The New Balance 550 is surging in popularity. When buying retro athletic shoes, predicting the fit can be difficult. If you have wide or narrow feet, you may be concerned about the 550. Are New Balance 550 shoes wide or narrow fit?
The New Balance 550 fits true to size for most people, however some people feel like the toe box runs a bit narrow. If you have wide feet, it may be best to size up a half size to provide extra room inside the shoe. In the article below I have side-by-side photos comparing New Balance 550 width to the sizing of other popular shoes.
Do the New Balance 550 Fit Wide or Narrow?
As I mentioned above, the sizing length of the New Balance 550 is true to size. For example, here is my New Balance 550 compared to Air Jordan 1 sizing (both size 12):
And here is my New Balance 550 width compared to Nike Dunk (both size 12):
The New Balance 550 toe box runs a bit narrow (it stretches out over time), but for those with wide feet, it may be best to size up a half size. For illustration, below is a photo comparing my New Balance 550 width to Crocs (Crocs are well-known for having a wide, roomy toe box):
As you can see above, Crocs have a roomier toe design than the 550.
To better illustrate how the New Balance 550 in standard width compares to extra wide shoes, below is a photo of my New Balance 550 shoes (in standard width) versus Nike Air Monarch 4E (which is a popular extra wide shoe) both size 12:
The main takeaway is expect the New Balance 550 to fit true to size for most people, but the toe box can run a little bit narrow. If you have wide feet, you may need to adjust sizing.
**New Balance now also has it’s own sizing guide available at NewBalance.com that has helpful sizing tips for the 550 – click here to view that sizing guide at NewBalance.com (paid affiliate link takes you to NewBalance.com).
If you have wide feet, here is a list of alternative options that might be better options for wider feet. To learn more about the length of New Balance 550 shoes, visit my article that discusses the sizing of New Balance 550 shoes.
New Balance 550 Width Photos
All the photos below use a size 12 men’s shoe in standard width so you can compare the width of New Balance 550 shoe to other popular shoes.
New Balance 550 vs Nike Blazer Width
New Balance 550 vs Nike Air Max Excee Width
New Balance 550 vs Nike Air Max 90 Width
New Balance 550 vs Nike Cortez Width
New Balance 550 vs Crocs Width
New Balance 550 vs Hey Dude Width
New Balance 550 vs Vans Old Skool Width
New Balance 550 Width vs Vans Authentic
New Balance 550 vs Vans Sk8-Hi Width
New Balance 550 vs Adidas 2k Boost Width
New Balance 550 vs Adidas Alphabounce Width
New Balance 550 vs Adidas Superstar Width
New Balance 550 vs Adidas Gazelle Width
New Balance 550 Width vs Converse Chucks
New Balance 550 vs Converse Chucks 70 Width
New Balance 550 vs Converse One Star Width
New Balance 550 vs Converse Pro Leather Width
New Balance 550 vs Reebok Classics Width
New Balance 550 vs Under Armour Width
New Balance 550 vs Merrell Hydro Moc Width
New Balance 550 vs New Balance 574 Width
New Balance 550 Alternatives for Wide Feet
If you have wide feet, and are concerned that the New Balance 550 might fit too narrow for your feet, there are a few retro New Balance shoes that offer a wider, or more forgiving, fit. In the sections below, let’s discuss some of the most popular options.
New Balance 99X
The New Balance 99X series are retro 90’s-style athletic shoes that have a chunkier design than modern athletic shoes. Many of these New Balance 99X shoes are made in the USA. The 990, 992, and 993 are some of the most popular options. Many versions are offered in wide sizing, and I found them even in standard width to fit wider than the New Balance 550.
Below is a comparison of my 992 vs 550 width (550 on right):
New Balance 237
The New Balance 237 is another retro athletic shoe that New Balance offers. The 237 was originally created to be a running shoe in the 1970’s. It also has a narrow design, but because it is made with a lightweight upper, I found it to conform to the shape of my foot easier than the 550 did. The 237 is very comfortable to wear.
Below is a comparison of my 237 vs 550 width (550 on right):
New Balance 327
The New Balance 327 is another retro style shoe, but it has a more unique outsole. It has a studded outsole that also wraps up the back side of the heel to make this shoe unique. Just like the 237 above, the 327 uses a lightweight upper that doesn’t choke the foot.
Below is a comparison of my 327 vs 550 width (550 on right):
New Balance 574
I’d be remiss to not mention what is perhaps New Balance’s most classic shoe: the 574. This 574 shoe is actually built to have a roomier, wider toe box, so it might be a good option if you have wide feet. To read more, visit my article that discusses the width of New Balance 574 shoes.
Below is a comparison of my 574 vs 550 width (550 on right):