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Factors You Never Knew That Play a Role in Your Running Shoes

Factors You Never Knew That Play 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 and 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.

Factors You Never Knew Played a Role in Your Running Shoes

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.  Bloggers might tell you it’s the “best shoe ever,” but they probably got it for free.  I have yet to see a sponsored post for the number one selling shoe in the industry.

Think of it this way, everyone has a favorite “different color,” and everyone has an opinion of the “best shoe.”  But in case you wondered, there is no best-running shoe.

So What are a Few Factors that Could Mean You’re in the Wrong Shoes?

Continuous Ankle Sprains: 

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.  Too much support can lead to an injury just like not enough support.  Make no mistake, support and cushion are two very different features of a shoe.

Toes Going Numb: 

If your feet go numb, you’re not in the right in the right shoe size.  Maybe the shoe is too small, too narrow, or not the right shape.  Or maybe there isn’t enough padding in the forefront for you.  If you’re feet fall asleep while running, you aren’t in the right shoe.

The toebox plays one of the greatest roles in brands.  Not only is it best to find the shoe with the right support, but it’s also best to find the shoe that is 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.  This happens even if you didn’t put on weight, have children, or do anything different.  Women: this almost always happens after you have children.  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  and Narrow Shoes 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.  You don’t have the “worst feet ever”, you just have bunions.  Women’s shoes go up to double-wide to accommodate this now.

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.

I will always tell people to get fit and to shop local.  As someone who works in specialty, there are so many advantages of getting fitted versus buying online.   The store associates know brand shapes, sizes, and structures of shoes.  It might take you hours of research when it takes us 5 seconds to determine the most appropriate shoes. Plus, running stores help keep the running community thriving.  Anyway, these are just a few 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.

Questions for you:

Have you been fitted for running shoes?

What are your favorite shoes? 

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3 responses

  1. So true! I’m coming to terms with being a 9.5. Not that I have a problem with it but for some reason I feel like if I order a 9.5 they will be too big. Nope! I’m a 9.5.
    I’m currently running in Nike Zoom, Nike Pegasus Turbo, Adidas Boston.

    • I should say you were spot-on with the feet getting bigger as you age thing. I used to be a 9 🙂

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