Factors You Never Knew Played a Role in Your Running Shoes

Factors You Never Knew Played a Role in Your Running Shoes

There are so many small factors that play a role in how a shoe fits or the appropriate shoe for your feet.  No matter who you are finding the right shoe can be tough! Thinking out loud, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a sizing issue, stability issue, or you’re constantly injured.  There are many factors that people don’t realize play a role when determining a shoe.

As someone who works in a running specialty shoe store, I highly recommend going to your local store and getting fitted.  Sure, you can ask the internet for advice, but they aren’t staring at your feet and visually watching you.  Everyone has a different favorite color, and everyone has an opinion of the “best shoe.”  But in case you wondered, there is no best-running shoe.

So What Plays a Role?

Continuous Sprains of Ankles Can Mean You’re in the Wrong Shoe:

If you constantly have ankle pain or sprain your ankle, you might need a different shoe.  Maybe you need stability, or maybe the shoe has too much stability.

The Shape of Your Toe Box is a Big Deal: 

It plays one of the greatest roles in brands that are best fitted for your foot shape.  If you have long narrow toes, short toes, or even a full toe box all determine how a shoe fits.  Some brands are naturally wider while others have a more pointy top to them.

This goes for examining your toes too.  If your second toe is longer than your first toe, you’re more likely to develop bunions or hammer toes.

If you get blisters on the tops of your toes or your toes go numb, the shoe is either too narrow or too short for you.

And no, you should not lose toenails while running.  It’s not a runners “badge of honor” it means your shoes are too short.

Your Feet Get Bigger, and No One Cares:  

As you age, your feet will get longer or wider.  Even if you didn’t put on weight, have children, or do anything different.  What ultimately happens is your aches slowly begin to flatten which can create longer or wider toes.  If you’ve “always been a size 7” it will probably change.  And guess what…How many people do you actually ask their shoe size?  How many people’s shoe size do you actually care about?


Ladies Stilettos Can Cause Bunions:

Look, I’m no stranger to stilettos, in fact, mine are more expensive than any running shoe I’ve ever worn.  But cramming your feet into stilettos and pointy pumps causes bunions.  I try to at least alternate between peep toes and pointy so my toes can breathe somewhat.

There are More Ways to Lace a Running Shoe than there are Actual Running Shoes:

I won’t pretend to know every trick and tip, but there are plenty of articles depending on your issue.  There is the runner’s knot that can secure your heal more into place.  Skipping certain eyelets in the shoe can alleviate stress for people with high arches.  How you lace your shoes makes a huge difference on how the shoe fits.  Heck, I’ve run in shoes 1-2 sizes too big by manipulating the laces.

As you can see, there are so many small factors that play a role in your shoes.  Having the most appropriate shoe for your foot is the best piece of advice.  There is no perfect shoe, just a perfect shoe for you.

Related Articles: 
Should You Wear Running Shoes Outside of Running?
How Alternating Shoes Can Benefit Your Running:
How to Transition to Minimalist Running Shoes

Questions for you:
What is your current favorite running shoe?
Do you have a tough time finding shoes?



3 responses

  1. I’m a big Saucony fan. They definitely leave me enough room in the toe box for my tootsies to be free. I used to wear New Balance and Asics but, can’t do them anymore. They’re just not as comfortable!

  2. Good points Hollie! Nothing will make you more miserable than a ill-fitted running shoe. I have really come around to loving my Saucony Triumph ISO’s. They are comfortable and a nice wide base. I am still a Hoka fan, but a bit disappointed in the Bondi 5. It was not quite what I expected. I need to give the Clifton 4 a try soon.

  3. Though I’m not a runner myself, I do find that it’s always a little bit difficult finding shoes to work out in. As you mentioned, there are just so many factors to consider!

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