If the shoe fits—Part 2: The right fit

Do your running shoes fit properly? Before you shop for the next pair, plan ahead with these tips:

  • Bring or wear a pair of good socks, preferably the kind you’ll be running in.
  • Take along any insoles or orthotics you usually wear during runs. Tip: Replace the insoles from your (potential) new shoes with your current orthotics or insoles to ensure a comfortable fit.
  • Shop later in the day—when your feet are flattened and more swollen—to get an accurate measurement.

If you’re looking to change the brand or model of your new shoe, make sure you try before you buy! Check out these helpful hints on heel cup, snug fit, and wiggle room.

Learn more tips in part 1 of this series about how to use your old shoes’ wear pattern to narrow down the kind of shoes you need and part 3 of this series showing a few different ways to tie your shoelaces for the most comfortable fit.

Running shoes – the right fit?  Notes on upper heel of shoe: The heel cup should fit snugly around your heel, without much slipping.  Notes on laces of shoe: Laced-up shoes should feel snug – but not tight.  Notes on toe of shoe: You should be able to wiggle your toes. Your longest toe should be about a thumb’s width or so – about ½ inch – from the end of the toe box.  Notes on the sole of the shoe: Shoe sizes and widths vary by manufacturer. You might need to size up a half size or more. Ask running-store staff to help measure your foot.  CHAMP (Consortium for Health and Military Performance) and HPRC (Human Performance Resource Center) logos.


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