Size Your Running Shoes Correctly [5 Steps]

Size Running Shoes

When I was buying my first pair of running shoes, I made a huge mistake that I don’t want you to repeat. I got it in the size that I usually wear without double-checking and ended up having blisters and black toenails. It made me realize how important it is to size your running shoes correctly.  

To size your running shoe correctly you should:

  1. Measure Your Foot’s length
  2. Measure Your Foot’s width
  3. Check A size Chart
  4. Identify Your Foot Type
  5. Try On The Running Shoes

In this article, I will discuss everything from how you can size your running shoes correctly to their importance. In the end, I will share some tips that have helped me, and I hope they will work for you too.

How To Size Your Running Shoes Correctly

Correctly Size Running Shoes

Your shoe size is not determined just by your foot length; instead, your foot width equally plays a significant part. Therefore, to measure your shoe size correctly and find the right fit, both length and width should be considered. Here are a few steps to follow to size your running shoes correctly.

Step 1: Measure your foot’s length.

  • Firstly, find a hard flat floor and place paper on it.
  • While measuring your foot size, wear your regular running socks. 
  • Place your foot flat on the paper while keeping your body weight over it. 
  • Draw a thin line around the entire foot
  • Hold the pen perpendicularly to the ground when drawing the line.
  • You can use a tape or a ruler to measure your foot’s length and width.
  • To determine your foot length, vertically measure the length of the foot tracing.
  • To determine your foot width horizontally, measure across the widest part of the tracing.
  • Repeat the same steps for the other foot. 

Step 2: Measure your foot’s width.

Measuring your foot width is not as easy as measuring your foot length. It is because your foot width depends on your foot arch. There are three different foot arches, i.e., low, normal, high.

To measure your foot width, use the same piece of paper you traced your foot on. Then, horizontally measure across the widest part of the tracing. This is your foot width.

Step 3: Check the Size Chart

Once you have the length and width of your foot, now you need to check the size chart. A shoe size chart will help you determine your shoe size as well as the width of your foot in inches. Also, I would recommend choosing a shoe size that is slightly larger than your foot measurements.

Step 4: Identify Your Foot Type

Another important thing to do while sizing your foot is to determine whether your foot pronates, supinates, or remains neutral in your running shoe to get the proper support since these foot motions correspond with your arch height.

You can determine your foot type from a footprint. Soak your feet in the water, step on an area that will display your prints. You can use a sidewalk or piece of paper.

Footprints with little to no arch in the center show that you probably have low arches and will overpronate. A high arch in your footprint indicates that you will tend to supinate. You have normal arches if the arch width is about the same as the edge of your footprint.

It is imperative to know your foot type when choosing your running shoes so that you can increase or decrease arch support. 

Step 5: Try on the Running Shoes

After completing all the above steps, it’s now time to try on different running shoes. To test the fitting, slide your foot finger down the heel of each shoe. The shoe is too large if your finger slides into it easily. On the other hand, the shoe size should be right if your finger has to be forced inside.

Put on both shoes and try walking or running around to check the size and fit correctly. Make sure that your heel doesn’t move around too much while walking; instead, they should be locked in.

Make Sure Your Running Shoe Fits Properly

To check if your running shoe fits you correctly or not, you need to check them in a standing position. To ensure the shoe is fitted correctly, tap the heels of your shoes against the floor and stand up.

If the shoes are sized correctly, there should be about a thumbnail’s width between the end of the shoe and your longest toes. You should feel comfortable in your shoes without pinching or rubbing around your heels, toe, or ankles.

Wiggle Room in The Toe Box

When you run, your foot strikes against the ground, causing your foot to swell. Therefore, your running shoes should have a wiggle room at the toe and the toe box. While checking the fit of your running shoe, leave about a thumb’s width between your longest toe and the tip of the shoe.

Midfoot fit

Though you need wiggle room at the toe box, your running shoe should fit like a glove in the middle part for comfort, stability, and support. You shouldn’t have to overtighten the laces to find a comfortable fit.

Your running shoe should fit snugly in the midfoot without putting pressure on the top of the foot. But if you find a shoe that feels a bit loose or tight in the middle, you can change the lacing style to make it fit better.

Heel Fit

There should be little or no room at the heel or rear of the foot. Your heel should fit snugly in running shoes to not slip around.  

If your running shoes are too tight or loose at the heel, you’ll get blisters even after a short run. So, no matter if you are training or going for a jog, make sure your heels do not slip around in the shoe.

I would suggest trying your running shoes and walking around to check the perfect fit at the heel. It is probably too large if the shoe slips at the heel area. Likewise, the heel shouldn’t feel restricted or constrictive when laced up.

