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What Size Should Your Running Shoes Be

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If The Shoe Doesnt Fit

Whats my size: How to properly fit running shoes

Having the right running shoe fitting is crucial. How many stories have we heard or shared with other runners about black and blue toenails, lost toenails, blisters, hotspots, and foot pain?

Unfortunately, tons and tons.

The number one reason we end up with these awful foot ailments is commonly linked back to the fit of our running shoes. They are consequences of thetoo tight, too narrow,too loose, too wide, not enough room in the toe box, too much room in the heel running shoes!

Well get into the details of each of these fitting components soon, but its important to keep in mind that most of these issues can be avoided if the perfect fitting running shoes are found!

There is no one brand or model of running shoes that work for all of us, so we need to know how they should fit and feel on our feet to begin the quest to find the perfect ones.

Lets take a look at how running shoes should fit:

How Do You Measure Feet Properly

The easiest way to measure your feet is to go to a shoe store and ask one of the salespersons to measure your feet for you. They will bring out a tool known as a Brannock device. The Brannock device is most often used in growing children, but adults concerned that their feet are changing can use it too.

Its a very simple measuring device that can accurately determine just what size shoe you need. A digital device is in the works, but currently, its pretty much the same straightforward method used since the Twenties when it was patented. You may want to get both feet measured just in case.

You can also do it at home with a pen, paper, and ruler. Wear the same kind of socks you would wear while running and stand on a blank sheet of paper. Use the pen to trace around the shape of both feet. You can then use a ruler to measure the greatest length and the greatest width of your feet. This will help you decide what shoe size you might need.

How Do You Know If Your Running Shoes Are Too Small

Running shoes that are too small can cause you a wide variety of pain. Because everyones feet are unique you may find that particular running shoes are tighter in some areas than others.

Your running shoes are likely too small if any of the following thing apply:

  • You dont have a thumbs width from the front of the shoe to your toes,
  • You struggle to lift your toes inside the shoe,
  • You feel pressure upwards on the arch of your foot,
  • Tightness or rubbing around your heel.
  • Running in shoes that are too small will cause much discomfort in the long run. This is particularly true if you plan on training and running anything longer than a 10k race. I found from personal experience that it is worth ditching a pair of running shoes that are too small in favour of correctly fitting ones. Its really NOT worth the pain!

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    Youre Avoiding Specialty Stores

    Larscheid says that many beginners who are buying running shoes are overeager about getting started or are unwilling to spend the money for the best pair. Instead of going to a running shoe store where they can get their foot analyzed by experts, new runners tend to buy whatever shoes they seefor cheaper pricesat department stores or order online.

    Gait analysis and identifying specific needs of the weareris this shoe for endurance or cross-training?are considerations new runners may overlook if they avoid the specialty store and seek shoes elsewhere.

    And although people think theyre saving money, theyre potentially setting themselves up for buying pair after pair of the wrong kind of shoe, and spending more money out of dissatisfaction. At a running store, youll have more options and experts at your fingertips. If the shoe fits, think of it as an investment and safeguard against future injuries. Running stores also typically have the varying widths that department stores wont always carry.

    The Best Running Shoes For Beginners

    How Should Running Shoes Fit?

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    If you are new to running, the number of shoe options available may seem a bit overwhelming. That’s why we put together our top six shoe choices that have consistently proven to work well for most runners. So whether you’re looking for cushioning, comfort, or versatility, these shoes are sure to keep you out there having fun!

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    Mantel Sizing Advice Always The Right Size Cycling Shoe

    To give you a helping hand finding the correct size weve measured all our cycling shoes on the inside. We also looked at the distance from the heel to the tips of the toes. In doing so, we quickly saw that the same size cycling shoes can differ enormously in length and width from one brand to the next. So we created a sizing table per brand to help you determine which size is right for you. The sizing tables are further separated according to gender and, for some brands, a distinction is made between road cycling shoes and MTB shoes.

    To decide for yourself what size cycling shoes will fit you, all you need to do is measure your own foot length in mm. Using that measurement you can see which size, per brand, will fit you. Well explain how to do this below.

    It maybe sounds a bit complicated but its actually quite simple if you follow the steps below. Want to go straight to the sizing table of your favourite brand? Select from the list below.

    Motion Control Running Shoes

    These shoes can be a great choice for runners who exhibit moderate to severe overpronation. Motion control shoes have extra built-in support and flatter outsoles. This combination can help combat excessive pronation to help stabilize the foot.

    There are a few ways to figure out which running shoe may best fit you. This includes the arches of your feet, your gait type and the tread of your shoes.

