Ensuring the correct fit for running shoes


Finding a pair of running shoes which fit you well is of critical importance. Running shoes with the correct fit make your running vastly more comfortable, helping you to avoid rubbing and blisters, and can even reduce your risk of serious injury. You’ll be covering a lot of ground in your running shoes, an important and sometimes expensive investment, so it’s vital to understand what makes for the correct fit for running shoes.

Let’s look at everything you need to consider when finding running shoes with the correct fit for you.

Do you really know your shoe size?

After you reach adulthood, many of us assume our shoe size will remain constant for years to come, that the shoe size we had when we were 18 will still be the same when we’re 40. That’s not always the case, however. As we get older, there are various things that may happen to our feet to change their size:

  • Your feet might become longer, if they become flatter
  • Alternatively, people with high arches may actually see their arches get higher, meaning they need shorter shoes
  • Women’s feet often become larger and wider during pregnancy
  • Injuries may change your foot shape
  • If you wear heels or tight, pointy shoes much of the time, your toe area may change shape

As a result of all these possible changes, it’s a good idea to check your current shoe size before investing in a new pair of running shoes, as you may have a different size foot than you think. You can do this by standing on a sheet of paper in your usual running socks and sketching the outline of your feet, and then measure the width and length of each foot. Next, use our shoe shoe size tablets to work out what size shoes are right for you.

What is the correct fit for running shoes?

When you run, your foot constantly changes size! Each time your foot strikes the ground, it lengthens and widens as the force is distributed and your foot bones and muscles spread. But, once off the ground, they spring back to a smaller size. This means that the correct fit for running shoes is very different to the correct fit for leather or casual footwear which you only use for walking, sitting and standing.

It is generally recommended that you choose a running shoe which is a half size bigger than your normal shoe size. This gives your foot some space to move back and forth a little in the shoe, enabling it to expand on contact with the ground. Choosing shoes which fit perfectly when standing still could, when you take them for a run, result in some painful toes.

However, it’s also important to make sure that your heel area fits much more snugly than in normal shoes, and doesn’t have too much space to move side to side, as this can risk heel injuries.

What else to consider when choosing the correct fit for running shoes?

Besides the movement of the foot itself, it’s also important to consider some other key factors which might affect fit when selecting running shoes:

  • Your socks When shopping for running shoes, it’s always a good idea to remember to bring your usual running socks. Depending on your personal preference, these might be slightly thicker or thinner than your regular socks, and include more or less padding. That’s all going to have an effect on your running shoes’ correct fit.
  • Your need for speed: Do you prefer to do fast track running? If so, it might be better to choose a slightly snugger trainer – the reduced movement will help when you strike the ground harder. On the other hand, if you’re doing long, slow runs, stick to the general wisdom of choosing a slightly longer pair.
  • Foot width: Do you have wide or narrow feet? Don’t suffer in ‘regular’-sized shoes. ASICS offers both narrow- and wide-fit variations on many of its running shoe collections.
  • Time of day: That’s right – your feet tend to get slightly larger over the course of the day. It’s therefore recommended to try on shoes for fit towards the end of the day, once they have ‘warmed up’.
  • Remember foot issues: Do you suffer from foot problems, such as bunions or heel spurs? It’s definitely worth considering how these will affect your running shoe choice – it might be worth talking with your GP or a podiatrist who can help advise on how to best choose the right size shoes.
  • Find the correct fit for running shoes and exercise comfortably

    There are many things which can affect the fit of a pair of running shoes. If you already have a good idea of what fit you need, it’s often fine to browse for your next pair online. On the other hand, if you’re not quite sure what your correct fit might be, head on down to an ASICS where experienced staff are on hand to advise on how to correctly fit you with running shoes.