Shoes too tight?

I'm just starting to get into running, and have just brought myself a pair of decent running trainers. They felt great in the shop, but having worn them around the house for a while I'm worried they're too tight. This may sound like a really stupid question, but how much room do you need for your toes to splay. What I mean is should there fell like there's loads of room in your trainers, or should you know that your trainers are 'there' if you know what I mean. I havne't really got access to a treadmill to try them out, and don't want to go out for a run and find that my feet are hurting because my shoes are too tight, and then can't take them back to the shop. Any advice?




  • Depending on the make of shoe I normally go for upto a size larger than I normally would buy
  • I've gone up a shoe size, I'm just wondering if I need a slightly wider fit, or whether I'm worrying for nothing.
  • If you've gone up a shoe size, then the length is probably OK. If you push your feet forward can you put a thumb down behind your heel? That's OK then.
    For the width - put on the shoes and stand up. Wiggle your toes. Can they move? Can you feel the seam of your socks being pushed into your skin round your toes - too tight.
    Try loosening the laces. One one brand of shoes, i re lace the shoes so that no laces go through the bottom set of holes.
    Would wearing thinner socks make a difference?
    You may find that you need men's shoes as these tend to be wider - i usually end up with men's.
    Let us know how you get on.
  • Thanks Dangly Spice,
    I did try Mens initially but they slip on my heel, I've got really thin ankles, the shop assistant described them as frog feet!! She said her's were like it too.

    From what you've described I think my shoes are ok. I've brought a pair of Asics and it was a toss up between these and a New Balance pair, in which my toes had loads of room. I choose these because my feet felt a bit more secure, but now I wondering if they're too secure, and if I should take them back and get a the new balance pair!

    I think I shall just have to find a treadmill, and have a go with them, so if they're no good at least I can take them back!

  • I am not too convinced that my shoes fit properly either.. but I find it depends on socks and how tightly you lace them up. I can get a finger down the backs, but for some reason my left toes sometimes don't feel comfy - they sort of claw a bit (if I have blister socks on I find my shoes too tight). They are fine with thinner socks, and I then find them real comfy.

    However, there is a place in leeds that will check your old shoes, get you running to check your pronation (or not) and let you try the shoes for a day or so.. I am sure if you check site you can find a running supplier near you who would do all this too.

    Maybe it is cos we have nothing to compare our first pair of shoes too? I think my next pair will serve me better, as I have a better idea of how I run.

  • Kirstie - it may help to try different forms of lacing. There's an article somewhere on the site re this (link below!). I have wide forefeet but narrow heels, and changing the lacing has helped no end for me.

    Click here for article
  • I find Asics are too tight on the toes and so does my partner - shame because they get good reviews.
  • Thanks Iain article most useful, and thanks everyone for your input.
    I did try thinner socks, but then the heel was a bit loose!!
    I'm going to bully my Dad into taking me to his Gym, so I can go on the running machine. At least it will give me an idea of what they are going to do when I run. If there weren't so many leaves and muddy puddles around I'd risk it outside.

    Thanks again, I'll let you know how I get on!
  • Hi all,
    after running on the treadmill I can report that, my shoes are great. I've had to play around with the laces and socks abit, but I did my usual route the other day, and I knocked almost 1 and half minutes off my time, and I didn't even realise I was going faster! It's amazing what some extra spring can do for you. I think I've also got a bit fitter since the last time I ran the route!
    Thanks for all your advice,
  • Well done Kirstie!! Good luck for future stuff.

    Ilove Asics shoes, but made the mistake of going for my ordinary shoe size for mt first pair; can't belive the guy didn't warn me! They were fine through most of my training but when I did a 1/2 marathon it took about 6 months for my toenails to heal up!!!!
  • Having just joined this web site, I've found this link really useful - I'm an absolute beginner and am just about to buy my first pair of running shoes, so your experiences will really help me choose the best sort for me.
  • I have Asics too, and also have 'frog feet'! They are Asics Gel Trainer DS for ladies, and much to my initial disgust I was advised to go up a size. I have read that the ideal width is two finger widths between the eyelets. Mine are laced at three finger widths but haven't given me any problems. I also found that some of the wider fits were too roomy around the back. One thing I would say for fellow frog-footers, is to properly loosen the shoes before you put them on. It might take a bit longer than just slipping them on but your toes will thank you.
  • I am a size 8 in normal shoes (and female) so I can't go up a size - ladies trainers only go up to size 8 generally!! Gave the shop assistants a laugh, anyway, as they stood round and debated whether I should have to buy men's trainers as my feet were so large....

