I haz them.
For normal shoes, a Wide (2E) or Extra Wide (3E or 4E, depending on the manufacturer) usually works fine for me. Safety shoes, however, are a royal pain in the ass. Or foot, as the case may be.
I’ve had exactly two different models of steel toe shoes that fit. One is Wolverine that costs roughly seventy-five dollars, and lasts about three months. All of those are long gone. The other is a two hundred dollar pair of Thorogoods. The sole started to deteriorate after about a year, but the uppers are still completely serviceable at the two year mark.
My problem is that I need something to wear while I get the Thorogoods re-soled. I bought a pair of the only Thorogood boots that they had on the shoe truck a couple months ago. They were a different model than my current pair, but given how well those held up, I was sure I couldn’t go wrong with them. They were to become my primary and the old ones, once re-soled, would be my backup.
The new boots were snug, but I thought that they would be fine once broken in. As it turns out, the new pair is 2E, whereas the old pair was 3E. Theoretically, that’s a difference of only an eighth of an inch. As it turns out, that’s the distance between a comfortable pair of boots and a waste of one hundred seventy-five dollars. The longer I wore them, the more my feet hurt and the thicker the calluses on the sides of my feet became.
After a week or so, I switched back to my old boots and started looking for a cheap temporary pair. Nothing with a safety toe at the local mart of walls was available in any flavor of wide. There were a few online in the fifty dollar range that claimed to be wide or extra wide. Lies! All lies!
First, I ordered a pair of Reeboks. They were 2E, so I went up a half size in length, hoping that combination would work. Nope.
This week, it was a pair of Sketchers that claimed to be 4E. Wrong again. Not even close.
I suspect that the lower priced options all use the same standard D width toe cap, which negates any additional width they claim to build into the shoe.
I don’t need another $200 pair, and I hate to spend $80 for something that won’t last ninety days. But I don’t know how much longer these soles are going to survive: