Should Your Running Shoes Be A Size Bigger?

By Sarah •  Updated: 09/04/22 •  5 min read

When buying a new pair of running shoes, you may think it’s just as simple as buying a pair of work or dress shoes. However, when it comes to running shoes, there are a few more variables to consider, such as should your running shoes should be a size bigger.

When purchasing a pair of running shoes, you should buy a pair that is around half a size larger than what you would usually get. As you begin running, the shoes will eventually expand a little as they conform to the shape of your foot.

In this article, we will discuss whether or not your running shoes should be a size bigger. So keep reading; we have all you need to know about the perfect size for running shoes.

Should Your Running Shoes Be A Size Bigger?

How Should Running Shoes Fit?

When purchasing a new pair of running shoes, there are a few tips that can help you find a pair that has the best fit. We have a few tips for you if you’re unsure how your running shoes should fit.

Firstly, find out what size you are. Many people often overlook this point when they decide to buy new running shoes. There’s nothing wrong with checking your size each time you choose to buy a new pair of shoes, and a quick and easy way to find out your shoe size is to take the insert of a shoe, place it on the ground and stand on it.

Secondly, buy a pair of running shoes about half a size up from your usual size. You want the shoes to feel snug around the midfoot and heel area yet hold enough space to give your toes a little wiggle. You want around a thumbs width between your big toe and the shoe, and keep in mind that your feet may swell when running, so larger is better.

You want the heel of your foot to fit nicely into the back of the shoe without sliding out every time you lift your foot. If there is too much wiggle room or not enough, you will put pressure on parts of your heel that will essentially lead to rubbing, which results in irritation and blisters.

Do Running Shoes Stretch?

A common question people ask when looking for a new pair of running shoes is whether or not they will stretch over time. Running shoes tend to stretch a little, but not much. As the shoes spend a lot of time on your feet, they will begin to shape around your foot, giving the impression of a little extra room, aswell as more comfort.

You shouldn’t pick out a pair of running shoes based on the idea that they will stretch out, as this will lead to a pair of shoes that is too tight. Running shoes should be comfortable as soon as you take them out of their box.

So like we said, your running shoes will not stretch the same way leather might,  but they will conform to your foot, giving an excellent fit. The more runs you go on, the more your foot will naturally expand inside the shoe. This is why it’s suggested that you get a shoe with a little more room than usual. 

A great tip for purchasing a new pair of running shoes is to wear them around the house and break them in a little before a big race or long run.

How To Get The Best Fit From A Running Shoe

There are a few ways to ensure you get the best fit from a running shoe. One is that if you measure your foot before you buy new running shoes each time, this will stop you from buying shoes with your ‘normal’ size, which can end up being too snug.

Your feet never get smaller, but on the contrary, they grow a little every year. As the tiny muscles in your feet work hard to support your body each and every day, these muscles stretch out a little. So a quick measure before every purchase will undoubtedly increase your chances of getting the best fit.

Why It Is Important To Get A Good Fit From Your Running Shoe

Getting a good fit for your running shoes is vital as this will prevent irritation and injuries. A great pair of running shoes should feel like an extension of your foot and should not cause blisters and irritation even when used for long-distance runs.

The main benefits of running shoes that fit well are support for your foot and excellent stability resulting in achieving your desired level of running. If your running shoe is too big, it can damage the toes, whereas if they’re too small, it will result in toenail damage. 

If the shoes aren’t a good fit, you will likely build up friction at the heels, ultimately leading to blisters. So have a little patience when buying new running shoes, and don’t hesitate to try a few different pairs before buying them.

Should Your Running Shoes Be A Size Bigger Final Thoughts

When it comes to running shoes, size does matter—but not in the way that you may think. You might have been told that you should buy running shoes that are a size larger than your every day shoes, but this is actually not the case.

As a general rule, you should buy running shoes that are half a size bigger than your everyday shoes. This is because when you run, your feet swell and expand. If your shoes are too small, this can cause serious problems like black toenails, blisters, and lost toenails. On the other hand, if your shoes are too big, you risk losing them mid-run. 

Sarah

Sarah is the driving force of Sweet Miles, a lifestyle blog that focuses on running, parenting, and food.

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