What Size Shoe For Running

When it comes to running, having the right size shoe is crucial. As an avid runner myself, I know firsthand the importance of finding the perfect fit. Wearing the wrong size shoe can lead to discomfort, blisters, and even injuries. In this article, I will delve deep into the topic of what size shoe is best for running, providing you with valuable insights and personal experiences.

The Importance of Proper Fit

Before we dive into the specifics of sizing, let’s talk about why finding the right fit is so important. Running is a high-impact activity that places a lot of stress on our feet, ankles, and legs. Wearing shoes that are too small or too big can throw off our biomechanics and increase the risk of developing injuries such as shin splints, plantar fasciitis, or stress fractures.

On the other hand, a well-fitting shoe can provide the necessary support and cushioning to enhance our performance and prevent discomfort. It should fit snugly but not too tight, with enough room for our toes to wiggle and flex naturally. Additionally, different types of running shoes may have specific requirements depending on the individual’s foot shape, arch type, and running style.

Getting the Right Measurements

Now that we understand the importance of finding the right shoe size, let’s discuss how to determine our measurements. The best way to get an accurate measurement is to visit a specialized running store where they have professionals who can assist you. They will use a device called a Brannock Device, which measures both the length and width of your foot.

It’s essential to measure both feet, as often one foot is slightly larger than the other. The larger foot should be your reference when selecting a shoe size to ensure a comfortable fit. It’s also crucial to take measurements towards the end of the day when your feet are slightly swollen, similar to how they will be during a run.

Understanding Shoe Sizing

Shoe sizing can be a bit confusing, as different brands may have slight variations. The most common sizing system is the Brannock system, which uses a combination of numbers and letters to indicate the length and width of the shoe. For example, a shoe size of “9D” means a size 9 shoe with a medium-width.

It’s worth noting that running shoe sizes are typically slightly larger than our regular shoe sizes. This extra room allows for the natural swelling of our feet during a run. You should aim for approximately a thumb’s width of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.

Trying on and Testing Shoes

Once you have your measurements and understand the sizing system, it’s time to try on some shoes. When trying on running shoes, it’s crucial to wear the same type of socks you plan to use during your runs. This ensures a more accurate fit, as different sock thicknesses can affect how the shoe feels on your foot.

When you put on a shoe, walk around the store or jog on a treadmill if available. Pay attention to how the shoe feels, particularly in the toe box, heel, and arch areas. You should not feel any pinching or excessive slipping. Your foot should feel supported and secure, without any areas of discomfort or tightness.

Considerations for Different Running Styles

Finally, it’s important to consider your specific running style when selecting a shoe size. For example, if you tend to overpronate (inward rolling of the foot), you may need a shoe with more stability and possibly a wider width. On the other hand, if you have a high arch or underpronate (outward rolling), a shoe with extra cushioning and flexibility may be more suitable.


Choosing the right size shoe for running is a crucial step towards enjoying a comfortable and injury-free running experience. By getting accurate measurements, understanding the sizing system, and taking into account individual factors such as foot shape and running style, you can ensure a proper fit. Remember, a well-fitting shoe can make all the difference in your running performance and overall enjoyment of the sport.