Should I Size Up For Running Shoes

When it comes to running shoes, finding the right fit is crucial for a comfortable and injury-free running experience. One common question that runners often ask is whether they should size up when buying running shoes. As an avid runner myself, I have faced this dilemma multiple times and have done extensive research to find the answer.

First and foremost, it is important to understand that everyone’s feet are unique. What works for one person may not work for another. That being said, there are a few factors to consider when deciding whether to size up in running shoes.

Toe Space

One of the main reasons runners consider sizing up is to ensure enough toe space. When running, your feet tend to swell, and without adequate room, your toes can feel cramped and uncomfortable. It is recommended to have about half an inch of space between your longest toe (usually the big toe) and the front of the shoe. This will give your toes room to move and prevent any unnecessary pressure or friction.

Foot Width

Aside from length, the width of your feet also plays a significant role in determining the right shoe size. If you have wider feet, you may need to consider sizing up to accommodate the width. Most running shoe brands offer different width options, so it’s essential to try on different sizes and widths to find the best fit for your feet.

Running Surface

The type of surface you typically run on can also affect the sizing decision. If you predominantly run on pavement or other hard surfaces, you may want to consider sizing up slightly. Hard surfaces can cause more impact and may lead to foot swelling, so having a little extra room in your shoes can help alleviate any discomfort.

Try Before You Buy

When it comes to buying running shoes, the best course of action is always to try them on before making a purchase. Visit a specialty running store where experts can analyze your gait, measure your feet, and recommend the most appropriate shoe size for you. Trying on different sizes and brands will give you a better idea of what works best for your feet.


In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether you should size up for running shoes. It ultimately depends on your individual foot shape, the amount of toe space you prefer, the width of your feet, and the running surface you typically encounter. It is always recommended to try on different sizes and consult with experts to find the perfect fit for your feet. Remember, a well-fitting pair of running shoes can make all the difference in your running performance and overall comfort. Happy running!