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Christine Luff

Are You Wearing the Right Size Running Shoe?

By May 18, 2011

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Some runners don't realize that they're wearing running shoes that are actually too small for them. Your running shoes should be 1/2 to a full size bigger than your regular shoe size because your feet will swell when you run and you need plenty of room in the toebox. If your toes are crammed in the front of the shoe, you could experience foot problems such as black toenails, blisters, or footnumbness.

When you're shopping for running shoes, make sure the salesperson measures your feet. This may seem like an unnecessary step if you stopped growing years ago, but your feet size can change, even as an adult. For example, my feet are longer now than they were as a young adult because my high arches have gradually fallen, due to running. Also, some people have two different size feet, so it's important that you measure both feet.

If you already have a pair of running shoes and you're wondering if they're the right size, check the location of your big toe. If it's pushed right up against the front of the shoe, they're too small. Another easy way to check the fit is to remove the shoe's insert and stand on it. If any part of your toes are hanging over the end of the insert, your running shoes are too small.


March 10, 2009 at 12:48 pm
(1) nat88008 says:


March 10, 2009 at 8:45 pm
(2) Joe Hrdlicka says:

This is important . . . just purchased a pair of Nike Equalons . . . my fourth pair and I’ve developed a blister with this pair. I NEVER get blisters.

March 11, 2009 at 9:41 am
(3) Runner Dave says:

New Balance – never blister – still made in USA (at least some models).

March 11, 2009 at 10:44 am
(4) Teamworldvisionireland says:

Really interesting! I’ll be checking my pair the minute I get home!

June 4, 2011 at 4:17 am
(5) Stacey says:

I thought I had the right shoes and that it was normal that my toes would sometimes be a little bloody. It never really hurt. But when I bought a new pair and the salesman said a bigger size was what I needed, I noticed a huge difference the next time I ran! My toes had lots of room to spread out and the air flowed through my shoe better. Share this with other runners, feet to grow and swell more in different climates.

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