  • Hi all

    Just a quick note, beware of size when buying Adidas trainers. To get one pair big enough I would have had to go up 3 sizes! They are recognized as being small sized.
    Was in a lot of pain from the pair I bought, which were 7 instead of my normal 6, and it took a couple of weeksbefore I noticed.
    Pegasus size 7fits perfectly though.
  • After two pairs Asics Nimbus V's, I purchased a pair of Nimbus VI's, same size. A half marathon later minus a toe nail and huge blisters. Time to buy a bigger shoe or different brand. Pity as usually I'm pretty loyal to my brands when I find something good.
  • I can safely say I am a member of the frog feet brigade. I found saucony onmi 4, a great fit so much so I now have two pairs, they have plently of room at the front but a narrow heal. They are a good lenght also so I only need by usual shoe size.
  • Quick tip I use when buying running shoes - I like them 1/2 to full size up from my normal shoe and I always bring my favourite running socks with me to try on at the shop as they are much thinner than regular socks.

    Another handy tip for buying shoes is to go at the end of day or after you've been walking about for some time, as your feet will have swelled up a bit and be closer to 'size' of them when running.

    And I find how you lace your shoes makes a suprising difference. So relacing in different ways can make difference on how they feel on your feet and the slip and rub factors.

    I've been wearing New Balance for a couple of years now and love them, great for my small but flat, wide footsies and super roomy in the toes!
  • Having recently started running, I ended up buying a pair of New Balance shoes with support to stop my (small, wide, high arched) feet rolling in.

    The strange thing is, the heel on the shoe has worn only on the outside of the shoe (rather than the inside which as my feet roll in, I thought would happen)

    Would any of you from your experiences of running shoes reckon that this wear is 'normal', or do you reckon I should get my running shop to check the support is right?
  • Yes, that's perfectly normal. Most heel-strikers (i.e. you run with your heel hitting the ground first) hit the ground with the outside of the heel. How near the outside depends on the individual but it is perfectly normal. Your foot then rolls inwards through the rest of the stride so you will leave the ground with the front or inside of the toe. The stability properties of the shoe will stop your foot rolling too far inwards.
  • I really subscribe to the lacing of shoes argument.

    I started running about 5 weeks ago and noticed I was getting very sore ankles and occasionally shins.

    I attributed this to two main reasons, firstly I was running on pretty unstable woodland terrain, secondly, my shoes were laced far too tight, it was an absolute delight to take my shoes off after even 12 mins of running.

    I'm now running 20 mins a time with my shoes much more loosely laced and have not suffered any more shin or foot pain
  • Glad that I read this thread. I've been having pain at the joint of my big toe b/c shoes felt a little too tight. Also, I think I have a high instep. Re-lacing helped me out a lot which is nice because I just bought these shoes and was about ready to buy a different pair.
  • Running Monkey, I too have size 8 feet normally but have an 8 1/2 in New Balance, which fit brilliantly. I have skinny feet and NB have different width fittings too. image
  • Nike air max will be good for running? Any suggestion?
    In god we trust
  • If you go to a running specalist store they can provide free gait analysis and help choosing a pair.

    Often running trainers may seem expensive but running is high impact and you will need to protect your feet if you do any sort of mileage
  • Half a size up or try wide fit in same shoe size.
  • I just bought some new ASICS Gel Nimbus (1 size up) but they are cutting the blood supply off to my right foot. It is excrutiating!! I have opted to loosen them waaay off but now my foot slides all over the place and is giving me huge blisters on the ball of my foot.
    I would normally ditch them and get another pair but I don’t have the money. Got my first ever London Marathon coming up in a couple of months and right now im struggling to keep running.

    Any one know if you can stretch out trainers? What about if I stick em in the washing machine?

    My only other option is to go back to my old trainers which are definitely no longer road worthy. :(
    mosanna - you could try elastic laces and use the lock lacing method so that you gain maximum width in the forefoot area but shoe is securely held onto the foot.  Or/and maybe change the insoles to a thinner pair so making the shoe more roomy.

    Putting them in the washing machine won't help at all.
  • Too right about the elastic laces - I find that if I do laces up too tight then my feet hurt on top but elastic laces sort that (and you don't have to tie them up!). If you're running a lot (eg training for something) then be aware that your feet might get a bit bigger - I went from size 13 to size 14 training for a marathon
  • YnnecYnnec ✭✭✭
    edited February 2019
    I always go a size-up for road trainers & 1/2 a size for treadmill trainers. Down at least 6 sizes when I'm pretending to be Cinderella.
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