What Does the Shoe Letters Width (AAA, AA, A, B, C, D, E, EE, and EEE) Mean?

So you ordered a size 7D or 7E, you don’t remember clearly; all you were concerned about was the size 7. So here comes your shoes, a perfect fit for your feet, but alas! It’s too tight considering the width.

Understanding and purchasing shoe sizes only feel like a puzzle with some cryptic letters and numbers. Now, most customers only focus on the shoe width, but the cryptic set of letters beside these numbers remain overlooked, and this creates a problem when you try to have comfortable footwear. 

For instance, if you are buying tightly fitted shoes for casual outgoings or well-fitted shoes for the sake of morning walks and jogs, and the letters in the shoe size get ignored, then boy, you are in trouble!

A shoe’s width is equally essential as the length for the comfort, fit, durability, and reliability of the footwear. The letters beside the length measurements, from AAA to EEE, represent a different width measurement. Don’t worry; it is no Enigma that you cannot understand; it’s pretty simple, and I’m here to tell you all about it!

Meaning of The Shoe Width Letters Based On Sex

It’s a bit more complicated when we see the different needs for different sex. Please don’t get frustrated; I’ll bring forth the sizes available for the different genders and what they mean in a short while.

Shoe size width for men: The available width sizes for men are A, B, C, D, E, EE, and EEE, where the size A is a bit too narrow and the size EEE is a bit too wide for textbook measurements of a man.

Shoe size width for women: Women can get many different widths for their shoes, including AAA, AA, A, B, C, D, EE. Here, the AAA size indicates a super slim and narrow shoe width, whereas the EEE indicates some extra width.

Shoe size width for children: Children here don’t need much of the options. Their shoes are available in widths B, D, and E, where E stands for extra-wide.

Understanding The Shoe Width Scale

By now, you have already guessed that the shoe widths start from AAA, indicating the narrowest, and finish at EEE, which means the broadest.

However, you may not always find the widths written in such alphabetical sequence; it might be more like 2a instead of AA, 3e instead of EEE, etc. A few manufacturers seem to complicate the stuff even more with extra-wide footwear that is marked as a 4e or even a 5e. Well, it’s nothing to worry about because these varying unconventional designations are mostly seen in men’s boots. So, unless you are getting yourself a pair of new boots, you don’t need to go through the complicacy.

Now, there’s another catch; the width of the shoe also depends on the length. For instance, the A on a nine size shoe may be narrower than the A on a ten size shoe. So, before you think you’ve understood all of it by now, you might want to stick around for a few more minutes to clear things out.

Defining AAA/AA/A width

Yes, you guessed it right, A means indicates a narrower width. More the A’s, the more the narrow the shoe width! It is typically seen in the case of women’s footwear for a narrow and slim fit. You might even find a pair or two A sizes in a man’s shoes, but it’s pretty rare.

The ‘A’ width varies from an approximate 3.4″ to 3.9″ at the ball of the foot.

You can also find A’s elaborated designations as a slim or super slim fit that’s the same as narrow and extra narrow, so nothing to get confused about.

Defining B width

Now, this is a designation most common when you are looking at women’s shoes. It implies the standard width; it’s neither too narrow nor broad. If you can’t get a hold of the shoe width designation, it may turn out to be B or standard width varying from approximately 3.6″ to 4.1″. The same goes for kids’ shoes; however, you won’t find much of the B for men’s footwear because it turns out to be a little too narrow for them.

Defining C width

C’s are not quite the standard measurements for a shoe width, but it’s close to D, which means a broader shoe width.

Defining D width

For men, the D size is considered a more standard size. So if you cannot see any width designations, you better understand that it’s the D size. However, things are different for women and children. For them, this is a wider size.

The typical D-size measurements can vary from an approximate 4 to 4.5 inches in width across the ball of your foot.

Defining E/EE/EEE width

I’m sure you guessed that these are the most extended shoe sizes on board, and you are right. The more the E, the wider the shoe gets.

The E means the basic wide shoes for a man, whereas it indicates extra width for women and children. The standard measurement lies between an approximate 4.2″ to 5.2″ across the ball of the foot.

The EE and EEE are not traditional measurements on the width scale for the women. However, for men, these are just extra wide shoes.

There has been an uprise in the EE size in women’s shoes, considering the niche of transgender people looking for wider women’s shoes. Typically, this size measures from approximately 4.5 to 5.4 inches.

Manufacturers Size Recommendation

You know what these little code letters mean in shoe language, but what you need to know further is that different manufacturers use the specific model foot for designing their shoes. Hence, the shoe sizing, both the length and the width, has a full possibility of varying from your standard size.

So, before you order your shoes matching their size with yours, don’t forget to look at their size comparison charts.

How to Get The Right Fit

In all this shoe dilemma, everything might seem like a maze. The best thing you can do to come out of it is to take proper measurements of your feet. It’s best if you can visit the stores physically and have your sizes checked by their scales. And when buying shoes online, put your measurements correctly on the websites to find your perfect fit.

Now, all these might seem a bit unimportant to you at some point. But trust me, if you aren’t even comfortable in your shoes, no matter how fancy it is, you will get tired of it soon. Be equally concerned about the length and width when buying shoes. And for best results, try them on and try walking for a minute to check the size and comfort. Now you know the secret codes! Just kidding! But hey! Don’t forget to pick the sizes wisely.

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