Learning Center: Running Shoe Fit Tips


How to find your Running Shoe Size and Fit

To get a proper fitting running shoe it is important to start with your foot measurement. Then, it is important to know how a running shoe should fit and how to check the fit so you know if you have the best size running shoe for you.

How to measure your foot:

To measure the length and width of your feet, follow these steps.

Tools: a piece of paper larger than your foot, tape measure or ruler, straight edge and a pencil or pen.

  1. Find a hard, flat and smooth floor surface and place a piece of paper or cardboard on the floor.
  2. Wear the socks (or similar) you will wear when running and stand with one foot on the piece of paper.
  3. Keeping your body weight over your foot, trace a thin line on the paper around the end of the longest toe, along the ball of your foot, along the lateral side of your foot behind the pinky toe and around the heel. When drawing the lines, hold the pencil/pen perpendicular to the ground.
  4. Measure from heel mark to the longest toe mark. This is your foot length.
  5. Extend straight lines of each side of the foot parallel to each other. Measure the distance between these lines.
  6. Repeat these steps for your other foot. Use the larger foot measurements when determining your running shoe size.

How to get your running shoe size:

While running, your feet lengthen and widen when the foot/shoe contacts the ground. This happens with each step and the foot returns to its normal length and width when the foot/shoe is off the ground. Thus, we recommend your standard running shoe size should be the next half size longer than your measured size. If you have measured your foot on a Brannock device , this half size larger rule still applies. This means your standard running shoe size is typically a half size larger than your dress/casual shoe size.

Measure your foot using the steps outlined above and view our Running Shoe Size Conversion Charts (Men’s Shoe Size | Women’s Shoe Size) to determine your best running shoe size.

Your running shoe width is based off your shoe size and foot width measurement (see how to measure your foot above). To determine your best-fit running shoe width, use your running shoe size and view our width charts (Men’s Width Inches and Centimeters | Women’s Width Inches and Centimeters)

Shop Men’s Running Shoes | Shop Women’s Running Shoes | International Shoe Size Conversions by Brand

How running shoes should fit:

For regular training, comfort is the key to a good fit.

  1. A proper fitting running shoe should fit snug in the heel and midfoot with wiggle room around the toes.
  2. Check for proper length and width by pressing your thumb down next to the ball of the foot and around the toes. A good fit is half of your thumb’s width to your full thumb’s width.
  3. Hold the heel of the shoe and try to raise the heel of your foot. There should be little or no movement.
  4. Check the eyelet rows on either side of the tongue. These rows should be close to parallel with each other.

Shop Men’s Running Shoes | Shop Women’s Running Shoes

Shopping tips for proper fitting running shoes:

  1. Measure your feet once a year. Feet can change size as you age. The foot arch may lower over time resulting in a longer foot. A stronger foot may result in the arch rising resulting in a shorter foot. Weight changes and activity level can also influence foot size.
  2. Women's feet may become a half size larger or more during and after pregnancy. Weight gain during pregnancy may result in permanent lengthening of the foot arch resulting in a longer foot.
  3. You might need a larger size. If you have your feet measured with a Brannock device (in-store foot measuring tool) your standard running shoe size is the next half size larger than what was measured. See above for how to measure your feet.
  4. Your standard running shoe size is typically a half size larger than your dress/casual shoe size. The vast majority of returns are because the shoes ordered are too small. Running shoes traditionally fit at least a half size smaller than your dress shoes, which means you should go up in size for your running shoes. Running in shoes that are a tad too large is superior to running in shoes that are a tad too small.
  5. Fit the larger foot. Your left and right foot may differ by as much as a full size. A shoe that is too small is more likely to cause problems and irritation than a shoe that is too big.
  6. Faster running means you want a more snug fit. A tighter fit means you will stay well connected to the shoes when going around corners. Thus, you can give up some space around your toes and across the width for a more secure fit. Many racing shoes and performance shoes have a tighter overall fit than standard training shoes.
  7. Sock thickness can influence shoe fit. Try on shoes with the socks you will wear. Also, you can change the thickness of your sock to fine-tune your fit. Use a thinner sock to create more space in the fit or a thicker sock to snug up the fit.
  8. Different lacing techniques can greatly influence fit. View our lacing options video.

Shop Men’s Running Shoes | Shop Women’s Running Shoes

At Running Warehouse we want you to happy with your shoe purchase and understand new shoes do not always work out. Thus with have a 90 Day No Sweat Returns policy . If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email us or call our customer service department at 1-800-606-9598.