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What Size Shoes Should You Run In?

Many runners have been advised by ‘experts’ to size up in running shoes to accommodate foot swelling. But is it really a good idea to get running shoes that are half or even a whole size too big? How should running shoes really fit?

Firstly, foot swelling isn't guaranteed to happen to a runner, and secondly, when feet swell they get fatter rather than longer, so buying shoes that are longer doesn't really make sense. It would be better to make sure the shoe is wide enough, and that the laces can be loosened in the event of swelling.

So how can you find the best size shoes?

A good suggestion is to try them on later in the day, because your feet are larger at these times, so you can ensure your shoes will fit if your feet do swell. Make sure the shoe fits snugly around the heel - your foot shouldn’t be slipping at all.

Ensure that there is ½ a centimetre space between your longest toe and the end of your shoe. If you can bend and twist the shoe this means there isn’t enough support in it. The laces should be tied firmly, but not so tight that the circulation is cut off.

One of the most important things to do is to check that the shape of your shoe is right for your foot, and isn’t forcing it into an unnatural shape, as this can cause bunions and many other problems down the line. Thankfully, it’s very easy to check - all you need to do is remove the insole from the shoe and place your foot on top of it. If your toes spill over the edges at the front or side, the shoe is going to be squeezing your toes.

So what’s the takeaway from this blog? Don't buy tight shoes thinking you'll break them in, or loose shoes thinking you’ll have space for swollen feet. Follow the tips above to make sure your shoes fit correctly in both length, depth, and width.

If you would like foot or shoe advice, or have any questions, we’re always happy to chat! Call us on 01903 532159, email us on, or simply type a message in the chat box on this website! We look forward to hearing from you.

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