How Should Running Shoes Feel When You Wear Them?

Last Updated: May 31, 2022

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How should running shoes feel when you wear them? This is not just a question that plagues novice runners. Finding the appropriate size of running shoes may be difficult for anyone, no matter their experience, yet it is of utmost priority.

There is no standardization in the size of running shoes. This has posed a major problem in choosing them, as even under one brand, there is every possibility that the sizes of each model of shoe are different. In this article, we will help you take off the pressure of finding the perfect fitting shoes on your own by letting you in on the biggest secret, how they should feel.

How Should Running Shoes Feel?

No matter your size of shoes, your running shoe of choice must meet certain standard requirements. The first is that the shoes must be comfortable.

Although the concept of comfort varies for every one of us, your running shoes must be comfortable enough for you to run. Irrespective of shoe size, a good definition of comfort will be having enough room in the toe box to move your toes freely and bend them without constraint.

According to Eric Sach, a running shoe expert, “When you tie the laces, the shoe should be snug—not too tight and not too loose—and you should have two fingers between the eyelets.”

Which Is Better, Tighter or Looser Shoes?

In choosing running shoes, there should be no extremes. Your aim should be to find shoes that are just perfect, nothing more, nothing less. This is because both extremes lead to discomfort. Where the shoes are too loose, your heel will constantly rub on the rear of the shoes resulting in painful blisters and ankle sprains.

In the event that the shoes are too tight, your toes will grind against the front of the shoes as you walk, resulting in blisters, black toenails, and corns.

With running shoes, we also have the breadth to consider, as it must also be just right. Running in shoes that are excessively broad may cause your feet to slide about, which will negatively affect your running form.

This is the cause of the soreness on top of the feet that most long-distance runners feel. More than just the occasional toenail will be lost as a result of wearing shoes that don’t fit properly.

Choosing The Perfect Running Shoes

As we have discussed, comfort is the biggest factor in determining running shoes that are just perfect for you. The first time you put on a pair of new shoes, they should feel fantastic, like a moment of eureka. This is because running shoes can’t be “broken in” like other types of footwear. They were made ready to wear for individuals with the appropriate foot size.

Your job is to keep searching until you find the exact one that feels just right and ready to use right out of the package.

Consider Every Compartment of The Shoe

In the instance where you are confused about what feels fantastic to you as a result of one bias or the other, the remedy is simple. To lessen your confusion, consider every compartment of the shoe. 

Start with the toe box. Ensure that the toe box has enough area for your toes to move freely. You can do this by pressing down on the shoe’s toe cap with your spread toes. This is essential because you need to be able to spread and flex your feet when you land to absorb the impact of a jog or a run.

Next, ensure that the midsole is incredibly stable. The midsole of your running shoes should be snug against your foot. Even without laces, a well-fitting shoe will keep your feet comfortable all day long. 

The sole of the shoe should not be resting on your foot. One way to ensure this is to remove the insole from the shoe to see whether there is a problem. Check to see whether your foot remains inside the insole’s outline by standing on it. If your toes are protruding through the insole, you’ll need to size up.

Furthermore, you must ensure that the heel cup is a perfect fit. A heel cup should fit snugly around your heel without being too tight. Again, it’s important to keep in mind the importance of comfort. This pair of shoes is not for you if there is rubbing or stiffness in them.

Frequently Asked Questions On How Running Shoes Should Feel

When is the best time to try running shoes before buying?

In selecting the shoes that will fit in the “just right” description, the time of the day in which you try them on is important. It’s preferable to put on new shoes in the afternoon since your feet swell during the day. It’s possible that the shoes that were just right in the morning might become uncomfortable by the afternoon.

Is Your “Normal” Shoe Size Your Running Shoe Size?

It is essential that as you scout for the perfect fitting shoes, you know that your normal shoe size is usually not going to be your running shoe size. Running requires extra room for the feet to move; hence, a half-size increase should be expected.

Should You Get Your Running Shoes Fitted by a Running Shoe Specialist?

A common mistake runners make is trying to size their feet themselves. As a result of the peculiarity of running shoes, you should get your feet professionally measured at a specialized running shop.

Brannock Devices are often used to measure your feet at specialized running shops. It may be used to determine the dimensions of a product. It is also important that you don’t make this a one-time thing.

As we get older, our shoe sizes also start to change due to factors like weight, height, and age. Getting your feet measured regularly is a great way to ensure that you are always properly sized.


There is no one-size-fits-all in selecting running shoes. The greatest determinant of all is comfort. To ensure this comfort, running shoes must be breathable and cushioned. They should not be too loose or too tight so that your heel doesn’t slide when you’re running (or walking).

Overall, they must feel fantastic immediately after you put them on!

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