RUNNING SHOES GUIDE - FINDING THE RIGHT FIT
A comfortable running shoe is a shoe that fits, but finding one is not always easy. You spend a lot of time in your running shoes, so it's well worth making the effort to understand your personal running style. That will help you find a pair of shoes that fit you perfectly.
So, how should running shoes fit? Consider the following:
1. INTENDED USE
Will you be road running, running on a purpose-built track or perhaps on a forest trail? All these surfaces require a different kind of shoe. Another basic distinction is between racing and training shoes.
2. PRONATION TYPE
Pronation is the term used for the way your foot rolls when you walk and run. Essentially, when buying any kind of sports shoe, you should know your pronation type first. Every shoe on the market is suitable for a specific type of pronation.
You can find out what your pronation type is by getting an expert gait analysis done for you – many specialist running retail stores will offer this service. You can understand more about pronation by reading our guide.
3. LENGTH OF THE SHOE
Keep an open mind with your shoe size and remember the following: the more you run, the more room you need. The further you run, the more your foot will naturally expand. That’s why it’s wise to have just a little extra room in your shoe.
We’re often asked how running shoes should fit in the toe box. A properly fitting running shoe will feel snug in the heel and the midfoot with some wiggle room around the toes. As a rough guide, you should have between half and a full thumb’s width of space between your toes and the end of the shoe.
4. WIDTH OF THE SHOE
The width of your shoe is equally as important as the length when it comes to a good fit. People are not always in perfect proportion and often have wider or narrower feet than the 'norm'. Shoes that are too narrow can cause serious problems with your feet, while shoes that are too wide will allow too much foot movement and increase the risk of injury. So, make sure you address this now.
How snug should running shoes fit? Ideally, your foot should be able to move side-to-side in the forefoot without crossing over the edge of the insole. If the shoe is too narrow, you’ll be able to feel the base of your little toe sitting on the edge of the shoe last. When trying on the shoe, make sure you can pinch a quarter of an inch of upper material at the widest part of your foot. If you can’t, then the shoe is too narrow.
Weight refers to two things:
- The weight of the runner - if you are a heavy or bigger built runner then you may need a shoe with a lot of support.
- The weight of the shoe – generally, since you are going to be wearing your shoes for many kilometres, the lighter they are the better.
When buying running shoes, try them on in the evening when your foot is slightly bigger and always try them with running socks. ASICS has a wide range of running socks, all of which are specifically designed for running and will vastly improve the feeling of comfort and support inside the shoe.
You can also purchase socks which have been custom designed to match particular shoe designs such, as the ASICS GEL-KAYANO sock.
HOW TO TELL IF RUNNING SHOES FIT
If your running shoes fit then you will be able to run for mile after mile without experiencing any blisters, bruising or discomfort. There are a number of issues you will experience if your running shoes don’t fit properly. They include:
- Tingling or numbness in the toes - This is likely to indicate that your shoes are too short or too narrow. Shoes that are either too short or too narrow can cause serious problems, so that’s something you should address now.
- Blisters between your toes - Blisters between or on top of your toes is a common sign that your shoe is too narrow and your toes are cramped.
- Blisters on the ball of your foot - This is most likely to occur when your shoes are too wide and your feet are moving around too much.
Bruised toes - Your running shoes are not long enough and your toes are being crushed.