To get a proper fitting running or hiking shoe it is important to get your foot measurement and then understand how a running shoe should fit and how to check the fit.
How to measure your foot
Use a piece of paper or card larger than your foot, a tape measure or a ruler, a straight edge and a pen or pencil.
- Find a hard, flat and smooth floor surface and place a piece of paper or cardboard on the floor.
- Wear similar socks you wear when running and stand with one foot on the piece of paper.
- Keep your body weight over your foot and trace a thin line on the paper around the end of the longest toe, along the ball of your foot, along the lateral side of your foot behind the small toe and around the heel. When drawing the lines, hold the pencil/pen straight up.
- To get your foot length measure from heel mark to the longest toe mark.
- Repeat these steps for your other foot.
- Use the larger foot measurements when determining your running shoe size.
Your running shoe size
While running, your feet lengthen and widen when the foot/shoe contacts the ground.
This happens with each step and the foot returns to its normal length and width when the foot/shoe is off the ground.
We recommend your standard running shoe size should be the next half size longer than your measured size.
Your standard running shoe size is typically a half size larger than your dress/casual shoe size.
If you have measured your foot on a Brannock or other foot measuring device, this half size larger rule still applies.
Get your shoe size
Sizing may well vary between shoe models, even from the same manufacture and brand. The variation is due to the construction process of making the shoes and attaching the upper to the midsole.
A proper fitting shoe should be snug in the heel and midfoot area to keep the foot in place. Feet expand during a run and so a proper fitting shoe should have room around the toes to allow for this.
- It is better for a shoe to be too big than too small
- Always fit for your larger foot
To determine the proper size shoe for you consider the following:
True-to-size: A shoe that should fit according to the value obtained from the industry standard Brannock Device is said to fit true-to size.
Half-size small: A shoe that fits a half-size smaller than the value obtained from a Brannock Device. So if your foot is measured at a size US 9, you will need to get a size US 9.5.
Full-size small: A shoe that fits a full-size smaller than the value obtained from a Brannock Device. So if your foot is measured at a size US 9, you will need a size US 10.
Length: If you are not measured with a Brannock Device, use the method above to measure your foot or find a hard, flat floor and place your heel against a wall and measure the length of your foot.
Use the charts below to convert your measurement to a shoe size.
Note the difference in sizes for women’s and men’s shoes for the same length of foot.
To get proper fitting running shoes:
- Measure your feet once a year. Feet can change size as you age. The foot arch may lower over time or by wearing different shoes or doing different sports resulting in a longer foot. A stronger foot may result in the arch rising resulting in a shorter foot. Weight changes and activity level can also influence foot size.
- Fit the larger foot. Your left and right foot can differ by as much as a full size. A shoe that is too small is more likely to cause problems and irritation than a shoe that is too big.
- Women’s feet may become a half size larger or more during and after pregnancy. Weight gain during pregnancy may result in permanent lengthening of the foot arch resulting in a longer foot.
- You may need a larger size. If you have your feet measured with a Brannock device then your standard running shoe size is the next half size larger than what was measured.
- Your standard running shoe size is typically a half size larger than your dress/casual shoe size. The vast majority of returns are because shoes are ordered are too small. Generally, running shoes fit at least a half size smaller than your dress shoes, which means you would normally go up in size for your running shoes. Running in shoes that are a slightly too long is superior to running in shoes that are too small.
- Faster running means you want a more snug fit. A tighter fit means you will stay well connected to the shoes when going around corners. You can give up some space around your toes and across the width for a more secure fit. Many racing shoes and performance shoes have a tighter overall fit than training shoes.
- Sock thickness can often influence shoe fit. Whenever possible, try on shoes with the socks you will wear when running or hiking.
- You can change the thickness of your sock to fine-tune your fit. Use a thinner sock to create more space in the fit or a thicker sock to snug up the fit.
- Different lacing techniques can greatly influence fit. Experiment to find your perfect lacing for the best fit.
How your running shoes should fit
Comfort is most important for a good fit.
A proper fitting running shoe should:
- Fit snug in the heel and midfoot.
- Should have wiggle room around the toes.
- A good fit is half of your thumb’s width to your full thumb’s width. To check for proper length and width press your thumb down next to the ball of the foot and around the toes to make sure you have half a thumb width.
- There should be little or no heel movement. To check, hold the heel of the shoe and try to raise the heel of your foot.
- Eyelet rows on either side of the tongue should be close to parallel with each other.
|Foot in centimeters||US Women’s Standard Running Size||US Women’s Dress Shoe Size||UK Women’s Standard Running Size||European Women’s Standard Running Size|
Men’s Shoe Sizing Conversions Chart
|Foot in centimeters||US Men’s Standard Running Size||US Men’s Dress Shoe Size||UK Men’s Standard Running Size||European Men’s Standard Running Size|