says:

    Rieker has some styles that have worked for my narrow heel, wider forefoot. Josef Siebel has some too, though the heel isn’t as narrow the forefoot is wider.

  4. majinsnake says:

    My feet were born in-ward and were over-corrected. I have a narrow heel and my feet have given out for last 5-6 years. I need to see a doctor about what to do. I seen the Reiker and Newbalance websites. Prices are expensive on both.

  5. tc says:

    Has anyone tried Hotter shoes from England? They say they have roomy toe boxes and snug fitting heels.

  6. Janine says:

    It contains the information.

  7. Karen says:

    I love that you are discussing this issue online! So hard to find shoes for a narrow heel, but my feet also have a wide ball. The shoes you recommended in this article don’t offer a wide width.

    Now also please add orthotics to the mix! Both my feet were broken in a car accident, adding another layer of complexity.

    I’ve been wearing New Balance for many years. Their narrow heel still slips a little bit off both feet, but is better than regular heels. Unfortunately, the Aravons I’ve tried on don’t have comfortable soles. My best fit is Saucony, but all they sell are athletic shoes.

    Still, I’m grateful I only got my father’s heels. He wore a AAAAAA shoe with a AAAA heel, that he had to special-order from the only manufacturer that made them!

    I’d love to be able to wear something other than lace-ups! All suggestions will be gratefully received! Thank you!!!

  8. Judy Christoffersen says:

    Hi. I have been reading your blog for a while. You helped me find a pair of shoes that are great! I live in Mexico in the winter and have met a nice young man aho made me shoes that fit over my bunions. As he wants to get into the shoe biz full time ( he is in college now) I am wondering if he could make a niche business with custom shoes for bunion sufferers? Would you review his shoes? Do a little article about him? He needs a leg up, maybe we could help.

  9. Mary says:

    Thanks for trying but your blog does not match the websites sizing charts. I am a combination B toe AA heel and none of the companies you recommend offer a combination sizing chart, so what are you talking about? This is not anything worthwhile to a combination foot although your blog says otherwise. Thanks for wasting my time!

  10. Kirsten@BarkingDogShoes says:


    Try this post: http:///newshoe/2012/10/reader-questions.html and look at the Munro shoes features. They’re built on a combination last.

  11. Jackie says:

    Naturalizers BZees is very comfortable. It has elastic around the heel for my narrow heel but wide enough in front for my bunions. Besides, the fabric is stretchy to conform to your foot. It’s a casual shoe.

  12. Terry mock says:

    I wear a size 8 1/2 aaaa with aaaaaa heels. I need walking shoes . I have a problem with my big toes sticking up so I need soft toes . What would be the best shoe foe me around 100.00

    • Susan Johnson says:

      I have found the Brooks Glycerin 13 running shoe ($150.00) and the New Balance W840WP3 ($120.00) to fit my 9.5 AAAA/AAAAAA foot. You may want to try these two.

  13. Monica Voegtli says:

    Where can I buy shoes that are AA toes and AAAA heels?

  14. Susan Johnson says:

    I have worn 9.5 AAAA shoes most of my life. I also suffer from having a 6A width heel. I have developed a bunion on my right (the larger) foot. My dress heels are Ros Hommerson 4A width, but when I put them on now, the forefoot is too tight and causes a great amount of pain. My other shoes and sandals are Munro SS width, but they are also too tight in the forefoot. I am trying to stretch this area with a professional shoe stretcher, but so far not much luck. I have tried the Munro narrow, but my heel slips out of the shoe every time. Any suggestions as I need both dress heels and casual sandals? Thank you.


    PS I sure do miss my Selby shoes.

    • Deborah says:

      I had forgotten Selby! I wear an 8 1/2 AAAA/AAAAAA and am desperately trying to find something that will pass for a dress shoe. Munro’s SS does not truly have a combination last even though they claim to. My heel slips right out. I’m afraid my day without a strap and an old lady look is over. If anyone has a solution it would be so nice!

  15. Paula Chandler says:

    I too suffer from a dual width foot. Many years ago back in the late 70’s/early 80’s, I used to order 10AAAA with a 6A heel fron Naturalizer and they fit perfect. Unfortunately they closed that store and stopped offering the service all together. You could order most any shoe in the special size, even the cute dress shoes. I guess dual feet are not what sells the most, so probably it was not as profitable. So those of us with this issue still suffer. I ordered from Ked’s slims, but I knew the heel would be slipping. There is a company here in town that will make your shoe fit your foot, but after paying ridiculous prices for slims or super slims, who can afford the makeover? It’s a target market these manufacturer’s need to wake up and make the dual width shoes available again. Stepping down off soapbox now…..

  16. Naomi says:

    Munros and Eccos have worked for me. But I am still searching for a dress pump that will work ? Any ideas? There are options for casual shoes but very few I find that aren’t over 200 dollars for dressier occasions.

    • Julie F says:

      Munros seem to have narrower forefoot– I can sometimes wear them but they are sometimes too tight. I have a couple of pairs of Eccos that work for me too.
      I found that the only dress shoe that usually works is ‘Soft style Angel II’ pump.
      The heel is not as tight as I would like but it might work–it comes in many colors and widths. I sometimes improvise by using a coordinating ribbon to tie them on. (I have plantar faciitis so I don’t have great toe grip strength).

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