- Jun 08, 2018 -
Improper shoe sizing and shape are the primary cause of ingrown toenails, bunions, corns, hammer toes and hallux valgus. Shoes that don’t fit your feet correctly can also lead to muscular imbalances in the body, opening the door to foot, knee and hip injuries.
A proper fit accounts for the natural expansion of the foot upon ground contact. The goal is to eliminate any excess material, along with everything that inhibits your foot's natural motion. In the proper shoes, your foot is free to move and work the way nature intended.
Why most runners wear shoes that are too small:
When a load is applied to your foot by running, your foot will spread up to half an inch in length. One shoe size is only 1/3 inch.
If allowed, your foot will splay 15 percent in width under load.
Your foot is widest at the toes (but most shoes are not).
Tips on sizing
Do not assume you are the same size as a previous shoe.
Take your time and try several shoes on, preferably at the end of the day when you feet are most flattened and swollen.
Always try both shoes on. If feet are slightly different size, fit the larger foot.
Make sure your toes have room to splay with a roomy toebox.
Take the removable insole out and see how your foot fits against the insole as a template. Is there room at the toes or does you foot spill over the insole? If no room to spare or your foot is larger than the insole, this shoe will not fit comfortably.
Keep going half size up until the shoes are obviously too big, then step back one half size to a fit that still leaves room at the end of your toes.
Try on with the type of sock you will wear for activity.
Do not lace the shoes up too tight. Allow spread in the midfoot and forefoot.
Get up onto the ball of the foot. Can you put your index finger between your heel and the back of the shoe? If not, the shoe is likely too small.
Walk on a firm surface, not a carpeted one.
You must run in the shoe. What feels soft and comfortable when may not be what you need when running, which is a more firm base to give messages up your kinetic chain to stabilize/balance in mid stance.