Wide in FEET FREEX speak means the feet are wide AND the toes are the widest. Period.
"Wider than the rest" does not cut it. Like the image below. I've drawn the blue lines straight through the metatarsals, the 1st and 5th toes are meant to follow this line. In the picture they are deformed. Not only are these shoes not allowing the foot to live in a natural position, they certainly are not allowing them to splay. The space between the blue and black lines on either side would be great for splay, if the footwear allowed it.
A natural foot not only has the toes widest when non-weightbearing, the toes get even WIDER as they splay when weightbearing and even WIDER when dorsiflexing (think toe-off when walking, hopping, skipping, jumping, running.)
The width and added strength of the toes provides an ingenious design giving the body a wider base of support for:
A wider base, complete with active toes, is supremely more stable. When the toes have been deformed, rounding inward with the shoe not only is the actual area of your base decreased, but the toes are not able to be the levers they were designed to be so you don't get their support either. Double whamy. Triple whamy if you include the impact it can have up the chain in the rest of the body because of it.
Simple science says, the wider your base of support, the more stability you have and the more stability you have, the more strength you can express. Think about the implications, per contact when you hit the ground.
Please notice the deformed foot and the shape of a current shoe model...shame!
On a happier note...thanks Bear-Foot Adventures for this photo of his 4-year old's foot below.
Let's let it stay that way!
Your feet are not this wide today? Believe they have potential? Give them a chance! Use them more. Need inspiration? Check out the FEET FREEX Recommendations for using your feet.
And if you haven't met Fred yet, please do!