How can I tell if my runners are the right size?

This may seem like a simple problem to solve; but most people would be surprised to know that we see many people in the wrong sized shoe. 

Some of us will be wearing a shoe size too small, and others a size too big – BOTH can lead to foot problems. 

What if my shoe is too small?

Having a shoe size too small can lead to trauma to the nails which can cause them to thicken, loosen or become discoloured due to the excessive pressure and rubbing from the footwear upper and toe box.  Pressure areas ie. calluses (hard skin) and corns can also develop from wearing shoes which are too small, due to increased pressure and friction on the skin. 

What if my shoes are too big?

Wearing shoes that are too big can also cause trauma to the nails because there is too much space in the shoe which leads to the foot moving and shifting within the shoe itself. Bigger shoes can also cause blistering on the foot from excessive friction. Shoes that are too large also provide less stability and can result in overuse soft tissue injuries as your foot works harder to keep the shoe fixated on the foot. 

How do I check if my runners are the right size?

It is always best to get sized for your shoes by a professional within an athletic shoe store to ensure the shoes are fitted correctly. 

Your feet can change shape over the years, which is why it’s always better to get measured each time you upgrade your footwear to ensure they are always the optimal fit in both length and width. 

“Rule of thumb”

You always want a thumb’s space at the top of your shoe from the longest toe; which for some people is not always the big toe. (Some people will find that their second or even third toes are the longest, so always measure a shoe fit from the longest digit)

In running shoes, you will often find that you will be wearing a shoe size larger than your usual dress shoe size. For example, I wear a size 7 US women’s shoe for all my dress shoes, but my running shoes are actually a size US 8.5 women’s. Often our foot will swell with physical activity and also the foot will move about within the shoe with increased intensity of exercise. Having enough “wiggle” room at the front of your athletic footwear will avoid any of the above issues to your feet and toes. 

Sometimes pulling out the insole of your shoe and standing on it can give us a visual on how much space we have in our shoes. (see image below)

For any queries or information regarding footwear and sizing, at Sole Podiatry we are here to help.  We love sending our clients to The Running Company in Yarraville to be expertly fitted by the team for all your athletic footwear needs.

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