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Should Running Shoes Be Tight

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How Should Sneakers Fit

Should running shoes be tight or loose?

Youd think it would be easy to know when a pair of shoes fits perfectly, but its not always so straightforward. Size is important for all types of footwear. However, its particularly crucial for all types of sneakers, as theyre made for continuous movement.

So, how should sneakers fit? The footwear pros at Vionic are here to answer this question and provide helpful guidance on determining the proper fit for different types of trainers and walking shoes for women and men.

Recap Should Running Shoes Be Tight

How tight should running shoes be can depend a little on personal preference but the overriding factor is comfort. Running shoes need to be comfortable. Not so loose that they slip at the heel as you run, . Not so tight that they cause strain across the top of your foot.

Beware of running shoes that are so tight your toes are banging up against the end of the toe box as you run. Your toes need room to spread and flex. Shoes that are too small will negatively impact your stride length and compromise your ability to absorb impact as you run.

How Tight Should My Running Shoes Be

According to experts, there should always be at least a third of space in your running shoes for maximum efficiency. If your running shoes are especially stiff, then youll experience a number of issues that could harm your running capability.;

One example could be runners experiencing problems with so-called pull off. Pull off is a critical element of the transition a runner makes when going from one foot to another. If you are making your running shoes so tight that they are becoming stiff, then you could be jeopardising your pull-off technique and, by doing so, causing a lot of damages to areas such as your calves and Achilles tendons.;

One of the most useful methods for figuring out how tight your shoes should be is by using the shoelace technique. When you tie your shoelaces, always make sure that you can fit two fingers between the eyelets.;

Any more than two fingers and your shoelaces are probably too tight. Any less than two fingers and chances are the shoe is too loose. Its all about finding the sweet spot.;

Whilst the shoelace method is excellent, its still only a general rule. You may be able to follow this guideline whilst still feeling as if certain parts of your running shoe should feel tighter or looser.

Check out this table below that specifies exactly how much space each part of your foot should have in a running shoe.;

Area Of Foot

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Myths And Facts About Running Shoes

Lets look at some other common myths about running shoes. Better yet, lets look at the facts so we can learn the truth.

1. MYTH: Running shoes need to be broken in.

FACT: Running shoes should feel comfortable right away.;If your shoes dont feel right as soon as you put them on, pick a different pair.

2. MYTH: Sneakers need to be replaced every six months.

FACT: Sneakers need to be replaced when they need to be replaced.;Generally, shoes need to be replaced after three hundred miles. If only shoes had an odometer! If you dont want to be the man who walks a thousand miles to fall down at your door, you need to check the wear on your sneakers. Look at the spaces between the grooves on the sole. Do you see the cushioning foam poking through? If the tread is worn thin, its time for new shoes.

3. MYTH: Width is the same as volume.

FACT: People who believe this need to go back to junior high and pay attention in geometry class this time.;Volume is the measurement of the space inside the shoes. It is a combination of width times length times depth. Width is the distance from one side of the shoe to another, generally measured across the ball of the foot where it is widest.

4. MYTH: Any store that sells shoes will do.

You Wear Your Shoes Too Long

How Tight Should Running Shoes Be: Tying Up Loose Ends

Historically, running shoes have a lifespan of between 300 and 500 miles, but many runners either dont keep track of mileage or they throw caution to the wind and wear out their pair.

Wearing out shoes can lead to injury. According to Ken Larscheid, owner of Running Lab in Pinckney, Michigan, a tell-tale sign for replacing your pair is when you get unusual aches and pains in certain areas. A lot of people who come in and feel pain or soreness dont even question the age of their shoes, says Larscheid. What we suggest at the store is overlapping them a little bit.

Introducing a new pair before your current pair wears out will help you ease into new shoes as you ease out of your old ones. Other indicators to start changing out include worn, smooth grooves at the bottom of your shoes, and uneven foam on one side of the shoe, meaning the sole is no longer level.

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Signs Your Running Shoes Are Too Small

For years, I swore that I absolutely hated running – the blisters, the throbbing foot pain, the soreness. But, in reality, what I really hated was my running shoes. They just didn’t fit properly.

I’m a much more discerning running shoe shopper now, and I wish I had known the signs to look out for when I was layering band-aids on my toes. Hoping to help anyone in the same uncomfortable situation, I reached out to some experts for their tips on running shoe sizing.

Professional runner Stephanie Rothstein Bruce notes there are a few signs that may indicate your running shoes aren’t the right fit.

For example, if the shoe is too small, she can usually feel her toes crunch up.

