The work highlights the importance of directional spreading effects on wave overtopping estimation in shallow and mild sloping foreshores. Wave short-crestedness leads, in general, to a reduction of mean overtopping discharges on coastal structures. In the present work, the case of a sea dike with gentle foreshore in very and extremely shallow water conditions is analysed. Physical model tests have been carried out in order to investigate the effect of directional spreading on overtopping and incident wave characteristics. In the present experimental campaign, the effect of wave spreading has only been investigated for perpendicular wave attack. Results show that directional spreading is proved to cause a reduction of average discharge of sea dikes with gentle and shallow foreshore. Expressions for the reduction factor for directional spreading are derived, fitted on the tested database. The use of this reduction factor leads to more accurate prediction and avoids overtopping overestimation, however reduction-factor formulations are overtopping-formula depending.