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wrong size

Wrong size shoes can’t be fixed by changing brands.

The great majority of our customers wore the wrong size before they came to Run Shoe Store. When shopping for shoes, they would pick something that looked cool and then would try it on in different sizes until it didn’t hurt. They would start with the size that matched their non-athletic shoe size, and then go up or down from that size, depending on how the shoe fit.

Perhaps that approach describes you, too.

Your dress shoe size is the wrong running shoe size

wrong size

Folks who buy shoes that way very often wear shoes that are too small. That’s because the non-athletic shoe size is usually shorter than the athletic shoe size—it is not unusual for the former to be a full size smaller than the former. Why don’t shoe wearers notice that their shoes are too small?

First, it’s normal for their shoes to feel tight when new and it’s normal for them to expect the shoes to ‘stretch’ over time. In fact, the shoes don’t stretch but they do deform around the foot. The feeling of deformed shoes becomes familiar. Tight-feeling shoes don’t feel tight, they feel normal.

Second, a given shoe size includes the length of a foot plus an allowance for the toes. That toe allowance can reduce some of the tightness they would otherwise feel if the shoe only matched the length of their foot and didn’t include a toe allowance.

The wrong size is always the wrong size

wrong size

One problem with wearing shoes too small is that you lose an accurate sense of what ‘too small’ should feel like. A guy wearing size 12 shoes but who should wear a size 14, is unknowingly looking for the best-feeling shoe among a number of too-small options. The shoes that he buys don’t fit but they are within an acceptable range of too-small. The shoes that he rejects also don’t fit but feel even smaller than the other shoes that don’t fit–they are too, too small.

That’s why it can appear that you need different sizes in different brands. You may think that you need 9.5 in Saucony but 9 in New Balance. But it is more likely that you need a size 10, period. Both size 9 and 9.5 are too small. You simply notice how small in some styles more than you do in others.

The right size is always the right size

wrong size

If your actual size is a size 10, just about any size 10 will fit. I know of only one situation when that hasn’t been the case: when a miscommunication between a manufacturer and a factory resulted in a run of shoes that were slightly off size.

That doesn’t mean that every size 10 will be comfortable because comfort is a function of more than just size.

The best shoe is the new shoe that’s comfortable and that fits. We’ll help you find it at Run Shoe Store.

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Phil Clark