Wearing a shoe that fits is your answer to having a comfortable and productive run. How do we determine if what we are wearing is not ill-fitting? How tight should running shoes be? Are there guidelines that we need to follow? We are here to help you.
The first thing that we should determine is the approximate measurement of our feet. Once you have that information, then you can start buying all the shoes that catch your eye. This post will guide you on how to know your shoe size plus other tips to help you find the right running shoe for your foot type.
How to Choose a Running Shoe
Are you on the hunt for a running shoe? Do you have a particular shoe in mind? If you don’t know what you are looking for, there is a big chance that you will feel overwhelmed by all the shoe choices in the market today.
The best running shoe is the one that feels comfortable to wear and has an excellent fit. The first thing you have to understand is the pronation or the normal movement of your foot while walking or running.
What Is Pronation?
Pronation is your foot’s natural way of lessening the impact of your every step. Below is a brief description of the types of pronation:
- Normal pronation is the normal movement of the foot from side to side. In this type, your foot will roll a little to the inside with every step. You can wear shoes with neutral cushioning.
- Overpronation is when your foot tends to roll inward more, putting all your body’s weight to the first and second toes. You can see this gait in flat-footed folks. Flat-footed people are advised to wear motion-control shoes or given orthotic insoles.
- Supination is the opposite of overpronation. Your foot rolls more to the outside wherein all your weight goes to the edge of your foot and your smaller toes. This type of gait happens to people with high arches. They need to wear flexible and well-cushioned shoes.
Knowing your gait pattern will help you in choosing the kind of running shoes that will suit your feet best. Checking your shoe wear pattern and making a bit of self-diagnosis can help.
If the soles of your shoes are more worn on the inner part, then you are an overpronator. Whereas, if the outer edge of the shoe is flatter, then you are a supinator. If you want an expert opinion, you can go to an athletic shoe expert, get a foot analysis at specialty stores, or go to a podiatrist if you feel pain, tingling, or numbness on your foot.
After determining your gait, you have to know your foot type by determining whether you have a normal arch, low arch, or high arch. The simplest way to test it is to wet your feet and then step on paper for 10 seconds. Once you have determined your gait and foot type, you can now proceed and choose the right running shoes that will suit you best.
If you are flat-footed, choose motion-control shoes. These are shoes with broad and straight shape, so your feet get maximum control and support. If you have a high arch and you tend to supinate, choose neutral cushioned shoes. It will absorb the impact of your step and will give you stability.
Know Your Foot Size
When trying out running shoes, the very first thing that you need to ensure is that it should have enough toe box room to wiggle your toes and wide enough for your foot to spread out when running.
Knowing your exact shoe size is vital when buying a shoe. Wearing a shoe that is too small or too big for your feet may even post a risk of injury to your foot and ankle.
Here are some tips on how to get your foot size:
- Measure your foot at home by stepping on a piece of paper and outlining your foot all around.
- Mark the outline of your foot with a straight line using a ruler.
- Measure the length of your foot from top to bottom with a ruler or a tape measure. This measurement represents the size of your feet.
- Measure the width of your foot from left to right. Some shoes offer different diameters as well.
- Use the length and width measurements to find your shoe size in a sizing chart.
How Tight Should Running Shoes Be?
Buying a running shoe is a bit different when purchasing a casual one. Running tends to expand your foot a little, so you buy one that is at least a half size bigger. So, how tight should running shoes be?
Here are some reminders to take note of when buying running shoes:
- You should have enough wiggle room for your toes by having at least a thumb size allowance between the front edge of the shoe to the tip of your longest toe.
- Your midfoot should feel secure yet comfortable when wearing running shoes as if a hand is holding your foot.
- There should be no slipping of the heel when you walk or run wearing the shoe.
- Check the eyelet rows. It should be strictly parallel to each other.
The running that you want to do also plays an essential role in choosing your running shoes in addition to the size, pronation, and your foot arch. A tighter fit means you want speed in your running. You will not need wiggle room if you’re going to run fast.
Additional Tips on How to Fit Running Shoes
- Measure your feet yearly because they sometimes change as you get older.
- Women’s feet grow larger during and after pregnancy.
- Your running shoe size should be bigger by a half size from your regular shoes.
- Use your larger foot to fit when trying on running shoes. Your left foot and right foot does not have the same size.
- Choose a snugger fit of your running shoes if you want to run faster.
- The thickness of your socks may also affect the fit of your shoes. It is better to wear socks when buying running shoes.
- The way you lace your shoes can also make a difference in how they fit.
The right running shoe will always depend on how comfortable it feels when you are wearing it. Make sure that you know your right shoe size and adequately fit the shoe before buying it for a more productive and enjoyable run.