Choosing the Right Running Shoe

Finding the Right Fit

Find the Right Fit

Running in comfort is important to all of us. Taking the time to make sure your shoes fit right allows you to enjoy running from the moment you set off. By equipping yourself with knowledge of what to look for when trying shoes on you’ll be set up for successful shoe shopping. A good fit will keep you running at your best, providing support where you need it while still allowing proper movement; while the wrong fit can slow your progress, causing discomfort, pain, and injury. 

Don’t assume you’ve found the proper size just because your foot fits inside. Feet need a little more room during a run. Follow along with our tips for ensuring you find the best fit for you and reach your running goals.

Tips for Getting the Right Size

• When did you last have your foot measured? Feet change over time based on factors like ageing, pregnancy, weight, and injury. Visit a Running Expert specialist running store to have your foot professionally measured or reference our guide for how to measure shoe size.

• Because feet swell with heat and activity, it’s better to measure your feet at the end of the day.

• Does the sockliner of the shoe match the shape of your foot? Remove the insert and stand on it to check. Be sure your toes and sides of your feet don’t extend over the sides of the sockliner.

• When trying a pair on, lace the shoes up snug but not too tightly - you should still be able to fit a finger under the knot.

• How much space is at the end? Generally there should be about a thumb width between the front of the shoe and your longest toe.

• Factor in your socks. The thickness of your sock can play a significant role in the fit of your shoes, try and wear your usual running socks.

• If you have one foot that is bigger base the fit on your biggest foot.

    When trying on a pair of shoes, pay attention to how you feel in them. They shouldn’t be too roomy or too snug, with adequate room in the toe box. Your feet expand when you run, so you need to ensure you leave a little extra space. Having about 1 centimetre between your toes and the top of the shoe will provide room. This is why your running shoes are often a bigger size than your dress or casual shoes. 

    A fit too loose or too tight can lead to blisters and foot pain, so take a walk (or ideally run!) around in any pair you’re considering to make sure your foot feels right when in motion. Most speciality running stores should have a treadmill for a test run so take the time to do this. Modern running shoes shouldn’t have to be broken in, but rather feel great on your first run.

    Fitting kids shoes? Check out our comprehensive guide to Kids Shoe Fitting plus What To Look For in Kids Shoes.

    Shoe Size Fitting

    What About Shoe Width?

    Finding the right fit isn’t only about length. It’s equally important to ensure you choose the proper width for your feet. Just as with the wrong length, a poorly fitting width can cause discomfort. Sometimes when a shoe is too tight in the arch, it’s not a bigger size that’s needed, but a wider fit. Below are our tips for checking that you have the right width and knowing if you need shoes for wide feet.

    Checking for Shoe Width

    • If you notice your shoe is bulging or stretching on the outside of the forefoot it’s a sign wide shoes are needed. Your foot must have room to flex and spread out in width without binding.

    • The higher the arch, the more narrow their foot. The more flat-footed a person is the wider the foot.

    • Remove and stand on the shoe sockliner. Is your foot spilling over the sides? If so it’s a sign to size up in width.

    • A running shoe upper should not be overly tight or too loose around the foot. When standing in the shoes the upper should be snug but without pressure around your forefoot and toes.

    • A women’s standard foot width is B, a wide fit is a D and wider again is 2E. Some brands also do a 2A fit for the narrower foot type. For men the standard is D going up to a wide fitting 2E and the widest a 4E. In New Zealand the most common shoe width sizes* for women in running shoes is a D fit and for men is a 2E.

    • The differences between narrow, standard, wide and extra wide are a couple millimeters and proportional to the size of the shoe.

    • Shoe boxes and labels will only identify widths other than standard. Within the shoes, wide and narrow widths are identified on the label, underneath the tongue — ie. T005N(2E).

    Thinking about which ASICS running shoe is best for you? Find more information in our guide to choosing the right running shoes.

    *Based on ASICS New Zealand 2019 sales data.