    For more guidance on how to choose the right type of running shoe, check out the DICKS Running Shoe Finder. Answer a few quick questions about your running habits and preferred fit, and the Running Shoe Finder will point you towards the perfect pair.

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    Should Running Shoes Be A Size Bigger

    I explored this topic in another post which you can read here, but suffice to say that running shoes should be bigger than your casual or dress shoes. Its important to understand that your feet expand when they get warm, which they do when you run. The further you run, the more they can expand. In MY experience

    Your running shoe should be around half a size larger than your normal foot size to account for expansion of your foot when running.

    There is a BUT here and it does need to be taken into account. Be careful that you dont go too far and so how do you know your running shoe is TOO big.

    Here is a picture of one of my pairs of current Adidas running shoes . As you can see, I can fit two fingers between the eyelets so these shoes are about the right fit.

    I am a size 11 , all of my running shoes until a couple of years ago were size 11. I suffered repeated blistering and toe holes when training and running long distance events. It was starting to get expensive and in one case I had a toe hole after one pair of running shoes had only completed a half marathon!

    A fellow runner then suggested that I consider getting running shoes that were half a size bigger. I now only buy running shoes that are half a size bigger. Not only are they more comfortable, Ive found they are less likely to rub a hole in the toe box. This means less extra cost for new running shoes.

    Proper Fit Best Practices

    How Should Running Shoes Fit? || REI

    What I like to do is to scoot my foot forward until my toes just touch the end of the shoe and then I just slide my thumb right into the back of the shoe again to make sure to have that amount of space.

    Related: Best Running Shoes For Wide Feet


    When youre at the running shoe store or once you order a pair of shoes and theyve arrived at your house during lockdown, for example, I recommend trying them on with the socks you normally wear while running whether theyre a little bit thicker or whether theyre a little thinner low-profile ones.

    Custom Inserts

    If you use orthotics or custom footbeds, place them in your shoe after removing the sock liner.


    Its worth noting that feet tend to swell throughout the day, so trying them on in the afternoon will give you a more accurate idea of how the shoe will fit mid-run.

    Thumbnails Width

    Once your shoes are comfortably laced, stand up and test the shoes length. There should be about a thumbnails width between the end of your longest toe and the end of the shoe.

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    The heel should fit snugly without slipping as you walk and your toe should have some extra room on either side to allow your feet to spread out.

    Lacing Techniques

    Many runners dont realize how much they can customize the fit of their shoes just by changing the way they lace them.

    Here are a few different ways to lace up your running shoes to deal with various fit problems.


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    How To Choose Running Shoes That Fit

    Getting to know your own personal running style will save you wasting money on the wrong pair of shoes. The right running shoe should offer heel and mid-sole support and enough toe room to get you through your run in comfort. From gait analysis to running terrain, here are some tips to help you find the proper running shoe fit:

    First Choose The Right Type Of Shoe

    Will you beroad running, running on a purpose-built track or perhaps on a forest trail? All these surfaces require a different kind of shoe. Another basic distinction is between racing and training shoes.Comfortable running shoes can be worn on more than one type of terrain but knowing where youll be spending most of your run can help you determine how your shoes should fit to allow for comfort.

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    How To Buy Running Shoes

    No matter if youre preparing to run a big race or working to get into shape, knowing what to look for in running shoes is key. There are several factors that go into choosing a pair that fits your needs. However, once you find the right pair, you may find yourself running in a different gear. Find out how to choose the right running shoes for you with these helpful tips from our DICKS Sporting Goods Run Ambassadors.

    Make Sure You Have Extra Room For Your Toes


    Keep an open mind with your shoe size and remember the following: your foot will need more room the more you run. You may wonder should running shoes be a size bigger than your regular shoe size ?

    The further you run the more your foot will naturally expand. This means it’s wise to have just a little extra room between your longest toe and the front of the shoe.With this in mind, your running shoe should be around a half size larger than the shoe size you usually get. Making sure there is enough space in the toe box of your shoe can give you the room you need for those long runs without any unnecessary discomfort.

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    Knowing What Size To Buy

    Did you know that running shoes arent supposed to fit the same way your casual shoes do? When you run and your feet hit the ground, your toes move close to the end of the shoe. Running shoes often need to be a half size to one size larger than your casual shoe to fit correctly. Wait! This doesnt mean that you just need to order the next size up. Your feet can also change sizes during your lifetime. So, the size you wore in high school, might not be the size you need now. Thats why it is a good idea to measure your feet. You can have your feet measured at a store, or you can measure them at home.

