Choosing Shoes: How to find right shoe size

Shoe Size

After finding out a bit about your footstep, what pronation you have, and spent a thought about where and on what surface you plan to run, then it’s maybe time to try some shoes out. That is when many of us then ending up at the next question: how to find right shoe size?

Anyone more than me feeling this part sometimes is a tricky on? That’s why I did find out some tips before I bought my new running shoes. When spending some money on them, you want to know you can use them right?

Measure your foot size

A good start is to measure your foot size. Even if shoe sizes can vary depending on brand or type of shoe, it gives you a hint. And many online shops has information about the measurements of their regular sizes, and if you walk into a shop talking with a salesperson they usually know if the shoe you looking at is big or small in their sizes.

When measuring the size of the foot it is important to stand up and put some weight on it. If you measure it at home you can, for example, stand on a paper and get help from someone take a pen and draw a line following the shape of your foot. Remember that you should measure both width and length.

Also that you need to measure both feet, your feet can differ in size. And if the difference is not too big, it is usually enough to make the fit after the biggest foot. But in some cases depending on the shoe, or depending on if the difference is a bit bigger, you may need to buy two different sizes.

Try out in the end of the day

Maybe you haven’t thought about it. But normally your feet will swell a bit through the day from the time you get up in the morning, till you get back to bed in the evening. So to get the best fit in the shoe size as possible, the best time to be trying out shoes is at the end of the day.

Try out with correct socks

It is also important to remember to bring correct socks and if you have any orthopedic insertion or something. About the correct socks, for me, it is not a big difference in thickness on socks I use regularly a working day and the once I have when I running. But my running socks are made of another material and slimmer fit around the feet. So naturally to get the best feeling of how a new running shoe will fit, I need to try them out with the socks I usually use for running.


It is important that your feet get just enough with space inside a shoe. They are meant to be snug but not too close fitting. Be sure to have around a thumbnail of space at the toes and some wiggle room in the heels. What do I mean with wiggle room? In some places, I read that it should be 1/8th of an inch. For me with not the best feeling when comes to units for measurements, and as Europe usually using centimeters instead of inches, I just try to figure it out with “some wiggle room” instead 😉
And not to forget, so I don’t ramble away. The width should be a snug fit, but still letting your feet have some room to be able to move without rubbing.

Walk / Jog / Run

It is always important when trying on new shoes to not only stand in them but walking around and feeling how they fit in movement. This is for sure not less important with running shoes that are planned to use with a lot of body movement. So be heedful with walking, jogging and running around a bit to feel how the shoe fit with your feet.

In some sport and shoe shops, they also have a treadmill available when trying out shoes. Take advantage of it and ask the personal in the shop about using it to feel how the shoe fit. Even if you shop online you usually at least have the possibility to try the shoes out inside when you received them. Be sure to do that in the same way, not only standing still but running around for a bit.

Return Policy

Don’t to forget when buying shoes are that even if you try to do what you can to get a good fitting pair in right size, it can be difficult to know if you manage in your try. So a good tip is to check out what return policy the shop has.

The return policies can vary both in rules and timespan.  Some shops have very strict, while others have extremely helpful policies. It can differ as much as from when you put the shoes on and take your first steps at home, until using them running outside for a month or two. It can always be good to at least know what options you have.


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