Marathon shoes

I have read that shoes worn for a Marathon should be a half to a full size larger than your normal training shoes due to the expansion of the feet during a Marathon. Maybe half a size larger with your normal socks on. Or a full size larger when wearing thicker more cushioned socks. What do you all think or do for your Marathon race's?


  • i've heard of (and used) this for races beyond marathon distance.

    so long as your shoes are a good fit i really dont see a need to go larger over marathon distance.
  • Thanks Ed
    I think I tend to agree. So why do they put this information in Marathon training books? Still can't decide wether to wear thicker socks for Marathon for the extra cushioning effect or not though. Of course if I did wear thicker socks then I would need to go up half a size to accomadate thicker socks!
  • Personally, i think the fit of shoes is way more important. I didnt wear thicker socks or larger shoes for marathon last year and I was absolutely fine. Just make sure you have trainers that fit you really well!
  • Yes your right - but what about no socks! Has anybody actually run a full Marathon with no socks?
  • there's a guy in the states who does them bare-foot

    i guess that counts as no socks ?
  • When you run bare foot that allows your toes to spread out naturally. Some say the best way to run injury free. If you were to run in a shoe size slightly bigger than normal, would'nt that also allow your toes to spread giving you the benefit of running naturally and also giving cushioning from the shoes. Maybe you can have your cake and eat it.
  • I've just gone with normal sized shoes. Lets face it - you dont want to run all your training runs in clown shoes and they will be the majority of your runs.

  • nice try ron... i dont envy the blisters you'd get trying that.

    now then.. is it time for my oversize shoe case study?
  • I use my normal running shoes, with my normal socks, and have had no trouble.
  • The idea of starting off a marathon with shoes that are flopping around on my heels doesn't bear thinking about, and surely thick socks would rule out any benefit of bigger shoes?

    I've been quite glad to change into bigger shoes towards the end of an ultramarathon on a hot day, but will be wearing the lightest, closest-fitting shoes I can cope with on marathon day.
  • Well thanks for everyone's opinion. I agree with most and shall just wear my normal shoe's and normal sock's when I do the Marathon, and I shall throw the book away as it's obviously outdated advise.
  • I think all your shoes should have plenty of room for your feet to spreadout & expand
  • I have always been told, and practiced, that when you go to buy shoes, whether for normal training or marathons, you should allow the width of your thumb from the end of your toes to the end of the shoe, which will allow for any swelling of your feet during your run.
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