“Numbness can happen from several factors, but too tight of shoes, especially around the top of your foot, can lead to unnecessary soreness,” Bruce explains. “You should be able to log many miles in your new shoes if they are the proper size and fit.”


Sometimes it can be hard to know how tight is too tight when it comes to your shoes. In this circumstance, Bruce says there should be a very small amount of wiggle room in your toe box – “enough for you to lift your toes with your shoes on,” she adds.

“Your feet will expand a tiny bit as they get warm, which happens when you are running. So, you want to allow for a little extra room in the shoe.”


How Should Running Shoes Fit Find The Best Running Shoes For Your Feet

A lot of the running niggles and problems that we hear about in the shop are down to the fit of the customers running shoes. Running shoes in general, from major high street brands in particular, started to take on a common shape and form and many people bought what they considered normal.

A Quick History Lesson

For example, it seemed normal for all shoes to have a pointy toe box and yet feet arent pointy and this shape squashes the toes into a small space and doesnt allow them to function. This shape didnt come about because it was the ideal shape for our feet, in fact in one point in history a pointed toe shoe would fit into a stirrup, which is better for riding horses. Plus if you had pointed shoes then you must have been well to do! The same is true to some extent with the heel on shoes. Neither of these two developments was added to footwear to improve the comfort of the shoes or to suit the anatomical shape of the foot.

Over time this pointed toe box and higher heel has become the norm across all shoes, including running, and anything that strays too far away from this was considered strange. If you have worn shoes of this shape since you started to walk, like most western kids, then your feet wont have developed much strength. This if why in the west we have a lot of foot related problems that dont exist in barefoot nations.

Testing If Your Shoes Are Too Narrow

How Running Shoes Should Fit

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Ensure They Fit Correctly

The main benefit of a proper fit, says Maloney, is good stability and support for your foot, which will allow your desired level of running and activity. A running shoe thats too big can cause damage to toes, and one thats too small often causes damage to toenails.

Holland says the right fit will allow for the following while youre testing out the shoes:

  • Your toes should have ample room to spread wide.
  • Your toes shouldnt feel constricted or touch the end of the shoe.
  • Your heel should feel comfortably cupped in the back of the shoe, which ensures that your foot wont slip out from the back of the shoe.

Holland also points out that the shoe shouldnt alter your foot angles to extremes of supination or pronation.

Typically, physical therapists like to see subtalar neutral when standing in the shoe, which means that the ankle is neither tilted too much to the right or left, she says.

How Should My Off

How Should Running Shoes Fit? || REI

Trail Shoes 30+ Years Ago

When I first started fell running, British brand Walsh was the dominant force. They have always been small-fitting shoes and as such, you used to buy them snug and customise them to your foot. You would put them on and stand in a bucket of water! The upper would stretch and take the shape of your foot . ;You did this because it was believed that you needed a tight fitting shoe to allow you to better feel the ground.

Unsurprisingly the understanding of how the foot needs to function and shoe technology has changed in the 35 years since my first fell race. Although Walsh shoes look similar, the upper is a more foot-shaped construction now and made of a tougher material so it doesnt get as easily cut on the rocks and scree. There are many more brands who make off-road running shoes in a range of shapes and even widths. So now days you can get the perfect fit no matter what your foot shape.

Getting the Right Fit

As with your road running shoes, you still need some room in your off-road shoes for your feet to function properly.

The socks you wear will affect the fit of your shoes. So make sure you try shoes on with the socks you intend to use most. A thicker sock will take up some of the wriggle room, as will socks with toes like Injinji.

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What Are The Extra Lace Holes On Running Shoes For

Used for some of the above lacing and tying techniques, the extra holes are made to help your shoes have a more custom fit. Depending on what your shoe fit problem is, there is a multitude of different remedies out there for you.

As you can see from the above, that extra hole can help you tighten things up and lock the laces in tight.

Its All About What Feels Good To You

There are as many types of shoes as there are types of people. You might hear that shoes with tons of cushion are the best. But you might feel more comfortable in a firm shoe. There are shoes with zero drop , or ones that have a much higher heel-to-toe differential.

There is not one type of shoe that is best for everyone. Whats important is that the shoe you pick fits your foot shape properly and that you like the way it feels. Out-of-the-box comfort and continued comfort is the very most important part of the equation.

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So Should You Size Up Or Down In A Training Shoe

As noted above;a tight fit both in length and width is desirable in a squat shoe; more so than a casual or regular training shoe. This means like for like ;we should be sizing down our squat shoes where we can. A full size down will likely be too much, however.