The Importance to Size Your Running Shoes Correctly

Check For Fit Inside Shoe

Before buying your running shoes, make sure to measure your feet later in the day and double-check the size of your shoe. I would suggest going up half a size to make your run comfortable and strong. I am saying so because your feet tend to swell when you run; thus, a half-size-up show will accommodate the situation of your feet.

Running in the wrong shoes can compromise your training or workout session. For example, if you wear running shoes that are too big, you may end up with blisters or heel pain. Similarly, tight running shoes can damage your toes. Therefore, it is imperative to size your running shoes correctly to ensure a pleasant experience.

There are several reasons that your shoe size might change, such as age, weight gain or loss, pregnancy, and others. Do not mistake wearing the same size running shoe without measuring your feet.

Benefits Of Sizing Your Running Shoes Correctly

Sizing your running shoes have enormous benefits, including:

  • In addition, proper-sized running shoes provide you the experience of a comfortable run.
  • Running shoes that fit you properly improve your overall performance.
  • Motivates you to train more.
  • Eliminates or reduces the causes of blisters and bunions.
  • Helps you to focus on your run and training rather than on your shoe performance.
  • A proper-sized running shoe provides enough support and stability to your foot, allowing you to run at your desired level.
  • Sizing your running shoes correctly can save you from many problems like heel pain, ankle sprain, tendonitis, and stress fractures.
  • A correct-sized running shoe will save your feet from numbness, discomfort, and blisters.

Drawbacks Of Wrong Sized Running Shoes

The benefits of properly sized and fit running shoes are easy to see and feel, but the drawbacks are more difficult to see. You will only notice the drawbacks with time and experience.

  • If your running shoe is too big, it will damage your toes similarly; if your shoes are too small, they will damage your toenails.
  • A wrong-sized running shoe pair will worsen any existing condition.
  • If you suffer from health problems such as diabetes, wearing incorrect-sized shoes could lead to foot ulcers.
  • An incorrect-sized running shoe negatively affects your run. It also causes foot strain, thus affecting your performance.
  • Incorrect-sized running shoes may lead to injury in your legs or feet.
  • Running shoes that don’t fit your feet properly can cause numerous problems such as heel pain, ankle sprain, tendonitis, and stress fractures.
  • You’re more likely to cram your toes into the front of the shoe if your running shoe doesn’t have a roomy toe box.

Tips To Size Your Running Shoes Correctly

Before buying your runner shoes, make sure to plan. Here are a few tips that may help you.

  • If possible, ask a podiatrist or a running shoe expert to size your feet.
  • Take your feet measurements every year since your feet size can change with age and other health conditions.
  • Also, women’s feet measurements and size change during and after pregnancy, so make sure to double-check the size. 
  • If you are first time buying running shoes, choose a store that has a healthy selection of shoes.
  • If you have any foot issues, be sure to provide all the details about them. Your fit expert should know all your foot conditions like plantar fasciitis or bunions.
  • When you size your running shoes, try them in the evening since your feet are a bit larger at the end of the day.
  • Another pro tip is to try on a running shoe in your larger foot.
  • Since the Brannock device is the most accurate way to measure your feet size, find a shoe store near you that uses it.
  • Your feet tend to swell during workouts or runs, so I suggest going a half size larger than your casual shoes.
  • Keep your running type in mind while buying your running shoes. 
  • Sock thickness affects the fit of your running shoes, so try them on with the socks you intend to wear during the run.
  • Moisture and water can shrink your running shoes. The constant shrink and expansion can change the shape or size of your shoes. So, I would recommend you go for waterproof running shoes.
  • Always remeasure your foot and check shoe fit when buying new running shoes, since sizes and fit can vary from model to model and brand to brand.
  • Do not buy your running shoes or any kind of shoes online. You need to try them on, walk around and see the fit and comfort.
  • The shape and width of the running shoe should match your foot size and shape. Take out the footbed from the shoe and place it on the floor. Stand on the footbed to see if it is the right width and shape. If your foot spills over the shoe’s footbed, it’s too narrow for you.
  • Put the footbed back in the shoe and try it on. Tie your shoelaces in a way that you can slide your finger between the knot and the shoe, stand up and see the fit, feel, and comfort.
  • For length, Make sure you have a thumbnail width between your longest toe and the tip of the shoe so your toes can wiggle easily.
  • You should feel a little pressure on your big toe and no pressure on your pinky toe for width. 

Take Away

Whether you’re a first-time runner or you’re a seasonal runner, your running shoes can make or break your game. When looking for the perfect running shoes, make sure to get the right size and proper fit. Even the best running shoes won’t do you any good if you don’t have the correct size.

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