    Heavy Vs Light: Running Shoe Weight

    Most running shoes nowadays can hardly be called heavy. Were lucky to live in a time where technology is so great that none of us have to be running in boats even when we desire the maximum amount of cushioning. However, well put the weight of running shoes in the three categories. None is better than the other when utilized for the proper purpose.

    Light, average, and heavy running shoes can all serve a purpose:

    -those needing maximum cushioning to protect joints-heavier weight runners-trail running

    A more heavily cushioned shoe like the Brooks Adrenaline or something more streamlined such as the Altra Escalante have a seemingly small, yet significant weight difference. As a runner, you need to determine your needs in order to choose the best option for your training. Lighter isnt always necessarily better. Many runners will actually own both a set of lighter shoes and another pair of heavier shoes depending on the type of running theyre doing. Heavier is often great to train in as it provides more cushioning for all of those miles, springing for the lighter shoe on speedwork days and for races makes the most sense to keep it as light as possible.

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    Youre Confusing Volume With Width

    Shoe volume is the measurement of the space inside the shoe, says Sach. Most people tend to ask Sach for a wider shoe when theres not enough volume. The trick is to measure the space in between the top eyelets with your fingers.

    When you tie the laces, the shoe should be snugnot too tight and not too looseand you should have two fingers between the eyelets, says Sach. Three fingers mean theres not enough volume and the fit is too tight. One finger is when theres too much volume and therefore, the fit is too loose. And two fingersyou guessed itshould be just right. Knowing youre wearing a shoe with the correct volume will save you from common foot injuries, such as the dreaded plantar fasciitis.

    Checking For The Proper Shoe Fit

    HOW SHOULD RUNNING SHOES FIT? A step-by-step guide to correctly fitting your running shoes.

    Wear your running socks when you go shopping. Different socks can change the fit of the shoes. If you are wearing thicker socks, it may make your shoes fit tighter. You want to make sure you wear the socks that you plan to run in. Pick several different brand and shoe options to try on. Dont go shoe shopping in the morning. Go shoe shopping later in the day or afternoon, when youve been on your feet for a while. Your feet swell throughout the day. Going later in the day will give you the best idea of how your shoes should fit. If you dont want to try on every shoe, heres a neat tip: take the insert out of the shoe and stand on it. Then, ask yourself these questions:

    • Does your foot fit?
    • Is the insert too wide or too narrow?
    • Does your heel hang over?
    • Are your toes brushing the edge?

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    Neutral Gait And Stability

    Neutral runners should look for a shoe to absorb impact but without strategic midsole cushioning designed to stabilize your stride. Runners with orthotic inserts should choose neutral shoes. And some mild overpronators may be fine in neutral shoes that offer some cushioning. Minimalist shoes suit those with a neutral gait, as they tend to be lighter overall, with a small amount of cushioning and flex, and little or no support.

    Measure Your Foot Width

    The Brannock Device also measures the width of your foot. If this tool is not available, you can use your ruler to find the best width of shoe for your foot. With the ruler still against the wall, stand on it in the type of socks you normally wear for running. Shift your foot until you your foot’s widest point is along the ruler. Record this number. Shoe widths cannot be easily converted from inches. A shoe size chart will help you find your width based on your shoe size and your foot’s width in inches.

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    Running Shoe Fit Guide: What To Look For When You Shop

    Buying Guide

    Some running shoes can pinch and rub, but a pair that fits will support you all the way to the finish line. Heres how to find the perfect running shoe fit.

    Running shoes come in hundreds of styles and colors and are constructed with a range of materials. But when it comes to finding the right running shoe for you, you only need to focus on one thing: how it fits.

    A July 2018 review in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research found that up to 72% of people arent wearing shoes that fit properly, and this leads to foot pain and disorders. So if the shoe fits, wear it, but if it doesnt, try on another pair. And if you want to ensure a perfect fit, follow these tips.

    Measure the Length of Your Feet

    When was the last time you measured the width and length of your feet and compared your results against a footwear size chart? Its a good idea to double-check your actual size, especially if youre shopping online.

    To measure the length of your feet, stand on a piece of paper with your full weight and trace your foot with a pencil. Use a tape measure to measure the length from the center of the back of your foot to the tip of the longest toe. Use the chart below to determine your size.

    Measure the Width of Your Feet

    You should also pay attention to the width of your foot, which will impact the comfort of the running shoes you choose. Trace your foot and measure the widest part. Compare your results to the chart below.

    Take a Test Run

    Perform This 8-Point Inspection

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