Please select a size that fits your foot length ways first and foremost tight but not uncomfortable is the aim. Width will then be determined by brand / model selection. In our test;Nike lifting shoes ran significantly narrower than the Adidas;equivalent.

How Should Weightlifting Shoes Fit And Should You Size Down

How Tight Should Running Shoes Be? (With images)

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my;affiliate disclaimerfor more information.

How tight should my shoes be? is a super-common query amongst lifters particularly as lifting shoes are pretty pricey so nobody wants to get it wrong when;splashing their own cash.

The answer?;Weightlifting shoes should be long enough so there is NO room at the heel with just enough space in the front to fit your foot without having to curl your toes, while width ways the shoe should be very tight.

You know how most have a strap over the mid foot? That is to make the shoe;EVEN TIGHTER.

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How Are Sneakers Supposed To Fit

Ill-fitting shoes can cause a broad range of foot problems beyond just blisters, bunions, ingrown toenails, and general discomfort. The wrong size can result in shin splints, alignment issues, and overpronation, which often leads to severe heel pain in the form of plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis.

These foot conditions can be severely debilitating, sometimes preventing people from putting any weight on their feet. Needless to say, selecting shoes that are too long, wide, or narrow can result in serious foot woes.¹ Finding the correct fit for tennis shoes isnt rocket science, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

Properly fitting sneakers will:

  • Not slip around your heel or any other areas of your foot
  • Be broad enough to accommodate the width of your foot without excess space

Most sneakers are intended to be worn with socks, especially active styles. For this reason, make sure you always try on trainers while wearing socks. The same goes for casual sneakers, unless theyre meant to be worn barefoot. Also, keep in mind that not all socks are created equal. If you plan to wear a pair with thick athletic socks, trying them on with dress, sheer, or otherwise thin socks wont cut it.

Additionally, if you wear orthotic insoles with your sneakers, be sure to put them in before trying them on. Inserts can be placed over the footbeds or in place of the existing insoles.

Youre Using The Wrong Kind Of Shoe Reviews

Its all too easy to believe that when something works for you, everyone should have the same exact thing, says Sach. And that is the shoe buyers downfall when it comes to relying on crow-sourced shoe reviews.

How familiar is the reviewer with the range of shoes on the market? What type of foot does the reviewer have? Is the reviewer actually a runner? Ask yourself if the review is published by a reliable source: Is it the kind of site that aggregates enough info to help runners choose or are they just telling you what to buy?

Lookout for biased reviews, as well, where brands sponsor the writer or influencer to review their product.

On Runners World, we put each shoe through real-world usage and a battery of mechanical tests in our lab to provide you with objectiveand exclusivedata. In addition to a shoes weight, we measure sole thickness , how well the foam cushions your stride, and the flexibility of the forefoot. All this is taken into account in our reviews of each shoe.

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Its All About The Fit

I had a running mentor once call me out for my focus on what I call;the prettiness factor. You know, the look, cut, angles, material, colors, and of course, how they all played together to make the coolest looking running shoes.

Like many, I think I have a particularly keen eye for the trendiest shoe designs and colors that match my athletic wardrobe. And before you say it, I know plenty of guys that have the same knack for stylish running shoes.

But deep down we know that;the prettiness factor;has little to do with how the shoe performs while working to reach our running goals. So consider what follows to be a reality check. A guide to understanding just how a new pair of running shoes should fit and how you can identify;the best running shoe;for your particular needs.

Why Experts Recommend Buying A Running Shoe Half A Size Bigger

How Tight Should Your Running Shoes Be? ft. Dr Derek Li

Buying the perfect running shoe is the first step in having a good run. When purchasing the perfect shoe, fit is always the most important. If your shoe is too tight, you may have blisters, numbness and general discomfort; to avoid this, many experts recommend buying a running shoe half a size larger.

According to Runners World, You may think you know your size, but its best to get your feet measured each time you buy new shoes.You also want to have your feet measured later in the day, when theyre at their biggest. Your feet change over time, and one models fit can be drastically different from anothers. There are many other reasons ones feet change over time like pregnancy, falling arches and even weather.

Christine Luff from recommends going up half a shoe size because ones feet swell when they run and it is important to have plenty of room in the toebox. If ones toes are crammed in the front of the running shoe, you could develop blisters or black toenails.

According to Runners World, The extra room allows your foot to flex and your toes to move forward with each stride. When youre standing with both shoes on, make sure you have at least a thumbnails space between the tip of the shoe and the end of your longest toe. Try shoes on both feet and take them for a test run around the shop, on a treadmill, or on the sidewalk.

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