I have 700c wheels on my road bike. I've been riding with 23mm tires but one blew out recently so I'll need a replacement.
I've been thinking about getting something wider, more suited for touring. My question is if I need a special wheel set, maybe wider, for touring wheels. Everything I've read about touring wheels suggests a 36+ spoke arrangement, which I have, but I'm curious if my rims which hold 23mm tires oh so well can handle a larger tire. Or do I need a different wheelset for touring?
You first need to measure how wide a tire will fit between your chainstay forks, as alluded to by "late". If you have a road bike it is not likely that you can accommodate anything wider than 28mm regardless of what wheels - or more precisely - what rims you planned to get for touring.
The late Sheldon Brown has a great chart to show workable rim/tire-width combinations: