What Does 4E Mean In Shoes? [Easy Explanation]

It’s a common incident to stumble upon the term ‘4E’ when shopping for shoes. But what does 4E mean in shoes? Well, it’s a term used for measuring wide shoes’ width. 

However, it’s not as simple as it sounds. The terms used for wide shoes are sometimes very confusing to all of us. Sometimes it’s just a letter, sometimes it’s size names, and sometimes they are a combination of letters and numbers. 

4E is a size that combines a letter and a number to indicate the width of a shoe. Let’s dig a little deep into this issue.  

What Does 4E Mean In Shoes?

4E is extra wide shoes when measuring men’s shoes. There are three measurements of the width using the letter E. It’s either E, 2E, or 4E. 

2E refers to wide for men, and 4E refers to extra wide shoes. The more E there is in width, the wider the shoe will be. Some shoes can be wide up to 10E. 

In comparison, narrow shoes are labeled with A letters. The more A you add to size, the narrower the shoe will get.  

Relevant Terms Used In Shoes

You may have noticed a lot of letters when getting a pair of shoes. Basically, letters start from A and end on E when measuring shoes. And the measurement follows the flow of the letters.

That means A size shoes are the narrowest on the list and E size shoes are the widest. There are sizes in between. You can choose to adjust your feet and get the perfect measurement. 

Note that the measurement in numbers when comparing with letter measurement can vary from brand to brand. That’s why it’s tough to assign any size in inches or cm to these letters. However, your preferred brand will have a chart indicating the size in numbers so you can check that out before buying a pair. 

Read More: The Best Shoes for Physical Therapists

Determining Your Shoe Size

There is no better way of getting the perfect size of shoes than by measuring your feet. Many people use their previous shoes as a measurement standard, but that’s not something you should do. 

Old shoes start to loosen up after a while. That means, even when your feet extend in size, the boots also extend. They lose their initial size, so it’s better not to use them for comparison.

Measuring your feet is easy. You only need a piece of paper to stand on, a pen or pencil to outline your foot, and a ruler to determine the size. 

Take a blank page and place it somewhere you can stand on, preferably with a wall on your back. Stand on the paper and ensure that your heel is touching the wall. Now, use the pen to outline both your feet. 

Why do you need to outline both your feet? Most people don’t have the same size feet. You’ll notice that after measuring both feet, one seems larger than the other one. Always measure the larger foot. 

For the length, measure the outline from the heel to the longest toe. For the width, make sure you measure between the points where your feet are the widest. Generally, measuring the length is enough for determining shoe size. 

However, if you need wide shoes, you’ll have to measure the width to determine what size you’ll need. Note that your current shoe size doesn’t necessarily mean that you will never need a pair of wide shoes. 

Feet tend to get wider as you age. Besides, if you wear a specific brand, you may need to get a wider-sized shoe when switching between brands. Because, as I said, not all brands follow the same measurement technique. 

If you want to be on the safer side when selecting shoes, use your measurement to match the brand’s size chart that you’re buying. If you’re buying a wide shoe, compare your feet width with the size chart to determine whether you need an E, 2E, or 4E.

The same goes for narrower shoes. Unless you’re getting a standard size, consider the width to get a perfect fit. In case you’re buying from a store, you can always be confident because you get to wear the shoes to see if they feel okay around your feet. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do feet change their width? 

Your feet can actually get wider with age. There are several reasons why your feet can get wider. For instance, weight gain is one of the most common reasons. If you’re experience difficulty breaking in a regular size shoe, it may indicate that you’re wearing the wrong size. 

Many people don’t know their feet are more suitable for wide shoes and blame the footwear for not breaking in easily. 

Q. What are wide-size shoes? 

Some shoes come with a broader toe box and forefoot to make the shoes more suitable for people with wider feet. The length, however, stays the same as the regular size. People who have wider feet can feel more comfortable in these shoes rather than in regular size shoes.

Q. What does 4E mean in shoes?

4E in shoes stands for extra wide.  2E stands for wide, which means the more letters there are in shoe size, the wider the footwear will be. 4E can mean different things for men and women shoe sizing. For example, 2E is extra wide for women’s shoes. 

Final Words

After going through this article, there shouldn’t be any more confusion regarding what does 4E mean in shoes. If you ever come across a term you don’t understand, don’t hesitate to enlighten yourself. A pair of wrong size shoes can reduce your confidence and, of course, waste a lot of money. 

Most brands include a clear chart of shoe measurement on their website. So, if you have a specific brand in mind, you can check out their website for more info. As for sizing, do not go for narrower shoes when your feet need wider ones. 

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