Living in a sunny coastal state, I love to wear sandals and flip-flops year round, sometimes even when it’s raining. Growing up I had Birkenstocks that were very comfortable and perfect for lounging around, but as I grew up, my feet grew wider and wider while not getting much longer. Such is the life for many LP’s both young and old — short, wide feet! It seems like once you get into kids sizes 3-6 where a lot of us end up, your choices get smaller the wider your feet are. Sandals and flip-flops are especially difficult due to the rigid materials used for the sides and the toe separator, since they don’t stretch!
Flip-Flops for Short, Wide Feet
After many years of searching, the crocs Athens flip-flops have turned out to be perfect. No, these shoes do not look anything like the original, unattractive Crocs clogs you are thinking of. Dad and both children (LP with wide feet and average height with regular width) wear the Adult Athens and Children’s versions and it’s loved by all. The beauty of the Crocs Athens is the Croslite material used for the entire sandal. It is super soft but has great support (including the arch), and it has some give built in so will stretch for your wide feet.
Dad wears a size 5 kids shoe and has found that the Crocs Athens Size M4/W6 fits perfectly — maybe a little long, but not horrible and the width is great (no stretching needed). Many of the Crocs adult sandals have both a Women’s and Men’s size on them as they are Unisex, so dad wears the Men’s 4 / Women’s 6. Yes they come in Men’s Size 4 and Crocs says they have a “Roomy Fit”! The Crocs Unisex MODI Flip is also great, but it runs narrower (“Relaxed Fit”, per Crocs) than the Athens so you may need to buy a size higher (I use the M5/W7, but it did require some stretching — I had to stretch the toe area over my toes for the first few days, then it was fine).
Dwarf Mom is a fan of Sanuk Women's Yoga Mat Flip Flop for her medium-size width feet. The Sanuks have wide straps that don’t gash into your feet and come in variety of colors. The yoga-mat footbed helps give comfort and flexibility while you walk on those hot, sandy beaches or around town doing errands. Because I’m usually heading for the pool, it’s nice to know my comfortable sandals won’t get ruined like my Clarks Women's Breeze Sea Flip Flop which are my sandals of choice for a more “stepped up” look.
Wide Flip-Flops for Kids
The kids flip-flop similar to Crocs Athens is called the crocs Kids' Classic K Flip Flop and is available in blue and pink in sizes Toddler 6 through 13. The Baya Flip is rated “Relaxed Fit” but I haven’t tried it to see if it will work as well for adults.
Disadvantage of Crocs Flip-Flops
There is only one downside to the Crocs Flip-Flops that we found and want to warn you. Dad always walks on his heels and tens to wear down the back part of his shoes. When you wear down the bottom of the Crocs Athens and Baya flip-flops, they will slip very easily on wet surfaces! Dad has taken a couple spills wearing shoes well past their prime in a restaurant with a wet floor. Just replace them when they are worn out and this shouldn’t be a problem.
What about Birkenstock for Small Feet?
We looked at Birkenstock, especially since both Mom and Dad had a pair as children. Unfortunately, what we found is the popular models such as the Birkenstock Arizona either don’t come in adult LP-sizes, or they are not Wide. If you come across a wide small Birkenstock, or an alternative brand you like, please let us know!
We love buying shoes at the Amazon Shoe Store as they have easy free returns, an amazing selection and great prices. They occasionally will also have special sales such as 20% off. Also check out Zappos for a variety of options.